Pet-friendly vacations: 34 tail-wagging travels for 2023

Published Date: November 9, 2022

A man runs with his dog at the beach, having researched the best activities for pet-friendly vacations.
Coordinating vacation plans as a pet owner can make you feel as stressed as a dog with a missing bone. Leaving your pet behind can be stressful for you and your critter, plus kennel fees can quickly add up. But bringing your pet on vacation poses its own challenges, like finding pet-friendly accommodations, restaurants and entertainment. Selecting the right destination can provide you and your pet with the carefree escape you’re hoping for — with the potential to make it a permanent second home. Browse these top pet-friendly vacation spots (listed in no particular order) to get ideas for your next trip.Ready, set, go fetch your next pet-friendly vacation destination!
A map identifies the best pet-friendly vacations in the U.S.

1. Block Island, Rhode Island

Families walk along the beach near a lighthouse on Block Island, a great activity for pet-friendly vacations.
With scenic walks and water taxis, Block Island is one pet-friendly vacation destination you won’t want to miss. Brenton Point State Park offers beautiful views of the bay, with kite fliers taking advantage of the gusty ocean winds. Have a picnic at Point Judith Lighthouse or bodysurf at Mansion Beach. (The mansion burned down decades ago, but the sand and surf still remain.) Grab a bite to eat at Windjammer Surf Bar, where your dog can order food from its own menu and you can both enjoy the sight and sound of crashing waves.

2. Nantucket, Massachusetts

The City of Brotherly Love extends its hospitality to four-legged friends. Visit Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens, where you and your dog can view large mosaic artwork and a sculpture garden. For a break from the concrete jungle, head to the Wissahickon Valley Park to traverse the hiking trails that span the forest and meadows. Stop by Wedge+Fig, where you and your dog can get a bite to eat in their enclosed gravel patio.
A vacant beach at Nantucket offers plenty of room for dog owners to exercise their friends on their pet-friendly vacations.
This Northeast pet-friendly vacation spot has beaches, brewskies and bogs to entertain you and your dog. Surfside, Brant Point and Cisco Beaches all provide sandy ocean fun.Take a ride on the Steamship Authority ferry, where your pet can ride free of charge, to visit nearby Martha’s Vineyard and soak in the sights. The Milestone Cranberry Bogs give your dog a chance to burn off some energy, playing fetch on its dirt paths. When it’s time to rehydrate and replenish your calories, head to Easy Street Cantina or the Sandbar at Jetties Beach for fresh food and refreshing drinks.

3. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

This Northeast pet-friendly vacation spot has beaches, brewskies and bogs to entertain you and your dog. Surfside, Brant Point and Cisco Beaches all provide sandy ocean fun.Take a ride on the Steamship Authority ferry, where your pet can ride free of charge, to visit nearby Martha’s Vineyard and soak in the sights. The Milestone Cranberry Bogs give your dog a chance to burn off some energy, playing fetch on its dirt paths. When it’s time to rehydrate and replenish your calories, head to Easy Street Cantina or the Sandbar at Jetties Beach for fresh food and refreshing drinks.
Downtown Philadelphia sits in the distance of the riverwalk, a great activity for pet-friendly vacations to the city.
The City of Brotherly Love extends its hospitality to four-legged friends. Visit Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens, where you and your dog can view large mosaic artwork and a sculpture garden. For a break from the concrete jungle, head to the Wissahickon Valley Park to traverse the hiking trails that span the forest and meadows. Stop by Wedge+Fig, where you and your dog can get a bite to eat in their enclosed gravel patio.

4. Jim Thorpe, Pennsylvania

A stream cuts through the rolling hills of Jim Thorpe, Pennsylvania, providing multiple activities for pet-friendly vacations.
What may at first seem like a sleepy town in the Poconos is a must-see place to go with your dog. Fido is welcome on the vintage Lehigh Gorge Scenic Railway for a trip through the state park and breathtaking views of the mountains. Country Junction general store is billed as the world’s largest of its kind, with a petting zoo and restaurant to boot. The Retriever Brewing Compound has five acres of entertainment, with a beer hall, pool deck and rotating food trucks to explore with your leashed friend.

5. Long Island, New York

A dog lays in the sand at a dog beach on Long Island, one of the great destinations for pet-friendly vacations.
The largest island in the country offers pet-friendly beaches, hiking trails and more. Take your dog walks up a notch by strolling around Gold Coast and marveling at the historic mansions. De-stress with a doggy yoga session, where your pal can accompany you.Long Island has plenty of dog-friendly breweries, and there’s even a tour that takes you to all of the best neighborhood taprooms. American Brass is a dog-friendly waterfront restaurant that uses local ingredients to deliver creative dishes.

6. Lake Placid, New York

Quaint houses sit near the water of Lake Placid, one of the many great places to visit for pet-friendly vacations.
There’s so much to experience in Lake Placid. Enjoy a convenient stay at the pet-friendly Town House Lodge, just a stone's throw away from the lake and a short walk from Main Street. Rent a boat from Captain Marney’s to go fishing, tubing or water skiing — with your pet as first mate. The business takes its name from a golden retriever whose descendants still stroll their dock.The Peninsula Nature Trails and John Brown Farm are sources of peaceful entertainment with pets. And when it’s time for food, Tail O’ The Pup serves delicious smoked BBQ and has an outdoor seating area for dogs. Plus, the Rivermede Farm Market sells locally sourced produce, gifts and animal treats.  

7. Stowe, Vermont

A woman walks over a bridge at Stowe, Vermont, a great destination for pet-friendly vacations thanks to its parks and trails.
Stowe has no shortage of pet-friendly vacation ideas. The gondolas at Mount Mansfield let your canine ride at your side, while the Stowe Mountain Auto Toll Road offers scenic views of the Adirondacks while giving your feet and paws a rest. The Alchemist brewery allows leashed dogs to accompany patrons on a tour of the facilities, and your furry friend can stay by your side while you finish with a beer tasting. To stretch all six of your legs, head to Hubbard Park for off-leash fun.

8. Bar Harbor, Maine

A man and his dog relax on a bench near the ocean at Bar Harbor during one of their many pet-friendly vacations.
If you and your furry friend share a love for the ocean, the seaside town of Bar Harbor has everything you need. This quiet town of 5,000 provides nature cruises for leashed pets, so you both can try spotting a variety of sea creatures, like porpoises and seals. Take a picturesque walk around dog-friendly Acadia National Park with over 158 miles of hiking trails to choose from and multiple campgrounds. Then go for a wine tasting at Bar Harbor Cellars, or treat your pet to something special at Bark Harbor pet boutique.   

9. Chicago, Illinois

A dog plays in the water of Lake Michigan at a dog beach, showcasing why Chicago makes the list of best pet-friendly vacations.
Bring your pet to this lakeside city for fun on and off the water. Multiple tour boats provide dog-friendly services, so everyone can enjoy the sights of the city from Lake Michigan or the Chicago River. Montrose Dog Beach allows your pet to dip their paws in the lake and even provides free waste bags and a dog wash area. The pet-friendly Gangsters and Ghosts Tours give visitors the opportunity to learn about the city’s sordid past by walking through the old vice district. 

10. Madison, Wisconsin

A cyclist rides along the lake at Madison, Wisconsin, a fun place for pet-friendly vacations.
Sitting on an isthmus between two lakes, Madison has a whole lot of green space perfect for traveling dogs, including nine fenced off-leash city parks.For two-legged visitors, The Boneyard has a biergarten with 16 beers on tap, plus an outdoor play area for dogs to socialize. There’s even an on-site groomer if your dog is overdue for a trim. The BarleyPop Tap and Shop provides another dog-friendly taproom with an extensive craft beer selection. If spirits are more your thing, the State Line Distillery welcomes dogs inside the cocktail lounge. The seasonal Hilldale Farmers Market provides a healthy alternative to the bar scene, with fresh food and baked treats.

11. Milwaukee, Wisconsin

A woman walks her dog in Milwaukee during one of their many pet-friendly vacations.
Stroll Milwaukee’s winding RiverWalk with your dog in tow, stopping at the pet-friendly brewpubs and shops along the way. The RiverSculpture is an outdoor art gallery with permanent and rotating installations celebrating artists from across the nation. Treat your good dog to a spa day at Community Bark pet groomers. Or chill at their Barker Lounge where your dog can make furry friends while you drink coffee and stock up on planet-friendly pet supplies.      

12. Grand Haven, Michigan

A lighthouse sits just off the shore of Grand Haven, Michigan, one of the great destinations for pet-friendly vacations.
This cozy western Michigan town offers plenty of fun for you and your pup while avoiding the overwhelming crowds of some better-known dog-friendly getaways. Take your time as you stroll down the boardwalk, window shopping and gazing at boats in the harbor. Rent your own pontoon for a relaxing cruise or a water skiing excursion. Then step back into a time capsule at Ray’s Drive-In restaurant for a classic burger and root beer shake with your dog riding shotgun. 

13. Cleveland, Ohio

A man bonds with his dog at a park in Cleveland, Ohio during one of their many pet-friendly vacations.
This Lake Erie city blends freshwater fun with urban attractions. The downtown dog park offers 3,500 square feet of off-leash play space. The Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath Trail provides multi-use paths for you and your dog to explore amidst a plethora of greenery. Then head to the Taps & Tails Dog Bar, known for its indoor and outdoor play areas, with food and drinks for both dogs and owners. They even offer a daycare service if you want a day to yourself. 

14. Indianapolis, Indiana

A scenic shot of Indianapolis captures the downtown area from the river, a hot spot for pet-friendly vacations.
This dog-friendly getaway blends city entertainment with natural attractions. The Virginia B. Fairbanks Art & Nature Park can be visited from sunrise to sunset, with contemporary art installations scattered throughout its 100 acres. Enjoy the Downtown Canal Walk’s 3-mile loop, or rent a pedal boat for a unique view of the city. Treat your pup to a movie at the Tibbs Drive-In theater and experience the feel of a bygone era. Visit the 16-Bit Bar + Arcade where you can wet your whistle and play free video games with your dog by your side.  

15. St. Augustine, Florida

A woman walks her dogs through the shopping district of St. Augustine, Florida, showing it’s a great destination for pet-friendly vacations.
St. Augustine, the oldest continuously inhabited city in the U.S., is brimming with history for you and your pet to experience together. Ponce de Leon’s Fountain of Youth Archaeological Park includes a planetarium, Timucua Native American village and observation deck. Wild peacocks roam the park, so be sure to keep your dog leashed. In town, you can take your dog on a wine-tasting tour in a horse-drawn carriage or ride on Red Train Tours (so long as your dog weighs 20 pounds or less). For an out-of-the-ordinary stop, visit the Perky Pelican, a shop selling handcrafted Christmas baubles year-round.   

16. Key West, Florida

A cat sits near a fountain at Key West, one of the best destinations for pet-friendly vacations.
Key West is renowned for its wild six-toed cats, so prepare you pooch. If your dog is willing to extend the olive branch, they can join you on snorkeling trips, dolphin charters and walks through the botanical gardenYour leashed dog can stay by your side as you tour the local aquarium and witness shark feeding and alligator exhibits. You won’t want to miss your chance to dine on fresh seafood like fish tacos at Geiger Key Marina Fish Camp Restaurant. (They’ll even cook fish you’ve caught that day!)

17. Asheville, North Carolina

An aerial photo captures the cityscape of Asheville, North Carolina, one of the best destinations for pet-friendly vacations.
If the Southeast is more your style, grab the leash and head to Asheville, North Carolina. Take a stroll through Grovewood Village where art and history converge with beautiful sculpture gardens and tales of the city’s history. Asheville has trolley tours of its own for dogs up to 25 pounds, or you can scratch nature’s itch with a walk through Craggy Gardens’ rhododendron tunnel. Afterward, quench your thirst at Catawba Brewing Company or grab a bite to eat at Brixx Wood Fired Pizza.    

18. Charleston, South Carolina

A man walks his dog in Charleston, South Carolina, on one of their pet-friendly vacations.
Charleston is well-known for charming city streets lined with live oak trees and colorful buildings. Take a pet-friendly carriage tour to learn about the city in old-timey style. Fans of the macabre won’t want to miss the city’s ghost tours that allow leashed pets on both family-friendly and adults-only offerings. Rest and replenish your calories at the covered patio of the Lowdown Oven and Bar or enjoy the outdoor seating of Queology Barbecue.  

19. Hilton Head, South Carolina

A dog chases a ball at the beach, a fun activity for pet-friendly vacations at Hilton Head.
You can stick to living on island time at pet-friendly Hilton Head. This East Coast attraction will provide you and your canine with ocean fun and dog-friendly beaches galore. The Audubon Newhall Preserve provides the opportunity for you and your leashed friend to observe alligators, birds and turtles. Stop by the Island Winery to taste grapes off the local vines — the proprietors will even give your dog its own water bowl so it won’t feel left out. (And remember: Grapes aren’t good for dogs.)

20. Shenandoah Valley, Virginia

A man and his dog take in a scenic view of the Shenandoah Valley, a great destination for pet-friendly vacations.
Virginia may be for lovers, but it’s also great for your fur baby. Shenandoah Valley has dog-friendly wineries, nature trails and other activities. The Staunton Farmers’ Market offers aisles of fresh produce, live music and freshly roasted coffee. The restaurant Table 44 has a special patio for pets (the doggio) and will even provide a water bowl and a special menu for your extra guest.  

21. Birmingham, Alabama

Activities for pet-friendly vacations abound in Birmingham, as evidenced by the scenic trails in Red Mountain Park.
Red Mountain Park in Birmingham has plenty of fun to offer you and your pet. There’s 20 miles of hiking trails, treehouse views and the six-acre off-leash Remy’s Dog Park. Or maybe the trails of Ruffner Mountain are calling your (dog’s) name. The park provides weekend activities and educational programs, with beautiful views of the city. Get a taste of Southern comfort food at Crazy Cajuns’ Boiling Pot, the punk rock-friendly Black Market Bar and Grill or Back Forty Beer Company. 

22. Austin, Texas

A man and woman walk their dog near a river in Austin, Texas, just one of many pet-friendly vacations to go on.
Prepare for sensory overload at the Zilker Botanical Garden, where you can walk your leashed pet through the themed exhibits, viewing (and probably smelling) exotic plants. When you need a little extra energy to make it through the day, or maybe just to burn some of your pet’s energy, head to the Neighbors Dog Park & Coffee Shop for some off-leash fun. When you’re ready for a taste of BBQ, you and your best bud can dine at Terry Black’s BBQ, Rudy’s Country Store & Bar-B-Q or Green Mesquite. 

23. Sedona, Arizona

A couple rests with their dog at Sedona while taking in the beautiful red scenery, a great attraction for pet-friendly vacations.
Sedona’s striking vistas of red sandstone attract visitors from all over the world. There are a number of dog-friendly options to see the area, with guided and self-guided jeep tours. You can also take a Red Rock Magic Trolley tour if your dog is small enough to sit on your lap. Mesa Grill offers a dog-friendly outdoor eating area, where you can view the scenery as well as watch planes at the nearby airport. Sedona Beer Company serves small-batch craft beer and food, accommodating dogs on the patio.   

24. Albuquerque, New Mexico

A person rides their bike on a desert trail with their dog leading the way on their pet-friendly vacation.
This Southwest city is well-known for its delicious food and lively festivals, but its reputation as a pet-friendly destination is also noteworthy. Your leashed dog can join you on an outdoor adventure along the La Luz Trail, much of Petroglyph National Monument and Rinconada Canyon Trail. If you need to give your paws a break, hitch a ride on the open-air ABQ Trolley and observe the sights in comfort. Please be aware, the ABQ Trolley X (the luxury option) does not allow pets. Pet-friendly restaurants include the Ponderosa Brewing Company and Flying Star Cafe Paseo for cold beers and hot tacos. 

25. San Francisco, California

A dog takes a breather at a beach in San Francisco with the Golden Gate Bridge in the distance, a great place for pet-friendly vacations.
San Francisco makes our list of best pet-friendly vacation spots thanks to its gorgeous scenery and dog-friendly accessibility. Your dog can splash in salt water at Crissy Field while you take pictures of the Golden Gate Bridge from the beach. Golden Gate Park’s off-leash section is a viable alternative for dogs wanting to keep sand out of their fur. For an added activity, try the modern treasure hunt known as geocaching, which is great for dogs and children alike. 

26. South Lake Tahoe, California

A dog joins its owner in a kayak at Lake Tahoe, a great activity for pet-friendly vacations.
South Lake Tahoe sits on one of the largest freshwater lakes in the country with the Sierra Nevada mountains as a backdrop.Bring your dog with you as you try your hand at sport fishing, kayaking or paddleboarding. Lake Tahoe’s dog-friendly beaches also provide the option for a restful day soaking up the sun. Stop at the Sprouts Cafe for fresh, mostly organic food to replenish your energy or MacDuff’s Pub offering English pub food, both with dog-friendly outdoor dining areas.  

27. Huntington Beach, California

A couple skateboards with their dog near the ocean at Huntington Beach, a fun activity for pet-friendly vacations.
Huntington Beach — aka Surf City, with its 10 miles of coastline — is an evergreen pet-friendly vacation destination, thanks to its sunny Southern California weather. Huntington Dog Beach provides grassy picnic areas and water fountains for humans and dogs alike. After a day of frolicking on the beach, try some fresh seafood at Wahoo’s Fish Taco, or experience the California classic In-N-Out Burger. The Kimpton Shorebreak Resort accommodates cats and dogs of any size for no extra charge, going so far as to provide pet beds and bowls.

28. San Diego, California

Dogs join their owners for a surf session at San Diego, a fun activity for pet-friendly vacations.
Make your dog’s ocean dreams a reality by taking a pet-friendly vacation to San Diego. Take a private paddleboard lesson at SUP Pups to learn the basics before heading out on your own. For a more sure-footed activity, spend the afternoon at the Original Dog Beach, where your dog can run off-leash with other canines. When you’re done, there’s a dog wash station just two blocks away. After you’re both cleaned up, head to Original Paw Pleasers Dog Bakery for a sweet treat. 

29. Napa, California

Hot air balloons fill the sky above Napa Valley, creating a fun spectacle for people during their pet-friendly vacations.
Napa is practically synonymous with wine, and while your dog can’t partake, there’s no reason they shouldn’t join you on a dog-friendly getaway. Walk or jog along the Napa Valley Vine Trail to get your daily dose of exercise, while historic Silverado Trail is a scenic driving route with valley views.Stock up on necessities or treats for you and your dog at the Napa General Store Restaurant, or grab a hearty meal with a micro-brewed beer at pet-friendly Downtown Joe’s American Brewery. 

30. Colorado Springs, Colorado

Two dogs burn their energy climbing rocks at Colorado Springs, a necessary activity for all pet-friendly vacations.
Get away from big city vibes and get back to nature in Colorado Springs. The impressively named Garden of the Gods is a free national landmark with hiking trails through the red rock formations. For the less adventurous, Colorado Springs has plenty of places to go with a dog. Pub Dog Colorado has a pet-friendly indoor area to eat and drink, and a fenced-in off-leash area for the dogs to socialize.   

31. Kanab, Utah

A dog jumps off a rock at Kanab, Utah showcasing the freedom pet-friendly vacations must provide.
You have to see Kanab to believe it. Known colloquially as “Little Hollywood,” dozens of movies and television series are filmed in and around the area’s national parks due to the striking scenery. Your dog can join you as you walk remote trails, or you can both jump in a 4x4 for a guided desert safari.Be sure to stop by the Best Friends Animal Sanctuary where nearly 2,000 animals are ready for adoption. It’s the largest no-kill shelter in the country, and visitors can volunteer to clean kennels and socialize with the animals there including bunnies, farm animals and injured wild animals. The shelter’s on-site lodging provides specialized pet amenities like pull-out beds, a pet washing station and splash zone.

32. Boise, Idaho

A dog gazes at the lake during its hike with its owner in Boise, a fun activity for pet-friendly vacations.
If you and your hound are tired of being confined indoors, Boise is a perfect pet-friendly escape. Tree-lined paths link the Boise River Greenbelt so you and your dog can enjoy miles of scenery and wildlife. Winstead Park offers designated off-leash hours throughout its 11 acres of green space. The Spacebar Arcade lets you drink and game with your dog by your side. And your pup is welcome at the Freak Alley Gallery, the largest open-air gallery in the Northwest.

33. Seattle, Washington

A couple walks their dog in Olympic Sculpture Park with the Space Needle in the distance, a great destination for pet-friendly vacations.
Beat the heat with a pet-friendly vacation to the Pacific Northwest. Visit the city’s largest downtown green space at Olympic Sculpture Park. You can walk with your dog and observe works from renowned artists, then stroll along Elliott Bay in Myrtle Edwards Park. If you’re heading to Seattle Center, leashed dogs are welcome on the grounds but not in the buildings, and the monorail to downtown allows dogs if they’re carried by their owner. Along the shores of Lake Washington, you’ll find the 230-acre Washington Park Arboretum, where leashed dogs are always welcome. Round out your visit with a Seattle Water Tours Ice Cream Cruise to enjoy a cold treat while learning about the city.

34. Bend, Oregon

A dog chases after its owner’s bicycle in Bend, Oregon, on one of their many pet-friendly vacations.
The city of Bend has dog-friendly kayak and canoe rentals, so Fido can join in the fun on the Deschutes River. If your dog hasn’t quite found their sea legs, you can stick to land and walk the river trail, taking in the sites from the shore. The Riverbend Beach Dog Park is a fenced oasis for your furry friend to socialize in and out of the water. Drink in Bend’s craft beer scene by walking the Bend Ale Trail, getting a stamp on your “passport” from every participating dog-friendly brewery. Complete a designated territory (or all seven!) and you’ll receive a special prize. 

Tips for a pet-friendly vacation

An image provides helpful tips for pet owners planning pet-friendly vacations.
The key to a successful pet-friendly vacation is preparation. Keep these tips in mind before hitting the road or taking to the air. 

Test your pet’s travel tolerance

Before you go on a vacation with pets, see how they respond to being cooped up or in a car for long periods. You may discover they get motion sickness or need more frequent breaks than you were prepared for.

Double-check all pet-friendly accommodations

Before you leave, it’s smart to verify that you can bring your furry friend along. Businesses can change their policies at any time.

Pad your travel itinerary

Even a well-trained dog can act out of character in unknown environments. Allow for extra time so you don’t miss out on sought-after activities or reservations. 

Update your pet’s identification and vaccinations

Make sure their collar or chip has your current contact information. This way if you get separated while on vacation, they can be identified and reunited with you. On top of that, doublecheck that all of your pet’s vaccinations are up to date. Many businesses, including airlines, will require documentation for your pet to accompany you.

Bring extra supplies

Pack more waste bags, medications and other necessities than you think you’ll need, just in case. It should come as no surprise that man’s best friend can also make a great companion on your travels, but pet-friendly vacations require a special type of planning to make them enjoyable. Use the destinations on this list as a jumping-off point for planning your next vacation. You may even like the destination enough to make it a second home.

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