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When many dog owners plan a trip, they start looking for boarding services or a friend or family member to take care of their pup while they’re away. But isn’t it a shame to leave your pup behind and not let him join in on all the fun?
Fortunately, there are lots of dog-friendly travel destinations that both you and your four-legged friend can enjoy together. With just a little advanced research, you can find dog-friendly hotels, dog-friendly restaurants and bars, and lots of parks for playtime and exercise. Well-behaved dogs can often tag along with you to outdoor shopping plazas, pet bakeries, ice cream shops, campgrounds, hiking trails, and sporting events too!
All across America, these are some of our favorite places to visit with our dogs.
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Colorado Springs, Colorado
Mountain scenery and fresh air do wonders for both humans and their canine companions. Bring your pup to Colorado Springs to hike some trails and soak it all in. Area sites and attractions that allow leashed pets include Garden of the Gods, the Manitou Cliff Dwelling, and the Cripple Creek District Museum. Boulder is also a great place in Colorado to visit with your dog and hike the Flatirons Vista Loop, Royal Arch Trail, or South Boulder Peak Trail.
Key West, Florida
The eclectic, laid-back and remote beach town of Key West is dog-friendly, and the beach at Waddell and Vernon allow off-leash time as well. There are bars here that welcome dogs, like Louie’s Backyard. You can even bring your dog with you on a kayak when you rent one to paddle around the shore! Lazy Dog rentals is a local outfitter that can help you take your pup on a paddling adventure, and there’s a dog-friendly sandbar nearby too. Mallory Square is where local musicians, artists, and vendors gather, and your dog is welcome here too.
The Smoky Mountains provide a beautiful backdrop in Gatlinburg, Tennessee, which is a beloved central location for fun family vacations. You can find affordable vacation rental properties and mountain cabins here, many of which are pet-friendly. You can even bring your dog with you on the Gatlinburg SkyLift to get to the top of the mountain and hike on hundreds of trails that stretch through the forests and streams.
Albuquerque, New Mexico
With lots of sunshine and a mild year-round climate, Albuquerque makes a unique vacation destination for you and your pup. You can catch the International Hot Air Balloon Festival here in October or check out some of the “Breaking Bad” TV show filming sites. There are lots of dog parks here, as well as pet-friendly hotels and restaurants. White Sands National Park in Alamogordo is dog-friendly and a beautiful southwestern destination to hike among the sand dunes.
With lots of parks and dog-friendly bars, Austin is a great place to travel with your pet. It’s an affordable destination where you can oftentimes find free or cheap festivals, concerts, and entertainment. A couple fun places to play with your dog here are the Barton Creek Greenbelt and Zilker Metropolitan Park.
Cannon Beach, Oregon
A trip to Cannon Beach is a perfect getaway destination from Portland with lots of pet-friendly hotels to choose from. There are miles of beach to walk and run along with your dog. Just remember to bring a sweater because the Oregon Coast can get chilly at any time of the year. To introduce your pup to a little city life, head back to Portland for a pint at the dog-friendly Lucky Labrador Brewing Company.
Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
Myrtle Beach is another dog-friendly destination that allows dogs on the beaches in the early morning and late evening. Just keep them off the beaches during the prime time of the day. Other play areas are the Barc Park and the North End Dog Park at Grand Strand.
Acadia National Park, Maine
Dogs who love to hike and be in the outdoors all day long will enjoy a trip to Acadia National Park along the coast of Maine with you. There are lots of trails here to explore that are suitable for a wide range of skill levels, depending on whether your pup is an expert or novice hiker. Leashes are required in the park, so keep a hold on your dog for everyone’s safety. Afterward, head over to the town of Bar Harbor to check out Hadley Point Beach or one of the other dog-friendly beaches in the area.
Carmel, California is always a favorite place among dog lovers because there aren’t restrictive leash laws. Travelers should ensure that their pups are ready for that level of freedom before cutting them loose! Let your pup hang his head out the window as you cruise down Seventeen Mile Drive, and spend plenty of time at the dog-friendly beaches here.
Lake George, New York
There are lots of outdoor things to do around the Lake George area of New York, but one of the most unique spots is called Canine Camp Getaway. Here you’ll find agility sports and other dog-specific activities, swimming pools that welcome dogs, and classes that owners can take to make sure their dogs are safe and happy. This retreat is held at Roaring Brook Ranch and it’s less than two miles from the lake.
Asheville, North Carolina
There are a couple of thousand miles of trails to hike in the Asheville area, making it a perfect destination for dogs that like to hike and camp. Dogs are allowed at many of the town’s sidewalk cafes, and top-notch resorts are dog-friendly too. Pisgah National Forest is a great place to take your dog, and this is a great place for craft beer lovers, with lots of breweries welcoming dogs.
The Rocky Mountain destination of Bozeman, Montana is an outdoor lover’s paradise and a great place to bring your pup. The Snowfall Recreation Area has a 37-acre off-leash area for dogs and there’s a big dog park at Gallatin Regional Park with fun activities for playtime. Bozeman and other parts of Montana are also known for their excellent craft beer scene. Stop by Montana Ale Works or Bozeman Brewing for a sampler or a pint and bring your dog along. Both breweries serve food, so these make great casual dining spots.