15 Pet-Friendly Cities Ideal for a US Road Trip
Let's go! Those two magic words make your pet prance and dance until you click on the leash and head out the door. As you dream about your next getaway with your dog or cat by your side, consider planning a road trip to one of these pet-friendly cities in the U.S.
We've broken down the best travel destinations by region, highlighted what makes each city special for furry companions and shared a few travel tips. Before you pack, consider visiting one of these self-proclaimed pet cities recommended by the animal lovers at the American Kennel Club (AKC) and travel pros at Tripadvisor.
East Coast Pet-Friendly Cities
1. Asbury Park, New Jersey
From the pet's swimming pool at Wonder Bar to dog treats on the menus at local eateries, this town loves pets. Asbury Park is a quick jaunt across the border for New Yorkers and the perfect destination for beach-seekers that crave a classic boardwalk. You'll also find pet resorts to pamper your furry buddies for a few hours while you enjoy a date night on vacation.
2. Charleston, South Carolina
From the front porches of bed and breakfasts to outdoor cafes, you'll see dogs lounging around this laid-back city. You'll also find pets and their pet parents frolicking on the seven pet-welcoming beaches. Some host off-leash hours for pet play dates, including Isle of Palms and Sullivan Island beach. Here are a few tips to prep for a seaside getaway with your dog.
3. Wilmington, North Carolina
Planning an outdoor-focused getaway? Many of the parks, playgrounds and beaches in this historic town welcome pet guests. For cats and dogs that like to stroll on nature trails, join you for lunch at an outdoor eatery or watch the ocean waves, Wilmington might be the perfect destination.
Midwest Pet-Friendly Cities
4. Cleveland, Ohio
If you're craving a big city vacation mixed with nature adventures, play along the banks of Lake Erie in Cleveland. You'll find dog-friendly beaches and plenty of outdoor dining patios that roll out the red carpet for your furry friend. Several city center hotels also welcome pet guests.
5. Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Put your pet in a stroller and explore the streets of this city along the Milwaukee River. Plan to eat at one of the many restaurants that welcome companion animals, go for a cruise on the river (yes, pets are allowed on some boat tours!) and be sure to stop and sniff around the city parks.
6. Fort Collins, Colorado
Does your cat love to peer out from a backpack while you hike? Is your hound trail-bound? This mountain town offers varying activity levels of outdoor adventures including ponds for swimming, trails for exploring and fenced dog parks for supervised playtime with other travelers.
West Coast Pet-Friendly Cities
7. Temecula, California
Are you planning a winery tour vacation? Many tasting rooms in the Southern California wine region are pro-pet, allowing your companion to join you while you sample the wines. Same for many of the region's restaurants with outdoor seating. Check with the establishment before you load your dog or your cat into the car to see if they have any pet-related fundraisers or events on their calendars.
8. San Francisco, California
If you're off to the Bay area, a stop at Golden Gate Park will delight both you and your pup with four off-leash dog areas to choose from. Don't forget those stunning views of the bridge for that must-have Instagram selfie with your pet! As you maneuver around the city, know that cable cars are pet-friendly and several cafe patios allow pet diners to join you for a bite to eat. Here's a list of things to do in San Francisco when you visit.
9. Las Vegas, Nevada
The City of Lights loves four-legged friends! The opulent hotels aren't just for you: Many of them also cater to cats and dogs. Expect to see menus filled with pet meals and treats for in-room dining, dog recreation areas including obstacle courses, dog-friendly pools and even dog beds in the hotel rooms. When booking your stay, ask the concierge about their pet accommodations.
Northern Pet-Friendly Cities
10. Seattle, Washington
This dog-friendly city loves visiting pups. It's not uncommon to see water bowls and doggie treat stations in hotel lobbies. And, many of the restaurants with outdoor seating encourage visitors to bring their canine companions along for the meal. Dog-loving cats are welcome too!
11. Lake Placid, New York
Headed to the mountains? This city is nestled in the Adirondacks and offers plenty of lake swimming options for canine companions and mountain views for adventuresome feline hiking partners. Many hotels in the area welcome pets as well.
12. Portland, Oregon
The Pacific Northwest is known for being filled with pet-loving folks. When you visit Portland, get a taste of the area's natural beauty at the off-leash dog park at Sellwood Riverfront Park overlooking the Willamette River. The weekend outdoor market, cafes and local hotels also welcome furry guests.
Southern Pet-Friendly Cities
13. Austin, Texas
From food trucks to restaurants, you'll see treats for your canine and feline companions on the menu more often than not. If your vacation goals include snapping a selfie with both you and your pup indulging in gourmet bakery treats, your dream can come true in Austin. Don't forget to plan a run at one of the many dog parks around the city, too!
14. Scottsdale, Arizona
As you soak in the sun of the South, your pet can too. Many of the cafes and restaurants offer outdoor dining patios where dogs are welcome to relax with their family. If you're planning some shopping, be prepared to see pet boutiques that cater to small dog breeds, a popular love among pet parents in this part of Arizona.
15. Tampa, Florida
Sun, sun, sun! If your vacation plans include strolling open-air malls and taking in the beautiful weather, visit Tampa. Dogs and cats are welcomed with fresh water bowls and tasty treats from shop owners, and they're encouraged to make use of the many off-leash dog parks and beaches.
Whether you're undertaking a cross-country trek or exploring a city just a quick jaunt away, be sure to make stops where pets are treated like royalty. From off-leash parks to restaurants with snack menus for our four-legged buddies, you'll enjoy the getaway to one of these pet cities. Safe travels to you and your family!
Angela Tague is a pet mom and writer living in the Midwest. When she's not making a mess in the kitchen, exploring nature trails with her dog, or attending a yoga workshop, she's writing full-time for multiple lifestyle and technology brands. You can find her on Twitter and LinkedIn @AngelaTague.