Best Destinations to Travel With Your Pet
Want your vacation to be more fun? Take your pet along! They are particularly welcome in parts of the country that have pets-allowed walking trails, dog parks, leash-free beaches and even bars and outdoor restaurants.
If you're wondering where to stay, check out BringFido, which also features info on pet-friendly attractions and eateries in many different localities. Kimpton hotels are especially pet friendly, keeping a water bowl nearby check-in, being generous with treats, allowing pets to attend hotels' nightly complimentary wine hour. And unlike many accommodations, they don't charge an extra fee to bring your furbaby along.
USA's Dog-Friendliest Places
California rules when it comes to rolling out the red carpet for pooches. San Francisco contains 27 dog parks and permits pets on its iconic trolleys as well as in some restaurants. There are even gyms where your pet can accompany you, and the City By the Bay is home to a multitude of pet Meet-Up groups so you can commune with like-minded people. Further up the coast, dogs are permitted on the Great Beach at Point Reyes National Seashore.
South Lake Tahoe is ideal for adventure travelers and the dogs that love them. There are many dog-friendly campgrounds, hiking trails and outdoor eateries. For a refreshing swim with your pet, Kiva Beach is the spot.
In Southern California, dogs are free to swim and frolic off-leash on Huntington Beach. And in San Diego, you can take your dog surfing… if he's willing. Otherwise, hang out with him at one of the city's dog parks or restaurants with a patio. Afterwards check out the duds in the pet boutiques along the boardwalk.
Portland is home to 33 dog parks. After exercising, hit to a local pub where dogs are permitted. If you're visiting in September, attend Dogtoberfest, a local tradition where funds raised from this dog wash event go toward supporting the Northwest's nonprofit, 24-hour emergency medical hospital. Lucky Labrador Brewing Company is a sponsor and produces and pours Dogwash Pale Ale to honor the occasion.
Seattle has more dogs than children, and furbabies are permitted on the city's buses, ferries and seaplanes.
In Grand Canyon National Park, dogs on a leash are allowed at the South Rim.
Bringing a dog to Las Vegas is no gamble: Not only does the city have a dozen dog parks, but it also ties for most pet businesses per capita.
Austin's Red Bud Isle is an off-leash dog park where your pet can also swim. For something different, take a yoga class with your dog at Austin Doga. Also check out Bow-Wow Bones, a food truck that specializes in natural dog treats. Then smile and sit for a portrait with your pet; the city has dozens of photographers specializing in people-pet pix.
Chicago's new elevated park, The 606, permits leashed dogs, and the Windy City's three dog-friendly beaches include Montrose Dog Beach at the edge of Lake Michigan. If she prefers sailing, take her on a dog cruise of Chicago waterways. Sports fans of both species have something to cheer about at the Chicago White Sox's annual Dog Day.
The go-to place for Twin Cities dog lovers is Sidewalk Dog, a guide to local restaurants, breweries, parks and hiking trails, as well as lake adventures, happy hours, and other activities for pets and their people.
Scenic Colorado Springs is ideal for outdoors lovers. Let loose in dog parks; explore wildflower-festooned Crags Trail in Pike National Forest; visit Seven Falls, where the two of you can splash in waterfalls; and hike Garden of the Gods Park, a Registered National Landmark.
Dogs are now welcome at outdoor cafés and even many stores in New York City. For a real (non-edible) treat, schedule a grooming at Biscuits & Bath, where your pet can indulge in a moisturizing treatment and even have her teeth brushed before she's returned to you.
Boston is a great town to socialize with your pet. Bars feature "Yappy Hours" and it's easy to get around with your pet: Leashed dogs are allowed to ride the "T" during off-peak times and you can even sail Boston Harbor on a dog-friendly cruise.
Travel Safely and Pack Medications
As you pack, leave room in your luggage for a pet first-aid kit. And make sure your pet is microchipped and enrolled in a pet recovery program like HomeAgain. You'll also want to make sure your pet is wearing a collar tag with ID at all times, just in case.
Lastly, ensure your pet's vaccinations are up to date, especially for Dog Flu, and that he's recently been given flea and tick medications, such as Bravecto. If your pet needs any other medications to manage conditions such as diabetes or to prevent heartworm, be sure to fill those prescrptions in advance and take them along too.
Susan Breslow is the former head of publications for the ASPCA and is the author of the children's book I Really Want a Dog.