Are you itching to go on a vacation, but not sure about boarding your dog? Or, maybe you’ve decided that you want to enjoy a canine-centered adventure with your best furry friend. Either way, if your pup is coming with you on your trip, it’s best to find some dog-friendly cities as your destination of choice.
After all, it’s your vacation too, and you don’t want to spend it stuck in a hotel room with your pup. On the other hand, it’s not fair to Fido to be left alone the whole time while you go off and enjoy yourself. So, if your pal’s tagging along for the ride, select a destination with lots of fun things for both of you.
10 Dog-Friendly Cities to Explore with Your Pup
So, you know you’re ready to go somewhere with your best pal, but where should you go? It can help to narrow down your choices a bit. For example, maybe you know you want to visit somewhere in the Mid-West, or you want to have a beach holiday or go hiking with your dog, etc. This can help you concentrate your efforts in one general area.
But, if you’re wide open to the possibilities, then your options multiply considerably. Instead of simply picking a city at random and seeing how they feel about dogs, check out our list of some of the top dog-friendly cities instead. We’ve chosen some top picks from throughout the country. So, whether you want to go north, south, east, or west, and whether you want an outdoor adventure, a city experience, or something in between, there’s a city on this list for you.
If you love the great outdoors, Portland is a definite must for your travel list, featuring multiple opportunities for adventure, as well as parks right in the heart of the city. For example, Powell Butte Nature Park offers hiking trails and more, and Sellwood Riverfront Park includes a 1.5-acre off-leash area. When you want to take a break, take a stroll through the Portland Saturday Market.
On pretty much any corner in Austin, you can find a dog-friendly restaurant, shop, park, or countless other activities. Are you in the mood for some upscale shopping? No problem. The Domain features multiple boutiques and popular stores, many of which welcome your pet with treats. Or, relax with a picnic and stage a fun photoshoot in the beautiful Zilker Botanical Garden.
With over 500 pet-friendly restaurants and over 600 hotels that welcome pets, you can already see why San Diego is a great place to visit with your pooch. Plus, it’s just a fabulous city to explore, with endless attractions and activities, like kayaking with your pooch or braving a ghost tour.
Multiple parks and dog-friendly hotels and restaurants make Tucson a good choice for vacationing with your pet. You can also kick back and relax with your pup and a pint at several breweries, like Catalina Brewing Company or 1912 Brewing Co. Afterward, take a tour of the Pima Air & Space Museum.
When you feature a tour that caters specifically to dogs, you know you’ve found a dog-friendly city. When you’re in gorgeous and charming Savannah, GA, make sure to take Oliver Bentleys Historic Dog Walk Tour. Many other tours welcome dogs, and you’ll also find lots of parks to enjoy with your pup, including the stunning Savannah Botanical Gardens.
You and your best friend can explore beaches, parks, restaurants, shops, and more when you visit St. Petersburg. You can even relax with other dog lovers at the fun and colorful Dog Bar. Or, take a trip back in time while you enjoy a movie at the Ruskin Family Drive-In.
If you want to explore the Big Easy, bring your pup along for some NOLA fun. The city features multiple dog-friendly hotels, as well as beautiful parks. Take your pal to the 4.6 acre City Bark in the famous New Orleans City Park to enjoy meeting other pups and frolicking in several play areas and doggie pools. Plus, the French Quarter is a great place to explore, with many pet-friendly shops, the historic French Market, and endless eateries with incredible food and outdoor seating.
How about going on a scavenger hunt with your pal? Or, maybe you’d like to get some shopping done at The Apple Store or pick up a special treat for your pooch at the Pawsh Dog Boutique. When you’re done, the city is full of dog parks and dog-friendly greenways, markets, and more.
Take a delightful stroll through the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden or unwind with your pal at one of the multiple breweries, like Lakes & Legends Brewing Company or Modist Brewing Co. Your dog can also enjoy various dog parks throughout the city and an assortment of dog-friendly shops.
New York City is by far an incredible place to visit, but you might not have realized that your dog can have quite a fun time there, too. There are numerous pet-friendly restaurants and hotels in The Big Apple. Plus, over 180 pet-friendly activities to choose from, including wonderful parks (Hello, Central Park), shopping, and multiple walking tours that welcome pets. You can also stop by the William Secord Gallery to check out timeless dog paintings and even commission a portrait of your beloved pup.
Before You Vacation with Your Dog
Now, before you load up the car and head out on the road (or the plane if you plan to fly), it’s vital to do some prep work. Once you’ve chosen where you’re going, ensure you find a place to stay that not only allows dogs but welcomes them with open arms.
If you’re going to a dog-friendly city, it shouldn’t be too hard to find a hotel or Airbnb that fits this description. Places like this often offer special packages or perks for pups, like dog beds, dishes, special treats, and toys, as well as dog-walking services.
They’re also likely to have more dog-tolerant guests and maybe even a few fun things for your pup to do, like a doggy run or play area. It’s also a good idea to select somewhere near to several dog-centric activities, parks, and similar locations.
Gather all of the necessary things you need to pack for your dog, including medical records and proof of vaccinations. It’s also essential to bring a sturdy leash, as no matter how dog-friendly a place is, there are bound to be leash laws. Having an interactive toy or licking mat with you, like the Neat-Lik Treat Mat, is also a good idea to keep your dog occupied during break times, like when you’re grabbing a coffee or a bite to eat.
Also, ensure you know where the nearest vet clinic or emergency animal clinic is where you’re traveling. The more prepared you are when traveling with your dog, the more likely you will have a fun and wonderful experience.
When you do a little prep work and planning, vacationing with your dog can be a blast. For more helpful tips, check out the rest of our blog. Now, it’s time to dust off that suitcase and start packing.