For some of us two-legged creatures, our furry four-legged companions are not only our best friends, but they’re also part of the family. Can you imagine Dorothy without Toto? Absence may make the heart grow fonder, but togetherness is happiness. Here are some vacation ideas that make it paws-ible for you and your pooch to travel together.
Kansas City, Missouri
It shouldn’t be a surprise that Dorothy’s home is a dog haven. Kansas City is famous for its’s BBQ, jazz, and fountains and lucky for Toto, many of these attractions are pet-friendly. All of the local parks are on-leash friendly and some even have off-leash areas. The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art and the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art allow for well-behaved dogs on-leash, however both caution that they have a very strict “clean up after your pooch” rule. Many local eateries and bars allow for dogs on patios and the local Ace Hardware stores all allow for leashed pooches. No wonder Toto didn’t want to leave!
This little gem tucked away in the stunning mountain views of Vermont, has hiking galore and a picturesque little village to explore. Smugglers Notch State Park is world renown for its adventurers and scenery and is inclusionary to leashed dogs. The state boasts some of the most scenic parks in the country and all are dog-friendly. There are even some eateries and at least one brewery that are dog-friendly. Travelers are advised to be aware of signage that designates on or off-leash areas.
Asbury Park, Jersey Shore, New Jersey
Unlike the reality show, this destination on the famous Jersey Shore is full of class. The beach has become a hotspot for dog owners and even boasts a live music venue called the Wonder Bar which plays host to, yes you guessed it, Doggie Yappy Hour. The special fenced off area allows patrons to enjoy a frosty beverage while their pooch mingles with other dogs. They also arrange dog runs twice a week and have pools for them to cool off in during the summer. In addition, the 8th Avenue dog beach allows for some off-leash fun. From October 1st through May 15th, dogs are allowed on the Boardwalk and on the 8th Avenue Dog Beach all day. During the summer, dogs are welcome between the hours of 6 pm – 8:30 am.
The Black Hills, South Dakota
When one thinks of South Dakota you think of Mount Rushmore, the Badlands, and the Crazy Horse monument. And while Rushmore isn’t dog-friendly, Crazy Horse and the Badlands are with certain restrictions. Many of the area’s parks (and there are a lot of them) are dog-friendly. Some like the Braeburn Addition is a dog lover haven being a completely off-leash area with a natural creek running through it. Several of Rapid City’s parks are designated as off-leash, however, city bylaws encourage dog owners to respect the space of locals and fellow tourists who are not animal lovers. Hill City has many dog-friendly eateries and even has a winery that allows pets on the patio. Travelers are advised that this area has a substantial population of bears and wolves, and to exercise caution when hiking with your dog.
Flagstaff is very much a dog-friendly zone as many of the local residents are dog owners themselves. Several of the local eateries are pet-friendly and provide pooch seating on the patio. Thorpe Park Bark Park caters to dogs and they have installed agility equipment for your pooch to play on. In addition, many of the state parks like Slide Rock and Coconino National Forest allow for some on-leash fun. You will also find some local taverns and even a few bookstores that allow dogs on site. Travelers are cautioned to be aware of the extreme temperatures in Arizona as well as the signage that denotes where pets can and cannot be in the parks.
San Diego, California
I can attest to this last city on our list. Simply put, San Diegans love dogs. You will meet little to no resistance bringing your pet along to many of the city’s eateries and bars. I think I counted more dogs on the walkway at Pacific Beach than I did people. San Diego not only has hundreds of off-leash areas (with many being 24 hours), it also has leash-free zones … dog haters beware! Some of the city’s main attractions like the Seaport Village area are all dog-friendly and San Diego even boasts a bakery called the Original Paw Pleasers Dog Bakery, whose slogan is “Pets Welcome, Owners Optional.” Want to get some portraits done? Feather & Fur Pet Photography offers a pet shoot. Heck, there’s even a kayak rental business called Aqua Adventures Kayaks & Paddleboards that provide dog life vests and frisbees.
So if you’re ready to go, we are too! Our travel experience specialists will help you get on your way .. and your little dog too!