The Best Trips to Take With Your Dog

by Christina Garofalo

The Best Trips to Take With Your Dog

by Christina Garofalo

There’s nothing like hitting the road with man’s best friend. However, not all destinations are dog friendly. We’ve assembled a list of places where you’ll find abundant parkland, dog parks, and destinations that cater specifically to your canine companion.

There’s nothing like hitting the road with man’s best friend. However, not all destinations are dog friendly. We’ve assembled a list of places where you’ll find abundant parkland, dog parks, and destinations that cater specifically to your canine companion.

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Dog in Colorado / iStock / chapin31
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Minneapolis, MN

In an annual ranking of cities by parkland, Minneapolis consistently takes first place as the U.S. city with the most space dedicated to parks (98% of residents live within 10 minutes of one) and among the top 10 for most dog parks. As a visitor, you’ll be within a short walk to a park practically anywhere you stay. There are lots of dog friendly bars and restaurants too.

In an annual ranking of cities by parkland, Minneapolis consistently takes first place as the U.S. city with the most space dedicated to parks (98% of residents live within 10 minutes of one) and among the top 10 for most dog parks. As a visitor, you’ll be within a short walk to a park practically anywhere you stay. There are lots of dog friendly bars and restaurants too.

San Francisco, CA
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San Francisco, CA

San Francisco claims to have more dogs than children; the city has an abundance of dog parks and greenspace. Dogs roam off-leash at outdoor attractions, including Lands End, and most of Ocean Beach and Crissy Field. And the historic Homestead in the Mission, Castro staple Café Flore, and Mission Rock Resort—with its patio overlooking the bay—are just a few pet-friendly places to grab a bite.

San Francisco claims to have more dogs than children; the city has an abundance of dog parks and greenspace. Dogs roam off-leash at outdoor attractions, including Lands End, and most of Ocean Beach and Crissy Field. And the historic Homestead in the Mission, Castro staple Café Flore, and Mission Rock Resort—with its patio overlooking the bay—are just a few pet-friendly places to grab a bite.

Florida Keys
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Florida Keys, FL

The Keys are home to some of the most ecologically rich habitats in the country. Get Up and Go Kayaking offers guided tours ($55/person) through mangrove mazes and tunnels open to humans and pups. The clear-bottom kayaks make it easy to spot marine life, including starfish, conch, puffer fish, sea turtles, and nurse sharks.

The Keys are home to some of the most ecologically rich habitats in the country. Get Up and Go Kayaking offers guided tours ($55/person) through mangrove mazes and tunnels open to humans and pups. The clear-bottom kayaks make it easy to spot marine life, including starfish, conch, puffer fish, sea turtles, and nurse sharks.

Washington, D.C.
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Washington, D.C.

The nation’s capital is nearly a quarter parkland. Bring Rover for a romp around the National Mall and to the Tidal Basin, especially nice when the cherry blossoms are in bloom. Rent a pet-friendly canoe or kayak and see the city by water. Across the river, Arlington has one of the highest ratios of dog parks to residents in the U.S., so there’s abundant space for your to pet play off-leash.

The nation’s capital is nearly a quarter parkland. Bring Rover for a romp around the National Mall and to the Tidal Basin, especially nice when the cherry blossoms are in bloom. Rent a pet-friendly canoe or kayak and see the city by water. Across the river, Arlington has one of the highest ratios of dog parks to residents in the U.S., so there’s abundant space for your to pet play off-leash.

Catskills, NY
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Catskills, NY

The Catskills encompass some 700,000 scenic acres to explore with your dog. Head there in September, when the deciduous trees turn brilliant shades of gold and red, and scenic Blackthorne Resort hosts its Canine Camp Getaway, which lets you bond with your pup over guided hikes, land and aquatic games, obedience classes, and daily yappy hour. You and your pet can share a room or suite.

The Catskills encompass some 700,000 scenic acres to explore with your dog. Head there in September, when the deciduous trees turn brilliant shades of gold and red, and scenic Blackthorne Resort hosts its Canine Camp Getaway, which lets you bond with your pup over guided hikes, land and aquatic games, obedience classes, and daily yappy hour. You and your pet can share a room or suite.

Sedona, AZ
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Sedona, AZ

Arizona’s awe-inspiring red rocks are apt for canine adventures. Its two main parks—Slide Rock and Coconino National Forest—are dog-friendly. Pet-friendly tour companies offer guided hikes, backpacking, and camping through the rockylandscapes and canyons. In the city, Sedona Dog Park offers scenic views and space to roam off-leash. Afterward, stop at Whiskers Barkery for a gourmet dog treat.

Arizona’s awe-inspiring red rocks are apt for canine adventures. Its two main parks—Slide Rock and Coconino National Forest—are dog-friendly. Pet-friendly tour companies offer guided hikes, backpacking, and camping through the rockylandscapes and canyons. In the city, Sedona Dog Park offers scenic views and space to roam off-leash. Afterward, stop at Whiskers Barkery for a gourmet dog treat.

Sanibel Island, FL
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Sanibel Island, FL

Sanibel—a barrier island a half-hour drive from Fort Myers—is an excellent island getaway without having to fly, making it ideal for you and your dog. Mine the beaches—nearly all of which are pet-friendly—for seashells (the island is famous for them). Go for an early morning jog with your pup and watch the sun come up.
 

Sanibel—a barrier island a half-hour drive from Fort Myers—is an excellent island getaway without having to fly, making it ideal for you and your dog. Mine the beaches—nearly all of which are pet-friendly—for seashells (the island is famous for them). Go for an early morning jog with your pup and watch the sun come up.
 

Dog Mountain, Vermont
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Dog Mountain, VT

This 150-acre former dairy farm, about an hour east of Stowe, is a sanctuary for, and tribute to, man’s best friend. Hiking trails, sprawling lawns, and a pond are open to dogs off-leash. At the pet-friendly chapel, people leave tributes to departed dogs. The retreat was created by artists Gwen and Stephen Huneck, whose dog-inspired artwork appears in the Smithsonian and a gallery on site.

This 150-acre former dairy farm, about an hour east of Stowe, is a sanctuary for, and tribute to, man’s best friend. Hiking trails, sprawling lawns, and a pond are open to dogs off-leash. At the pet-friendly chapel, people leave tributes to departed dogs. The retreat was created by artists Gwen and Stephen Huneck, whose dog-inspired artwork appears in the Smithsonian and a gallery on site.

Seattle, WA
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Seattle, WA

Seattle not only lets you bring your pup hiking on its many trails; the Emerald City also lets your dog ride the bus with you and, on Sundays, join the Ice Cream Cruise. In addition, City Dog Magazine and Argosy Cruises partner up once a year to offer Dog Day on Elliott Bay—a day-long dog cruise to the 475-acre state park on Blake Island that ends with a traditional Native American salmon bake.

Seattle not only lets you bring your pup hiking on its many trails; the Emerald City also lets your dog ride the bus with you and, on Sundays, join the Ice Cream Cruise. In addition, City Dog Magazine and Argosy Cruises partner up once a year to offer Dog Day on Elliott Bay—a day-long dog cruise to the 475-acre state park on Blake Island that ends with a traditional Native American salmon bake.

Provincetown, MA
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Provincetown, MA

The scenic village at the tip of Cape Cod is all about dogs. Swim at dog-friendly Harbor Beach or walk Long Point Trail, marked by historic lighthouses. Romp around Pilgrim Bark Park—one of America’s best regarded dog parks—then stroll Commercial Street, where shops set out water and treats and artists do pet portraits. Provincetown Pet Resort offers pampering and play space if you need human time.

The scenic village at the tip of Cape Cod is all about dogs. Swim at dog-friendly Harbor Beach or walk Long Point Trail, marked by historic lighthouses. Romp around Pilgrim Bark Park—one of America’s best regarded dog parks—then stroll Commercial Street, where shops set out water and treats and artists do pet portraits. Provincetown Pet Resort offers pampering and play space if you need human time.

Los Angeles, CA
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Los Angeles, CA

In sunny Southern California, you and your four-legged companion can enjoy the outdoors year-round. Take advantage of accessible hiking—Griffith Park is a standout for dog-friendly trails and swaths of grass for fetch. Visit the Silver Lake reservoir and dog park—framed by the Angeles Mountains. Head West to the beach cities, where waterfront bars and restaurants welcome pups.

In sunny Southern California, you and your four-legged companion can enjoy the outdoors year-round. Take advantage of accessible hiking—Griffith Park is a standout for dog-friendly trails and swaths of grass for fetch. Visit the Silver Lake reservoir and dog park—framed by the Angeles Mountains. Head West to the beach cities, where waterfront bars and restaurants welcome pups.

Acadia National Park
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Acadia, ME

In Acadia National Park, all hiking trails (except those that involve ladders) and carriage roads are open to dogs—making it one of the most pet-friendly parks in the country. Dogs are welcome on free shuttles that run throughout the park and around the island. Climb Cadillac Mountain to see the sunrise with your pup, or camp overnight.  

In Acadia National Park, all hiking trails (except those that involve ladders) and carriage roads are open to dogs—making it one of the most pet-friendly parks in the country. Dogs are welcome on free shuttles that run throughout the park and around the island. Climb Cadillac Mountain to see the sunrise with your pup, or camp overnight.  

Portland, OR
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Portland, OR

The City of Roses has one of the most extensive urban park systems in the U.S. Among the more than 30 off-leash parks, Sellwood Riverfront Park has a beach where dogs can swim and relax on the boat dock. There are more than 400 dog-friendly restaurants, most famously the Tin Shed, which has its own dog menu. In August, local wineries host ‘Canines Uncorked’ tours for you and your pup.

The City of Roses has one of the most extensive urban park systems in the U.S. Among the more than 30 off-leash parks, Sellwood Riverfront Park has a beach where dogs can swim and relax on the boat dock. There are more than 400 dog-friendly restaurants, most famously the Tin Shed, which has its own dog menu. In August, local wineries host ‘Canines Uncorked’ tours for you and your pup.

Cuyahoga Valley National Park
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Cuyahoga Valley, OH

Between Cleveland and Akron, Cuyahoga Valley National Park—which follows the Cuyahoga River—offers 125 miles of trails, all of which are pet-friendly. There are woodlands, wetlands, and fields for playing fetch. The 5-mile trail at Bradford Reservation overlooks the breathtaking Tinkers Creek Gorge, and splinters off to Bridal Veil Falls and the Hemlock Creek Loop Trail.

Between Cleveland and Akron, Cuyahoga Valley National Park—which follows the Cuyahoga River—offers 125 miles of trails, all of which are pet-friendly. There are woodlands, wetlands, and fields for playing fetch. The 5-mile trail at Bradford Reservation overlooks the breathtaking Tinkers Creek Gorge, and splinters off to Bridal Veil Falls and the Hemlock Creek Loop Trail.

Southern Utah
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Kanab, UT

Bonus: For the aspirational dog owner. Make Kanab, in Southwestern Utah, your base to explore the Grand Canyon’s North Rim, Zion, and Bryce Canyon (just make sure to check in advance which trails are dog-friendly). Volunteer at Best Friends Animal Society's sanctuary, the largest no-kill companion animal shelter in the U.S., and you can borrow a pup for an outing into the park, and maybe by the end, bring one home. 

Bonus: For the aspirational dog owner. Make Kanab, in Southwestern Utah, your base to explore the Grand Canyon’s North Rim, Zion, and Bryce Canyon (just make sure to check in advance which trails are dog-friendly). Volunteer at Best Friends Animal Society's sanctuary, the largest no-kill companion animal shelter in the U.S., and you can borrow a pup for an outing into the park, and maybe by the end, bring one home. 

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