As we make our way through the dog days of summer, a lot of us are realizing we haven’t made time for a vacation yet this year. As we scramble to find the perfect vacation spot, we also have to take the needs of our favorite traveling companion into consideration.
Planning a dog friendly vacation can be a tricky proposition. You need to consider how you will be getting to your destination, dog friendly activities, and accommodations. It seems like a challenge, but it can be done and with a minimum of stress!
We’ve put together some dog friendly vacation destination ideas for you. We’ve even included some activities you can do while you’re there. Keep reading to get ideas on where to go with your travel buddy and some tips for first-timers on the etiquette of traveling with your pup.
Dog Friendly Destinations
1. Los Angeles, CA- Let’s kick things off with one of the most dog friendly cities in the United States. Los Angeles has a little of everything. Dog friendly hotels and restaurants, beautiful hikes and walks, and amazing weather. Start your L.A stay by checking into the beautiful Luskin Hotel. There is no extra fee for pets, and large dogs are welcome. Take your dog for a walk in a historic L.A. neighborhood, or take a hike and enjoy one of Hollywood’s scenic trails like Runyon Canyon. Take your pup to lunch and enjoy a cold drink at the Lazy Dog. In addition to a fun and varied menu for humans, they have a special menu just for your pup! Take your dog to relax in the sun, or make room for dinner by splashing in the waves at Rosie’s Dog Beach. Finish off your day with dinner from one of the many food trucks scheduled to make an appearance at the Angel City Brewery. We weren’t kidding; L.A. is filled with dog-friendly activities to make your vacation memorable.
2. Sedona, AZ- With its picturesque red rocks and sweeping vistas, Sedona should be on the must-see list for every traveler. You can see everything Sedona has to offer and enjoy it with your favorite companion. Book a room at large-dog-friendly Oak Creek Terrace (note: there is a small fee for dogs). They have dog walk areas and even a creek for them to swim in. Wake up and enjoy the sunrise over the mountains, then head to Creekside Bistro for a delicious Southwestern-style breakfast. Your dog will enjoy the Steak Tartar or one of the other items from their dog-only menu. You can start your Sedona adventure with a hike in one of the breathtaking state parks. Barlow Adventures will provide you with a Jeep and a map of popular hiking trails, so you and your dog can enjoy a day in the wilderness. If a guided tour is more your style, take a tour with Red Rock Adventures. You can enjoy wineries, photo tours, or even head to the Grand Canyon. Red Rock Adventures will give you 10% off your tour when you bring your dog!
3. Bar Harbor, ME- If you are looking for an amazing hiking experience, look no further than Bar Harbor. Stay at one of the many hotels, motels, or lodges that welcomes dogs like the cozy Gallagher’s Travels Motel and Cabins (note: they accommodate 2 dogs of up to 100 pounds for an extra $35 a night). Take your time exploring the 120 miles of dog friendly hiking trails located in Acadia National Park. The trails vary in intensity, and you can literally spend a week’s worth of vacation enjoying the views. If you need a break from the hikes, you can take your dog with you on a boat cruise with Downeast Windjammer Cruise Lines. And of course, you can’t visit Maine without enjoying the lobster, so take your dog to enjoy the ocean breeze at Stewmans Lobster Pound. While you enjoy a lobster roll and a mojito, your pup can chow down on a dog friendly burger with ice water.
4. Cleveland, OH- That’s right. This one may surprise you. Cleveland is home to Cuyahoga National Park, which welcomes dogs of all sizes on its trails. You and your dog can stay in the heart of downtown Cleveland at the historic Kimpton Schofield Hotel. They are big dog friendly, with no extra charge for your pet. Try out something truly unique by visiting Taps and Tails. This is a dog park with a bar where you can enjoy a beer while your dog makes some new friends. Cleveland is proof that even for dog owners, the Midwest isn’t just flyover country.
Dog Traveling Etiquette
If you are traveling with your dog, remember, there are some unspoken rules that will make all the difference in how you are received.
Verify that the places you go are dog friendly. Even if you have been there, rules may have changed. And even if you researched online, they may not have updated their website.
Do not travel with an unruly dog. You may see your dog’s antics as amusing, but other people won’t. If you know your dog won’t respond to commands or will destroy a hotel room, you would be better off looking into a pet sitter (and probably some training courses).
Keep your dog under control. It’s not always easy to rein in an excited dog in a new location, so even if you think your dog can be controlled off-leash, keep them on one at all times. This will prevent them from making unwelcome advances at other people and animals, causing havoc, or worse, getting lost in a strange place.
Pick up after your dog. Wherever you go, make sure you are armed with poop bags. Whether you are in a restaurant or a national park, you will need to pick up after your dog.
These are just a few ideas for vacation destinations you can take your dog. Don’t waste your summer wondering what to do. Dog friendly activities are becoming more accessible, no matter where you are. So book a hotel, pack a bag, and get moving!