Admit it—holidays are exponentially better when you are traveling with your canine companion. As opportunities to travel safely amid the pandemic become plentiful, there is no reason your four-legged friend can’t come along.
If you are planning a trip across the state this upcoming holiday season, here are a few dog-friendly destinations you don’t want to miss out on (don’t forget these tips on traveling with your pet)!
1. New York
If you’ve previously visited the Big Apple, you’ll know that Central Park is a haven for canine visitors—but it isn’t the only one.
Just a few hours out of the City that Never Sleeps are scenic shorelines and picturesque pumpkin patches. You won’t regret a weeklong holiday in New York if you plan around these stunning pet-centered getaways.
Five hours out of the heart of New York City is Lake Placid, home to all things adventurous. If you are the type to stroll or hike, you won’t regret a visit to Mirror Lake, a 2.7-mile path that leads to a charming pet-friendly shop.
Remember to pack additional water bottles to prevent your pup from becoming dehydrated. If you are traveling with a smaller breed, consider taking your pet along in a body-strap carrier.
Alternatively, you can opt for a drive up to Whiteface Mountain instead. If your pet has its own Instagram page, Whiteface Mountain is where you’ll expand your portfolio of Fido-focused snapshots.
After a long day out, you can quickly retire to Main Street, where you’ll find a handful of dog-friendly cafes.
Located just an hour outside of the city, Long Island is more than only home to strips of luxury mansions and the famed Hamptons—it is also a stunning site for nature-loving dogs. Between Sands Point Preserve, Sagamore National Historic Site, Gardiner County Park, and more, you won’t come across any shortage of fresh strolls with your dog.
If you are a fan of pet-centered events, you’ll want to make your way down to Old Westbury Gardens. Here, you and your pet can experience twice-yearly Dog Days walking through fragrant flower fields.
You and your dog can wind down along the Nautical Mile in Freeport, where your pup can enjoy a scoop of their favorite ice cream.
Rife with some of the most stunning beaches in America, it is no wonder Florida is a go-to for many pet parents on holiday. If you and your pup are ready to get sunkissed over the holidays, Florida’s year-round balmy weather will be more than welcoming.
Warm, sunny, and postcard-worthy, Fort Myers is the best place to enjoy sand and surf—whether two-legged or four. Bonita Beach Dog Park welcomes dogs who love a dig and dip, while Lakes Regional Park is a little more scenic.
If you and your dog love dining with a view, you’ll be spoiled for choice when it comes to dog-friendly restaurants. For fans of yoga—er, dog-a—the GreenMarket hosts Yoga Bird sessions on Saturdays. After a morning of Vinyasa, support local growers, artisans, and fellow dog-lovers in any nearby stalls.
For water-loving humans and canines, Key Largo is the place to be. If your dog is up for a challenge, you can rent a transparent kayak or learn to paddleboard at Tropic Water Sports. If you would rather someone else do the steering, you can take your dog for a float on a Key Largo Princess Bottom Boat.
Keep in mind that beaches aren’t all sunshine and sand. Always rent a life jacket for you and your dog on an afternoon of wet n’ wild adventure. Pack an umbrella for shade and booties for your dog when walking across the hot pavement.
Perhaps one of the most dog-friendly states in America, California is rich with tail-wagging and water-lapping visitors! Thanks to its delightful climate and abundance of activities, California is a no-brainer for most pet owners on holiday.
Dogs can’t get enough of San Diego, and San Diego can’t get enough of your four-legged partner in crime. According to an easy Google search, there are over 530 dog-friendly restaurants in this California city alone! If craft beer with your dog—no beer for Fido, of course—was on your bucket list, San Diego is the place to tick it off.
Does your dog love to be the star of the show? You can also attend a few of many dog-centered events, such as the Surf Dog Series in Imperial Beach or Dog Days of Summer at Petco Park.
Top off your trip on a hiking trail towards the summit of Cowles Mountain. The scenes here are breathtaking and the perfect backdrop for a portrait of your pup!
If you prefer to be out of the hustle and bustle of the city, you and your dog might opt to visit the quaint and cool Carmel-by-the-Sea. Here you’ll discover a generous handful of dog-friendly parks and beaches.
After an off-leash morning at Carmel Beach, you can make your way down to Mission Trails Park, where your dog can enjoy an additional 37 acres of space to run after frisbees.
If you are an early riser, you’ll love a morning jog along the coastline with your pup on Scenic Road. Now, a holiday isn’t complete without some souvenirs. Drop by the Carmel Business District and return with a luggage bag full of goodies for your four-legged confidante!
If you thought Arizona was only known for its star—Sin City—wait until you and your dog discover its supporting actors. This destination is pleasantly welcoming of tail-wagging travelers. Here are a few places to get you started.
Warm and sunny nearly all-year-round, Scottsdale is an ideal destination for dogs who can’t get enough of the outdoors. A desert resort destination for golfers and lovers of breathtaking scenery, you and your dog will have no problem walking some of the 369 miles of trail across this massive plain.
Scottsdale is surprisingly fond of dogs—it boasts roughly 73 pet-friendly accommodations per 100,000 people—that is a lot of four-legged neighbors!
Sedona is generous with its lush backdrops and awe-inspiring scenery for amateur and professional photographers and their dogs. Here, you’ll also find some of America’s most dog-friendly hiking trails—namely Slide Rock State Park and Coconino National Forest.
Sedona offers several pet-friendly tours for backpacking, camping, and visits to ancient Indian ruins if you prefer a guide. After an exciting day of trekking, you can reward your dog with a delectable treat at the Whiskers Bakery.
If you can’t take the city out of the dog, Sedona’s city limits are just as fond of canines as its outer boundaries. You can take a trip to the Sedona Dog Park and staycation in one of many pet-friendly hotels.
While certainly not as outgoing as California or Florida, Arkansas can make for a memorable trip with your dog. Home to over 600,000 acres of lakes, Arkansas is more than welcoming of your adventurous pet!
Is it Arkansas… or Barkansas? Whatever the case, Little Rock is one of the best places to be when you are traveling with your dog. It is home to many outdoor dog spaces, where you can also kick back with a refreshing beer in hand.
Do you want to opt for something a little more natural? Consider an off-leash visit to Paws Park at Murray Lake. Here, your dog will have no problem zipping through fountains and water troughs.
If you are up for a hike across the mountains, you can gallivant along the Rock Valley Trail or Pinnacle Mountain State Park. When going for longer adventures, ensure that your dog is always hydrated and rewarded for his hard work!
If you are off to the Northwest, Oregon has much in store for your fur-coated companion. Naturally beautiful, laid back, and equally as festive, there is much to do in this very dog-friendly state.
If you’ve trained your dog to walk off-leash, there are many places in Portland that welcome Good Boys. Sellwood Riverfront Park, for instance, loves a loose canine, while the Willamette River is perfect for owners and dogs who appreciate stunning, natural scenery.
Owners planning to stay over a weekend can visit many of Portland’s Saturday markets and enjoy lunch with their pampered pets. Hint: the Tin Shed Garden Cafe is a long-time favorite for visiting dogs and their pet parents.
8. New Mexico
No matter where you are headed in the state of New Mexico, you are more than likely to find an activity you and your pet can enjoy together.
New Mexico’s oldest city, Albuquerque, is also its pet-friendliest. If you have more time on your hands, make sure to include La Luz Trail on your list of to-dos. You and your dog will surely appreciate the jaw-dropping views.
If you love a mouthwatering grill, treat yourself and your pup to a table at The Backstreet Grill. It comes with a dog-friendly patio that will get dog-loving heads turning.
Dog-friendly vacation on your mind? Pack your doggy bags now!
Now that you have a roster of pet-friendly destinations for your next holiday with Fido, all there is left to do is book your ticket.
If you are on a budget, take note of these money-saving travel tips. Your wallet—and your dog—will thank you for it later.
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Mike, the founder of Dog Embassy, is a self-proclaimed pet expert. He is committed to providing helpful resources on first-time pet ownership and obedience training.