No date for Valentine’s Day? Don’t worry—the day of love is the perfect time to show your beloved pet he’s the one who owns your heart. Whatever your plans, here are some fun dog-friendly places you can enjoy with your dog on Valentine’s Day.
Plan an In-Town Overnight Stay
Rather than having a meal out, how about a full night out? You don’t even have to go too far—just drive to another neighborhood, or even the next town over, spend the day exploring the local parks and then find a cute bed and breakfast where your dog valentine is welcome. More and more hotels around the country are becoming dog friendly. Many are even offering special packages to make your furry companion enjoy the trip as much as you. Your dog may be treated to a fluffy bed, welcome toys and even gourmet treats or his own doggie menus for room service.
Hike to Your (And Your Pup’s) Heart’s Content
Forget Netflix and staying home on Valentine’s Day. Hit the road and enjoy the great outdoors with your dog valentine.
While many national parks have very strict rules regarding pets, a few around the country actually welcome four-legged visitors with open arms. Shenandoah National Park in Virginia is one of the most dog-friendly national parks in the country, allowing pups on an impressive 480 miles of the park’s 500 miles of trails. At Acadia National Park in Maine, dogs have access to more than 100 miles of hiking trails, some of the park’s campgrounds and amazing views from the top of Acadia’s Cadillac Mountain. And while you can’t get deep into the Grand Canyon with your dog, you can take him on any trails above the Arizona park’s South Rim area.
Treat Your Dog to a Valentine’s Day Dinner at a Dog-Friendly Restaurant
No dinner date this Valentine’s Day? Go ahead and take your pup with you for a meal out. The Grove in Los Angeles, California, is a shopping, dining and entertainment area where dogs are welcome to walk around, explore and socialize. Sit down for a bite (ask one of the many restaurants for a patio table) or buy yourself some yummy treats at the local farmer’s market.
Even better, try one of many restaurants around the country that boast their own doggie menu. Many restaurants are starting to cater to their canine patrons by offering dog-friendly cuisine. From whipped cream in a cup to full-on meals with a cooked protein and starches, you are sure to be able to find a restaurant or café that can make your dog valentine feel included and pampered.
Check Out Local Attractions and Events
In the mood for something different? You can always take your dog valentine with you to tour local pet-friendly attractions, like The Ernest Hemingway Home & Museum in Key West, Florida, or The Ann and Jim Goodnight Museum Park in Raleigh, North Carolina, where your pooch can explore the trails and pose with you in front of the outdoor sculptures.
Would you rather be in the company of other dog lovers on Valentine’s Day? Many cities around the country organize special events during the week leading up to Valentine’s Day. Check your calendar and join other dog lovers to celebrate the week of love. A good place to start is the Annual Valentine Run/Walk—Race for Justice in Sacramento, California, a pet-friendly event that raises funds for local families in need.
Head Out of Town
Let’s face it—some towns are just more dog-friendly than others. So, if you’re going to travel on Valentine’s Day, it makes sense to visit a city that caters to your dog’s needs just as much as your own. Telluride, Colorado, is full of dog-friendly places—hotels, shops and hiking trail. Try the San Miguel River Trail for an easy walk in any weather. Or go for a ride on the free public gondola—the ski lift kind, not the boat kind—that allows canine passengers.
Diana Bocco is a full-time writer and adventurer who has written for National Geographic, DiscoveryChannel.com, Yahoo! and Marie Claire. Diana has lived in five countries and taken her rescued dogs along to each one of them.
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