Know what’s better than hanging at home with your dog? Going on vacations with dogs. Today’s hotels, resorts, parks and attractions realize that pets are part of our families. They make it easy to find pet- and dog-friendly vacations.
Vacations with dogs can be fun, exciting, and adventurous with a bit of planning. Travel can be less stressful when you don’t have to worry about leaving pets behind. It can also be less expensive (sometimes pet boarding costs can outweigh their travel costs).
On that note, we fetched you some of the best dog-friendly travel destinations across the U.S. along with some tools that’ll help you get there.
Pet Vacation Websites and Apps
Before you traipse across the country with your pet, try a pet vacation website or app to find the best places to take your dog. “There’s an app for that.” Lots of options to connect you with resources to make traveling with pets easier and enjoyable.
- BringFido.com allows you to explore over 250,000 dog-friendly travel destinations. Whether you’re looking for pet-friendly hotels, restaurants, or attractions, you can other travelers’ reviews and book through this website (without booking fees).
- TopDogTravel.com has travel agents ready to help you find and book the best pet-friendly vacations. They can even create a custom vacation package for you and your four-legged family members.
- DogFriendly.com has a wide collection of dog-friendly attractions, lodging, parks, beaches, along with highway guides, and pet-friendly air travel information.
- VitusVet Medical Records app is available for both Android and Apple mobile devices. Keep all your pets’ medical records and health information in one place, so you can access it no matter where you are.
- American Red Cross Pet First Aid app can help you take care of your pet in case of emergencies. The app offers step-by-step advice and is available for Android and Apple smartphones.
Things to Pack For Dog-Friendly Vacations
Don’t forget to pack a few things for your pet-friendly vacation. What should you bring? Well, that depends a lot on what and where you’re planning to travel. Make yourself a list of must-haves (beyond a leash and collar) and check things off as you pack up. Here are a few items you should consider taking with you:
- A lightweight portable travel bowl can make it easier for your dog to eat and drink on the go. One that folds or rolls up requires little space.
- Your dog’s blanket or favorite toy can help reduce anxiety.
- Healthy dog treats to keep him happy on the road.
- A doggy car seat, crate, or divider to protect your pet when in a car.
- A handheld ultrasonic dog training device can make it easier to address behavior at home and away.
- First aid kit for your pet and yourself.
Related: Get more tips for traveling with dogs.
If you’re looking for dog vacation ideas you’ve got options coast to coast. You can chill on a beach in Florida, hike the mountains of Arizona, explore state parks in Arkansas, or check out the waterways in Wisconsin. Here are several dog-friendly vacation spots we found interesting:
- Fort Myers, Florida: Enjoy the sand with your dog at the Bonita Beach Dog Park or walk through the gardens and trails at the Lakes Regional Park. When it’s time to eat try Cristof’s on McGregor or Ford’s Garage.
- Sedona and Flagstaff Arizona: If your thing is hiking, head to Arizona where your doggy vacation can include miles of nature and red rock mountains. In Flagstaff, enjoy trails such as Fatman’s Loop, Sunset, and Inner Basin. In Sedona, the Soldier Pass Trail, Devil’s Bridge Trail, and Cathedral Rock to Red Rock Crossing are all dog-friendly.
- Arkansas State Parks: For a relaxing, outdoorsy vacation with dogs, head over to one of the many state parks in Arkansas. Follow park rules: Leash your dog at all times, pick up after them, and be prepared for possible encounters with wildlife. You can find many pet-friendly lodging accommodations in the state parks as well.
- Door County, Wisconsin: One of the best dog-friendly vacations isn’t in a city; it’s a whole county. Here you and your pup can enjoy the Whitefish Dunes dog beach, Shiloh Road Bark Park, and Eagle Trail. Bring a lifejacket for your furry friend and take a sunset sail with Bella Sailing Cruises or Door County Kayak Tour. You can find plenty of local hotels that welcome pets
- Colorado Springs, Colorado: Here you’ll find The Broadmoor, one of the many dog-friendly vacation resorts in the U.S. Your pet can enjoy Broadmoor bedding, food bowls, and complimentary treats. Room service even includes a Pitty Pat pet menu with dog food and treats. When you’re ready to get outside, enjoy a stroll through local pet parks and scenic walking areas. Other pet-friendly hotels in the area include The Arrabelle at Vail Resort and The Ritz Carlton Bachelor Gulch in Avon.
The best dog vacations are any that you and your pet enjoy.