Your Top Dog-Friendly Vacation Spots for Summer

Summer means that it is time to start planning that next vacation. Whether it is traveling the open road, flying cross-country to your favorite destination, or just visiting a quaint little town a few hours away—a vacation is always better when you can have your precious pets along for the ride.

When we travel the last thing we want to do is leave our fur-babies behind. Thanks to an ever-increasing amount of pet-friendly locations and services offered, nowadays many people don’t. According to a study by AAA and Best Western International, more than half of U.S. pet owners take their cats and dogs with them when they travel. Dog-friendly vacations are a fun way to include everyone and ease the burden of having to find people or places to watch and care for your pet while you are away.

The question is where to go? Well, time to start packing. We have compiled the best dog-friendly vacation spots that will be fun and exciting for the whole family.

Wild Outdoor Adventure

hiking dog

If you and your pup love the great outdoors, then a hiking or backpacking adventure to experience Mother Nature is the perfect destination. Many public use lands allow leash-controlled dogs to wander the trails and vast mountainsides with their owner. One great place that has dog-friendly trails is Acadia National Park in Maine. This park has over 100 miles of hiking trails and 45 miles of carriage roads that are pet-friendly. There are also areas in the Blackwoods and Seawall Campgrounds, where your dog can go, making it a great place for a weekend getaway.

Another popular destination is the Appalachian Trail, which runs from Georgia through Maine. This trail is one of the longest trails in the world, measuring around 2,180 miles. Here you can explore many national parks, forests, and public lands as you cross through nearly 14 states. Dogs are required to be on a leash on 40 percent of the path, but it is recommended you keep them on a leash throughout the rest of the trail as well.

Traditional Campout

camping dog

What’s a better way to spend time with the family and Fido than a good old fashioned campout? As one of America’s favorite past times, it’s fun to share the camping tradition with our furry friends. Not only will they love exploring the campsite, but they can also relax and sit by the fire after a day full of swimming and activities.

The great thing about camping is that there are plenty of places to go, but not all spots are dog-friendly. Some of the most popular dog-friendly camping spots include Rocky Mountain National Park. Located in the heart of Colorado, this park is beautiful, full of scenic views, and wildlife. Dogs are allowed in various areas including campgrounds and picnic areas. Other great camp spots include Everglades National Park, Glacier National Park, and Smoky Mountains National Park.

Beach Getaway

Golden Retriever at the beach

With the sand between your toes and the salty smell in the air, a beach getaway is a perfect way to relax and keep the pup entertained for hours. From splashing in the waves, fetching sticks, or digging in the sand, the beach is filled with things to keep your pet busy all day.

If you are thinking of taking a trip to the shoreline, consider renting a dog-friendly vacation home or calling local hotels in the area to see if they allow pets. Another great option is to find beaches that have campgrounds nearby.

Some great beaches to consider are Huntington Dog Beach, California; Block Island, Rhode Island; and Pacific City, Oregon.

Sightseeing in the City

Happy dog car window

Traveling to a new city is exciting. All of the unique restaurants to try and stores to visit are just a few perks, but many people wonder how they can bring their pet with them to enjoy it. Well never fear, according to the AAA, nearly every city in the United States offers pet-friendly accommodations. What’s more is that most of these places provide specialty pet menus, dog beds, and doggy bowls. This makes bringing your dog much easier. A few pet hotel chains include – Affinia Hotels, Red Lion Hotels, Red Roof Inns, Aloft Hotels, Kimpton Hotels, and Motel 6.

If you are planning on vacationing this summer, make sure to take the time to research to ensure the location is pet-friendly. If it’s a beach, mountain, or city, the journey will be that much more fun with your dog by your side!