Written by Lavanya Sunkara and Becca Blond
Updated Mar 30, 2022
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Your vacation is going to be exponentially better when you bring your dogs along, and thankfully there are plenty of dog-friendly destinations in the United States to visit. From frolicking on the golden beaches of San Diego and Florida to hiking the mountains of Oregon, Maine, and North Carolina, your dogs will have endless fun on the road with you. Cities embrace canines, offer doggie spas and off-leash parks, and welcome them into stores and alfresco restaurants.
To see the look of contentment as they traverse hills with their tails wagging, run off-leash on a pristine beach with their ears flopping, or savor the last bits of ice-cream at a roadside shop is worth every moment spent planning your dog-friendly vacation.
Whether you are road tripping or flying with Fido for a fun getaway, there are beautiful landscapes and dog-friendly urban centers across the country to choose from. Book yourself a pet-friendly hotel, pack your pet's food, favorite toys, vaccination records, and travel gear, and you are all set for a trip of a lifetime.
If you are driving, restrain your dog with a harness seatbelt (it's illegal to drive with an unrestrained dog in some states). For your air journeys, check airline regulations and get the proper carrier, along with a comfortable mat and enough water for the duration of the flight.
For ideas on where to go with your furry friend, read our list of the best dog-friendly vacations in the United States.
1. Bend, Oregon
Outdoor lovers will be in heaven in Bend, Oregon, the city on the Deschutes River surrounded by National Forests, alpine lakes, and extinct volcanoes. Legend has it that Bend has the highest per capita dog population in the world, with an estimated 49 percent of residents owning dogs. The scenic Central Oregon city boasts 51 miles of trails within its limits, 13 off-leash areas for your best friend to roam around in, and hiking trails in the lush forests.
Take your pup on a refreshing walk on the Deschutes River Trail or the Farewell Bend Park path. If Fido needs to cool off, there are plenty of opportunities to jump in the water for a swim. Or you can rent a canoe from Tumalo Creek Kayak & Canoe.
For serious hikers, Deschutes National Forest has many trails along Douglas firs, including the fan favorite of North Fork Trail. And in the winter, you can make snow angels with your pooch on cross-country ski and snowshoe trails at Wanoga, Edison, and Kapka Sno-Parks.
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2. Sedona, Arizona
Get some incredible shots of your four-legged friend against the backdrop of red rock country in Sedona, Arizona. Active dogs will love venturing into Slide Rock State Park, a 43-acre park in Oak Creek Canyon located just outside the city or Coconino National Forest, known for iconic red rocks, Ponderosa Pine Forests, and alpine tundra. Many of Sedona's best hiking trails are suitable for dogs.
You can also sign up for pet-friendly tours, which offer backpacking, camping trips, and visits to Indian ruin sites. Pooch-friendly Red Rock Magic Trolley Tours also offers tours such as Boynton Canyon Tour and Bell Rock Tour. Reward your pooch after all that adventuring with a delicious treat at the Whiskers Barkery at Sinagua Plaza.
Those looking to stay within the city limits can make an afternoon out of a visit to Sedona Dog Park, the city's first and only dog park, featuring wonderful views and separate areas for small, large, and senior dogs. It even has a large natural area for traipsing off-leash.
Several hotels in Sedona offer pet-friendly accommodation. Many campgrounds in and around Sedona also welcome pets.
- Top-Rated Tourist Attractions in Sedona
- Best Mountain Biking Trails in Sedona
3. Bar Harbor, Maine
Maine's Bar Harbor is within a short driving distance to Acadia National Park, a 47,000-acre wilderness area on Mount Desert Island with 120 miles of dog-friendly hiking trails along the scenic glacier-sculpted coast.
Acadia is one of the most pet-friendly national parks in the country, with most of its hiking trails (with the exception of those that involve ladders) and carriage roads open to four-legged explorers. Drive the Scenic Park Loop Road to Cadillac Mountain summit road, stopping along the way at lookout points for pictures and potty breaks for your pups. Pets are also welcome on the shuttles that take you to scenic vistas throughout the park.
The seaside New England city allows dogs on its buses, making it easier to get around if you don't have your own transportation. Even better, Bar Harbor has outfitters like the Downeast Windjammer that allow you to bring your pets on a boat cruise around Frenchman Bay. There's also no shortage of dog-friendly eateries in downtown Bar Harbor.
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4. Lake Placid, New York
Located a five-hour drive from New York City in the heart of the Adirondack Mountains, Lake Placid is a quintessential romantic getaway. Bring your four-legged friend along and make memories along the lake's beaches and at luxury lodges like the Lake Placid Lodge.
Lake Placid is an all around outdoor destination, where you can go skiing, hiking, biking, and fishing all in just one trip. A must-do is a stroll along Mirror Lake on a 2.7-mile paved trail for lovely views and fresh air. Located on the west side of the lake, the path has some shops that welcome dogs.
If Rover likes riding in the car, take a drive up to Whiteface Mountain along the Whiteface Veterans Memorial Highway (open only in the summer), stopping along the way for some Instagram-worthy pictures with stunning backdrops.
After all that exploring, take a break with a relaxing stroll on Main Street, stopping by Lisa G's for classic American dishes.
- Accommodation: Top-Rated Resorts in the Adirondacks
5. Sanibel Island, Florida
If you've got a beach bum on your hands, head to Florida's Gulf Coast on Sanibel Island. Sun-kissed beaches and year-round balmy weather make this Southwest Florida region a wonderful escape.
Take in magnificent sunsets, search for seashells, or jog on the beach with your four-legged companion in this barrier island where nearly all of the beaches are pet-friendly. One of the most popular beaches is the Gulfside Beach, (which also goes by Algiers Beach), which offers picnic areas, barbecue grills, outdoor showers, and restrooms.
At the J. N. "Ding" Darling National Wildlife Refuge, one of the country's largest undeveloped mangrove ecosystems and one of the top attractions on Sanibel, you and your leashed pet can explore the wetlands and mangroves and spot herons, manatees, and migratory birds on a pleasant drive along a public access road called Wildlife Drive.
Accommodation: Top-Rated Resorts on Sanibel Island
6. Kanab, Utah
Kanab is a small town located in Southwestern Utah bordering Arizona, but the main attraction here is the Best Friends Animal Society's sanctuary, the largest no-kill companion animal shelter in the country. Spread across 3,700 acres, the sanctuary houses adoptable dogs, cats, bunnies, farm animals, horses, and orphaned and injured wild animals.
Best Friends has shelters all across the country, but the main location is a must-see, where animal lovers can spend time with adoptable animals and volunteer to clean kennels and socialize with and train the pets. If you've left your dog at home, you can borrow one to have a sleepover with in your hotel room or in one of the on-site cottages (as long as you dedicate a few hours to volunteer during your stay).
Best Friends' new pet-centric hotel, Best Friends Roadhouse and Mercantile, located five miles from the sanctuary, has 40 guest rooms featuring pet introduction doors, elevated furnishings, and areas with pet mattresses. The premises include a fenced-in dog park, splash zone, and a pet washing station. It also offers pet-sitting and dog walking services, as well as sanctuary tours.
7. Austin, Texas
When traveling to one of the best dog-friendly cities in the country, expect nothing less than the best, from restaurants that roll out the red carpet to green spaces right in the middle of downtown for your dog to romp around in.
Go on a thrilling hike or a bike ride on the 10-mile trail and boardwalk at Lady Bird Lake. If you've got your water-loving retriever, rent a kayak or stand up paddleboard for a relaxing time on the lake.
The Texas State Capitol building's lawn is open to pets, and so are dozens of restaurants, including the aptly named Austin Terrier, serving dog-named sandwiches and pizzas, and Kerbey Lane Café serving delicious brunch all day at seven locations.
Austin also gives new meaning to the word downward dog with its unique offering of Austin Doga. That's right, you can now do your asanas with your faithful pet by your side. The studio offers group and solo lessons and even helps you organize a party for your dog.
A short drive from the city center, you and your active pup can explore the woods and check out the waterfalls at the Barton Creek Greenbelt Preserve, often referred to simply as the Greenbelt. Nearby, at the Barton Creek Farmers Market, support local farmers and vendors, some of whom sell dog food and accessories. Meet like-minded folks at the Red Bud Isle lakefront off-leash dog park, and have a lovely time swimming in the lake and enjoying scenic views.
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8. San Diego, California
Sunshine, surf, and miles of sandy shoreline make San Diego an ideal destination for your beach vacation with your sidekick. Delight in picture-perfect vistas along the cliff-lined coasts of La Jolla and Del Mar communities and choose a different beach every day, from Fiesta Island, Mission Bay Park, Ocean Beach, and Dog Beach among many others.
If you are visiting in July, don't miss the Unleashed Surf Dog competition at Imperial Beach, the largest dog surfing competition in the nation. When you've had your fun on the beaches, head to the dog parks at Balboa Park to socialize with other pets and their owners.
The prominent Cowles Mountain, located within the city of San Diego, has a hiking trail to the summit where you can enjoy 360-degree views of the city and the ocean beyond; of course, your pet will just love being with you and sniffing all the scents along the way.
Other popular dog-friendly activities in this SoCal city include walking the streets of Old Town San Diego State Historic Park and shopping at the open-air Westfield UTC Center. Sports lovers can head to Petco Park's Barkyard, a private area for pet owners in the left-center field.
Accommodation: Pet-Friendly Hotels in San Diego, CA
- Read More: Top-Rated Tourist Attractions in San Diego
9. Asheville, North Carolina
Set aside time in autumn to see colorful foliage in Asheville's countryside with your favorite family member. This North Carolina bohemian city has abundant opportunities to experience the great outdoors with your dog. Take in serene mountain views on a leisurely drive up the Blue Ridge Parkway and choose from hiking trails in the breathtaking Blue Ridge Mountains and national forests.
Stay in luxurious pet-friendly hotels and walk the grounds of top attractions like the Biltmore Estate, North Carolina Arboretum, and the French Broad River Park. The River Park has a winding, shaded path along the river; a wildflower garden; and a well-visited, fenced-in dog park. The Biltmore Estate provides kennels, so you can browse the interiors.
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10. Long Island, New York
While New York City's Central Park is a haven for dogs, the larger playground just an hour drive from the city lies in Long Island. The U.S. mainland's largest island has beaches, Gold Coast mansions, hiking trails, and, of course, the famed Hamptons.
Bring your nature-loving pet on hikes at Sagamore National Historic Site, Sands Point Preserve, Gardiner County Park, Belmont Lake State Park, and Sunken Meadow State Park among others. Drive out to the Hamptons' and Montauk's dog-friendly beaches in the South Fork or visit pumpkin patches and lavender fields in the North Fork.
Take the ferry from Patchogue to the Watch Hill campgrounds on Fire Island National Seashore and watch the fireworks go off across the length of Long Island during July 4th festivities. The landscaped gardens of Old Westbury Gardens become available to pets twice yearly during Dog Days, so you and your pets can smell the flowers and make memories. Walk the Nautical Mile in Freeport, stopping by to get ice-cream at Ralph's Italian Ices and food at various dog-friendly establishments.
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11. Colorado Springs, Colorado
Colorado Springs is home to the first and only restaurant in Colorado that allows dogs to dine inside with their people. Pub Dog Colorado has indoor seating, as well as a 3,000-square-foot off-leash outdoor area where pups can socialize. The menu caters to humans and canines with separate sections. Your dog will get a kick out of the fact that the human entrees are served in dog bowls.
Located at the base of Pikes Peak, Colorado Springs is also an outdoor paradise for pups. You can take your doggo hiking amid the famous red rocks of Garden of the Gods park, which has more than 20 miles of hiking trails. If your pup likes car rides, take him on a drive to the summit of 14,000-plus-foot-high Pikes Peak for some different scents.
The city is also home to a number of dog-friendly hotels and resorts, from the five-star The Broadmoor to the recently opened, boutique Kinship Landing.
Accommodation: Top-Rated Hotels in Colorado Springs
12. Portland, Oregon
With more dog parks per capita than any other U.S. city, Portland is another great place for a dog-friendly vacation. If your pup loves to swim, you'll want to head to Sellwood Riverfront Park, with plenty of opportunities to splash around. For more sedate strolls with less muddy paws check out Forest Park, where there are miles of walking paths for leashed doggos to sniff around on.
If your dog enjoys social media photoshoots, you can take her to the International Rose Test Garden. It is home to more than 10,000 rose bushes that make for gorgeous photo backdrops along with walking trails.
Afterwards grab a bite at the Tin Shed Garden Cafe. There is a menu for pups, with chicken and beef entrees served over rice or sweet potatoes and even peanut butter banana ice cream for canines with a sweet tooth.
Accommodation: Top-Rated Places to Stay in Portland, Oregon
Read More: Top-Rated Tourist Attractions in Portland, Oregon
13. Tampa, Florida
With warm temps year-round and pretty beaches, Tampa is where to take an ocean-loving dog. Picnic Island Beach Dog Park offers the best of both worlds for pups that like to socialize. The beach here is off-leash, and the water is shallow enough for less confident swimmers to still have fun.
After a day at the beach, enjoy a relaxing sunset boat cruise to the barrier islands south of Pass-A-Grill. The dog-friendly Shell Key Shuttle Sunset Cruises last 1.5 hours, and reservations are required. Dogs must be vaccinated for rabies, Bordetella, and distemper.
By this point, your pup has probably worked up quite an appetite. Luckily Square 1 Burgers serves a dog menu along with a human one. Dogs can enjoy chicken patties and steamed broccoli with a side of ice water.
Accommodation: Best Hotels in Tampa, FL
Read More: Top-Rated Tourist Attractions in Tampa, FL
14. Seattle, Washington
Does your dog always beg you for a Pup Cup from Starbucks? Then he will want to visit Seattle, which is home to the coffee brand and its very popular Puppuccino. Overall, Seattle is a very dog-friendly vacation spot.
The Warren G. Magnuson Park Off-Leash Dog Area is not far from downtown and is a great sniff spot for local and visiting canines alike. The 8.6-acre park is fully fenced for worry-free play. Afterwards head to the Seattle Barkery for all sorts of handmade treats.
If your dog has always wanted to fly, Kenmore Air is a seaplane company that runs pet-friendly tours.
15. San Francisco, California
San Francisco is another one of the best dog-friendly vacation spots in the United States. The city has dog-friendly beaches, as well as attractions. Baker Beach is a popular spot for canines to run off leash in the sand and frolic in the waves – look for other dogs before letting your pup run free, however, as only stretches of this beach are off-leash. Golden Gate Park is also in the vicinity and also has an off-leash section.
Canines that enjoy walking will love crossing the Golden Gate Bridge. Its walkway becomes dog-friendly between 5pm and dusk daily. Other attractions for doggos include exploring the Embarcadero, Fisherman's Wharf, and checking out the handmade dog pastries at Le Marcel.
Read More: Top-Rated Tourist Attractions in San Francisco
What is the most dog-friendly town in the US? ›
|1||St. Petersburg, FL||134|
- Portland, Oregon: 7.68.
- Austin, Texas: 7.59.
- Seattle, Washington: 7.36.
- New York City, New York: 7.32.
- Glendale, Arizona: 6.73.
- Miami Beach, Florida: 6.14.
- Chicago, Illinois: 6.09.
- Orlando, Florida: 6.
The 10 most pet-friendly states in America in 2022.
Houston is the dog capital of the US, with the most dogs per person. If only we could adopt them all. Aug. 23, 2022 Updated: Aug.Where is the dog capital of the world? ›
With about 1.2 million dogs, averaging 52.1 dogs for every 100 humans, Houston topped the list. Bern, Switzerland had the next highest ratio of dogs to humans with 47.7 dogs for every 100 humans, followed by Havana, Cuba with 40.6 dogs per 100 humans.What to do with dogs while on vacation? ›
- Pet Sitting. Using a pet sitter is one way to fuse the personal with professional. ...
- In-Home Pet Boarding. While enlisting a pet sitter is a good option, so is in-home pet boarding. ...
- Traditional Boarding (Dog Kennels/Catteries) ...
- Family Friend/Neighbor. ...
- Take Them Along.
The City of Myrtle Beach
May 1 through Labor Day: Dogs are allowed on the beach only before 10:00 a.m. and after 5:00 p.m. From the day after Labor Day to April 30 each year, dogs are allowed on the beach at any time of day.
The dog should be wearing a harness attached to a seat belt clip or a headrest, or another non-movable tie down in the car. The back seat strapped in, or in a secure crate in the back of a car, are the safest places for larger dogs. As far as airplane travel, large pet dogs shouldn't be on planes.What state has the most homeless dogs? ›
The number of animals dropped off by their owners or found as strays across the U.S. also differs from state to state. The American West has higher rates of shelter animals relative to population. New Mexico registered the highest rate in 2019, with more than 3,200 animals surrendered per 100,000 inhabitants.What state has the highest animal abuse rate? ›
Delaware has the nation's highest rate of animal cruelty in the country, at more than 113 reported offenses per 100,000 people.
What state euthanized the most animals? ›
And, according to the cat and dog euthanasia rates by state, almost all are in the South. Texas tops the list with around 125,000 animals killed in shelters. California is second with 110,000, followed by Florida with 66,000, and North Carolina with 62,000 euthanized animals.What is the most dog-friendly city in the world? ›
London ranks first as the top most dog-friendly city across the globe, taking the lead with 834 dog walking services, 163 parks, 240 pet stores, 92 paw-friendly rentals and 71 dog-friendly restaurants.How can I travel with my dog across the US? ›
- Make a vet appointment in advance.
- Try out short trips first.
- Research dog-friendly housing.
- Keep travel regulations — and weather — in mind.
- Ensure your dog's car safety.
- Bring familiar items for your dog.
- Contact Reservations at least 48 hours prior to travel.
- Check in at the ticket counter with your official orders.
- Allow extra check-in time (at least 2 hours and no more than 4 hours before your flight)
- Complete a checklist with an agent.
- Provide a health certificate.
|Overall Rank*||City||Total Score|
|4||St. Louis, MO||59.18|
China. China has more dogs than any other country, but with a human population of over 1.4 billion, it has a below-average number per 1000 people.What city spends the most on pets? ›
|1. Miami||11. Sacramento, Calif.|
|2. Seattle||12. Raleigh, N.C.|
|3. Atlanta||13. Denver|
|4. San Francisco||14. Colorado Springs, Colo.|
|5. Portland, Ore.||15. Baltimore|
Middle Eastern countries and Indonesia have some of the world's lowest per-capita dog rates, in part due to Islamic traditions that cast dogs as unclean. Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and Indonesia all have fewer than two dogs for every 1,000 people--the lowest per capita ownership rates of 53 countries surveyed by Euromonitor.What percentage of US have dogs? ›
|Percent of households owning||38.4||2.8|
|Number of households owning||48,255,413||3,509,032|
|Average number owned per household||1.6||2.1|
|Total number in United States||76,811,305||7,538,000|
A stage play telling of our struggles in life through the eyes of a runaway terrier, an impounded lab and a dying collie. A stage play telling of our struggles in life through the eyes of a runaway terrier, an impounded lab and a dying collie.
Do dogs feel abandoned when you go on vacation? ›
If you are going out of town on vacation it is understandably a little nerve wracking worrying that your dog will think he's been abandoned. And for a pet who has separation anxiety this can be extra concerning. Dogs are social animals and having their person leave them will certainly have an effect on them initially.Will my dog forget me after 2 weeks? ›
Whilst this is a natural concern if you'll be gone for weeks, it's not something you need to fear. The truth is that your dog will almost always remember you, however long you've been apart. Dogs don't forget their beloved owners, even after months or even years apart.Do dogs miss us when we go on vacation? ›
Studies show that dogs form positive associations with their favorite people, and they don't like being separated from you for long. Dogs can handle alone time, but they do miss you when you're gone.Is Hilton Head dog-friendly? ›
Hilton Head Island offers several options for bringing your pet with you on vacation. Planning a vacation to Hilton Head Island? Don't leave the family pet behind! There are plenty of Island restaurants, accommodations, attractions and more that welcome your furry friend.Is Carolina beach dog-Friendly? ›
All dogs are required to be on a leash at all times. April 1st through September 30th, dogs are allowed on the beach during restricted hours BEFORE 9:00 a.m. and AFTER 5:00 p.m. Dogs are not allowed on the beach between 9AM-5PM. October 1st through March 31st,dogs are allowed on the beach during all hours.What beaches allow dogs in South Carolina? ›
- Surfside Beach. Surfside Beach, South Carolina. Dogs are not permitted on the beach from May 15th to September 15th. ...
- Kiawah Beachwalker Park. Kiawah Island, South Carolina. ...
- Folly Beach. Charleston, South Carolina. ...
- Hilton Head Island. Hilton Head, South Carolina.
You can check your dog at baggage so long as it weighs 100 pounds or less. Any more, and it will need to go into cargo. The fees range from under $130 for domestic flights and under $320 for international.Which airlines allow large dogs in-cabin? ›
- Aegean Airlines.
- Air Canada.
- Air Europa.
- Air France.
- Alaska Air.
- American Airlines.
- French Bee.
You can't buy an extra seat for your dog. Traveling with a dog this way, essentially as carry-on luggage, usually incurs a lower fee than if it travels in the belly of the plane. And by the way, a pet in its carrier counts as your carry-on bag.Where in UK is most dog friendly? ›
- North Cornwall. ...
- The Cotswolds. ...
- London. ...
- North Yorkshire. ...
- The Isles of Scilly. ...
- Pembrokeshire. ...
- The Chiltern Hills. ...
Can you take a dog on a plane? ›
You can travel with your pet carrier and 1 personal item, but you will not be permitted to bring a carry-on bag in addition to a pet carrier and personal item. Instead, the kennel will replace your carry-on bag. If your pet is too large to fly in the cabin, it must travel with American Airlines Cargo.What is the most dog friendly country in Europe? ›
- Switzerland. According to recent studies, Switzerland is the most dog-friendly country in Europe. ...
- Czech Republic. Hardly anywhere else is hiking as popular as in the Czech Republic. ...
- Germany. ...
There's no need for your dog to stay at home if you're going on holiday – in fact, your dog can make a great travel companion. With so many dog friendly hotels and holidays anywhere in the world, check out the basics of travelling with dogs and the world is your oyster.