Dreaming of the perfect getaway with your dog? Traveling with your canine companion is a fun way to spend quality time together, increase your bond and experience new areas of the country. Especially after the last two years, many of us are ready to stretch our legs and start exploring. Dog-friendly hotels, restaurants, parks, beaches and laws make these towns tail waggin’. You and your pup are sure to enjoy these dog-centric vacation destinations!
1. San Diego, California
Ready for fun in the sun? This dog-friendly city with lots of sun and beaches is also home to “the original dog beach.” While in San Diego you can even rent a boat and head out on the ocean with your dog or check out dog surfing competitions! ➤ sandiego.org
2. St. Johnsbury, Vermont
Looking for a canine paradise? Look no farther than the 150 acres of private mountaintop known as Dog Mountain. The mountain is a serene place filled with hiking trails, fields and ponds for you and your dog to explore together. It’s also the home of The Dog Chapel, a nondenominational place to memorialize dogs who have passed. ➤ dogmt.com
3. Key West, Florida
With its many dog-friendly restaurants and bars, this may be the tropical getaway of your dog’s dreams. For dogs and people who love to get warm, Key West boasts an array of dog-friendly beaches, parks and shopping. ➤ keywest.com
4. Gatlinburg, Tennessee
In the heart of the Great Smoky Mountains, with dog-friendly shops, walking tours, hiking trails and more, this is an ideal destination for dogs and people who love the outdoors. The area has hiking trails perfect for all abilities and is a dog dream outdoor destination. ➤ gatlinburg.com
5. Cannon Beach, Oregon
With miles of public sandy beaches and mild weather, Cannon Beach is a Pacific Northwest wonderland for dogs and their people. Most businesses in town are dog-friendly, with plenty of patios at local restaurants. There are even annual Dachshund races just a few miles down the coast! ➤ cannonbeach.org
6. Bar Harbor, Maine
This charming town has it all with beaches and mountains. Hiking the dog-friendly trails of Acadia National Park is a pup lover’s paradise. With hiking trails, dog-friendly kayaking, hiking, shopping and dining, there’s something for dogs of all sizes whether you’re feeling outdoorsy or looking to kick back and take in the scenery. ➤ visitbarharbor.com
7. Austin, Texas
With dog-friendly bars and restaurant patios, Austin is the perfect foodie destination for dogs and dog lovers. When you’re looking for activity, the city has dog-friendly hiking trails, off-leash parks and lakes, as well as music venues, outdoor museums and shopping. ➤ austintexas.org
8. Sedona, Arizona
With an array of hiking trails, you and your dog will love the beauty the red rock has to offer. It boasts trails ideal for beginners through advanced, and dogs and their people can enjoy views of Cathedral Rock and other landmarks. Go on your own or take your dog for dog-friendly guided tours. Dog-friendly restaurants and shops are perfect for relaxing when you get off the trails. ➤ visitsedona.com
9. Kanab, Utah
Known for the stunning landscape and rock formations, Kanab is perfect for dog lovers. With a variety of dog-friendly trails, bring your camera to capture photos of your dog against the breathtaking landscape. And while you’re there you can plan to stay and volunteer at Best Friends Animal Society! ➤ visitsouthernutah.com
10. Cape Cod, Massachusetts
If you’re a water lover, don’t miss Cape Cod. With beaches, hiking trails, parks and, of course, dog-friendly restaurants, art galleries and shopping (including many dog-centric gift shops), Cape Cod is a classic beach vacation destination for dogs and their families. ➤ visitcapecod.com
Top Dog Hotel & Rental Tips
When traveling with your dog, there are a variety of options for where to lay your head at night. When picking lodging, consider what will be most comfortable for both you and your dog. Do you have a shy dog who is uncomfortable around a lot of people or other dogs? A high-rise hotel in the middle of a city might not be a good fit. On the other hand, if your dog loves being the center of attention, don’t hesitate to book that pawsome hotel suite!
Dog-friendly hotel advice
There are many dog-friendly hotels ranging from budget to luxury.
- When making your reservation, make sure the hotel knows you’ll be traveling with a dog.
- Confirm that the hotel doesn’t have any size/weight restrictions that could impact your plans.
- Check if the hotel charges any pet fees.
- Many hotels maintain lists of dog-friendly local restaurants, shops, walking tours and places near the hotel to help you and your dog make the most out of your visit, so don’t forget to ask for it.
- Check if the hotel has special packages for their canine guests for an added fee. These could include toys, beds, bowls, and other treats and accessories from local dog boutiques and businesses in your room.
- For safety, don’t ever leave your dog unattended in a hotel room.
Dog-friendly Airbnb advice
When planning your vacation with your dog, consider staying at an Airbnb. Many (though not all) are dog-friendly and a great option for people who would prefer not to stay in a hotel. Benefits of many Airbnb’s include:
- Access to a full kitchen
- The homey living space may be quieter than a hotel without other guests above and below you so your dog won’t constantly wake up at night and bark at strange sounds.
- Airbnbs allow dogs to avoid the stress of navigating a hotel lobby, other dogs and strangers.
- Some come with a fenced yard and other amenities like private access to beaches.
Don’t forget to check all rules for particular Airbnb properties. Some have size limits and requirements. Some will allow you to leave your dog alone in the house in a crate while you go out, while others require someone to be with the dog at all times.
Dog-friendly Trailer/RV advice
Ready to hit the road? You can bring a home along with you in a travel trailer or RV. If you’re looking to rent or purchase an RV, keep your dog’s needs in mind.
- Select an RV/trailer that is easy for you and your dog to get in and out of. Some dogs will have trouble getting up and down the stairs.
- Consider all the supplies you’ll need for your dog while on the road, including crates, bowls and toys, and ensure that any RV/trailer you look at has enough storage.
- Cover the RV screen door’s bottom half to keep the dog from scratching to go outside and ripping through or crashing through it.
- Look for scratch-resistant flooring or cover the floor with slide-resistant throw rugs.