For us, a vacation is a nice change of pace from the stressful aspects of life, work, and responsibilities. For our pups, a vacation is a nice change from the smells and fun had back home.
Sure their lives may not be as stressful as ours, but that doesn’t mean they wouldn’t appreciate an adventure away from home. Whether you’re looking to camp, get pampered, enjoy the beach, relax, or experience something new, there’s a dog-friendly vacation destination for you and your dog to enjoy.
Camping is a great vacation idea if you want to bring your four-legged family members. It’s being outdoors, sleeping in a tent, having unlimited access to activities that both you and your pup can enjoy. You can almost take your dog camping anywhere, but these two locations are a puppy camper’s dream.
4 Paws Kingdom – Rutherfordton, NC
4 Paws Kingdom is a dog-dedicated campground that offers a few different camping options in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains in North Carolina. This campground offers a fully fenced swimming pond, multiple off-leash play parks, an agility area, hiking trails, doggie bath house with grooming station, and more. Instead of worrying about leash laws and bothering other campers with your pup, you’ll be surrounded by like-minded puppy campers.
Lake Catherine State Park – Hot Springs, AR
Lake Catherine State Park offers a ton of beautiful hiking, lake activities, a waterfall, and beautiful scenery. Unlike 4 Paws Kingdom, Lake Catherine State Park isn’t created just for pups, but it is dog-friendly as long as your dog is on a leash. Not only that, but the cabins available are dog-friendly as well.
A resort isn’t just a place to stay, it’s a location that encompasses many facets of a vacation. For those who love relaxing, resorts can be the perfect vacation spot. They are convenient and comfortable and are designed for luxury. Not many resorts are created for fuzzy friends due to their upper-class nature, but these resorts are quite the opposite.
The Resort at Paws Up – Greenough, MT
The Resort at Paws Up combines camping with luxury in a dude ranch atmosphere. Cattle drives, luxury accommodations, world-class fishing, gorgeous hiking, and an animal-friendly atmosphere come together to create this resort. Your pup has the ability to adventure in the outdoors with you and is also given a kennel, toys, collar, leash, and dog treats.
The Scott Resort and Spa – Scottsdale, AZ
The Scott Resort and Spa may have a rule about larger dogs and only allow pups under 50 pounds, but the smaller pups that are allowed to stay are treated like royalty. Your pets’ amenities include food and water bowls, a luxury bed, sitting, walking, grooming, and a dog park within walking distance.
Travel Tip: While traveling to your vacation, take advantage of the road trip because it can be as much fun as the destination. Know your safety tips like how to change a tire in case of a blowout or flat, but also bring some entertainment to make your trip fun. “Dog Days are Over,” by Florence + the Machine, or “Who Let the Dogs Out,” by Baha Men are two good additions to any dog-themed vacation playlist.
A beach destination for a vacation offers relaxation and adventure in one. It’s a great way to beat the heat while playing in the water, relaxation while sunbathing, and long walks or hikes along the coastline. Your pup will have just as much fun getting sand in their hair, so if you’re looking for a beach destination for you and your pup, there are a few beaches that are dog-friendly.
Carmel Beach – Carmel, CA
Puppy beach paradise exists at Carmel Beach in California. There are no leash laws on this beach, and pups are free to run to their heart’s content through the surf and to interact with other dogs. As long as your pup will respond to voice commands, you pick up after them, and they are okay around other dogs, you and your fuzzy friend will love this beach that caters to animals and their human companions.
Bonita Beach Dog Park – Fort Myers Beach, FL
The calm water in the gulf of mexico is a lovely place for you and your pup to take a little vacation. This beach is also an off-leash area so that pups have the freedom to run around and sniff new smells without having to wait for their two-legged companions on the end of a leash. Just be aware, it’s an extremely popular spot, so it might be crowded depending on the time of year. Also, if you go during high tide, you’ll have to walk through some water to get to the beach. However, it’s still a great spot for lots of interaction and swimming for your pup.
Travel Tip: The beach is a great place to travel with your pup, but be sure to keep your pup safe when they are in the water. Get a life jacket, bring drinking water, make sure they have appropriate shots, and give them a good shower when they are done to avoid bacterial infections.
Hotel stays are a pretty common aspect to traveling, and some hotels work to make themselves a large portion of the fun you have during your vacation. Some hotels make sure your pup is as comfortable as you are, and these hotels make a special note to pamper your dog as well as you.
The Little Nell Hotel – Aspen, CO
Aspen is a pretty high-end place known for its amazing outdoor adventures. If you want to experience Aspen with your dog, The Little Nell is the place for you. They will get fancy treats, they offer an entire pet menu, they will walk them, sit them, and guide you to pet-friendly trails. Your pup will have bowls, a bed, and even a jet lag kit to help them get used to the altitude in Aspen.
Soho Grand Hotel – New York, NY
The Soho Grand Hotel is another hotel that takes it’s furry guest’s comfort very seriously. Being pet-friendly and enjoying the happiness that comes with a pet is taken so seriously that even if you don’t bring your pet with you, you’re given the option of having a goldfish pet for the duration of your stay at no extra cost. If you do bring your own pup, they will be given organic treats, bedding, food and water bowls, and a dog park.
Travel Tip: If you work with dogs and you’re staying in a dog-friendly hotel, you may be able to write off your stay. You may even be able to deduct travel expenses and mileage, so keep all receipts and talk to your accountant.
Some vacations are more about an entertaining event than the location or hotel accommodations. We travel for amusement parks, concerts, or sporting events all the time, and the same can apply to your furry family member.
Fremont Sunday Ice Cream Cruise – Seattle, WA
The Fremont Sunday Ice Cream Cruise in Seattle is a great event for a pup that may be smaller, older, or more laid back. Enjoying a cruise around Lake Union while eating ice cream is a great, low-key vacation for you or your pup looking to lounge around Seattle. You may even offer your dog a lick of the ice cream so they get the full experience.
White Sox Dog Day – Chicago, IL
The White Sox is definitely not the only team to have days in which fans are allowed to bring their pups to the game, but they were the first. In fact, last season they set a record in the Guinness Book of World Records for most dogs attending a sporting event. If your pup is good around other dogs and large crowds, bring your pup to enjoy a White Sox game with you! Have a hot dog, dress up, and have an outing that is fun for both of you.
Travel Tip: In the same way that pets help employees stay engaged and happy at work, our pets keep us happy as well. Don’t be afraid to design vacations around you and your pet. Not only will this greatly benefit your pet, but it’ll benefit you as well.
Vacations are great for adventure, for getting away, and for experiencing something new. Your pup may not be stressed about parenting, work deadlines, or the stress of life in the same way that you are, but they do love adventure and new smells. They love you and spending time with you, so why not take a vacation that is dog-friendly and take some time for you and your pooch. Whether it’s a beach trip or a camping excursion, your pup is sure to enjoy spending time with you among new experiences. It’s hard to imagine a better vacation than having one with you and your pup.
Chelsy is a writer from Montana who is now living in beautiful Boise, Idaho. She graduated with her journalism degree in 2012 from the University of Montana. She is passionate about animal rights, bad television, and white wine. She is a volunteer at Simply Cats in Boise.