You’re not the only one who has been cooped up for two years. Your dog would love to go adventuring with you. But where can you go with a dog?
There are plenty of resources online to help you plan the next vacation with your four-footed friends. The fastest go-to places for information are dog-specific websites, convention and visitors bureaus, and parks departments. Look up ‘pet-friendly’ instead of ‘dog-friendly’ to get even more results.
BringFido.com has a wealth of information, keeping up with dog-friendly hotels, restaurants, beaches and activities. including a list of the 12 most dog-friendly cities in the US.
Georgia State Parks celebrates canine companions with “Bark in the Park” special events and the “Tails on Trails” walking club. Leashed dogs are welcome on many trails, and you can book a cabin, a yurt or a campsite with your dog. Get details at https://gastateparks.org/ParkRules and https://gastateparks.org/press-release-parks/explore-mother-nature-mans-best-friend.
The Georgia Department of Economic Development has a pet-friendly guide to major cities and parks at https://www.exploregeorgia.org/trip-ideas/pet-friendly. Look up “dog” in the search bar to find over 100 recommendations for doggy day trips.
The National Parks Service seems to allow pets everywhere currently, but be aware that there are many restrictions, and their policies change often. Check https://www.nps.gov/subjects/pets/visit.htm before you go. Be aware, though, that ‘dog-friendly’ for all national parks means that dogs are limited to the pavement, must be leashed, and are limited to boarding in kennels instead of cabins or campsites.
When looking for a place to sleep, although all the main overnight-stay booking websites include some accommodations that are pet friendly, it’s easier to cut to the chase by using the websites below. They will give you the low-down on locations that take the best care of pets.
- https://www.bringfido.com has hotel bookings with a pet concierge for no additional fee, plus reviews by pet owners.
- https://www.petswelcome.com has a trip planner to aid in finding pet-positive hotels and experiences all the way to your destination.
- https://www.gopetfriendly.com keeps track of pet places that are free or strongly pet-positive. According to GPF, Red Roof Inns, Kimpton Hotels and Element by Westin are the most welcoming. Aloft Hotels have their ARF (Animals Are Fun) program that welcomes your pet with beds, bowls, treats and even toys.
- The American Kennel Club’s recommendations include options for every budget. Look for places to stay that have a dog park on the property so your pet can unwind. https://www.akc.org/expert-advice/home-living/a-guide-to-pet-friendly-hotel-chains-in-the-united-states.
When staying overnight, expect a pet guest fee and possibly a deposit for damages at most places. Some lodgings restrict breeds, or limit to one or two pets only.
Also look into vacation home-rental sites like AirBnb and VRBO at your destinations. Home renters will be more likely to accept pets on a case-by-case basis, in case your traveling partner is a Great Dane or something else a little out of the ordinary.
It might help to get a copy of the “Ruff Guide to the United States,” available at major bookstores. It’s like a cross-country road atlas for cool attractions and things to experience with your pet.
Before heading out for your trip, check with convention and visitors’ bureaus that are along the way. They will be happy to give you tons of information about the best pet-friendly places to eat, fun things to do, and places to relax.