If you’re like me and would never dream of leaving your pet behind when it comes to vacation, well, we don’t blame you. Here are five pet-friendly cities that will make your next jaunt just as enjoyable for your pet as it is for you.
So in no particular order, these pet-friendly cities are truly the cat’s meow. And will have your dog barkin’ mad in the best way possible:
1. Portland, Oregon
Spoiled dogs and Portland, Oregon (home to 33 dog parks!), go hand in hand. Don’t believe us? The city has its own social network for the dog obsessed, 19 pet massage therapists, and allows dogs to accompany you to the pub, For the more active crew, lace up your hiking boots and hit the Powell Butte Trail, a four-mile hike that will get your exercise in for the day. Portland also won GoPetFriendly.com’s 2014 Best City for Pet Travelers.
2. Cape May, New Jersey
If you’re in the New York metro area, why not load up the car and take your two- and four-legged family members on a short road trip to charming Cape May on the Jersey Shore for a beach vacation. With plenty of dog-friendly beaches during the off-season (or head to Lower Township, along the Delaware Bay during the summer), the Cape May coastline makes a superb family-friendly destination. Many restaurants have outdoor seating that will accommodate your pet and let’s not forget the Cape May Dog Park for some exercise. If wine is more your thing, head to the dog-friendly Cape May Winery, Hawk Haven or Natali Vineyards for tastings year-round.
3. Santa Monica, California
Head out to Santa Monica, California, to soak up that summer sun with your pet in tow. You can get your sweat on together on a nearby canyon hike, dine at the local pet-friendly restaurants and meet up with some friends at Joslyn Dog Park. When it’s time to turn in for the night, head to the Fairmont Miramar Hotel Santa Monica which offers a special PAW (Pets Always Welcome) program to make sure your pet gets top-notch service too. They understand that pets are family (duh!) and treat your furry loved ones to amenities such as beds, water and treats upon arrival. If your lovey gets hungry, let them grab a snack from the gourmet in-room biscuit menu. Yes, we’re serious. And another perk? Pets always stay for free.
4. San Francisco, California
If a Northern California sejour is on your radar, put San Francisco on the top of your list. It’s said that the pet-welcoming attitude of the city might stem from animal lover St. Francis of Assisi, the city’s patron saint. And you see that attitude everywhere. Boasting 27 dog parks (third most dog parks of any U.S. city) many pet-friendly restaurants and awesome weather, San Francisco is a highly walkable destination and your pooch is sure to make a new friend or two.
5. Austin, Texas
Forget the beach and head to Austin, Texas, instead for a vacation your dog is not soon to forget. The Lone Star state’s hippest city has a dog-friendly atmosphere with oodles of choices for accommodations and outdoor activities. An afternoon at the 350-acre Zilker Park tops our list along with Auditorium Shores where your pup can perfect his backstroke in Ladybird Lake or just watch all the other dogs around him taking a load off. Once you’ve worked up an appetite, hop on over to Rainy Street where dogs are more than welcome to dine alongside you at one of the area’s many dog-friendly restaurants.
Looking to head somewhere else? These pet-friendly cities rounded out GoPetFriendly.com’s top picks: Bend, Oregon; Bar Harbour, Maine; Cape San Blas, Florida; Carmel, California; Nantucket, Massachusetts; San Diego, California; Woodstock, Vermont;