By Jessica McLean
Looking to hit the road with your favorite furry pal this season? When it comes to vacationing with your dog, it’s important to keep key destination factors in mind like number and location of dog parks, city walkability, access to greenways and prevalence of dog-friendly restaurants, shops, hotels, and vacation rentals. And don’t forget the weather! Muddy feet and smelly, wet fur can quickly have you hitting the ‘paws’ button on your vacation.
For sunny dry spots full of dog-friendly features, head west to the likes of Tucson, Arizona and Albuquerque, New Mexico where public parks, scenic desert views, and hiking trails are plentiful. If the splash of salt water on a sandy beach is more your forté, try San Diego, California and take your pup for a strut on the boardwalk or attend the annual Surf Dog Surf-a-Thon. Stick around the Golden State and hop over to San Francisco which boasts over 170 dog-friendly restaurants as well as high walkability scores according to SmartAsset’s 2018 National Pet Owners Survey.
If you are traveling down south, no dog-accompanied vacation would be complete without a stop in Austin, Texas where dog-friendly activities cover all the bases – visit a specialty dog bakery, attend a yoga class with your pooch, or even try stand-up paddle boarding together on Lady Bird Lake. For more adventuring with your dog, make your way to Denver, Colorado or Portland, Oregon and you’ll find countless trails, off-leash dog parks, and ideal temperatures for outdoor summer fun.
You may think that the hustle and bustle of big cities would simply be too much for you and your beloved canine but New York City and Chicago beg to differ. The Big Apple welcomes dogs on their public transit and offers loads of pet-friendly hotels not to mention miles of tail-wagging fun in Central Park. And Chicago has multiple off-leash dog parks, urban walking trails and dog-friendly beaches right on Lake Michigan.
Are you a fan of small-town charm? Then definitely add Asheville, North Carolina, Bar Harbor, Maine, and Stowe, Vermont to your vacation list for their share of gorgeous mountain views and dog-friendly cabins, breweries, and restaurants. And don’t forget the midwest hospitality you will find for yourself and your prized pooch in cities like Minneapolis, Minnesota where a variety of local farmers markets, coffee shops, art studios, orchards, and boutiques welcome dogs too.
The U.S. offers more than 770 dog parks across its largest cities.