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Where To Vacation With Dogs

By David Krug David Krug is the CEO & President of Bankovia. He's a lifelong expat who has lived in the Philippines, Mexico, Thailand, and Colombia. When he's not reading about cryptocurrencies, he's researching the latest personal finance software. 8 minute read

Why not bring the dog along? Vacation hotspots that welcome all types of visitors, including those traveling with pets, abound. As one of the 48.2 million American homes with a dog, you know how vital your four-legged pet is. The only way to make your next vacation even better is to bring your dog along for the ride.

From there, we created a list of the finest dog-friendly vacation spots in the US. Pet-friendly getaways range from day visits to multi-day road journeys around the country’s national parks.

1. Acadia National Park, Maine

Acadia National Park, located on the coast of Maine, is a beautiful place to watch a great variety of birds and other species. Acadia National Park allows pets, as long as the leash is no more than six feet long. Dogs are welcome on the 100 miles of walking paths and 45 miles of carriage roads, so there’s no shortage of places to discover. You may even take your dog with you on the park’s complimentary shuttles.

2. Beau’s Dream Dog Park, Lancaster, Pennsylvania

Antiquing, visiting Amish farms, and sampling Pennsylvania Dutch cuisine are all popular pastimes in and around Lancaster. Visit one of the top dog parks in the country while you’re there.

When Beneful conducted a contest in 2012 to provide a $500,000 dog park renovation to a community, the winner was selected. The dog park in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, was renamed Beau’s Park after a Pennsylvania resident and her dog won the competition. Beau’s Dream Dog Park is now regarded as one of the country’s greatest dog parks, and it is open to the public for free.

One of the park’s features is a tree that shoots tennis balls into the air for dogs that like retrieving them. Dogs that want to climb and explore will also find a variety of obstacles and tunnels.

3. Fort De Soto Dog Beach, Tierra Verde, Florida

Fort De Soto, about an hour’s drive from Clearwater Beach, is well-known for its pristine white sands. However, one of the few dog beaches in the country is located here. Dogs are allowed to run and swim on the beach without a leash. Wash facilities and drinking fountains are provided specifically for dogs in distinct sections of the park. Some of the best dog-friendly restaurants and bars are just a short walk away from the park.

4. Dog Mountain, St. Johnsbury, Vermont

Stephen and Gwen Huneck developed Dog Mountain in 2000, a 150-acre facility dedicated only to canine recreation. For the most part, it’s a leash-free zone with many walking pathways and open fields and ponds. You and your dog will enjoy the beautiful environment while relaxing there. ‘All Creeds. All Breeds.’ is its motto. Dogmas are not permitted.”

Additionally, the park contains a Dog Chapel that is dedicated to the memory of deceased dogs. Pet-themed postcards and photos from visitors are adorning the walls of the sanctuary. Visitors are urged to give a little gift to Dog Mountain and the church, which are both free of charge.

5. Portland, Oregon

Whether you’re a dog lover or not, Portland is a great place to meet other dog lovers. More than three dozen dog parks may be found throughout the city. There are also a large number of pet-friendly accommodations and dining options. A special menu for dogs is available at some establishments, such as the Tin Shed Garden Cafe in Newmarket, Massachusetts.

6. Pawtoberfest, Colorado Springs, Colorado

The Humane Society of the Pikes Peak Region presents Pawtoberfest, a major dog-friendly celebration, and fundraiser, each fall. In addition to craft brews from dozens of local partners and a two-mile dog walk that includes vendors and music along the way, the event also includes activities, contests, and demonstrations of dog obedience and agility. Around 2,000 people attended last year’s event, which generated over $168,000 for the Humane Society’s efforts to protect animals in the area.

7. Dog Bark Park Inn, Cottonwood, Idaho

The Dog Bark Park Inn in Cottonwood, Idaho, is a must-see if you’re a fan of the strange and quirky. Beagle-shaped, multi-story structure houses this bed & breakfast. It’s an excellent idea to reserve the beagle’s lone housing unit well in advance. As long as you make previous arrangements, pets are permitted to accompany their owners. There is a $15 non-refundable charge.

8. Doo Dah Parade, Ocean City, New Jersey

Music, marching bands and hundreds of basset hounds in extravagant costumes are all part of this coastal town’s annual Doo Dah Parade, which starts off the summer season. The procession makes its way along the town’s pier. As soon as the event is over, you’ll be able to find pet-friendly lodging in the surrounding area.

You may also take your dog to Longport Dog Beach, which is only a short drive from the boardwalk if they enjoy the sand and sea. Off-leash, your dog may run and swim to his heart’s delight at this park.

9. Ten Thousand Waves, Santa Fe, New Mexico

It may seem like a strange location for dogs but stick with us. At the Ten Thousand Waves resort, spa, and restaurant, visitors are invited to don kimonos and dine on traditional Japanese fare in a setting modeled after a traditional Japanese bathhouse.

Dogs are welcome to join in the fun. All lodge rooms are pet-friendly, and visitors are given pet beds and water and food dishes for their canine companions to enjoy. Fenced-in courtyards can be found in certain rooms. It’s even better when you schedule a private soak at the spa with your canine companion. Dogs are such hard workers, aren’t they?

10. Central Park, New York City, New York

If you’re looking for a dog-friendly destination in New York, Central Park is a terrific option. Walking routes and off-leash spaces for dogs are available in the region. For a decent supper or a picnic, there are lots of outdoor seating and concession carts.

As well as Balto, a bronze monument of the famed dog who delivered life-saving medication to sick children in Alaska during a blizzard in Central Park, Book and film adaptations of Balto’s heroics have made him a popular tourist attraction for dog-lovers.

11. The Campsites Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort, Orlando, Florida

The Disney Fort Wilderness Resort offers a low-cost alternative to leaving your dog behind if you’re visiting Walt Disney World in Florida.

If you’re traveling with a motorhome or camper, look for a pet-friendly campsite or a pet-friendly lodge near a dog park or hiking trails. It’s possible to stay with your pet at Disney World and take advantage of amenities like Disney transportation, horseback riding, kayaking, and various swimming pools. There is a nearby Best Friends Pet Care Resort where you may leave your dog while you go to the amusement parks.

12. SpringHill Suites by Marriott Springdale Zion National Park, Springdale, Utah

Look no farther for spectacular vistas. Zion National Park, with its woodland paths, towering red cliffs, waterfalls, and hanging gardens, is directly next door to this motel. Only one route in the park is dog-friendly, and it’s 3.5 miles long and takes around two hours to finish. In addition to allowing three pets per room, the SpringHill Suite by Marriott is noteworthy for its complimentary dog biscuits and a frisbee for each dog at check-in.

13. Mystic Krewe of Barkus, New Orleans, Louisiana

It’s kind of like Mardi Gras, except with dogs instead of kings. The Mystic Krewe of Barkus, a 501(c)(3) non-profit, hosts a parade in New Orleans every February. Dogs and their owners dress up in costumes to show how serious they are about the holiday. In addition, there are also beads. The best part of the parade is that 100% of the money raised goes to animal rescue groups in Louisiana.

It’s important to note that New Orleans is a dog-friendly city if you’re planning to visit for the parade. 257 pet-friendly hotels can be found in the city, according to BringFido.com. You may take your dog to one of the several off-leash dog parks in the area, which number in the hundreds.

14. Color Me Mutt 5K and 1 Mile Color Walk/Run, Sevierville, Tennessee

The Color Me Mutt 5K and 1 Mile Color Walk/Run in Tennessee is a great opportunity for you and your dog if you enjoy running. There are water stops for both people and dogs on the courses, which are decorated with a rainbow of hues. Wildwood Assistance Dogs, which trains service canines for people and children with neurological disorders, receives all of the money raised from this event.

Pet-friendly hotels like the La Quinta Inn and Sleep Inn may be found nearby, and both are reasonably priced. Several restaurants welcome dogs and even provide dog treats, so you and Fido may have a satisfying supper together after a long run.

How to save money on a road trip with your dog

Because there are so many wonderful places to visit with your dog, it’s time to be creative with your spending plans if you’re having difficulty deciding where to go. To help you save money, here are a few suggestions:

  • Get a travel rewards credit card. There are several benefits to signing up for one of the finest credit cards for travel. As an example, if you have the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card, you may earn 5X points on trips booked through Chase Ultimate Rewards; 3X points on qualified restaurants; certain streaming services and online grocery purchases; and 2X points on travel. You may put those points against future hotel stays flights, and other travel expenses, which helps keep your trip costs down (or maybe even nearly free).
  • Become a member of several reward programs. Join the hotel’s loyalty program if you often stay at the same brand of hotel. Depending on your level, you may be eligible for privileges like free hotel upgrades, complimentary breakfast, and even free Wi-Fi access. You will earn points for every night you stay. When you earn points, you can redeem them for future hotel stays.
  • To get the most out of your rewards card, choose a generic one. Whenever you make a regular purchase, such as petrol, groceries, or dog food, use a credit card that offers cashback rewards. Every time you use your credit cards, you’ll earn points that you may use toward your next vacation. Make sure you have the finest credit card for petrol purchases on hand if you and your dog are going on a road trip.
  • Use Rakuten to complete your purchases. Whenever you purchase online, use a rebate app like Rakuten. Cashback is available at a limited number of stores. You can receive 1% cashback on Chewy purchases starting in April 2022, for example.
    Gift cards can be purchased at a discount: Gift Card Granny and Raise provide reduced airline, hotel, rental car, and restaurant gift cards. Since these gift cards are often sold at a discount, you’ll receive more bang for your buck. Using a rewards credit card to make the transaction will allow you to earn additional travel points or cashback.

Bottom Line

For those who consider their dogs to be part of the family, taking them on vacation is a wonderful opportunity for both of them to enjoy the experience. Regardless of your financial situation, there are several dog-friendly attractions around the United States. Pick a place from our list and devise a trip itinerary that works for you and your dog. Good luck on your journey (and your sniffs)!

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