USA Vacations: 7 Pet-Friendly Trip Ideas for Outdoorsy Families 

7 pet-friendly trip ideas for outdoorsy families in the USA.

pet-friendly trip

Photo by Emerson Peters on Unsplash

Travel enhances both the lives of humans and our canine companions. Traveling has been linked to stress reduction and can help with symptoms of depression and anxiety. Spending time with canine pals is also beneficial to your health. Dogs make us happier and healthier and help us deal with difficulties. According to recent research, owning a dog benefits you physically and emotionally. So there is no doubt that having our beloved dogs on our family trips is a beautiful idea that, contrary to popular belief, makes our experience more joyful and relaxed. 

As a result, traveling with pets is becoming a more affordable and smooth experience. In addition, with dog ownership increasing in recent years, it is predicted that we will feel the need to include our dogs while planning a vacation. Therefore, an increasing number of us will be seeking pet-friendly travel destinations.

Numerous vacation areas in the United States welcome your cute pet companions. You and your dog may have a fun time anywhere, whether on the beach, in a big city or on a hiking journey. Once you have chosen one of these dog-friendly destinations for your next adventure, make sure that when you leave home with your dog, you have packed these essential items for a successful getaway. 

  • Water bottles and a collapsible bowl for your pet
  • Pet food and plenty of tempting treats
  • Waste bags and pre-moistened wipes 
  • Microfiber towel to get them dry at the beach
  • An extra leash and pet odor eliminator
  • Printed photos of your pet. Maybe you’ll need them if you and your pet were to get separated.
  • Crash-tested seat belt harness or a secured carrier or crate if you are going on a road trip.
  • First aid kit with items you’ll need to help your pet
  • Copy of the vaccination records of your dog. Some dog parks and campgrounds require proof of vaccination.

Here is a list of the most amazing pet-friendly USA vacation spots where you will enjoy a safe trip full of sweet moments with your furry friend.

Austin, Texas

If you’re planning a trip to this historical city with your dog, there are plenty of fun things to see and do. The city of Austin is renowned as one of the most dog-friendly in the U.S. Dog owners can be seen throughout town having a good time with their canine companions. This city embraces all members of the family, including four-legged ones. So bring your dog along for a run around Lady Bird Lake on the Ann & Roy Butler Hike & Bike Trail. In addition, Austin Paddle Shack and Rowing Dock provide kayak and paddle board rentals, so you and your friends can get out on the lake for a day. 

You can bring your closest friend to almost any patio bar or restaurant in Austin. For instance, you may relax with a beer at Dog House Drinkery in Leander while your dog plays in the establishment’s off-leash dog park; staff members will keep an eye on things to ensure everyone is getting along. Similar amenities like water bowls and Bark Rangers, who keep an eye on the off-leash areas, can be found at The Yard Bar. If you’ve already decided to take your dog to Austin, you can relax knowing that there are many welcoming hotels and luxurious rentals with comfy beds, treats, and toys for your dog.

Big Bear, California

Big Bear Lake is a great place to bring the whole “family,” including your dog, with its year-round outdoor playground. Thanks to the area’s dog-friendly routes, serene shorelines, and cool alpine meadows, you and your dog will have a blast exploring Big Bear together. The Town Trail, Woodland Interpretive Trail, and Alpine Pedal Path are three popular dog-walking areas. However, most dogs are known to chase grey squirrels and chipmunks along the routes, so keep a tight grip on the leash.

In addition to these dog-friendly hiking trails, the Big Bear area has several dog parks, including the Cedar Glen Dog Park in Lake Arrowhead, the Redlands Dog Park, and the Hound Town Dog Park in Moreno Valley. When you visit Big Bear in the summer, schedule early or late afternoon treks and bring plenty of water for your dog, in the winter, snow on the trails might cause frostbite on your dog’s paw pads. So always safeguard your dog’s feet.

More fantastic news for dog lovers! Big Bear offers a variety of dog-friendly accommodation choices, including waterfront cabins, motels, and bed and breakfasts. When dining out while on vacation, Big Bear offers a few places that accept your four-legged companions, including Nottingham’s Tavern and Alpine Country Coffee Shop, both of which have a pet-friendly outside dining terrace. Outside on the deck, the Broadway Cafe also serves doggie burgers and water to our four-legged pals.

Orlando, Florida

Orlando is a city where canines can thrive, ranking second among the most pet-friendly apartment and house rentals, with 258.69 per 100,000 people, according to a ranking from Honest Paws. Animal lovers visiting Orlando need not worry about leaving their four-legged companions behind. There are plenty of fun things to do with your dog in Orlando’s parks and landscapes, such as dog baths and off-leash areas. You and your dog can enjoy the Bear Creek Nature Route, a mile-long trail located 30 minutes north of downtown Orlando, which features old cypress, oak, and palm trees. You may bring your dog to Lake Eola Park, an urban sanctuary with a circular route around the lake, and dine nearby places if you want. 

Orlando is a beautiful city with great places to go shopping, like Celebration Town Center, which features dog-friendly restaurants and a pet bakery. Park Avenue is a cosmopolitan shopping, dining, and cultural district that welcomes leashed dogs on the street, Central Park, outdoor dining areas, and most stores.

San Diego, California

San Diego is a pet lover’s delight. This city is so welcoming to dogs that their owners don’t have to leave them at home when planning a vacation this way. Because of the great weather and plenty of open areas, dogs visiting San Diego will have just as much fun as their human companions.

San Diego has lovely dog-friendly beaches for your canine best friend to enjoy. From Dog Beach in Ocean Beach, a famous off-leash dog beach, to Fiesta Island at Mission Bay and Del Mar Dog Beach.

If your dog doesn’t love a day at the beach, maybe a boat ride on Mission Bay is the best idea for you. Local rental businesses even provide you with life vests for your best friend. Another great activity in San Diego for smaller dogs is stand-up paddleboarding with their owners. If you need to visit off-leash parks on your getaway, there are also several fun leash-free parks, including two dog parks within Balboa Park.

The Unleashed Surf Dog Competition in Imperial Beach and Hornblower Cruises’ Annual Pet Day on the Bay are not-to-be-missed events for dogs that like socializing. Perhaps your dog would like to learn a new skill like Pup Paddleboarding or Doggie Yoga, all of which are available at this destination.

When you need to grab a bite in San Diego, you don’t have to leave your furry friend at home or back at the hotel. This city has many bars and restaurants that welcome leashed dogs, whether on a sun deck, outdoor patio, or in another area that is dog-friendly. Your dog is even welcome at the San Diego area wineries, in both urban and vineyard settings. And for places to stay, several pet-friendly accommodations here in San Diego will treat your dog with the same courtesy they will show you.

Park City, Utah

Park City is an outdoor lover’s paradise that you can share with your outdoor-loving companion, as our furry buddies help us become more thrilled about spending time outside. Park City is dog-friendly. However, there are leash rules in effect. All dogs must be kept on leashes except on enclosed private property and approved off-leash dog areas. Considering this, you may begin planning a fun getaway with your dog. 

Make sure to add the Willow Creek Dog Park to your itinerary, which offers plenty of space to run in addition to a 1-acre puppy pond. When you and your pet need a few miles to trail, the Run-A-Muk Trail and Off-Leash Area provide two miles of fenced trail and open space covering approximately 43 acres just off Millennium Trail below the Utah Olympic Park.

You don’t have to leave Fluffy at the hotel when it’s time for dinner. You can find pet-friendly dining experiences at the Kimball Junction Whole Foods, Butcher’s Chop House, Sample Sushi Blue, or the Silver Star Café.  

So if you are planning on bringing your furry pal to Park City, there are many lodging options; no matter your budget, there is a place to stay for your dog. From popular hotels and resorts to high-end mansions that will make your trip an unforgettable experience.

Bend, Oregon

Bend has one of the world’s highest per capita dog populations, with 49 percent of Central Oregon residents owning a dog. There are few places within the U.S. that you will find that are as dog-friendly as Bend, Oregon, thanks to the abundance of canine-friendly recreation, businesses, pet-friendly lodging, and restaurants.

You can find parks with dog-friendly off-leash areas for your pup to run free and play with other four-legged friends. For example, the Shevlin Park Loop and the Deschutes River Trail near Farewell Bend Park have paths that wind along the river, offering plenty of opportunities for your pup to cool off in the water. If your dog prefers sprinklers over swimming, a spray park solely dedicated to dogs is at the Bob Wenger Memorial Off-Leash Area, a 14-acre dog park in northeast Bend. And if you are traveling to Bend in the winter, Wanoga, Edison, and Kapka Sno-Parks have dog-friendly cross-country ski and snowshoe trails. 

Most of downtown Bend is dog-friendly. You can take your pup into most of the stores you come across. They are also welcome on the patio or outdoor seating areas of most local restaurants and breweries like the Bend Brewing Company or Cascade Lakes Brewing CO.

Ogunquit, Maine

Visiting seaside towns like Ogunquit, Maine, can be a great adventure with your dog from exploring the beach or finding a fantastic local restaurant. This enchanting town is in Maine, one of the most dog-friendly states in the U.S., so you can be sure that a vacation to Ogunquit will be the most fantastic experience for your pup.

This coastal town is perfect for visitors looking for dog-friendly outdoor activities. You can start your trip with a day at Ogunquit Beach, a beautiful sandy beach where dogs are allowed on the beach at any time from September 9 until March 31.

Then you can plan a hiking day to the Mount Agamenticus Conservation Region, which provides walking trails and scenic views. These trails are for hikers, bikers, and other seasonal activities such as snowshoeing. And to keep strolling with your dog, the Marginal Way is a scenic coastal walk connecting the main Ogunquit village with Perkins Cove. Dogs are allowed on Marginal Way from October 1 until March 31. After this activity, include pet-friendly dining spots in Ogunquit to enjoy delicious food, such as The Greenery Cafe, Cornerstone Artisanal Pizza, and Northern Union, in your itinerary.

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