It’s FINALLY time for a vacation, and I’m sure if you’re like me, it’s been long overdue. My critters are old enough now that it is a big pain, quite literally, to board my pets while I’m on vacation, and not to mention expensive! They always end up getting sick due to being so stressed out at the boarding kennel. Pet sitters are out of the question for us as we don’t like strange people staying in our house, and the family is usually with us when we vacation! So, why not take the pups along for the ride? Here are the top 12 most popular, pet-friendly States in America to vacation with your pup.
According to several sources, the city of Portland, Oregon alone has 33 dog parks! They also have dog- friendly restaurants, bars, coffee shops, shopping areas, and hotels to take your pooch! Depending on the time of year you are going, Portland has also many dog-themed events happening! Check out this article on the 99 top things to do in Portland with your pooch!
It was once said that Seattle, Washington had more dogs per capita living there than children! Dogs are allowed on many types of public transportation systems in Seattle including city buses, light rail systems, and ferries! With that many dogs being a part of the city, there are many dog-friendly businesses that enjoy canine customers. Enjoy some amazing hiking areas with your pooch as well as dog-friendly shopping centers. You can even rent kayaks or canoes for you and your pup! And because it likes to rain in Seattle, I hear they have a pretty awesome indoor dog park too.
This sunny state repeatedly was at the top of the list for dog-friendly vacation spots. Who would have thought, since California is so crowded! Lake Tahoe, Huntington Beach, San Diego, Santa Barbara, and Carmel-By-The-Sea all have dog-friendly beaches for your pooch to explore, some even have their own designated “dog beaches” depending on the area. If you prefer to check out a winery, Napa has a dog- friendly winery called Bouchaine Vineyards that allows dogs to join in on the adventure with you! In San Francisco, dogs are even allowed with you on trolleys! All these cities have many dog-friendly restaurants to enjoy as well!
Everything is bigger in Texas, including their love of animals! Austin, Texas is home to over 35 pet photographers! There are also dog treat trucks running around in Austin, as well as pet bakeries. Austin has a swimming hole just for dogs called Red Bud Isle, and there is even a company in Austin that hosts Dog Yoga, Called Austin Doga. Austin also has pet-friendly downtown shopping and restaurants. You can take your pooch to the Yard Bar dog bark and enjoy the bar and restaurant inside the dog park! Austin also is home to a lot of hiking opportunities, as well as a pet-friendly botanical gardens called Zilker Botanical Gardens. You can even learn the history of Austin on a guided walking tour with your pooch.
Winter Park and Colorado Springs are both extremely dog-friendly locations, packed with lots of activities to do with your pooch, as well as some restaurants allowing your pooch to tag along! Winter Park has many great hiking opportunities to take the pups along with, as well as some great pet-friendly restaurants. Winter Park Resort has an article on its website detailing a schedule of “5 Pawfect days with your pup”. Colorado Springs is home to the “Garden of Gods” Park, which is an amazing park to hike through, and they allow dogs! Near the Garden of Gods are also the Manitou Cliff Dwellings and Seven Falls, also great attractions at Colorado Springs that allow dogs. There are also many dog-friendly shopping centers in Colorado Springs, check out this website for a dog-itinerary of things to do!
Tucson and Flagstaff, Arizona are popular dog-friendly destinations waiting to roll out the red carpet for you and your pooch! Flagstaff is home to the Coconino National Forest, which allows dogs to venture through so you can hike, camp, and check out Arizona’s beautiful red rocks. Flagstaff is also known for its Breweries, many of which are pet-friendly! Hops-On Birch Brewery and Dark Sky Brewing are known for their dog-friendly atmosphere. Tucson is known for having sunshine for 350 days a year and has a lot of hiking opportunities! Phoenix has several dog-friendly restaurants and hotels to bring your pooch as well! Sedona, Arizona is known for the beautiful red rocks. For those who are wondering, yes your dog can indeed check out the Grand Canyon with you!
Albuquerque is the popular destination for dog lovers as it has more than 33,000 acres of public parks to explore, as well as many dog parks and restaurants with dog-friendly patio areas to dine in this beautiful sunny destination. Visit Three Dog Bakery with your pooch for a special treat, check out the St. Clair Winery and Bistro for a treat for yourself, do a trolley tour, check out the cave dwellings at the Petroglyph National Monument Hiking Trail, or even check out some history downtown at a “Ghost Walk“. I may need some wine first before doing that one!
Whether it is enjoying Fort Myers, Key West, Key Largo, or Sanibel Island, these Florida cities boast a lot of dog-friendly adventures to try out! Fort Myers has great dog parks to venture out to, Hiking areas, and dog-friendly restaurants, Sanibel Island has many dog-friendly beaches to relax on, and Key West has their own designated dog beach where you can rent a Kayak with your furry friend! If you are all beached out, Key West even allows dogs in the Key West Aquarium! Just make sure your furry friend doesn’t try to go on another swim in the aquarium! Key Largo has more dog-friendly beaches, paddle boarding with your pooch, and you can even go on a Key Largo Princess Glass Bottom Boat Tour with your pooch!
Jersey City offers several dog-friendly establishments downtown to chill at with your pup. New Jersey is overall very dog-friendly with an abundance of dog parks. Asbury Park in Jersey Shore is a great pet-friendly place to be! The Wonder Bar Club hosts “Doggie Yappy Hour” where you can get a drink and have your dog play in kiddie pools and get biscuits from the dog biscuit bar. They also have a dog run happening twice weekly, just in case you and the pup overindulge a little too much. Asbury Park also has a section of the beach located off “8th Avenue” just for pups, offered only during certain times of the day so it’s not too crowded. There are many other dog beaches and hiking destinations to check out in New Jersey with your pup!
Wilmington, North Carolina is the best of both worlds from the beach, to hiking, to bed and breakfast places that allow pets, dog parks, there is a lot to do! If you’re a coffee lover like me, you must check out the Java Dog Coffee House for some good coffee and fun with the pooch. Get some food at the pet-friendly restaurants as Wilmington boasts they have over 100 of them! Rent a boat or Kayak with your pup, get some history at the Ghost Walk of Old Wilmington, check out the Museum of the Bizarre for some odd stuff, or even do some shopping! Don’t forget to stop at one of the dog bakeries for your pooch. Asheville boasts of great hiking trails, or you could check out the famous Biltmore Estate with your pooch, or check out the Battery Park Book Exchange and Champagne/Wine Bar with your pooch. That is like my three most favorite things in one sentence, books, wine, and dogs! Asheville also boasts of many pet-friendly breweries and restaurants. Asheville also has a shopping center with over 75 stores that you can shop with your pet at! If your dog gets bored with shopping, check out the quirky cat museum, or take a tour of the town with your dog in the Dog City USA tour.
What, what? New York is so big and busy; how could this state be considered a pet-friendly vacation place? Lake Placid is a beautiful area in New York that is described as a “pet-friendly gateway for nature lovers” according to Trip Advisor. Mirror Lake, near Lake Placid, has a dog beach and has some good hiking spots. There are many dog-friendly restaurants too! Go boating, do some shopping in the water-bowl lined streets of the shopping district, even get ice cream for you and your dog! Finger Lakes in upstate New York is another fun destination, there are 11 freshwater lakes with a resort boasting excellent restaurants, boating, and wines. The Resort has over 100 wineries and breweries. They state that many are dog-friendly! The Watkins State Park in this area has 19 waterfalls and a gorgeous hiking area for you and your pup.
Whether it be Alexandria, Charlottesville, or Arlington, you and the pup are going to have some adventures in store! Alexandria is dog heaven with water bowl lined King Street, filled with shops to look at. Dine at numerous restaurants around Alexandria with your pet, take a walking tour around Mt. Vernon, Sightsee around the seaport with a riverboat company, and check out one of the 20 dog parks around town when you’re tired, but your pup is not. At Charlottesville, check out Thomas Jefferson’s estate for a history lesson with the pooch, stop by Carter Mountain Fruit Orchard and pick your own fruit, stop at a winery, hike up Crabtree Falls, or check out the historic downtown mall. Arlington boasts more dog parks and dog-friendly restaurants to check out as well as historic sites to see.
Bar Harbor, Maine was mentioned several times on different travel sites! Check out local restaurants even with special dog menus, cruises for you and the pup, walk-off lunch by walking the shore path or going to Bar Island when the tide is low, or have fun exploring Acadia National Park, which has 120 miles of hiking trails, and you could even go on a horse-drawn carriage tour if your pup is well behaved. Dogs are also allowed on the buses too, so the possibilities are endless!
This was just a SMALL list of dog-friendly states in the United States, some of the more popular ones or the most popular talked-about anyways! Wherever you and your pup decide to go, the most important part is to enjoy the time together and embrace a new adventure!
Special thanks to Expedia.com, TripAdvisor.com, BringFido.com, Vacation Rentals.com, flipkey.com, and Travel & Leisure Magazine! Check them out if you’re looking for more info on your next adventure with your pets.