If you’ve never vacationed with your dog, you’ve been missing out on what could be your most memorable get-away yet. From middle-of-nowhere to beaches to dog-welcoming cities, there’s nothing like experiencing a new adventure on par with your best pal. We’ve researched and assembled some of the best dog friendly vacations in the US to get you dreaming, planning, and packing.
Whether you’re looking for a packing checklist, tips for traveling with your dog, luxury pet hotels or for luxury pet friendly hotels, vacations and destinations, we’ve got you covered. We’ve given you the detailed 411 on 5 of the best dog friendly vacation spots, from one end of the country to the other.
We’ll review our top dog friendly vacations in the USA in detail:
- Pacific Northwest/Washington
- Dog Beach, Ocean Beach, California
- Austin, Texas
- Key West, Florida
- A Majority of USA’s National Parks
Then, because there are so many dog friendly vacation destinations in the USA, we list out 12 more noteworthy destinations at the end.
Top USA Destinations for Dog Friendly Vacations
1. Pacific Northwest/Washington
Whether you’re looking to take in all the best of Seattle or discover what lies outside the Emerald City, the PNW won’t disappoint.
Seattle locals know they have a treasure when it comes to mesmerizing dog walks. The Washington Park Arboretum on the shores of Lake Washington is 230 acres of horticultural splendor. And you and Fido can walk its beautiful trails free of charge.
If you want to venture out of the big city for a little get-away, consider a stay at Semiahmoo Resort on the Salish Sea. Your dog will get the royal treatment from the moment of check-in.
Want to step away from the hotel scene and still have all the comforts of home? Check out Seabrook on the Pacific coast.
Dogs rule in this small beach community, which has character-filled rental homes in lieu of hotels. Wide-open spaces with beach-destined trails make this a magical getaway for both pups and their peeps.
And you’re within reach of Seattle, Portland, and Olympic National Park (which has pet-friendly lodging).
When it comes to checking dog-friendly vacations off your bucket list, you can’t not go to Dog Beach, CA.
Yes, we’re talking about the Original Dog Beach in San Diego, CA – one of the first off-leash dog beaches in the country.
Want to get your west coast vibe on? Slip into your flip-flops, grab Fido’s ChuckIt and tennis balls, and head to the mouth of the San Diego River at the end of I-8.
There really is nothing like watching your dog be a dog in the freest, happiest sense of the word.
Ocean Villa Inn is a beachfront, bohemian-inspired hotel just steps away from the beach. And it’s thoughtfully designed to accommodate the needs of beach-hangin’ pups and their people.
Of course, once you’re in OB, you have access to all things San Diego, including more off-leash fun at Fiesta Island Park.
Take a day-trip to beautiful Coronado Island and give your pup a sunset romp on the white sands of Coronado Dog Beach.
Check out other dog-friendly activities in San Diego here.
3. Austin, TX
The capital of the Lone Star State ranks in the top 10 of dog-friendly cities in the US. So it makes sense that there are plenty of fun things for you and your travel buddy to do in this central Texas gem.
For wide-open off-leash play, head to Zilker Park in the shadow of downtown. From there you can access the Hike & Bike Trail and take in part or all of the 10-mile loop along Lady Bird Lake.
Or rent a kayak or paddleboard and take in the scenery from the water.
Plenty of restaurants and bars have outdoor/patio seating to welcome canine patrons. Check out Mozart’s Coffee Roasters on your way back from Red Bud Isle. Explore the UT campus on foot and paw, then grab a beer (for you) at the historic Scholz Garten.
If you’re up for a day-or-two trip, Austin is the gateway to the Texas Hill Country, with wineries and breweries lining the way. Doggos welcome, of course.
And, if you go in early spring, you can partake in a Texas tradition and pose with your pup in fields of Texas bluebonnets.
4. Key West, FL
If you’re traveling between March and May, you may want to put a pin on Key West, FL for your next dog-friendly vacation.
Winter crowds have died down by then, which means hotel rates have, as well. That leaves more space and spending mula for you and your favorite vagabond. So much to see and do here!
Be sure to take in the Stock Island Marina, where you can meet an eclectic group of boaters and traveling pups. It’s the only marina in the keys to offer a dog park steps from the slip.
If you’re a guy who has been letting your morning shadow get a little long, head over to Beards & Brews Barber Parlor. And, of course, bring your bud! Doggos get to lounge and socialize while Dad gets a shave and a brew.
Of course, you’re at the beach to experience everything beach-and-ocean. So why not experience Key West from the expertise of a local…on the water…with your dog?
Soul Shine Adventures and Easy Day Charters will let you customize your outing so you and Fido get what you came for.
Finish your day at any one of Key West’s dog-friendly restaurants. Personally, we dig the sound of Island Dogs Bar for burgers, wings, oysters, tropical martinis, live music, and some dog-themed garb.
5. National Parks in the USA
Given that there are 423 national park sites in the US and its territories, it would be a shame for Fido to miss out.
With 84 million acres of dedicated land and water, the National Park System hasn’t forgotten about pet-friendly vacations. That means Fido can stamp his National Parks Passport Book on any road trip.
The national parks welcome pets in developed areas, on many trails and campgrounds, and in some lodging facilities.
Read more about enjoying this country’s magnificent protected parks with your dog here. Then check out these 8 dog-friendly national park sites, including Acadia (Maine), Congaree (SC), and Grand Canyon (AZ).
Be sure to familiarize yourself with park rules before heading out to ensure the safety of wildlife, nature, pets, and you.
What makes a destination dog friendly?
What makes a destination a pet friendly vacation? We chose these destinations based on the following factors:
- Are there parks and/or green spaces for safe, outdoor time with pets?
- Are there a variety of rentals, hotels and businesses that welcome pets?
- Are there a variety of restaurant options that welcome pets and have outdoor dining space?
- Walkability: does the destination have a high walkability level?
Finally, here are 12 more Fido-approved, dog-friendly vacation spots worthy of more than a drive-by on your next road trip.
- Colorado Springs, CO
- Tuscon, AZ
- Bend, OR
- Napa, CA
- Bar Harbor, ME
- Lake Placid, NY
- Grand Haven, MI
- Milwaukee, WI
- Asheville, NC
- Hilton Head, SC
- Gatlinburg, TN
- St. Petersburg, FL
As you can see, there’s no reason to leave your faithful furball at home when planning your next getaway. The world has caught on to the fact that dogs are family, and it’s rolling out the red carpet to welcome them.