10 Dog-Friendly Vacations For The Ultimate Adventure

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dog going on vacation

If you’ve been thinking about bringing your dog with you on your next vacation, this is your sign to go for it!

There are so many pup-loving cities that have tons of activities, restaurants and lodging that are perfect for pets and their humans (which means you won’t have to stress about leaving your BFF in the hotel the whole time).

If you’re ready to see the world with your dog, The Dodo rounded up some of the best dog-friendly vacation destinations in the U.S. that go above and beyond in accommodating four-legged travel partners.

  1. Asheville, North Carolina

Asheville is a dream for dogs and their pet parents. There are miles and miles of dog-friendly trails, and plenty of restaurants, breweries, and hotels and cabins that allow (and even pamper) pups. There’s also a welcome center specifically for dogs (which is the first of its kind in the U.S.) where you can stop for helpful resources to make the most out of your stay.

If you like hiking, there’s a dog-friendly trail for every experience level in Asheville, and the views are stunning. The Blue Ridge Parkway has plenty of trails for beginners, and the Craggy Pinnacle Trail ends with the most breathtaking view of Asheville.

After hitting the trails, you and your pup can check out all the dog-friendly restaurants and breweries in the area. Most of these places will let dogs hang out on the patio if there’s outdoor space, but some restaurants will definitely go above and beyond to make sure your dog’s comfortable, like Twisted Laurel, which not only allows dogs, but also has a pup-friendly menu.

  1. Lake Placid, New York

Lake Placid is another spot known for its amazing, dog-friendly hiking trails. The Adirondack mountains have over 2,000 miles of marked trails, making it the largest trail system in the U.S. While not all of these trails are dog-friendly, you’ll find plenty of spots to take your dog, including the Bloomington Bog Trail and Paul Smith's VIC.

John Brown Farm in Lake Placid is a popular destination for dog parents and their pups, with its open fields, hiking trails and large pond to cool off in.

If you’re traveling in the summer, you should definitely check out Mirror Lake, where dogs and their owners can go swimming together.

And for summer treats, Emma’s Lake Placid Creamery is a must-visit. It serves a special ice cream creation for your pup, while you can treat yourself to one of their amazing desserts.

  1. Cape Elizabeth, Maine

Cape Elizabeth is arguably one of the most dog-friendly cities in New England. This area is known for its lighthouses, rocky coastline and pet-friendly activities.

If you’re going to Cape Elizabeth, you definitely need to stay at the Inn by the Sea, which has super luxury amenities for dogs, including dog massages and pet-sitting services. Plus you can stay with your dog for no extra fee.

For things to do, you can check out Fort Williams Park, which has more than 90 acres to explore. There’s also an off-leash area for pups where you both can socialize with the locals.

You can also bring your dog to the beach, no problem. Higgins Beach is a super popular spot for pups, and you can even take him off leash during off-season (aka not summer).

  1. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Your dog will have as much fun as you will in Philadelphia. There are so many historic and scenic areas where you can walk your dog, plus plenty of dog-friendly restaurants and shops to hang out in along the way.

If you’re a fan of museums, you and your pup will definitely want to check out Philadelphia's Magic Gardens, which is a nonprofit art gallery space and a pretty fun place to take pics with your travel buddy. You should also plan to take a long walk with your pup along the Schuylkill River, which features a trail that’s 30 miles long and an amazing view of the city skyline.

For a snack, check out Benna’s Cafe, which is a great place for coffee and bagels (and you can bring your dog inside!). There’s also Rogue, a popular burger place that has a fancy outdoor lounge perfect for hanging out with your pup.

  1. Sanibel Island, Florida

Sanibel is truly a paradise for beach-loving dog parents. It’s a small island on Florida’s pristine west coast, and the best part is that every beach is totally dog-friendly. (Just make sure your pup is on a leash!)

There are a ton of waterfront hotels and cabanas that will allow your pup to stay with you, which makes sunset strolls next to the water super easy. (I stayed at the Waterside Inn with my dog in an adorable cottage with a ton of charm, and was just steps away from a nearly empty beach!)

For food, you’ll want to check out The Island Cow, which is a Sanibel staple and has a patio so you can bring your pup.

  1. San Diego, California

You can’t have a list of the most dog-friendly cities without including San Diego. There’s a long list of restaurants, beaches, parks, bars and hotels that will warmly welcome you and your dog, and you’ll probably need to make a second trip to do it all.

San Diego is also a huge beach town, which is perfect for dogs who love the water.

If you’re flexible on timing, there’s an annual Pet Day event in May hosted by Hornblower Cruises, where you can take your dog on a cruise along the San Diego bay. It’s totally free, but you’re encouraged to make a donation to the Helen Woodward Animal Center. There’s also a dog surf competition in the summer, which is a great season for pets and their owners to visit.

Dog Beach in Ocean Beach is one of the most popular out of the four off-leash dog beaches in San Diego. And if you like paddle boarding, try a one-on-one lesson with Sup Pups, who will actually teach your dog how to paddleboard.

For accommodations, Hotel Indigo goes above and beyond for their four-legged guests. There are no restrictions, no fees and a Very Important Pet (VIP) program that includes dog bowls, beds and treats for use at all times.

  1. Aspen, Colorado

The whole state of Colorado is super welcoming to dogs and their owners, but if you want to go skiing, you’ll need to check out the very dog-friendly Aspen.

It’s so dog-friendly that you can bring your dog to pretty much any shop in town with zero issues (and many will even have a dog biscuit jar behind the counter).

Aspen is also home to the one-of-a-kind no-kill Aspen Animal Shelter, which also runs a boarding facility, pet shop and dog salon. It’s a beautiful shelter and a must-see for animal lovers.

For lodging, the Little Nell provides super luxury accommodations for pets and their humans, and it’s the only five-star hotel in Aspen.

Fan of hiking? You can take your dog in a lift to the top of the mountains in Aspen, where you can enjoy a hike and a meal at Elk Camp.

  1. Sedona, Arizona

Sedona has a very New Age vibe. They love dogs there, and it’ll be easy to fill your itinerary with some memorable dog-friendly activities.

Going for a Jeep ride in the rocky Arizona terrain is a super popular activity for tourists and their dogs. Pups are allowed on The Rocky Mountain Jeep Tours, and your dog will love going on this extreme off-roading adventure.

While there’s only one dog park in Sedona, it might be the nicest you’ll ever go to. It features breathtaking views of the nearby rock structures, so it’s more of a landmark than a dog park.

Arizona can get hot, which makes Slide Rock State Park perfect for pups. Not only are there a couple short and scenic trails, but there are also plenty of places to take a dip in the refreshingly chilly water of the Oak Creek Canyon (for both people and dogs).

You won’t have any problem finding pet-friendly lodging, but the Sky Rock Inn of Sedona is a top-rated choice for dogs that has a stunning view.

  1. Boise, Idaho

Boise has all the charm you’d expect in a quaint Midwest town, but with a vibrant art and culture scene. It’s also one of the most pet-friendly destinations in the country.

Known as the city of trees, Boise has everything a dog could want in a vacation spot. There are plenty of places for dogs to roam freely, with a total of seven off-leash dog parks and nine off-leash areas in multi-use parks. Plus, dogs are welcome with a leash at most trails in Boise.

If your pup is still up for some walking, take a visit to the Greenbelt pathway along the Boise River, which is 25 miles long, and even some dog beaches sprinkled along the way. (There’s also a dog-friendly winery you can stop at for a drink and some people-watching from the patio.)

  1. Albuquerque, New Mexico

Albuquerque truly feels like it was made for dogs.

The second you arrive at the airport, you’ll find an indoor pet-relief area for your pup to tinkle in immediately after his flight. And after some R&R at a hotel from Alburquere’s long list of lodgings that accommodate dogs, like the Nativo Lodge or the Hyatt Regency Tamaya (both of which include dog goody bags), you can take your pup for a short hike at the dog-friendly La Luz trail.

If you and your pup are up for some socializing with the locals, be sure to check out any of the 14 dog parks situated across the city (with most open until 10 p.m.).

You’ll also have no trouble finding restaurants with dog-friendly patios, with plenty to choose from, like El Pinto and Il Vicino.

With so many dog-friendly places around the country, you don’t have to leave your pup behind on your next vacation. So many towns go above and beyond to welcome dogs that you’ll probably surprise yourself with how much fun you can have with your pup — while surprising your dog with the trip of a lifetime!