Updated - Jul 6th, 2021
As a dog parent, jetting off on a vacation can feel like more trouble than it’s worth. Even if you hire a trustworthy dog sitter, set up pet playdates, and leave enough treats behind to feed a whole pack, you might constantly worry that your pup isn’t getting enough snuggles or sleep or attention. Plus, it’s tough to be away from your furry best friend—even if just for a weekend.
Here’s the good news: you don’t have to choose between a much-needed vacation and time with your pooch! You can have it all. There are travel destinations scattered all across the United States that welcome dogs as esteemed guests. Pumpkin partnered with travel expert Pavia Rosati, founder of the award-winning editorial travel site Fathom and co-author of the new book Travel North America (And Avoid Being a Tourist), to select the best places for pet parents to visit with their dogs this summer. Whether a beach lover, camper, adventurer, hiker, foodie, swimmer, or more, these 23 dog-pampering destinations from Cape Cod to Southern California will be sure to keep everyone’s tail wagging.
1. Rutland, Vermont: The Paw House Inn
This dog hotel is more dog-friendly than it is human-friendly – they actually charge you a $10 fee if you don’t bring a dog. Conveniently located only miles from hundreds of dog-friendly outdoor destinations—such as Chaffee Falls (a hidden gem swimming spot), Pico Mountain (a challenging yet rewarding hike), Long Trail Brewery (a classic Vermont brewery), and even the Lincoln Family Home—The Paw House Inn is Vermont’s go-to dog house. The property’s “Paw House Park” is an off-leash, fenced-in park where dogs can romp and socialize, and “Mario’s Playhouse” is a custom-built doggie-day-care facility for when you’re looking to shed your puppy parent duties for a day of exploring or a night on the town. At the Paw House Inn, you can trust that your pup is in very good paws.
2. Pilot Point, Texas: Waggin’ Tail Ranch RV Resort
The Waggin’ Tail Ranch RV Resort works hard to keep the promise embedded in its name. This rustic-meets-modern RV Park is a resort that “caters to dogs,” offering an elaborate agility course, doggie day care program, dog wash/dog litter stations, and a separate swimming pond for pups. The resort also incorporates a community pavilion, outdoor cooking space, community garden, kids play area, and lawn game area—all of which welcome dogs. The RV sites are fully fenced for maximum dog security, and there’s even a “laundromutt” (which is really just a laundromat with a cute name) for when you need a fresh set of T-shirts. The welcoming, dog-loving, tight-knit family culture of the Waggin’ Tail Ranch keeps guests coming back year after year.
3. Boulder City, Nevada: Rail Explorers
Rail Explorers is a year-round outdoor-adventure attraction featuring pedal-powered rail bikes for all ages; it’s a way to experience the magic of the railroad from outside a train, taking in the landscape as you ride. It’s been a go-to for family-friendly adventures, and they now invite riders to bring their furry canine friends with them. Rail Explorers’ bikes accommodate larger dogs on the platform between the human riders’ seats (though huge dogs might not fit), and small dogs may also ride while strapped in a carrier to their owner. If you and your doggo both happen to be athletic thrill-seekers, then Rail Explorers is the place for you. Plus, bustling Las Vegas is only about thirty minutes away; for a luxury experience in Sin City, you can stay overnight at Delano Las Vegas, which allows one or two dogs with a combined weight of less than 100 pounds.
4. Stillwater, Minnesota: Lora Hotel
The Lora makes its home in a small town, but it has big love for its pet guests. This hotel will greet your pet with a bed, bowls, toys, tasty treats, and even a pet-friendly room service menu approaching the height of luxury. It also hosts a library of inspirational books, on topics ranging from dog massage to pet psychology, leaving no pup unpampered. Plus, the Lora Hotel is located in a picturesque burg namechecked by Real Simple Magazine as one of “5 Small U.S. Towns Worthy of Your 2020 Destination Bucket List.” The town’s highlights include lots of outdoor dining options, delicious creameries (such as decades-old Nelson’s Ice Cream), Stillwater River Boats river cruises, and boutique stores.
5. Greenough, Montana: The Resort at Paws Up
Set on 37,000 acres of pristine Montana landscapes, The Resort at Paws Up will not only welcome your best friend, but cater to them. The pet fee is only $50 per night, and amenities include The Last Best Doggie Bed, a dog dish, locally made treats, a dog-friendly hiking trail map, a tennis ball, and an adorable welcome card from the owner’s dog, Coco. The resort’s accommodation options feature a private home or safari-style luxury tent, and either choice will have you feeling right at home among Montana’s gorgeous scenery. Plus, there’s no shortage of ways to spend your time outdoors, including horseback riding, trail adventures, climbing pursuits, and lake activities. It’s virtually impossible to run out of things to do.
6. Sparta, Wisconsin: Justin Trails Resort
If you’re in the market for an outdoorsy vacation, Justin Trails Resort is a self-proclaimed pet’s paradise. The resort hosts a 200-acre certified organic farm featuring grassy mowed trails and endless meadows, perfect for when your pup wants to shed the leash and burn off some steam. Every one of Justin Trails’ overnight accommodations is dog-friendly, whether you opt for the farmhouse suite, cottage, or log cabin. If you want to venture outside the resort, there is a railroad-turned-bike path and special bird watching spots nearby. The best part? Your dog has a built-in best friend and frolic buddy throughout your stay, as the resort is home to the cutest White Siberian Husky, Heidi.
7. Mt. Hood, Oregon: Lavender Valley Farms
Lavender Valley Farms is the ultimate nature lover’s dream. Its mission is all about appreciating the beauty of the outdoors and how humans (and dogs) can connect to it. As long as your pooch is kept on a leash, you can wander the lavender fields, picnic under the mountain, take picturesque photos, shop the farm’s selection of healing botanical products, and even leave with a bundle of sweet-smelling lavender for your home. It’s an unforgettable, fragrance-filled experience like no other, made extra special with your canine companion by your side. Plus, dogs find the smell of lavender endlessly soothing, so this is a great getaway if your pup is a little on the anxious side. For overnight lodging, head to Cooper Spur Mountain Resort; only twenty minutes from Lavender Valley Farms, this cozy resort with dog-friendly units features relaxing hot tubs and easy access to Mount Hood National Forest.
8. Nantucket, Massachusetts: The Cottages
The Cottages are made to make your puppy pals feel right at home. As soon as you walk in, you and your dog will be welcomed by Bailey, the Black Lab/Britney Spaniel mix concierge who is eager to tend to your pup’s every whim. Each cottage features doggie beds and bowls, a welcome basket filled with treats and toys, and personalized pet tags. But the dog-friendly area surrounding your stay is really the star of the show. Located at the beautiful Nantucket Boat Basin, the cottages are the closest thing to staying on the water without being on a boat, and there’s ample space to stretch your legs or just enjoy the scenery. Trusty concierge Bailey takes his job very seriously and will gladly brief you and your dog on the best places to run wild, play fetch, and eat lunch.
9. Alamogordo, New Mexico: White Sands National Park
You’ve seen sand by the ocean, but the white sand at White Sands National Park takes that experience to the next level. It’s the largest gypsum dune field in the world, and it’s so expansive it can literally be seen from space. And unlike most national parks, White Sands allows leashed dogs the same access as it allows people (except inside buildings). This means that there are miles and miles of soft sand and dunes for you and your canine to explore. However, bring lots of water and be wary of hot temperatures under the paws, as temperatures at the park can reach extreme heights in the summertime. After you and your doggo have exhausted yourselves for the day, you can go back to the nearby Quality Inn & Suites Near White Sands National Monument for a comfortable refresh.
10. St. Louis, Missouri: Gateway Arch National Park
St. Louis’s Gateway Arch National Park is a dog-friendly destination that combines grace, simplicity, and an abundance of green space. An urban national park disconnected from the hustle and bustle of the city, the park stretches all the way from the Old Courthouse (built in the 1800s) to the Mississippi River Overlook. While you enjoy the views and absorb the local history, your dog will relish exploring the trails and napping on the grass. When you’re hungry, the park is the perfect place to picnic with your pup; vendors on the park’s outskirts sell delicious snacks as well as doggie water bowls. The park even hosts a “Pups on the Gateway Arch” event, where your dog can take the pledge to become a National Park-protecting B.A.R.K. Ranger. For lodging, check out Drury Plaza St. Louis at the Arch; not only does it welcome dogs, but it’s less than five minutes from the national park.
11. Saratoga Springs, NY: The Adelphi Hotel
Between its Farmers Market, swimming and boating lake, and Spa State Park Dog Park, Saratoga Springs is a well-known dog-friendly town. But in order to enjoy all that it has to offer with your trusty canine companion, you need a dog-friendly place to stay. Enter: The Adelphi Hotel. This luxurious hotel is located right in the heart of historic Saratoga Springs, and it welcomes dogs and cats into guests’ rooms, the lobby, and onto the outdoor restaurant patio. The hotel also provides cozy beds, and offers food and water dishes, leashes, and collars upon request.
12. Corpus Christi, Texas: Padre Island National Seashore
There’s almost no destination that dogs and humans love more than the beach, and Padre Island National Seashore—the longest stretch of undeveloped barrier island in the world—is no exception. After a night at the nearby, pet-friendly Executive Residency by Best Western Hotel, you can take your leashed dog to explore all the amenities that Padre Island National Seashore has to offer, from the serene beach to the pavilion deck to the rustic campsites. In fact, there’s even a special pet access trail for dog entrance. It rarely gets too crowded, so you and your best friend will have plenty of space to sniff around and explore. The only thing your dog can’t do is enter any of the National Seashore’s buildings, but with that perpetually gorgeous summertime beach weather, who wants to be inside anyway?
13. Charlottesville, Virginia: Quirk Charlottesville Hotel
Quirk Charlottesville is a boutique art hotel in the heart of Charlottesville’s historic downtown that offers a vintage vibe with a modern twist. While known for its savvy decor, the hotel’s best feature has to be its Posh Pups Package, designed to spoil your dog rotten during your stay. The package includes overnight accommodations, waste disposal bags, Quirk dog toys, and an adorable “Dog in Room” door hanger. When you venture outside the hotel, you and your pooch can take walks on the nearby University of Virginia campus, enjoy a leisurely meal together at the outdoor restaurants, and check out stunning dog-friendly wineries such as Pippin Hill Farm and Jefferson Vineyards.
14. Chicago, Illinois: Kimpton Gray
If you’re hoping to see The Bean and eat some Chicago caramel corn on your next trip, then look no further than Chicago’s Kimpton Gray hotel. Kimpton believes that having a pet shouldn’t stop you from seeing new places. As long as your pet fits through the door, they’re welcome guests for no additional cost. Kimpton prides itself on being an exceptionally pet-friendly hotel brand, and they’ve truly gone above and beyond. A stay at the Kimpton Gray means a welcome treat and hand-made bow-tie, in-room amenities like a dog bed and dog bowls, and a Kimpton Spotify Pet Playlist for de-stressing you and your pet in the event you find a poo where it shouldn’t be. What’s more, their recently-initiated “Pawtraits at Gray” program gives those that sign up a welcome package that includes a hand-drawn charcoal drawing of your dog by a local artist—as long as you share your favorite dog photo seven days prior to arrival. And outside the hotel is equally as dog-friendly; popular activities include a trip to Montrose Dog Beach, a Mercury’s Canine Cruise (yes, dogs on a boat!), and a walk on the Valley Line Trail.
15. San Diego, California: Thousand Trails Pio Pico RV Resort and Campground
If you’re an outdoors enthusiast who loves a good old-fashioned campfire, then the Thousand Trails Pio Pico RV Resort is the place to be. A full-service RV resort located just South of San Diego and only 20 minutes from Mexico, this unique travel destination offers a way to connect with nature while staying active—and having a blast. Amenities include sports courts, a swimming pool, a game room, a mini golf course, and multiple hiking trails. The resort has more than 250 hook-up RV sites, but if you don’t have an RV, don’t worry; there are comfortable cottage and cabin rentals that come fully equipped and sleep up to six. The whole resort and campground is pet-friendly and includes an awesome onsite dog park. There’s no reason why your four-legged family member shouldn’t get to make some new puppy pals while on vacation.
16. Mendocino, California: The Stanford Inn
The Stanford Inn is no stranger to animal guests, as they’ve hosted dogs, cats, iguanas, parrots, a tortoise, and even Vietnamese pot belly pigs throughout the years. With two beloved dogs themselves (and plenty of other animals, such as horses and donkeys, on the grounds), the Inn’s owners were among the first bed and breakfast innkeepers in California to welcome pets. They will treat your doggo like family, as the inn supplies bowls for food and water, litter bags, treats, and furniture covers so that your stay remains stress-free. This destination was even featured in a 2021 Dogtrekker article, illustrating the inn’s wellness-focused activities (such as yoga, acupuncture, massages, and more) and delicious plant-based dining options for humans and canines alike.
17. Nordland, Washington: Fort Flagler State Park
Fort Flagler State Park is an army-fort-turned-state-park that is proven to induce tail wagging in your furry friends. About 1,469 acres wide, this massive state park hosts every activity (literally) under the sun. You and your pup can enjoy some well-deserved solitude with hiking, picnicking, fishing, boating, stargazing, camping, and soaking in the outdoor air. While you can’t invite your pup into the park’s indoor facilities, this is a perfect destination for planning an outdoor adventure. And if tent camping isn’t for you, you can still sleep under the stars and wake up to watch the sunrise at one of the Mystery Bay Inn’s family-owned cabins nearby.
18. Charleston, South Carolina: James Island County Park
James Island County Park is fun for the whole family—especially your pup. With an over-the-top dog park, your best friend has free rein to play and swim and soak up the sun. For the human (and adventurous) members of the family, the park has its own climbing wall, challenge course, equestrian center, marina, and Splash Zone waterpark. The park also hosts festivals throughout every season, such as “Yappy Hour” in the spring or “Starlight Yoga” in the summer. You can take a day trip or stay overnight at the campsite or in a cottage, and it’s a quick trip from the park to explore the restaurants, bars, and boutiques in downtown Charleston.
19. Telluride, Colorado: Hotel Columbia
For an experience that combines comfort and luxury, check out Hotel Columbia. This Colorado hotel treats dogs like family, welcoming them with gourmet elk jerky treats, food and water bowls, comfortable dog beds, and “plenty of love.” The hotel even keeps an on-hand list of groomers, pet shops, and dog-friendly hiking trails if you need any recommendations. When you’re not enjoying the hotel’s warm fireplace or the complimentary breakfast delivered right to your room, you can venture outside to explore Telluride’s snow-capped mountains, quaint historic district, or majestic waterfalls. A trip to Telluride might be just what you and your dog need to relax and recharge in each others’ company.
20. Washington, D.C.: Hotel Madera
Those planning a visit to D.C.’s central Dupont Circle with their furry friends will delight in Hotel Madera’s Bark and Park Package. The pet-friendly amenity goes beyond the hotel’s standard canine accoutrements —complimentary treats, food bowls, pet beds, waste bags, and fur baby door hangers—to provide a list of pet-friendly parks and eateries in the area, including the adjacent Firefly Terrace and nearby Glen’s Garden Market. As an added bonus, the hotel offers complimentary overnight valet parking; when you need your car—perhaps for a trip to the National Mall—the hotel will fetch it. The package starts at $199 per night.
21. White Mountains, New Hampshire: Huttopia
At the French family-owned glamping retreat Huttopia, all sites are pet-friendly (in addition to the White Mountains, there are locations in Southern Maine and the New York Adirondacks). Each accommodation is freestanding (ranging from wood and canvas tents to stone and wood cabins) with handicap accessible options, and is set in the perfect base camp for outdoor activities like hiking and lake swimming with your pup. The New Hampshire location is close to the trails, scenic views, and swimming holes of the White Mountain National Forest, and has a heated saltwater pool for peak relaxation. Huttopia is a one-stop-destination for lovers of the great outdoors and their four-legged companions.
22. Aspen, Colorado: The Little Nell
Aspen, Colorado is a historically high-end, dog-loving destination. Plus, the town’s unique vibe is a treat for doggo and human alike. Aspen is full of dog-friendly activities; you can take trips to Wagner and Rio Grande Parks, walk in Smuggler Trail’s no-leash zone, and dine outside on the many pet-friendly patios. When you and your pup have exhausted yourselves, you can head to The Little Nell, Aspen’s only five-star, Five Diamond hotel that will have dog bowls and beds prepped for your arrival. The hotel also features a pet menu, including high-quality options like wagyu beef for your hungry canine. And if you’re hoping to explore some of Aspen’s not-so-dog-friendly activities, you can trust The Little Nell’s dog sitters and dog walkers to take great care of your best friend while you’re apart.
23. Boston, Massachusetts: XV Beacon Hotel
The Boston area is home to Harvard University, the beloved sitcom Cheers, and XV Beacon—the pawfect dog-friendly hotel. Located in the heart of Boston proper, XV Beacon provides homemade dog biscuits on a personalized welcome dish, a plush dog bed and water bowl (with filtered water!), an extensive list of pet-friendly establishments, to-go dog bowls, and clean-up bags for your trip to the Boston Commons (the best place for a frisbee catch). Whether you’re coming or going, the hotel’s bellmen are always equipped with dog treats to brighten your pup’s day. Plus, XV Beacon doesn’t discriminate against your biggest furry pals; they welcome dogs of any size or weight with open arms.
Finally! Gone are the days of missing your pup from the beach—or staying home to avoid that painful separation anxiety (it’s real!). With any of these 23 dog-friendly travel destinations, you can plan fun-filled, jam-packed adventures all over the map. So embark: this summer, trade staycations for vacations and make memories with your best friend by your side.