Fido loves to travel just as much as you do, so check out these great pet-friendly cities.
If you’re a pet owner, you know that some of the most rewarding experiences can be had when you travel with your pet. So read on to discover our list of the top five cities to visit with your pet.
If you and your pet love the outdoors and historical points of interest, you’ll love knowing that Seattle is vibrant and full of things to do for pets and their owners. And this city’s residents have a devoted love for animals, making it one of the most pet-friendly cities in the United States
What to Do: For a quaint neighborhood vibe, take your dog to beautiful Green Lake, where you can stroll around an expansive lake in the heart of one of Seattle’s most charming and quiet neighborhoods. For a beautiful view, head out to Discovery Park, which is situated on Magnolia Bluff and offers spectacular views of the Puget Sound. You might even be treated to some wildlife sightings, as the neighboring waters and forests are home to harbor seals, California sea lions and Townsend’s chipmunks. If you’re hungry, chow down on some good eats at Norm’s Eatery and Ale House on 36th St., a laid-back pub that was named after a dog and welcomes pets.
Where to Stay: The Pensione Nichols Bed and Breakfast on 1st Ave. in downtown Seattle is one of the most pet-friendly accommodations in the city, as dogs and cats of all sizes are welcome to stay.
While it’s true that San Francisco was a revolutionary city in the counterculture movement in the 1960s, its attitude toward pets and pet owners is also impressive. In fact, in an effort to discourage unethical puppy and kitten mills, the city’s Animal Control and Welfare Commission is looking to outlaw pet sales in Richmond County.
What to Do: San Francisco’s natural beauty and vibrant, laid-back vibe makes it a winner for travelers and their pets. The city is a veritable playground, so start off at Point Isabel Regional Shoreline, located in the nearby suburb of Richmond. This dog park is the largest one of its kind in the country, with more than 20 acres of pet-friendly lawns, leash-free beaches and pet-friendly restaurants like the Sit & Stay Café. And of course you’ll want to check out the city’s most famous landmark, the Golden Gate Bridge. You and your pet are welcome to take a stroll across this iconic piece of architecture. You and your four-legged friend can also hop on a cable car and take a tour of the city.
Where to Stay: While there are a ton of great hotels for you and your pup to hang your head, you’ll want to book a room at the Hotel Monaco on Geary Street near Union Square, which elevates the experience of a night’s stay. Both dogs and cats receive beds and toys in addition to specialized, in-room menus. You can also take part in the Guppy Love program, which loans you a complimentary goldfish to keep you company in your room.
It may surprise you, but Portland is more than just a hipster paradise. This jewel of the Pacific Northwest is also a laid-back, eclectic melting pot of different cultures and lifestyles and is very accepting of animal lovers.
What to Do: As one of the most pedestrian-friendly city, Portland has the most dog parks per capita in the country at 31, according to Forbes. If you happen to be in town in the fall, head on over to the pet-centric festival, Dogtoberfest, which is a dog-washing charity event that now features a street fair with live music and locally brewed beer. And speaking of beer, head to the Lucky Labrador Brewing Company, which is a great place for beer-loving folks and their pets. The craft brews have dog-inspired names and cater to all palates. If you need a pick-me-up, check out the Iron Mutt Coffee Company to get a caffeine fix while your pup enjoys a complimentary biscuit.
Where to Stay: There’s no shortage of pet-friendly hotels in this city, but downtown Portland’s Heathman Hotel really knows how to pamper your pet. Your pet will be treated to such perks as the “Bark of Sleep” pet bed menu and an exclusive walking tour of the city. Not only that, but all four-legged guests receive a complimentary physical examination voucher with their stay, redeemable at any Banfield Pet Hospital nationwide.
While “pet-friendly” might not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think of Austin (“Live Music Capital of the World” or “Food Truck Central” might be up there), but this vibrant southwestern city in the Lone Star State is incredibly welcoming of your four-legged friends.
What to Do: Austin is known for its sunny, warm weather, so you’ll definitely want to spend some time outside. The city has 12 off-leash parks where dogs can run and play. If your pup gets a little too hot, let him cool off in the natural creek in Bull Creek District Park and Greenbelt on Lakewood Drive. If you visit Austin in the summer, you and your pooch can head to downtown’s Zilker Park and check out a concert or fun festival, or tour the city in a historic horse-drawn carriage, where your dog is welcome to ride, too. With all this fun, you’re bound to work up an appetite, so head on over to B.B. Rover’s Café and Pub, which offers covered outdoor seating and water bowls for thirsty pups.
Where to Stay: Stay in the heart of downtown and treat your pet to some southern hospitality at The Driskill. The “Pampered Pet Program” provides a comfortable pet bed and designer doggie dishes in your room, as well as bottled water and gourmet treats from the 1886 Café & Bakery. And when you’re ready to explore the town, the concierge desk can provide you with city maps that highlight pet-friendly areas, leashes and collars.
According to PetTravel.com, there are more than 120,000 dogs living in the Big Apple. So, obviously, the city that never sleeps is well-equipped for travelers and the pets traveling with them. This big and bustling city has so much to do, from the shops to the subway, and your pet is invited along every step of the way.
What to Do: Obviously, you’ll want to start off at the heart of New York: Central Park. Here, your pup can run and play while you engage in some great people watching. For some pooch-specific fun, make the trek out to Long Meadow Dog Beach in Brooklyn’s Prospect Park, where your dog can swim and have fun. Let Fido strut his stuff as you tour the city on the NYC Dog Walking Tour, which visits neighborhoods like Greenwich Village, Soho, Lower East Side and Little Italy. If you can afford it, treat your dog to a day of pampering, as New York has some of the best holistic pet stores, deluxe pet salons and posh doggie day care centers around.
Where to Stay: If you want to stay in the heart of it all, splurge on a room at The Ritz-Carlton New York, Central Park, smack dab in the hustle and bustle of the city. The staff goes above and beyond to make sure both you and your pet are comfortable.
Photo credit: iStockphoto/ktmoffitt