This blog post was updated on August 3, 2023.
It’s not fair that humans get to have all the fun on vacation while their canine companions stay in some doggie hotel waiting for their two-legged best friends to return.
In fact, taking your furry friends on vacation can be a great way for the whole family to relax and have fun. From dog-friendly beaches to walkable cities, here are five vacation ideas in the U.S. where you can keep Fido with you and you can all be happy and entertained.
Sanibel Island, Florida
It’s not just the humans who get to experience sun and fun in Sanibel. This Florida hotspot is the perfect place for a dog beach vacation. In fact, there are a variety of dog beaches that will thrill your four-legged family members.
At Gulfside Beach (also called Algiers Beach), dogs can hang out and enjoy a beach walk as long as they’re on a leash. They’re also welcome to explore the nearby JN Darling Wildlife Refuge and go for a hike at Bowman’s Beach. For a special treat, pamper your pooch with gourmet goodies and fun toys at the local business Island Paws. (Hey, dogs deserve souvenirs, too!)
Las Vegas, Nevada
Sin City may not be the first place that comes to mind when thinking of a holiday with your pet, but you may reconsider when you learn about all of the dog-friendly destinations Vegas has to offer. From the off-leash Barkin’ Basin Dog Park at Wayne Bunker Park to the 6-acre Bob Baskin Park, there are plenty of spots for pups to run free.
Nearby Red Rock Canyon is a great hiking spot for athletic canines. There’s also no shortage of pet services in Las Vegas, including Just Like Home Doggie Hotel and Grooming, in case your lovable mutt needs a makeover.
Dogs will love Austin’s laid-back, eclectic vibe just as much as their owners. Pups and their humans can socialize at the off-leash West Austin Dog Park or hike at the Bull Creek District Park. In true Austin form, there are also a variety of dog-friendly eateries like Red’s Porch, Spider House, and Phara’s. You and your doggo can also visit Zilker Park and Barton Springs Pool, and explore hiking trails. And don’t miss Red Bud Isle’s off-leash park and pet-friendly hotels.
Nashville is a dog-friendly city with dog parks galore. Centennial Dog Park even offers separate off-leash playing opportunities for big and small dogs. Owners can chill out on comfortable benches while pets frolic at Edwin Warner Dog Park. The Shelby Bottoms Greenway is a great place for both dogs and humans to get some exercise and enjoy the sights. After working up an appetite, take your best friend to a restaurant like 12 South Tap Room or Calypso Café.
There’s no shortage of natural beauty for dogs and their owners to appreciate in and around Portland. Located by the Willamette River, Cathedral Park has an off-leash dog park that’s as scenic as it is fun. Escape the city and head to Powell Butte Nature Park to experience some of the best hiking and views in the state. The huge (nearly 200-acres) Mt. Tabor Park has a 4-acre off-leash dog park where your best bud can run to his heart’s content.
Do you vacation often with your dog? Where are some of your favorite spots that get their tails wagging? Let us know in the comments section.