The 10 Best Dog-Friendly Vacation Destinations for 2021

By: Kristen ArendtUpdated:

dog destinations
iStock.com/kate_sept2004

The 10 Best Dog-Friendly Vacation Destinations for 2021

Just about everyone deserves a vacation this year—you and your dog included. So why not book a dog-friendly vacation you can both enjoy? Whether you're planning a road trip with a dog or a flight to an exotic locale, you can make vacationing with a dog a stress-free and fun experience at one of these 10 best dog destinations for travel in the U.S.

We spoke to travel agents, hoteliers and other experts to get their top vacation picks for pets and their parents this year. The big takeaway? Whether you’re in the mood for a posh mountain resort or a beach escape, you’ve got plenty of dog destinations to choose from. These 10 top spots will make for a pawsitively memorable dog-friendly vacation in 2021.

When traveling, remember to review current CDC guidelines and double-check the rules of your dog destination before visiting, including leash requirements for any places that are dog-friendly.


1Seattle, Washington

dog destinations
iStock.com/LoweStock
Seattle is the cultural epicenter of the Pacific Northwest—it’s the city that brought us everything from grunge music to Starbucks. Today’s visitors can expect that same hipster culture paired with mountain hikes and calm waters for stand-up paddleboarding—all perfect for a pup-and-parent adventure. The Emerald City boasts a bustling urban downtown and a culinary scene that prides itself on top-notch local wine, craft beer and coffee. (Treat your dog to a puppuccino!) Plus, this waterfront city is tucked in a postcard-worthy setting on the shore of Puget Sound, full of dog-friendly restaurants, parks and activities.

Where to Stay

dog destinations
Hotel FIVE

Hotel FIVE StayPineapple

  • 2200 5th Ave, Seattle, WA 98121
  • (206) 441-9785
  • Website

This boutique hotel in the Belltown neighborhood boasts “dog obsessed” accommodations. Your pup will enjoy a comfy pineapple-themed dog bed along with their very own treat tins and dog bowl. The hotel offers plenty of people perks too, from colorful rooms and cozy robes to the complimentary (and stylish!) beach cruisers you can use to cycle around the city.

Where to Eat

dog destinations
Ami @ Entouriste/Flickr Creative Commons

Norm’s Eatery & Alehouse

  • 460 N 36th St, Seattle, WA 98103
  • (206) 547-1417
  • Website

Dog-friendly Seattle eatery Norm’s is a local favorite, serving up classic American fare like burgers and fries with a solid rotation of craft beer on tap. Plus, Norm’s welcomes your furry sidekick with open arms, from their dog-themed decor to their special dog menu. For a special treat, order up a bacon pupcake or, if you’re traveling with a pack, dish up the Hound Dog Cake which serves six.

What to Do

dog destinations
Seattle Water Tours

Seattle Water Tours Sunday Ice Cream Cruise

  • 860 Terry Ave N, Seattle, WA 98109
  • 206-422-0036
  • Website

During the summer months, you and your dog can hop aboard the M/V Fremont Avenue tour boat for a 45-minute trip around Lake Union. From the deck, you can spot shipyards, wharves, shoreline parks and floating homes as you learn about the local history. And yes, this is an ice cream cruise, with varieties for both you and your pup to enjoy as you cruise.

dog destinations
Seattle Barkery

Take a walk to the Seattle Barkery

  • 2225 8th Ave, Seattle, WA 98121
  • (206) 851-1549
  • Website

During your stay, be sure to take your pup for a sightseeing walk along Puget Sound and through the alleys of Pike Place Market. Dogs aren’t allowed in the market buildings but you can still enjoy the local flair from the streets and sidewalks. Continue your walk through the grassy area of the Seattle Center and cross the Space Needle off your sightseeing list before visiting the Seattle Barkery to buy your pup their very own tasty treat—delivered to your dog via the Barkery’s one-of-a-kind treat chute!


2Sedona, Arizona

dog destinations
iStock.com/Sean Pavone
If the word “Arizona” brings to mind desolate, sandy terrain, well, you’ve probably never been to Sedona. There’s something magical about this urban oasis surrounded by red-rock buttes—a vibe many visitors attribute to its famous “vortexes,” places that are believed to have healing, calming energy. So while Sedona may look like a city straight from an old Western movie, the reason devoted travelers return here again and again is its wealth of spa relaxation and that mystical feeling in the air. And just as you’d expect for a place in tune with Mother Nature, pets are welcome at many venues across the city.

Where to Stay

dog destinations
Hilton Sedona

Hilton Sedona Resort at Bell Rock

  • 90 Ridge Trail Dr, Sedona, AZ 86351
  • (928) 284-4040
  • Website

For a dog-friendly vacation resort, book a room at the Hilton Sedona Resort at Bell Rock. The resort greets their canine guests with a special welcome package including a delicious treat, a pet bandana, collar tag and a toy. In addition to their full pet menu, which even includes non-alcoholic doggy wine or beer, you can also pamper your pooch with an a la carte pet energy therapy treatment performed by the Hilton’s in-house energy therapist.

Where to Eat

dog destinations
Hideaway House

Hideaway House

  • 231 AZ-179, Sedona, AZ 86336
  • (928) 202-4082
  • Website

In the mood for a hearty Italian menu with an out-of-this-world view? Head to the Hideaway House to enjoy pizza, pasta and more from their open-air patio. Serving unique takes on Italian classics, like a roasted peach and caramelized pancetta pizza, this top-rated restaurant welcomes every member of the family, pups included. Pet parents love that the wait staff greets dogs with a treat and water bowl.

What to Do

dog destinations
A Day in the West Tours

A Day In The West Jeep Tours

  • 2900 W State Rte 89A, Sedona, AZ 86336
  • (928) 282-4320
  • Website

Strap on your seat belt and buckle in your pup for a day of sightseeing from the back of a Jeep. A Day in the West Jeep Tours offer a variety of dog-friendly tour options where you can bring your furry co-pilot along for the ride. The heart-pumping Diamondback Gulch Jeep Tour, for example, takes you on rugged terrain with views of seven canyons and iconic rock formations like Capitol Butte and Chimney Rock.

dog destinations
iStock.com/lmel9000

Hike to the Bell Rock Vortex

  • SR-179 between Sedona and the Village of Oak Creek, AZ 86351
  • Website

Bell Rock is one of the most popular Sedona vortex sites. The trail that loops around the base of this stunning rock formation is open to dogs, so you can enjoy this distinctly Sedona experience with your pup by your side. For this and other hikes in the area, be aware that hiking in the desert is a bit more challenging than a walk in the park. Your dog should be used to walking outdoors and over rocky terrain. Consider packing a pair of dog booties if your dog has tender paws.


3Colorado Springs, Colorado

dog destinations
iStock.com/RondaKimbrow
Do you and your dog love the great outdoors? You’ll be right at home in Colorado Springs. This laid-back metropolis is the second-most populous city in the pet-friendly Centennial State, but its spread-out layout, sprawling alongside Pike National Forest, gives it a more natural feel than other cities its size. Situated at the foothills of Colorado’s Front Range, Colorado Springs gives you the best of all worlds, whether you and your dog want a city outing, an escape to the mountains or some combination of both.

Where to Stay

dog destinations
The Broadmoor

The Broadmoor Resort

  • 1 Lake Ave, Colorado Springs, CO 80906
  • (800) 755-5011
  • Website

If you want a sophisticated dog-friendly stay, book the Broadmoor, a historic hotel that has been associated with luxurious Rocky Mountain getaways since it was founded in 1981. You and your dog will love exploring the sprawling grounds and classy buildings of this “Grande Dame of the Rockies.” And your best friend in residence will be properly pampered as part of the Broadmoor’s Pitty Pat Club, which entitles pups to luxury pet beds and food dishes during their stay, along with a complimentary pet treat upon arrival.

Where to Eat

dog destinations
Courtney Thompson

Pub Dog Colorado

  • 2207 Bott Ave, Colorado Springs, CO 80904
  • (719) 375-0771
  • Website

Tasty food, great beer and a fenced off-leash dog area? Pub Dog Colorado has it all. You can even dine indoors with your dog, making this the only place in Colorado where your furry friend can join you inside. As you might expect, the pub also dishes up a variety of tasty meals for canines from their dog menu, including “puppy patties” (2 oz. beef patties) and “bark bowls” with brown rice, sweet potato and beef. You can even order a round of Bowser Beer Dog Beer, a non-alcoholic brew that your dog will find pawsitively delightful after a romp with their new friends in the off-leash park.

What to Do

dog destinations
iStock.com/pilgrims49

Garden of the Gods

  • 1805 N 30th St, Colorado Springs, CO 80904
  • (719) 634-6666
  • Website

If you and your dog love hiking, plan a day at Garden of the Gods to see the towering sandstone rock formations and the stunning backdrop of Pikes Peak. The dog-friendly park has 21 miles of well-maintained trails available for you and your leashed pup to explore, plus an off-leash area where your dog can stretch their legs. Be sure to take plenty of water, sun protection (for you and your dog) and your camera. You aren’t going to want to miss these photo ops.


4Lake Placid, New York

dog destinations
iStock.com/DenisTangneyJr
This picture-perfect Adirondack mountain town has universal appeal—in fact, the international sporting world has chosen to gather here for not one but two Winter Olympic Games (1932 and 1980). Naturally, this is a spectacular spot for winter sports, but that’s just the beginning of its appeal for dog parents. Lake Placid has plenty of places that are dog-friendly, making it an ideal destination for pups and parents in search of scenery and serenity.

Where to Stay

dog destinations
Saranac Waterfront Lodge

Saranac Waterfront Lodge

  • 250 Lake Flower Ave, Saranac Lake, NY 12983
  • (518) 619-4000
  • Website

Fifteen minutes from downtown Lake Placid, the Saranac Waterfront Lodge is a picturesque hotel for people and pups looking for a full-service stay that connects them to nature. The lodge welcomes dogs up to 75 pounds, and provides a plush dog bed, complimentary dog treat on arrival, and a toy for your dog to take home as a souvenir. As a bonus, for every dog who books a stay, the lodge donates $40 to the Tri-Lakes Humane Society, a New York State registered no-kill shelter.

Where to Eat

dog destinations
Emma's Lake Placid Creamery

Emma’s Lake Placid Creamery

  • 2507 Main St, Lake Placid, NY 12946
  • (518) 523-8201
  • Website

In the summer months, you can satisfy your sweet tooth at this old-fashioned ice cream shop, which also dishes up a special doggie treat—a small vanilla dish with a bone on top. The shop also sells Pawlickers peanut butter, which they serve with a side of dog biscuits. If you’re in the mood for a sweet treat of your own, order the “wafflewhich” — two Belgian waffles filled with hot fudge and maple syrup and topped with Maple Creme soft serve.

What to Do

dog destinations
iStock.com/Frank DeBonis

Mirror Lake

  • 49 Parkside Dr., Lake Placid, NY
  • (518) 523-2445
  • Website

Mirror Lake is a year-round destination for dogs and their parents alike. In the spring and summer months, you can canoe or kayak on the calm, clear waters (no motorized boats are allowed) or hit up the dog-friendly beach on the lake’s southwest shore. In the autumn, take a stroll on the 2.7-mile path around the lake and snap some pics of the fall colors. In the winter, bring your cross-country skis or snowshoes and your dog’s favorite sweater for an over-the-snow outing.


5Chicago, Illinois

dog destinations
iStock.com/IrisImages
Comedy, hot dogs, Wrigley Field—what’s not to love about Chicago? Located on the shores of Lake Michigan, the Windy City offers a vibrant cultural vacation with your dog. And though an urban getaway might not sound dog-friendly, our experts agreed that Chicago is among the most welcoming cities in the country for furry friends. You can choose from dog-friendly lake beaches, world-class restaurants and top-notch tours to plan a memorable trip for both you and your dog.

Where to Stay

dog destinations
Staypineapple, An Iconic Hotel

Staypineapple, An Iconic Hotel

  • 1 W Washington St, Chicago, IL 60602
  • (312) 940-7997
  • Website

A National Historic Landmark building located in Chicago’s theatre district, the Staypineapple has lots of charm. Your time at the hotel, as with StayPineapple’s other boutique hotels, is all about the pups—from the knowledgeable, dog-loving staff to the decked-out dog-friendly room. And with its location in the heart of downtown, this is an ideal starting point for exploring the city. It’s practically guaranteed your pup will enjoy the stay just as much as you.

Where to Eat

dog destinations
Rebecca Peplinski

Barrio

  • 65 W Kinzie St, Chicago, IL 60654
  • (312) 940-9900
  • Website

An upscale eatery with a dog-friendly patio, Barrio serves Mexican fare with an American twist (no deep-dish pizza or Chicago-style hot dogs on the menu here). For your pup, they offer an exclusive “Barkio” menu with tasty meat entrees that can be followed up by a doggy “Woof Cream” dessert. And you can feel good about buying your dog another round, as a portion of the proceeds is donated to PAWS Chicago animal shelter. Barrio’s sister restaurants, Bar Siena and Siena Tavern also offer dog menus and dog-friendly seating.

What to Do

dog destinations
Mercury Cruises

Mercury’s Canine Cruise

  • 112 E Wacker Dr, Chicago, IL 60601
  • (312) 332-1353
  • Website

In the summer, explore Chicago’s waterways with Mercury’s canine-friendly cruises. Their cruise boats offer plenty of safe, dog-friendly seating on deck as well as dog bowls and even a newspaper-lined restroom, should your pup need it. Once onboard, all you have to do is sit back, relax and soak in the views as you’ll be treated to fascinating tales from Chicago’s history—complete with dog-related details. The company’s summer tours are expected to resume July 10.

dog destinations
iStock.com/Page Light Studios

Walk the Lakefront Trail

  • Along the Chicago waterfront from W. Ardmore Ave. to 71st St.
  • Website

Enjoy Chicago’s iconic Lake Michigan waterfront on foot on the 18.5-mile Lakefront Trail. This multi-use path is popular with walkers, runners, bikers and, of course, puppers. The path also connects to several dog-friendly parks and play areas along the shore, including the Montrose Dog Beach and Lakeshore East Dog Park.


6St. Augustine, Florida

dog destinations
iStock.com/Sean Pavone
A historic city and charming beach town wrapped into one destination, St. Augustine offers a dog-friendly vacation you won’t find anywhere else in the country. This “oldest city in America” has a unique tropical vibe, with ancient cultural attractions set right alongside tourist-friendly shops and spectacular stretches of shorefront. Paired with a long list of dog-friendly restaurants, tours, and hotels, St. Augustine in North Florida is perfect for some fun in the sun for you and your dog.

Where to Stay

dog destinations
Photo courtesy of sabhonline.com

Saint Augustine Beach House

  • 10 Vilano Rd, St. Augustine, FL 32084
  • (904) 217-3765
  • Website

There’s a wide range of cozy beach houses and cute B&B’s in town, but the Saint Augustine Beach House is one of the best for dog parents. Dogs of all sizes are welcome in all the rooms, and the beach house even has a small dog run on the property. The complimentary dog rinsing stations, dog towels and furniture covers will come in handy after a day out digging in the sand at Vilano Beach, one of the top-rated dog-friendly beaches in the area.

Where to Eat

dog destinations
Harry's Seafood Bar & Grill

Harry’s Seafood Bar & Grill

  • 46 Avenida Menendez, St. Augustine, FL 32084
  • (904) 824-7765
  • Website

A perennial favorite of locals and tourists alike, Harry’s gets top marks from visitors for top-notch fresh seafood and great ambiance. Their outdoor dog-friendly patio space is a scenic garden-like courtyard. And yes, the restaurant welcomes both people and pets, providing water and treats for your dog.

What to Do

dog destinations
iStock.com/SeanPavonePhoto

St. Augustine Eco Tours

  • 111 Avenida Menendez, St. Augustine, FL 32084
  • (904) 377-7245
  • Website

When you need a break from the beach, take your pup out for a boat ride. St. Augustine Eco Tours offer dog-friendly small nature tours and private expeditions. One of their most popular dog-friendly tours combines dolphin and bird watching with historic sights and an amazing boat ride. If you plan to bring your pup, call ahead to book your tour.


7Dana Point, California

dog destinations
iStock.com/hmlCA
Dana Point might not have the same notoriety as San Diego and other Southern California destinations, but this under-the-radar locale has plenty to offer pet parents seeking a chic beach town vacation minus the crowds. This stylish town offers unbeatable seaside views and lots of nearby dog-friendly recreation, from kayaking to hiking. If your idea of a good vacation is kicking back at a resort and watching the waves roll in with your dog napping by your side, this is your destination.

Where to Stay

dog destinations
The Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel

The Ritz Carlton, Laguna Niguel

  • One Ritz Carlton Dr, Dana Point, CA 92629
  • (949) 240-2000
  • Website

The Ritz Carlton at Laguna Niguel, a seaside resort with panoramic Pacific Ocean views, will add a little glam to your vacation. Pups will be treated to the “posh pooch experience” with a plush doggy bed, water bowl, in-room dining pet menu and Ritz-Carlton toys and treats. Watch the hotel calendar for unique dog-centered events like the annual Yappy Howl-O-Ween contest, Yappy Howlidays celebration, and a Yappy Hour charitable event that benefits Canine Companions for Independence.

Where to Eat

dog destinations
180blũ

180blũ

  • One Ritz Carlton Dr, Dana Point, CA 92629
  • (949) 240-2000
  • Website

Dogs are just as welcome at the Ritz Carlton’s restaurant 180blũ, where a spacious outdoor rooftop lounge offers expansive views of the ocean. Plus, they have a full doggie menu so your pup can chow down while you enjoy their Pan-Latin-inspired human fare and signature cocktails. A visit on a Thursday evening will give you and your dog the added treat of live music.

What to Do

dog destinations
iStock.com/anouchka

Outlets at San Clemente

  • 101 W Avenida Vista Hermosa, San Clemente, CA 92672
  • (949) 535-2323
  • Website

If your idea of a great time includes shopping for some major bargains, check out the Outlets at San Clemente. This open-air walking mall has pet stations, and you can pick up a free dog treat at customer service. Though your dog won’t be allowed in every store, window-shopping with your pet by your side can be just as rewarding.


8Hilton Head, South Carolina

dog destinations
iStock.com/KatieDobies
Hilton Head is a town on permanent vacation. Tourists and residents alike spend their days soaking up the sun on its beaches, sending golf balls soaring across its fairways, and ending the night over a relaxing dinner with their drink of choice in hand. Known for its white-sand beaches, nature trails and scenic waterways, the island sees a large influx of visitors (and their furry friends) in the summer. If you want a laid-back coastal vacation that doesn’t skimp on the amenities for you or your dog, this destination checks all your boxes.

Where to Stay

dog destinations
Omni Hilton Head

Omni Hilton Head Oceanfront Resort

  • 23 Ocean Ln, Hilton Head Island, SC 29928
  • (843) 842-8000
  • Website

This resort welcomes pups up to 50 pounds, and you can even book a special MVP (Most Valuable Pup) Package that includes treats, two gift bowls, a mat and their very own brand of dog “champagne”–Pawrignon. (Don't worry, you’ll get a bottle of Champagne to pop too.) During your stay, you can also enjoy the resort's full-service Ocean Tides Spa, three pools and two beach-side hot tubs for a rejuvenating weekend.

Where to Eat

dog destinations
Rita Beltran

Hudson’s Seafood House on the Docks

  • 1 Hudson Rd, Hilton Head Island, SC 29926
  • (843) 681-2772
  • Website

If you’re hankering for seafood, it doesn’t get much fresher than at Hudson’s, a dog-friendly restaurant right on the water. Grab a seaside seat with your pup on their dock, order up some fresh-caught oysters, shrimp or soft shell crabs, and settle in to catch the sunset.

What to Do

dog destinations
iStock.com/johany

Visit Chaplin Park & Burkes Beach

  • 11 Castnet Dr, Hilton Head Island, SC 29928
  • (843) 342-4580
  • Website

Pack some snacks and your pup’s favorite frisbee, because a trip to Chaplin Park and Burkes Beach will likely be an all-day outing. Chaplin Park has a fenced-in, off-leash dog playground where your pup can get those zoomies out. Back on leash, you can head to Burkes Beach for some fun in the surf.


9Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

dog destinations
iStock.com/Sean Pavone
You already know Philly for its cheesesteaks, its colonial history and, of course, “Rocky.” But you might not know about the wealth of modern cultural experiences in store for visitors to this historic city. With over 30 dog-friendly walking tours and a wide variety of dog-friendly parks, national historic sites and dining, this town extends its “Brotherly Love” to pups and people alike.

Where to Stay

dog destinations
Kimpton Hotel Monaco Philadelphia

Kimpton Hotel Monaco Philadelphia

  • 433 Chestnut St, Philadelphia, PA 19106
  • (215) 925-2111
  • Website

Located within Philly's most historic square mile, the Kimpton Hotel Monaco is great for sightseeing or taking a pet-friendly walking tour. Steps from the Liberty Bell and Independence Hall, this location couldn’t get much better. Plus, this dog-friendly hotel offers additional amenities like pet-sitting, grooming and walking services. You can even book a Bark Package to score your dog a special bandana designed by a local artist so they can be strut in style on your self-guided tour of the historic downtown.

Where to Eat

dog destinations
Rouge

Rouge

  • 205 S 18th St, Philadelphia, PA 19103
  • (215) 732-6622
  • Website

For great downtown dining, head to Rouge, one of the trendiest restaurants in the neighborhood. A popular spot in Rittenhouse Square, the bistro got a makeover in 2019 that revamped the space and the menu. Staff welcome pets with dog treats and fresh water at both of their dog-friendly outdoor dining spaces. Along with great people-watching from your street-side table, you can enjoy a signature cocktail or order up the popular Rouge Cheeseburger.

What to Do

dog destinations
iStock.com/JanaShea

Wissahickon Valley Park

  • Valley Green Rd, Philadelphia, PA 19128
  • (215) 247-0417
  • Website

This 1,800-acre park boasts over 50 miles of trails where dogs are allowed on leash. For an easy stroll, head out along Wissahickon Creek in search of the park’s historic structures, including Philadelphia’s only remaining covered bridge.


10South Lake Tahoe, California/Nevada

dog destinations
iStock.com/PictureLake
Pristine blue waters and scenic mountain peaks. Top rated ski routes and sun-drenched beaches. It’s rare to find all these attractions in one place—and no destination does it all as well as South Lake Tahoe. Straddling the border of California and Nevada on the southern end of Lake Tahoe, this tourist town boasts a wealth of activities that welcome dogs, so there’s truly something for every member of the family, furry or not, to enjoy here.

Where to Stay

dog destinations
Ed Graff

Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Lake Tahoe

  • 50 US-50, Stateline, NV 89449
  • (844) 588-7625
  • Website

Is your dog a rock star? They’ll fit right in at the Hard Rock, which delivers top-notch in-room dog-friendly amenities, pet-friendly rooms and a dog-friendly restaurant. Though pets are not allowed in the casino, the full-service Hair of the Dog concierge offers daycare, overnight care, complete grooming services, companion walks and even pet massages.

Where to Eat

dog destinations
FiRE + iCE

FiRE + iCE Interactive Grill & Bar

  • 4100 Lake Tahoe Blvd, South Lake Tahoe, CA 96150
  • (530) 542-6650
  • Website

Be sure to stop by the pet-friendly patio of FiRE+iCE which welcomes dogs of all sizes and has complimentary water bowls. At this “interactive” grill, you can grab a bowl and pick your favorite meat ,veggies, sauces and toppings, then let the chefs get your custom creation sizzling on the large hot iron grill.

What to Do

dog destinations
iStock.com/RobsonAbbott

Regan Beach Dog Water Park

  • 3199 Sacramento Ave, South Lake Tahoe, CA 96150
  • (530) 542-6056
  • Website

In the summer, take your water-loving pup to the Regan Beach dog water park for a dip in Lake Tahoe. Pack their favorite floating toy and a towel. For dogs who aren’t jazzed about swimming, a lakeside stroll followed by a nap in the shade will be equally enjoyable.

If you’re ready for a vacation—and let’s be honest: who isn’t?—visiting one of these top-rated dog destinations with your pup could be just the ticket. Happy travels!
Expert input by Heather Eisenstadt, founder of Top Dog Pet Travel as seen on the TV special Pets Welcome Here; Paula Prickett, luxury travel agent and owner of Black Dog Luxury Travel; Sharon Andrade, vice president of sales for StayPineapple; Jenna Duran, Marketing Manager Ritz-Carlton and organizer of Yappy Hour events.

Share:

Published:

Share:

By: Kristen ArendtUpdated:

BeInspired