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Epic pet-friendly vacations in the USA

Pet been a good boy or girl? Treat them to the trip of a lifetime with the best pet-friendly vacations in the USA.

Written by
Natalie Beauregard
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Next time you want to reward your pet for being a good boy or girl, put away the treats and plan a trip instead. Whether your four-legged friend is partial to hotels, glamping sites, cities, or the great outdoors, there are plenty of places to vacation where you’ll both feel appreciated.

Rather than treating your pet as an accessory, destinations as varied as Acadia National Park, Sanibel Island, and San Diego welcome them as guests, offering dog-friendly hikes, beaches, parks, and more to ensure they enjoy their stay. Some hotels even provide perks for pets or host dog-centric events, incentivizing you to bring your pup as your plus one.

Below, we’ve rounded up the best vacations to take with your pet so you can spend quality time together somewhere special. Get ready to make some adorable memories.

Best pet-friendly vacations in the US

Acadia National Park, Maine
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1. Acadia National Park, Maine

One of the most pet-friendly national parks in the country, Acadia boasts 100 miles of dog-friendly hiking trails along the dramatic Maine coast. Within the 47,000-acre wilderness area on Mount Desert Island, you’ll also discover sandy beaches and 45 miles of carriage roads where you can stroll with your leashed pooch. Pets are even welcome on the shuttles that go to scenic vistas throughout the park, so you can take in some stunning views together. After you’ve experienced the park, head to the neighboring town of Bar Harbor, where dogs are allowed on buses and the patios of several pet-friendly restaurants. If you want to get out on the water, book a cruise of Frenchman Bay with Downeast Windjammer, which permits pups on its historic sailboats.

Sanibel Island, Florida
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2. Sanibel Island, Florida

Almost all of the white-sand beaches n picturesque Sanibel Island are pet friendly. One of the most popular is Gulfside Beach, where you’ll also find picnic areas, grills, outdoor showers, and restrooms. Once your furry friend has had enough sun, take them to the renowned J.N.Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge, where leashed pets can explore the wetlands in one of the country’s largest undeveloped mangrove systems. Be sure to also visit the Sanibel Island Farmers’ Market, which takes place every Sunday and features more than 40 vendors selling baked goods, fresh seafood, crafts, and, most importantly, pet treats.

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Austin, Texas
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3. Austin, Texas

With numerous restaurants that cater to pets and expansive green spaces in the heart of downtown, Austin is one of the most dog-friendly cities in the country. Go for a stroll with Fido on the 10-mile trail and boardwalk around Lady Bird Lake, or rent a kayak or stand-up paddleboard and spend some time on the water together. Looking for more? How about exploring the woods and waterfalls at Barton Creek Greenbelt Preserve, running free at off-leash dog park Red Bud Isle, or even visiting the Texas State Capitol building, where the lawn is open to pets? Base your stay at the Four Seasons Hotel Austin, which welcomes four-legged guests with amenities like cozy beds, squeaky toys, and food bowls filled with house-made biscuits.

Kanab, Utah
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4. Kanab, Utah

The gateway to slot canyons, sand dunes, and desert trails, Kanab is practically synonymous with outdoor adventure. Still, the town is most famous for the Best Friends Animal Sanctuary, the nation’s largest no-kill companion animal shelter. Visit the 37,000-acre property to spend time with adoptable dogs and cats, help clean kennels, and participate in training sessions. Then, treat your own pup to a night at the Best Friends Roadhouse and Mercantile, located just five miles from the sanctuary. The motel offers guest rooms with pet introduction doors and sleeping nooks, a fenced-in dog park, self-service pet washing stations, and dog walking services for when you’re busy at the shelter.

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San Diego, California
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5. San Diego, California

Treat your pooch to an urban experience in San Diego, where off-leash dog parks can be found downtown and beyond. Start at Morley Field or Nate’s Point in Balboa Park, then head to Grape Street Dog Park in South Park. When your pup tires of grassy fields, hit the sand at Coronado Dog Beach, one of the first official leash-free beaches in the U.S., or catch a Padres game at Petco Park, which features a Barkyard seating option in left-center field with five semi-private viewing areas for fans and their hounds. The best accommodation option is the Pendry San Diego, where dogs stay free and get beds, bowls, treats, and extra waste bags.

Woof Cottages at Nantucket Boat Basin, Massachusetts
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6. Woof Cottages at Nantucket Boat Basin, Massachusetts

The Cottages at Nantucket Boat Basin reserves special space for visiting pups. The waterfront Woof Cottages are designed with pets in mind, offering extra amenities like doggie beds, bowls, personalized pet tags, and welcome bags full of nautical-themed chew toys and treats. Guests can bring up to two dogs for a fee of $59 per night and have access to walking services and pet concierge Bailey, a Black Lab–Brittany Spaniel mix who they can email for recommendations. Furry friends are also invited to enter the property’s monthly Facebook and Instagram contests to win “Top Dog” and a two-night stay at The Cottages.

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The Resort at Paws Up, Montana
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7. The Resort at Paws Up, Montana

With a name inspired by the dog’s signature greeting, The Resort at Paws Up is as pet-friendly as it gets. Located on 37,000 acres in Montana’s picturesque Blackfoot Valley, the property makes pups feel at home with doggie beds, dishes, collars, locally-made treats, a tennis ball, and a welcome card from the owner’s dog, Coco. Guests also receive maps to the resort’s scenic trails and are welcome to bring Fido along on guided hikes. For an extra special experience, visit during August for the annual Canine Classic Walk/Run/Hike, which transforms the resort into a dog park, lodge, and spa for an entire weekend to raise money for charities like Working Dogs for Conservation. Choose between a two-mile walk, five-mile run, or even a half marathon, and be sure to attend the Wine & Bitch dinner the night before the race, during which guests feast on a gourmet meal with wine pairings while dogs enjoy supervised playtime.

Under Canvas Grand Canyon, Arizona
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8. Under Canvas Grand Canyon, Arizona

Set on 160 acres of forest in Valle, Arizona, just 25 minutes from the South Rim entrance to Grand Canyon National Park, Under Canvas is the glamping site of your—and your dog’s—dreams. Reserve one of the safari-inspired, pet-friendly tents, and you’ll have the option to add the Pendleton Pooch Enhancement, which includes a Pendleton dog bed and bowl to use during your stay as well as dog treats and a bandana to take home. When you’re not relaxing on-site, visit the Grand Canyon, where leashed dogs are allowed on the 12-mile paved South Rim Trail, which winds past iconic viewpoints like Yavapai, Hopi, Mojave, and Mather. You can also opt to participate in the B.A.R.K. Ranger program, during which you’ll learn how to experience the dog-friendly areas of America’s national parks to the fullest, and head home with a dog tag to commemorate the experience.

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Autocamp Yosemite, California
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9. Autocamp Yosemite, California

Glamp with your pooch in an Airstream trailer, cabin, or luxury tent at Autocamp Yosemite, located right near the park entrance (and be sure to tag your social media posts with #DogsofAutocamp during your stay). Surrounded by a serene forest, each accommodation boasts a private patio with a fire pit and grill, perfect for cozy evenings with your furball. During the day, explore Yosemite, where leashed dogs are permitted on most fully paved roads, sidewalks, bicycle paths, and developed areas. Popular pet-friendly hikes include the Bridalveil trail, which takes you through the cool mist to the base of a waterfall, the Lower Yosemite Fall Loop, which also features an incredible waterfall view, and the paved trails leading out to Glacier Point, where you and your dog can take in vistas of Half Dome and the Vernal and Nevada Falls below.

Dog Mountain in Saint Johnsbury, Vermont
Photograph: Shutterstock

10. Dog Mountain in Saint Johnsbury, Vermont

For a trip that’s all about your four-legged family member, choose Dog Mountain, a dairy farm turned dog-centric attraction created by the late artist Stephen Huneck and his wife, Gwen. Guests here can explore 150 acres of leash-free property featuring trails, meadows, and ponds, then pay a visit to the dog chapel and its many memorials to dearly departed pets. Dogs are free to run, swim, and play with other pups, while their owners can enjoy wildflowers in spring and snowshoe fun in winter. There’s also a gallery on-site where you can shop Huneck’s dog-inspired woodcut prints, giclées, children’s books, furniture, and more.

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