More and more, pets — especially dogs — are considered members of the family. And just like kids, dogs have FOMO too, which means they really want to come on vacation with their humans.
Happily, in many cases, they can.
There are dozens of destinations that embrace dogs like the kings and queens they are. These locales boast restaurants and cafes with dog-friendly menus, off-leash dog parks and dog beaches where your pup can romp in the waves with new friends. Better yet, these cities and towns are filled with dog-focused properties, from five-star luxury spots ideal for pooch pampering to rustic getaways deep in the woods.
If you don’t want to call the kennel to check in on your baby, or ask the pet sitter to set up FaceTime dates with your dog — yes, people actually do this — fear not. These dog-friendly vacation spots have got you covered.
Del Mar, California
Just north of San Diego, Del Mar is a sleepy beach community where life in the slow lane is preferable to the hustle and bustle of the city.
The town has many lovely places to stay, but arguably the most dog-friendly is Les Artistes Inn, a quirky boutique hotel a five-minute walk to the Pacific Ocean. The property is just down the street from Del Mar North Beach, where dogs can frolic off-leash from Labor Day through June 15, and you can exercise your pup on-leash all summer long.
The local Helen Woodward Animal Center also offers stand-up paddle board and surf lessons for your canine companions, and hosts a Surf Dog Surf-A-Thon in September, featuring a dog agility course and no-doubt extremely adorable costume contest.
Where to Stay: Les Artistes Inn, 944 Camino Del Mar, Del Mar, CA 92014
Room Rates: Starting at $135 a night + pet fee
Hotel Highlights: One-of-a-kind rooms adorned with original artwork; walking distance to beach, shops and restaurants.
Bar Harbor, Maine
On Mount Desert Island, Bar Harbor is adjacent to the extraordinary Acadia National Park. With ocean and mountain views, charming carriage roads and 16 splendid stone bridges, there’s a reason this park is known as the crown jewel of the North Atlantic Coast. Better yet, it offers ample dog-friendly beaches and hiking trails.
There are a handful of spots in this New England retreat where pets are welcome, including Wonder View Inn and Blackwoods Campground inside Acadia. But we recommend booking Balance Rock Inn. Nestled in a forest of trees, this oceanfront inn touts magnificent sunsets over Frenchman Bay, and is just what you and Fido need to unwind after a long day of hiking.
Ready for a bite or drink? Head to one of nearly 30 nearby restaurants, cafes and bars with outdoor seating for dogs.
Where to Stay: Balance Rock Inn, 21 Albert Meadow, Bar Harbor, ME 04609
Room Rates: Starting at $222 + pet fee
Hotel Highlights: Quaint New England-style rooms; heated oceanfront pool; restaurant and bar; complimentary breakfast buffet; fitness center.
Orcas Island, Washington
Washington’s San Juan islands should definitely be on your bucket list — and Orcas Island specifically is not to be missed. Featuring a hamlet known as the Emerald Isle, this destination offers oceanfront rural relaxation, winding country roads and lush green hills that will make you think you’re in Ireland. Often called the gem of the San Juans, you can get here by ferry or small airplane from Seattle, though ferrying is the best option if you’re bringing your dog.
Pet-friendly features include Orcas Island Dog Park and several shops that leave water bowls outside on their sidewalks. Nearby San Juan Island offers its own dog park, plus a pet wellness center.
On Orcas, stay at the North Beach Inn, which features 13 beach-front cottages in a serene setting perfect for watching brilliant sunsets; pets are welcome in all of the accommodations, and the hotel provides dog towels and dog blankets. Play with your pup on the inn’s private beach to unplug from the breakneck pace of urban life.
Where to Stay: North Beach Inn, 650 Gibson Road, Eastsound, WA 98245
Room Rates: Starting at $120
Hotel Highlights: Historic studios, cottages and cabins on a private beach; full kitchens and fireplaces.
Cannon Beach, Oregon
Named one of the 21 best beaches in the world by National Geographic last year, Cannon Beach is a not-to-be-missed coastal destination for people and pups alike. Bring your pup to watch tufted puffins relax on Haystack Rock, explore the trails of Ecola State Park, check out secret sea caves and tide pools, and gaze upon a historic lighthouse from a protected cove.
After a day of peaceful solitude in nature, head into town, where myriad art galleries, quaint shops and restaurants welcome pets. If you’re in town in October, you can enter your furry friend into the Dog Show On the Beach, featuring prizes ranging from “best bark” to “longest tail.”
Then retreat to your room at the Sandals Inn, just steps from the beach, where special pet packages are available.
Where to Stay: Sandals Inn, 188 W Jackson Street Cannon Beach, OR 97110
Room Rates: Starting at $55
Hotel Highlights: Choose from a Jacuzzi spa suite or cabana; amenities include fireplace, kitchen, patio, BBQ; mere steps to the beach.
La Quinta, California
If it’s a desert getaway you’re after, forget Palm Springs and head to Southern California’s Coachella Valley, where you’ll find a little gem called La Quinta. The preferred playground of old Hollywood’s elite, this city is also decidedly dog-friendly.
Stay at the La Quinta Resort & Club, a luxurious Waldorf Astoria property where dog-focused amenities include food and water bowls, a plush pet bed and resort maps designating doggie-relief stations. The hotel spa even offers in-room dog massages.
If you venture out into the surrounding city, you’ll find more than a dozen restaurants that will welcome Fido to their patios for al fresco dining. After lunch, head to one of the pet-friendly hiking trails or off-leash dog parks, where your pup can make some new four-legged friends.
Where to Stay: La Quinta Resort & Club, 49-499 Eisenhower Drive, La Quinta, CA 92253
Room Rates: Starting at $286 a night + pet fee
Hotel Highlights: Five champion golf courses; seven restaurants; tennis courts; spa and salon; 41 pools; some rooms feature private yards with private outdoor pools and hot tubs.
The charming name of this locale is reason enough to pack your bags and head there immediately. The endless sea, small-town appeal and fairytale-inspired cottages help, too. But perhaps the best reason to visit Carmel is that it’s one of the country’s best for four-legged companions.
The area is filled with a variety of dog-friendly beaches along the Pacific Ocean. In town you’ll find fun pup activities like yappy hours, pooch massages, doggy turn-down services at hotels, canine surf lessons, and treats and water bowls galore.
Among many pet-friendly lodging options is the elegant Cypress Inn, where accommodations are tailored to dogs and a lovely courtyard includes a place to wash pets and a cache of doggie pick-up bags. The inn is co-owned by actress and animal rights activist Doris Day.
Where to Stay: Cypress Inn, Lincoln & 7th Street, Carmel, CA 93921
Room Rates: Starting at $279
Hotel Highlights: Complimentary breakfast included with stay; onsite Terry’s Restaurant serves excellent tapas.
Madeline Island, Lake Superior, Wisconsin
One of the Apostle Islands of Lake Superior, Madeline Island is the home of dog-friendly Big Bay State Park and Big Bay Beach. In addition to being a history buff’s paradise, the isle is well known for attracting free-spirited personalities and plenty of pets.
You can take your pup to myriad dog-friendly restaurants and cafes, on a boat tour to see Lake Superior’s majestic sea caves and lighthouses, out for a hike, or to play fetch on the lake’s rugged shores.
Stay at The Inn On Madeline Island, a lake-front resort with heated pools, relaxing saunas and wine tastings. The inn’s onsite pub welcomes dogs on its patio, and some of the accommodations welcome dogs but not cats. Your pup will be pleased.
Where to Stay: The Inn On Madeline Island, 641 Fort Road La Pointe, WI 54850
Room Rates: Starting at $130
Hotel Highlights: Stand-up paddle boards, boats and jet skis available to rent; onsite tennis courts; daily outdoor yoga classes.
Lake Delton, Wisconsin
If you want to take vacationing with your four-legged friend to the next level, then the only place to go is Camp Dogwood along serene Lake Delton. This is basically a sleep-away camp for you and your dog, totally devoted to bringing you closer together.
A day at Camp Dogwood includes training sessions to help deepen the bond between pups and their people, free time to hike and take your dog to the beach, agility classes, campfire activities, coaching sessions so your dog can learn to be your spiritual guide, dog massage, tips for taking great pet photos, and classes for pretty much every other dog-related topic you can imagine.
If your friends think you’re a little too close to your dog, Camp Dogwood will introduce you to like-minded travelers who are just as devoted to their fur babies as you are.
Where to Stay with Fido: Camp Dogwood, Nixon Road & Clara Ave, Lake Delton, WI 53940
Room Rates: Four-day spring/fall camp from $635; day pass $145
Hotel Highlights: Serene village setting; choice between 25-30 dog-centric activities; meals and snacks for humans included; wide variety of accommodation options.
Hot Springs National Park, Arkansas
Take your pup on a spiritual quest in Hot Springs National Park, a former sacred gathering site for Native Americans that’s known for its healing thermal hot springs.
With 26 miles of dog-friendly terrain to explore, your pooch is all but assured to be pooped by the end of the day. But if your pup still has energy to spare, bring them to Hot Springs Bark Park, aboard the Belle of Hot Springs Riverboat, or to visit one of the area’s dog-friendly museums. Many of the local restaurants also welcome dogs on their patios.
Where to Stay: While there are a number of hotels, motels and RV parks in Hot Springs, you’ll probably be most comfortable in a pet-friendly Airbnb. If you want to go really rustic, you can stay at one of the area campgrounds, starting at $10.
Traverse City, Michigan
While travelers usually head to the coast for a beach getaway, inland states also offer a variety of breathtaking beaches, and most of them are pretty pet-friendly. Among these is Traverse City, a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts and art lovers alike that also boasts tons of things for pups and people to do together.
Head to the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore to explore towering bluffs and sand dunes you won’t see on the salt-water coasts, and to hike miles of rugged forest trails. Then venture to town to dine in one of the city’s dog-friendly restaurants, or make a stop at a winery that welcomes pups.
Where to Stay: This is another destination where you’ll probably find your heart’s desire in an Airbnb versus a hotel. From lake-front finds to retro spots to rentals with no pet fees, there’s bound to be something that you and Fido will both love.
Key West, Florida
It’s no secret that those looking to live the laid-back life head to Key West, the southernmost point in the continental U.S. — and dogs are no exception. In fact, Key West is so chill that you can take your dog to bars, restaurants and even the aquarium. You can also charter a boat for an afternoon on the water with your dog, or book them a paddle-board lesson. Plus, the city boasts many dog beaches.
For staying over, book Old Town Manor, a charming bed and breakfast nestled in Old Town Key West, mere steps from Duval Street’s live music, restaurants, bars and local shops. The hotel offers large dog beds, pick-up bags, and water and food bowls, and welcomes all breeds and sizes of dog.
Before you head home, don’t forget to head to Hemingway’s house to visit the descendents of his beloved polydactyl (many-toed) cats. Understandably, though, there are no dogs allowed at this particular attraction.
Where to Stay: Old Town Manor, 511 Eaton Street, Key West, FL 33040
Room Rates: Starting at $197 + pet fee
Hotel Highlights: Private tropical gardens; historic architecture; European-style continental breakfast.
Calling the majestic mountain town of Telluride dog-friendly is an understatement; here, you and your pooch will be welcome almost everywhere you go.
See the area from the top of the world by getting tickets for you and Fido to ride the Telluride Gondola. Next, head to the Ridgeway off-leash area or the San Miguel River Trail to spend some quality time outdoors with your pup. When hunger strikes, make your way back into town to get your fill at a number of dog-friendly restaurants.
Make sure to book a room at The Hotel Telluride, where 10% of all pet fees are donated to the Second Chance Humane Society of Colorado, and pets are greeted with their very own welcome bag.
Where to Stay: The Hotel Telluride, 199 N. Cornet Street, Telluride, CO 81435
Room Rates: Starting at $192 + pet fee
Hotel Highlights: Spa services for humans; fitness center; hot tubs; complimentary gondola and shuttle service.
Saint Johnsbury, Vermont
If you and your dog need some real quality time, you’re going to want to head to Saint Johnsbury to spend a weekend at Dog Mountain. This private oasis nestled on a 150-acre mountain top features Dog Chapel, where people can leave notes for their dearly departed dogs. The chapel is surrounded by ample hiking trails and ponds just for your pup.
Come in the winter for snowshoeing, the summer to frolic among the brilliant wildflowers, or during the fall to witness the spectacular display of changing leaves. The best part is that Dog Mountain will connect you with other dog lovers who understand your devotion.
Top off your quintessential New England adventure by staying at the Fairbanks Inn, featuring specially designed pet-friendly rooms.
Where to Stay with Fido: Fairbanks Inn, 401 Western Avenue, Saint Johnsbury, Vermont 05819
Room Rates: Starting at $108 + pet fee
Hotel Highlights: Heated pool; access to dog-friendly hiking trails; Jacuzzi suites.
Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts
Book a ticket on a pet-friendly ferry to picturesque Martha’s Vineyard, where pups and people can sample a taste of idyllic small-town living while being kissed by cool ocean breezes.
Romp around with your pooch at one of the Vineyard’s dog-friendly beaches, dog parks or nature preserves. Pups and their humans can also enjoy al fresco dining at myriad local restaurants before retiring for the evening at Martha’s Vineyard Surfside Hotel, where Fido will be greeted with a bag of treats.
Rest your weary bones and wake up refreshed for more sightseeing, beachcombing and farm-to-table eating.
Where to Stay: Martha’s Vineyard Surfside Hotel, 7 Oak Bluffs Avenue, Oak Bluffs, MA 02557
Room Rates: Starting at $150 + pet fee
Hotel Highlights: Located in the heart of Oak Bluffs overlooking Nantucket Sound; complimentary bikes.
The Hamptons, New York
The Hamptons aren’t just for the rich and famous — you and your four-legged friends are invited too.
Travel aboard the Hampton Jitney with your dog in tow (yes, they’re allowed). Once you arrive, there are several dog-friendly beaches to explore, plus local lighthouses, pup-approved restaurants and bars, and even a classic horse show. And don’t forget to rent a convertible and put the top down, so you and your pooch can feel the wind on your faces as you cruise down Dune Road like a local.
Stay at the Bend In The Road Guest House in East Hampton. This rustic farmhouse with stunning gardens offers dog sitting, grooming, walking and massaging.
Where to Stay with Fido: Bend In The Road Guest House in East Hampton, 58 Spring Close Highway, East Hampton, NY 11937
Room Rate: Call 631-324-4592 for prices
Hotel Highlights: Quiet and peaceful country atmosphere; pool; art gallery; wine and cheese each evening.