If you’re a dog owner, there’s no doubt you consider your furry companion part of the family. But when it comes to taking a trip, he/she can make things a little tricky. Fear not! Here are our top pet-friendly vacations across America where your pooch pals are just as welcome as you are.
Top Dog-Friendly USA Vacations
If you’re the kind of traveler who just can’t bear to leave the dog at home, you’ve probably experienced the frustration of trying to book a getaway catering for both people and pets. Can my dog stay in this hotel? Can he/she visit the local coffee shop, or sit with me while I eat at a restaurant? And is there anywhere that allows dogs to run and play off the leash?
We’re here to help. Firstly, and most importantly: finding a pet-friendly place to stay. Each location in our list has great pet-friendly vacation rentals available to book from FlipKey. But it doesn’t stop there. You’ll also enjoy off-leash beaches, gourmet pet bakeries, doggy spas, and more.
Vacation rentals are particularly good for this type of trip, as many accept animals and you’ll avoid the obstacles you might experience in other types of accommodation: cramped spaces, no outdoor area, or, most awkward of all, sharing communal areas with people who just don’t like dogs.
Simply book a pet-friendly house from FlipKey with a garden or an apartment just off a dog-friendly beach, and you’ll have the perfect pooch-friendly setting for your stay.
You’ll be pleased to hear that the residents of San Diego are barking mad about dogs, so you’ll meet little resistance if you’re bringing a furry companion. Try lunch at the Patio on Lamont at Pacific Beach, where there’s tasty Californian cuisine for you, as well as home-made dog biscuits for canines. There’s also the dog-friendly terrace at the Pier Café on West Harbor Drive. Have a run about at Nate’s Point Off-Leash Dog Park at Balboa Park (open 24 hours) or explore the dunes and surf of Fiesta Island. And why not go all out and book a pet photoshoot with Feather & Fur Pet Photography?
“Karen’s cottage is exactly as advertised. We brought our two dogs and it was a great property for them as well as a wonderful neighborhood to walk them in. The cottage is well furnished and lacks for nothing.” — FlipKey Reviewer
Pets are most definitely invited in charming Bar Harbor. Sit on the deck at Stewman’s Lobster Pound Downtown, order yourself something delicious, and then check out the special doggie menu for your furball. Margaret Todd Windjammer Cruises accept dogs on board, so you can sail around Frenchman Bay without leaving your favorite companion at the rental. Keep the leash on when exploring Acadia National Park, except at the Little Long Pond Leash-Free Area, where animals can run free.
West Austin Dog Park is a friendly place for pups and owners, and there’s also the park at Auditorium Shores, which has access to the water. If your dog’s particularly fond of swimming, head to the Red Bud Isle pensinsula for plenty of off-leash fun and lots of water to play in. In February, there’s a popular Mardi Gras Dog Parade, and there are a few other doggy events held throughout the year. Pick up some treats at the Groovy Dog Bakery to keep Fido happy back at the rental while you head out to hear some of that famous Austin live music.
Your first stop here should be Huntington Dog Beach, a stretch of true doggy heaven. Dog owners work hard to keep this place clean and the dogs under control, so it’s a pleasant place to visit. If you’re lucky, you might even see a four-legged creature whizzing past on a surfboard. Only in California… After all the excitement of the dog beach, you can book your pet in to freshen up in the Doggie Spa at Seacliff Village.
“This cabin is older and rustic but it was clean and cute. The fact that it was dog friendly was enough for us because we didn’t have to pay boarding fees…or miss our dogs. The cabin was quiet and had beautiful views. This was a very pleasant place to cook, have dinner on the back deck, drink a glass of wine, and watch the sunset.” — FlipKey Reviewer
Asheville’s got plenty to offer its canine tourists. There are 220 acres of grounds to cover with your pet at the Biltmore Estate, and there’s an onsite kennel where you can park the pooch while you tour the historic house. There’s also the French Broad River Dog Park, with a fenced-off, wood-chipped acre to run around in, and the river to splash in, too. Check out the Woof Gang Bakery for premium animal treats and toys. At Play with Sparky is a doggie daycare facility you could make use of if you’d like to tackle the more challenging local hiking trails sans dog.
Time to introduce the dog to the buzz of Key West! The Key West Dog Beach is small but friendly, and your pet is free to play in the waves to their heart’s content. If you’d like to get right out on the water together, get in touch with Lazy Dog Kayak and enjoy the surroundings as you paddle along. Get your fresh seafood order in at Nine One Five Bistro and watch the world go by together on the dog-friendly terrace.
You’ll find plenty of other happy dogs living it up in Atlanta. For lots of running space, try the Piedmont Dog Park, a designated off-leash area with a separate space for smaller animals. Pets are welcome on leashes at the Freedom Park and you’ll love discovering the peaceful Chattahoochee River National Recreation Park together. Let your dog take a well-deserved snooze at your pet-friendly rental while you hit the exciting bars and restaurants Atlanta has to offer.
This impressive city is studded with monuments and cultural institutions, many of them free to enter. Simply settle the dog back at your cozy rental to see the sights that are better for people than pups, then swing back to pick up your playmate and head out for a dog-friendly excursion. Enjoy a leashed walk in leafy Montrose Park, or try the off-leash zones at Shaw Dog Park, S Street Dog Park, and the designated dog run on the waterfront at The Yards Park. Canines can expect a warm welcome, a bowl of water, and a bit of a fuss from staff on the terrace of the friendly Logan Tavern.
Known for its skiing, beaches, and stunning alpine lake, this place is also a lovely spot to visit with the dog in tow. The Bijou Dog Park has shady areas, picnic tables, and fresh water to keep pets happy and hydrated. Pretty Kiva Beach is also dog-friendly as long as you keep the leash on. There’s a cage-free dog care facility called Tahoe Best Friends, where you can leave your pup in total comfort while you head out for a sophisticated dinner.
Four-legged friends are most definitely welcome in this scenic port city. The Java Dog Coffee House serves great coffee, dog treats, and welcomes dogs inside and out. The George Restaurant on the Riverwalk offers a range of tasty Southern dishes, and furry friends can join you on the deck outside. Take advantage of two acres of galloping room at the off-leash Wilmington Dog Park within Empie Park, complete with fencing and separate areas for pups large and small.
“The condo was clean, new, and modern. The location in downtown Portland was perfect! I look forward to my next vacation to Portland so I can stay here again.” — FlipKey Reviewer
How’s this for dog-friendly? Head down to the Tin Shed Garden Café on a Tuesday night to enjoy a free item from the dog menu for each human-friendly dish you order. Bargain! There are some nice off-leash sections for dogs in Chimney Park and Mt. Tabor Park. No visit to Portland is complete without ordering from its world-famous food carts. You can sign up for an official Portland Food Cart Tour and bring your leashed dog along too.
Sunny Albuquerque is a great choice for a vacation, with its endless sunshine, desert vistas, and punchy local flavors. It’s particularly good for those traveling with dogs, as it has more than 10 designated dog parks. North Domingo Baca Dog Park offers a wood-chipped play area, with separate spaces for big and small animals, and some shady spots. There’s also the Rio Grande Triangle Park, Coronado Park, Montessa Dog Park, and more.
“The fixtures in this two bedroom, 1.5 bath condo are high-grade: wide wood floor planks, granite kitchen counter tops, and enormous floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the surrounding treetops. Your dog will enjoy running across acres of freshly mowed fields between the house and the rural one-lane road.” — FlipKey Reviewer
Here you’ve got the stunning Blue Ridge Mountains and the spectacular Shenandoah Valley, where there’s plenty for you and your canine companion to look at on a scenic drive. Grab a burger at Miller’s in the dog-friendly outdoor area or some Cajun catfish on the large patio at the Timberwood Grille. Treat your pooch to a runaround at Azalea Dog Park or Chris Greene Lake Park—the latter has a roped doggy swimming area.
Rich in vineyards and characterized by its long, narrow bodies of water, the Finger Lakes area is a fascinating place to visit. This is wine country, but don’t feel like you can’t take your pet with you if you want to sample a local bottle. Many wineries around here allow dogs—just call first to check their policy. You’ll also find plenty of pet-friendly vacation rentals to make everyone feel perfectly at home.
One thing you’ll notice in Flagstaff is that a lot of the locals are dog owners. Many an establishment has its own furry incumbent ready to welcome you, so you won’t have a problem taking your dog out and about in the area. Diablo Burger has a pet-friendly patio where dogs can rest under a shady table while you enjoy one of the hefty house burgers. You can also get some great deals on vacation rentals in this area, leaving you more cash to spend on other things, like dog biscuits. Check out Thorpe Park Bark Park (try saying that really quickly), where you’ll find agility equipment and plenty of room for exercising.
Santa Barbara’s lovely wide beaches and sophisticated center attract visitors all year round. Dog owners should head to the Douglas Family Preserve, where there’s an off-leash beach and walking trails. There’s also an off-leash area at nearby Hendry’s Beach, or Arroyo Burro Beach. At the end of a day on the sands, you can relax with a craft beer and some dinner at the Brewhouse—you’ll be happy to hear it has its own dog-friendly menu, too.
Norm’s Eatery & Ale House isn’t just dog-friendly, it’s dog-themed. The walls are dotted with pooch portraits and you’ll find plenty of canine company already enjoying the surroundings when you arrive. Bark Espresso allows dogs outside or in their special hound-friendly lounge. Elegant Washington Park Arboretum welcomes dogs on leashes and Warren G. Magnuson Park has an off-leash area with some water access. Don’t miss the Fremont Oktoberfest Dogtoberfest, which welcomes leashed pets on the Sunday of the Oktoberfest extravaganza.
There are some pretty impressive attractions up here, including the craggy carvings of the Mount Rushmore National Memorial and the monumental buttes and spires of the Badlands National Park. Dogs are only allowed in restricted areas of the Badlands, but there’s plenty of forest and mountainside to discover with your leashed pet in the Black Hills. The little hub of Hill City has a lot of dog-friendly establishments, including the Naked Winery Tasting Room, where dogs are allowed on the patio, and the veranda of the Alpine Inn, a great lunch spot.
The area around this beautiful and sprawling reservoir is known for its fantastic golf courses, wineries, and, of course, water sports. There are several dog-friendly hubs around here, one being the waterfront Dog Days Bar & Grill at Osage Beach, where they host a Canine Cannonball jumping contest each year. To the south in Branson, you’ll find Elmo and Rosalea Marrs Dog Park, complete with agility equipment, picnic tables, and plenty of room to play. If you need to do a little fur-free sightseeing, check your dog into Branson Pet Resort, where they’ll be well looked after while you investigate the environs.
In friendly Rehoboth Beach you can explore the lively boardwalk, packed with entertainment and places to eat, or treat the family to a day at Jungle Jim’s Water Park, where you’ll find slides, go-karting, and mini-golf. Delaware Seashore State Park welcomes leashed dogs to play in the surf and on the sands, and The Big Chill Cantina is a pooch-friendly place for a drink at the end of the day.
“Coquina Cottage was perfect! We are used to the resort experience, but I have to say that this was just what we needed! We took our two dogs, Bella and Sadie with us… No need to bring a lot with you because everything was provided that we needed to enjoy our stay. We will certainly return again.” — FlipKey Reviewer
Sanibel Island is a cheerful vacation spot for pets and owners. Gulfside Beach, also known as Algiers Beach, is a good doggy destination, with calm, shallow waters to gallop through and sands strewn with beautiful seashells. Like all of the local beaches, dogs are very welcome, but you should keep them on the leash. Be sure to drop into the Island Paws pet shop for nutritious treats and high-quality toys.
Historic Nantucket Island is bordered with sandy stretches where dogs are welcome to roam on their leashes, such as Francis Street Beach and Surfside Beach. You can take your dog out on the water on a private charter with Endeavor Sailing Excursions or sit back and relax with a drink at the dog-friendly Cisco Brewers.
Dubbed “Brooklyn on the beach” by the New York Times, this Jersey Shore destination is on the up—and it’s getting its fair share of dog tourism. The famous Wonder Bar club and music venue hosts a popular Doggie Yappy Hour, where you can chill with a drink while your dog socializes in the large fenced area outside. There are two pools for them to splash in, dog biscuits at the bar, and there’s an organised dog run twice a week. The 8th Avenue Dog Beach is a fun spot, with plenty of canines enjoying the shallows and the dunes—check beforehand for timings as there are some restrictions.
The beautiful mountain resort of Stowe has two mountains to conquer and a lovely New England village to uncover. Smugglers Notch State Park is breathtaking and accepts all adventurers (including leashed dogs). When you’re done with your hike, you might want to try the Double IPA at the dog-friendly Alchemist Brewery. In nearby Jericho, Mills Riverside Park provides some beautiful meadows for dogs to explore—watch out for the signage telling you which areas are on or off-leash.
We love Fort Myers for its great shopping, fishing, and beaches. Bring Fido to Barkingham Dog Park or Woof-a-Hatchee Dog Park, both fenced and off-leash parks with watering stations and separate areas for big and small dogs. Two of the more fascinating attractions in the area are the Edison and Ford Winter Estates. Though not dog-friendly, we’d be remiss to leave them unmentioned. These neighboring properties were the winter homes of Thomas Edison and Henry Ford, and you can still explore the laboratory, homes, and gardens. With a pet-friendly rental, it’ll be no problem to leave your dog at the house while you experience these and other great Fort Myers attractions. Just be sure to bring them a treat when you return!