Rover's Paradise: Exploring the Best Places to Travel with Dogs Across America

2023-08-08 00:22:33 - Drany Macley Drany Macley, the senior editor of, brings extensive journalism background and over eight years of experience in travel writing and editing to the site, offering practical insights and first-hand knowledge through articles on innovative hotels, backed by a BA in Journalism from Ithaca College.

Are you planning a trip but don't want to leave your furry friend behind? Look no further! In this article, we have compiled a list of the best places to travel with your dogs. From charming coastal towns like Block Island, Rhode Island, and Nantucket, Massachusetts, to vibrant cities like Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and Chicago, Illinois, there is a destination for every type of dog-loving adventurer. Whether you're seeking quaint hiking trails, bustling dog-friendly cafes, or scenic beachfronts, we have got you covered. So grab your pup's leash and get ready for an unforgettable adventure!


Block Island, Rhode Island

Block Island, located in Rhode Island, is a pet-friendly vacation destination that offers scenic walks and water taxis. One of the highlights is Brenton Point State Park, where visitors can enjoy beautiful views of the bay and witness kite fliers taking advantage of the gusty ocean winds. Another popular activity is picnicking at Point Judith Lighthouse or bodysurfing at Mansion Beach, which, despite the mansion burning down decades ago, still retains its sandy shores and opportunities for water activities. For a delightful dining experience, Windjammer Surf Bar is the place to be. Not only can you enjoy the sight and sound of crashing waves, but your furry companion can also indulge in a meal from their own special menu.


Nantucket, Massachusetts

The city of Nantucket, located in Massachusetts, extends its warm hospitality to four-legged friends. A visit to Philadelphia's Magic Gardens offers a captivating experience for both you and your dog as you explore the large mosaic artwork and sculpture garden. If you're in the mood to escape the urban landscape, the Wissahickon Valley Park provides a serene retreat with its expansive hiking trails that wind through forests and meadows. For a delightful meal, stop by Wedge Fig, where their enclosed gravel patio welcomes both you and your canine companion.


Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, is another pet-friendly vacation spot in the Northeast. Apart from its picturesque beaches and stunning bogs, visitors can also explore Surfside, Brant Point, and Cisco Beaches for a day of sandy ocean fun. The Steamship Authority ferry offers a pet-friendly ride free of charge, allowing you to visit nearby Martha's Vineyard and soak in the sights. The Milestone Cranberry Bogs provide ample space for your furry friend to burn off some energy and engage in a game of fetch. When it's time to rejuvenate, head over to Easy Street Cantina or the Sandbar at Jetties Beach for fresh food and refreshing drinks.


Jim Thorpe, Pennsylvania

Jim Thorpe, nestled in the Poconos of Pennsylvania, may appear as a quiet town at first glance, but it offers numerous exciting pet-friendly vacation activities. Embark on a trip through the Lehigh Gorge Scenic Railway, a vintage train where your dog can join you and appreciate the stunning state park and mountain views. Make a stop at Country Junction, the world's largest general store, which features a petting zoo and a restaurant. The vast five-acre Retriever Brewing Compound is another must-visit destination, offering entertainment such as a beer hall, pool deck, and rotating food trucks for you and your leashed friend to enjoy.


Long Island, New York

As the largest island in the United States, Long Island offers an abundance of pet-friendly activities for a memorable vacation. Take leisurely walks with your dog around Gold Coast, where historic mansions and beautiful landscapes await. Engage in doggy yoga sessions, where your four-legged companion can join you for a unique bonding experience. Long Island is also home to several dog-friendly breweries, with a special tour available to explore the best taprooms in the neighborhood. If you're in the mood for waterfront dining, the dog-friendly American Brass restaurant is known for its creative dishes made from local ingredients.


Stowe, Vermont

Stowe, located in Vermont, offers plenty of pet-friendly vacation ideas. Enjoy a scenic ride on the gondolas at Mount Mansfield, where your canine companion can accompany you. The Stowe Mountain Auto Toll Road provides breathtaking views of the Adirondacks and a chance to give your feet and paws a break. The Alchemist brewery is another popular destination, allowing leashed dogs to join patrons on a tour of their facilities, complete with a beer tasting. For some off-leash fun, head to Hubbard Park, where you and your furry friend can explore and play to your heart's content.


Bar Harbor, Maine

For ocean lovers, the charming seaside town of Bar Harbor in Maine offers the perfect pet-friendly vacation. With nature cruises and snorkeling trips available, you and your furry friend can witness an array of sea creatures, including porpoises and seals. Explore Acadia National Park, which boasts over 158 miles of hiking trails and multiple campgrounds that are dog-friendly. After a day of adventure, treat yourself to a wine tasting at Bar Harbor Cellars, while your pet can indulge in something special at Bark Harbor pet boutique.


Chicago, Illinois

Chicago, located by Lake Michigan, is a fantastic destination for pet-friendly vacations. Enjoy boat tours on Lake Michigan or the Chicago River, as many of them offer dog-friendly services, allowing everyone to soak in the city's sights from a unique perspective. Montrose Dog Beach provides a perfect spot for your pet to dip their paws in the lake, with free waste bags and a dog wash area available. The Gangsters and Ghosts Tours are a must for those who enjoy a touch of the macabre, and leashed pets are welcome on both family-friendly and adults-only tours.


Madison, Wisconsin

Nestled between two lakes, Madison, Wisconsin, offers an array of pet-friendly activities. With nine fenced off-leash city parks available, your dog can enjoy plenty of green space for frolicking and playing. The Boneyard provides a biergarten with 16 beers on tap and an outdoor play area for dogs to socialize while their owners relax. The BarleyPop Tap and Shop is another dog-friendly taproom, boasting an extensive craft beer selection. If you prefer spirits, the State Line Distillery welcomes dogs inside their cocktail lounge. The seasonal Hilldale Farmers Market offers fresh food and baked treats as a healthy alternative to traditional bar scenes.


Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Milwaukee, Wisconsin, offers a scenic RiverWalk where you can enjoy leisurely strolls with your dog, stopping by pet-friendly brewpubs and shops along the way. The RiverSculpture outdoor gallery showcases permanent and rotating art installations from artists across the nation. Spoil your furry friend with a spa day at Community Bark pet groomers or relax at their Barker Lounge, where dogs can socialize while their owners enjoy a cup of coffee and stock up on planet-friendly pet supplies.


Grand Haven, Michigan

Escape the crowds and enjoy a cozy pet-friendly vacation in Grand Haven, Michigan. Take a leisurely stroll down the boardwalk, where you can engage in window shopping and admire the boats in the harbor. Rent a pontoon for a relaxing cruise or a thrilling water skiing excursion. Indulge in classic burgers and root beer shakes at Ray's Drive-In restaurant, where your dog can even join you for the tasty experience.


Cleveland, Ohio

Cleveland, situated by Lake Erie, offers a wonderful blend of freshwater fun and urban attractions for pet-friendly vacations. The downtown dog park provides ample space for off-leash playtime, spanning an impressive 3,500 square feet. The Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath Trail is perfect for a scenic walk amidst lush greenery. Unwind at the Taps & Tails Dog Bar, where indoor and outdoor play areas are available with food and drinks for dogs and owners alike. If you need a day to yourself, the bar even offers daycare services for your furry companion.


Indianapolis, Indiana

Indianapolis, Indiana, effortlessly combines city entertainment with natural attractions for an enjoyable pet-friendly vacation. The Virginia B. Fairbanks Art & Nature Park offers an exquisite experience with contemporary art installations spread across its expansive 100 acres. Take a leisurely stroll along the Downtown Canal Walk, a 3-mile loop that offers beautiful views of the city. Treat your pup to a movie at the Tibbs Drive-In theater and feel the nostalgic charm of a bygone era. For some relaxed fun, visit the 16-Bit Bar & Arcade, where you can enjoy free video games while your furry friend accompanies you.


Key West, Florida

Key West, Florida, is renowned for its wild six-toed cats, making it a unique destination for pet-friendly vacations. While exploring this seaside town, you and your dog can embark on snorkeling trips and dolphin charters or enjoy leisurely walks through the botanical garden. The local aquarium welcomes leashed pets, giving you the opportunity to witness exciting shark feedings and alligator exhibits. Indulge in delicious fresh seafood, such as fish tacos, at Geiger Key Marina Fish Camp Restaurant, which even offers to cook your catch of the day!


Asheville, North Carolina

Asheville, located in North Carolina, offers a pet-friendly vacation that combines city charm with natural beauty. Grovewood Village provides a delightful experience with its sculpture gardens and insights into the city's history. Discover the city's charm through trolley tours or satisfy your nature cravings with a walk through Craggy Gardens' rhododendron tunnel. After a day of exploration, enjoy a beer at Catawba Brewing Company or savor a delicious wood-fired pizza at Brixx Wood Fired Pizza.


Charleston, South Carolina

Charleston, South Carolina, is a picture-perfect destination known for its charming streets adorned with live oak trees and vibrant buildings. Embark on a pet-friendly carriage tour to learn about the city's history in a unique old-timey style. Charleston also offers ghost tours, where leashed pets are welcome, allowing you to delve into the city's mysterious past. Rest and refuel at the Lowdown Oven and Bar, where you can enjoy the covered patio, or indulge in some outdoor dining at Queology Barbecue.


Hilton Head, South Carolina

Hilton Head, a pet-friendly destination on the East Coast, offers a relaxed island experience. Enjoy the ocean and abundant dog-friendly beaches, allowing your furry friend to run and play in the sand to their heart's content. Visit the Audubon Newhall Preserve, where you can observe alligators, birds, and turtles while walking on a leash with your pet. The Island Winery offers delightful wine tastings, ensuring your dog doesn't miss out with their own water bowl. Just remember, grapes are not suitable for dogs.


Shenandoah Valley, Virginia

Located in Virginia, Shenandoah Valley is a charming destination known for its pet-friendly options. You can explore dog-friendly wineries, nature trails, and other activities in this area. One popular spot is the Staunton Farmers’ Market, where you can wander through aisles of fresh produce, enjoy live music, and savor freshly roasted coffee. If you're looking for a place to dine with your furry companion, the restaurant Table 44 has a special pet-friendly patio called the "doggio." They even provide water bowls and a special menu to cater to your four-legged friend.


Birmingham, Alabama

Birmingham in Alabama offers numerous activities for pet-friendly vacations. Red Mountain Park is a must-visit destination with 20 miles of hiking trails, stunning treehouse views, and a spacious six-acre off-leash dog park called Remy's Dog Park. Another option is exploring the trails of Ruffner Mountain, which not only offers beautiful views of the city but also provides weekend activities and educational programs. When it comes to dining, you can enjoy a taste of Southern comfort food at Crazy Cajuns’ Boiling Pot, the punk rock-friendly Black Market Bar and Grill, or Back Forty Beer Company.


Austin, Texas

Austin, Texas is a sensory delight for both humans and their furry companions. One of the highlights is the Zilker Botanical Garden, where you can take your leashed pet on a stroll through themed exhibits and experience the beauty and fragrances of exotic plants. If you and your pet need some off-leash fun, head to Neighbors Dog Park & Coffee Shop, which offers a combination of a dog park and a coffee shop. When hunger strikes, you can indulge in delicious BBQ at Terry Black’s BBQ, Rudy’s Country Store & Bar-B-Q, or Green Mesquite.


Sedona, Arizona

Sedona, Arizona attracts visitors from around the world with its breathtaking red sandstone vistas. If you're looking for dog-friendly activities, there are guided and self-guided jeep tours that allow your furry friend to accompany you. You can also take a Red Rock Magic Trolley tour if your dog is small enough to sit on your lap. For dining options, Mesa Grill offers a dog-friendly outdoor eating area where you can enjoy both the scenery and the sight of planes taking off and landing at the nearby airport. Sedona Beer Company is another great option, serving small-batch craft beer and food while accommodating dogs on their patio.


Albuquerque, New Mexico

Albuquerque, New Mexico is renowned for its delicious food, lively festivals, and its status as a pet-friendly destination. You can take your leashed dog on outdoor adventures such as exploring the La Luz Trail, Petroglyph National Monument, and Rinconada Canyon Trail. For a more relaxing experience, you can hop on the open-air ABQ Trolley and enjoy the sights comfortably. Just note that pets are not allowed on the ABQ Trolley X (the luxury option). When it's time for a meal, check out the Ponderosa Brewing Company and Flying Star Cafe Paseo for cold beers and hot tacos.


San Francisco, California

San Francisco is well-known for its stunning scenery and dog-friendly accessibility, making it a great destination for pet-friendly vacations. Your dog can enjoy splashing in the saltwater at Crissy Field while you capture beautiful photos with the iconic Golden Gate Bridge in the background. Golden Gate Park also offers an off-leash section for dogs to play without getting sandy. To add some excitement to your trip, you can try geocaching, a modern treasure hunt that is fun for both kids and dogs.


South Lake Tahoe, California

South Lake Tahoe, California is situated on one of the largest freshwater lakes in the country and boasts breathtaking views of the Sierra Nevada mountains. Here, you can enjoy various water activities such as sport fishing, kayaking, and paddleboarding with your dog. The dog-friendly beaches of Lake Tahoe are perfect for a relaxing day under the sun. After a day of adventures, you can replenish your energy at Sprouts Cafe, which offers fresh and mostly organic food, or indulge in some English pub food at MacDuff's Pub, both of which have dog-friendly outdoor dining areas.


Huntington Beach, California

Huntington Beach, also known as Surf City, is a perennial favorite for pet-friendly vacations thanks to its 10 miles of coastline and sunny Southern California weather. Huntington Dog Beach is a popular spot for dog owners, offering grassy picnic areas and water fountains for both humans and dogs. After a day of frolicking on the beach, you can try the fresh seafood at Wahoo's Fish Taco or experience the California classic In-N-Out Burger. The Kimpton Shorebreak Resort is also a great option as it accommodates cats and dogs of any size without any extra charge and even provides pet beds and bowls.


San Diego, California

San Diego is a dream destination for ocean-loving dogs and their owners. You can take a private paddleboard lesson at SUP Pups to learn the basics before embarking on your own adventure. The Original Dog Beach is another fantastic spot where your furry friend can run off-leash and socialize with other dogs. There's even a dog wash station nearby to clean up after a day of fun. For a special treat, you can visit the Original Paw Pleasers Dog Bakery and spoil your furry friend with a delicious snack.


Napa, California

Napa Valley is world-famous for its wines, but it's also a fantastic destination for a dog-friendly getaway. You can walk or jog along the Napa Valley Vine Trail to enjoy some exercise while taking in the beautiful scenery. Another option is to drive along the picturesque Silverado Trail, which offers impressive valley views. When it's time to refuel, you can stop by the Napa General Store Restaurant to stock up on necessities or treats for both you and your dog. For a hearty meal and a micro-brewed beer, Downtown Joe's American Brewery is a great choice with its pet-friendly outdoor dining area.


Colorado Springs, Colorado

Colorado Springs offers a refreshing escape into nature with its stunning landscapes. The Garden of the Gods, a free national landmark, is a must-visit destination where you can hike through red rock formations and appreciate the natural beauty. If you prefer a more relaxed outing, there are plenty of dog-friendly places in Colorado Springs. For example, Pub Dog Colorado has a pet-friendly indoor area where you can enjoy a meal or a drink while your dog socializes with other furry friends.


Kanab, Utah

Kanab, known as "Little Hollywood," is a unique destination where many movies and television series are filmed due to its striking scenery. You and your dog can explore remote trails or embark on a guided desert safari in this remarkable area. Don't forget to visit the Best Friends Animal Sanctuary, the largest no-kill shelter in the country, where you can volunteer to help the animals and even find a furry friend to adopt. The sanctuary also offers on-site lodging with specialized pet amenities.


Boise, Idaho

Boise is a perfect pet-friendly escape with its abundance of outdoor activities. The Boise River Greenbelt, with its tree-lined paths, offers miles of scenic beauty and wildlife for you and your dog to enjoy. Winstead Park is another great option, providing designated off-leash hours in its 11 acres of green space. If you're looking for a unique experience, you can visit the Spacebar Arcade, where you can have a drink and play games while your furry companion accompanies you. The Freak Alley Gallery is also worth a visit, as it welcomes dogs and is the largest open-air gallery in the Northwest.


Seattle, Washington

Escape the summer heat with a pet-friendly vacation to Seattle. Olympic Sculpture Park, the city's largest downtown green space, offers a lovely location for a walk with your dog and the chance to admire works from renowned artists. Myrtle Edwards Park, located along Elliott Bay, is another great spot for a stroll. While dogs are allowed on the grounds of Seattle Center, they are not permitted inside buildings. However, you can take the monorail to downtown if you prefer to explore the city with your furry companion. The Washington Park Arboretum, situated along the shores of Lake Washington, is a beautiful place where leashed dogs are always welcome. You can also indulge in a Seattle Water Tours Ice Cream Cruise to cool off while enjoying the sights.


Bend, Oregon

Bend is a dog-friendly city located in Oregon that offers a range of outdoor activities for you and your furry friend. You can rent kayaks or canoes and explore the Deschutes River together, or opt for a leisurely walk along the river trail. Riverbend Beach Dog Park provides an off-leash oasis for dogs to socialize and enjoy the water. To fully experience Bend's craft beer scene, you can take a walk along the Bend Ale Trail, which includes several dog-friendly breweries. Completing the trail can even earn you a special prize.

Whether you're embarking on a cross-country adventure or simply seeking a quick weekend getaway, there are endless possibilities for exploring the best places to travel with your furry friend. From the charming coastal towns of Block Island and Nantucket to the vibrant cities of Philadelphia and Chicago, these destinations offer a delightful balance of pet-friendly accommodations, scenic parks, and outdoor activities that will make your dog's tail wag with excitement. So pack your bags, grab your pooch's leash, and get ready to create unforgettable memories together in some of the most dog-friendly locales across the United States!

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