If you’ve got a dog at home, vacationing can be a challenge. Sure, it’s easy enough to board your dog or have a friend or family member look after them while you’re away, but that means your dog can’t enjoy all the fun adventures you’ll have!
Thankfully, many locations are becoming more accommodating of dogs, from beaches to hotels, to entire cities.
There are also some go-to, dog-friendly vacations you can take if you don’t want to travel far, far away. Pretty much anywhere in the country, the great outdoors awaits. Camping, hiking, and going to dog-friendly beaches (even at lakes and rivers) are always great activities to do with your pooch.
But if you want to get out of town with your dog, there are a few locations you should consider. Here are 6 of the best dog-friendly vacations to take in the U.S.
1. Lake Tahoe, California
Lake Tahoe has a number of dog-friendly beaches where your dog can take a dip, or you can play in the sand. There are plenty of places to go hiking with your dog, and there are even dog-friendly gondolas in which you can take your leashed dog up to fun hiking trails.
Bijou Community Park, constructed in 1992, has 2 fenced-in areas where dogs can roam free. It also has several outdoor activities for humans, like volleyball and a bike park. The park even provides bags to clean up after your dog!
2. Austin, Texas
Dog Fancy Magazine named Austin, Texas “DogTown USA” in 2014, and for good reason. Texas has no dog breed restrictions, and Austin has several dog-friendly locations, including over 150 dog-friendly restaurants, 15 dog parks, hiking trails, tours, and pet-friendly stores.
If you’ve ever wanted to visit the Lone Star State with your pup, Austin should be high on your list. And if you don’t want to bring your dog around Austin with you, you can always drop them off at one of the many dog boarding and daycare locations in town.
3. Charlottesville, Virginia
Charlottesville, Virginia is a mid-sized college town that’s rich with history, but it also has a particular affinity for dogs. There are several restaurants, breweries, wineries, and coffee shops in the town that allow dogs. Many of the restaurants and bars in the area have outdoor patios where you and your dog can sit if the weather is nice.
Aside from the dog-friendly establishments, Charlottesville has plenty of dog parks and outdoor areas for you and your dog to explore. There are over 40 pet-friendly hotels in the area, too. So if you want to visit Charlottesville with Fido, you’ll be well accommodated.
4. The Outer Banks, North Carolina
The Outer Banks in North Carolina is one of the top vacation stops on the East Coast. It’s also a great place for dogs! The Outer Banks has beaches where dogs are allowed year-round and at any time of day. On other beaches, dogs are allowed during certain times of the day or during certain times of the year.
There are plenty of pet-friendly accommodations in the Outer Banks, so if you want to bring your pup for a sunny beach vacation, this is a great place to do it. Consider calling ahead, though. Many hotels have a limited number of dog-friendly rooms.
5. Stowe, Vermont
Stowe is widely loved for its ski slopes and hiking trails. it’s a great place for people to visit during all four seasons, but Stowe is particularly friendly to dog-owners.
Aside from the many accommodations that allow pets, Stowe was practically made for dogs. In many restaurants, dogs can order from the menu. There are plenty of pet sitters and dog walkers for hire, and you can even pamper your pup with a message.
6. Pretty Much All of Maine
Maine reaches the top of pet-friendliness lists all the time. The state has no breed restrictions, 76 dog-friendly beaches, plenty of outdoor spaces, dog parks, and almost 1,000 pet-friendly hotels.
But even if Maine is one of the most pet-friendly states in the country, just like any trip with your pet, it’ll still take some planning for everything to go smoothly, especially if you’re flying with your dog.
Make sure you have plenty of treats, chewables, and bully sticks to keep your dog occupied while traveling. Expect to spend most of your time with your dog. Even some pet-friendly hotels have restrictions on leaving your pet alone in your hotel room. You may need to bring your dog’s crate with you if you’re flying, but you can also use it to keep your dog calm if they have trouble sleeping in a new place.
Don’t forget food, water, bowls, poop bags, a leash (maybe even a spare leash), and any medication your dog may need. With a little planning, you’ll be well-prepared to enjoy a vacation in one of these amazing dog-friendly travel destinations!