Over the last 10 years or more I've been delighted to see how many more hotels and travel destinations have become dog friendly. I started traveling with my dogs because Icy, being a Husky, was too big to travel with me on an airplane. The first year or two of her life I used to board her when we went on vacation. But I found I just missed her way too much and always worried about her.  Was she missing us? What if she became ill or injured and we weren't there?  I began looking for vacation destinations that would not only be great for us but would also be welcoming and fun for dogs too. Over the last 13 years I've traveled extensively with my dogs across the U.S. and discovered so many wonderful dog friendly places! I love to travel with my dogs, I can hardly imagine vacation without them.  So I decided to share these 9 Great Dog Friendly Travel Destinations across the U.S.

9 Great Dog Friendly Travel Destinations Across the U.S
My Husky Icy hiking in Sedona, Arizona




My husband and I lived in Phoenix, Arizona for 9 years due to a job transfer from New York. Phoenix is actually where we got our Husky, Icy as a puppy. 2 years later I adopted Phoebe, a Havanese mix. Phoenix is one of the most dog friendly cities in the country. Dogs are allowed almost everywhere! 

In Phoenix, we were hard pressed to find any park or hiking trail that said dogs weren't allowed. The hiking within the city of Phoenix is fantastic,  nearly all dog friendly!  

Phoenix ranks #3 in the country of cities having the most hiking trails. There are literally hundreds of hiking trails in the city of Phoenix, nearly every one allows dogs! The Phoenix hiking trail system is so well laid out, it's truly impressive. We lived close to Phoenix North Mountain, our favorite place to hike with the dogs in Phoenix. There are lots of dog friendly hotels in Phoenix as well.

Nearly every restaurant and coffee shop is dog friendly on the patio. You can also bring your dog to a number of beautiful outdoor malls and shopping areas to walk, people watch, window shop and stop somewhere for a coffee!  We loved Kierland Commons, a gorgeous outdoor mall in the Scottsdale area. Right across the street from Kierland is another beautiful outdoor area called the Scottsdale Quarter. The Biltmore Fashion Park will also welcome your dog! We have even brought Icy into several of the stores in these mall areas and the employees were always delighted to see her.  In Phoenix, you can practically take your dog everywhere!


Sedona is about 100 miles North of Phoenix. When we lived in Phoenix one of our favorite day and weekend trips was to Sedona. Known as the "Red Rock Region", Sedona is a stunning, magical place. The gorgeous reddish color of the rock and earth are a sight to behold! The best thing about Sedona, in my opinion, is the miles and miles of dog friendly hiking trails through these incredible mountains. We had so many special times hiking with our dogs in Sedona. I miss it so much and I can't wait to get back there again! One of our first and favorite dog friendly hotels in Arizona was The Lodge at Sedona. It was our first road trip with our dog and it's still the most special!

My dog Phoebe on one of the Sedona hiking trails

Sedona is known by most people for it's incredible unique and beautiful rock formations. Rock formations that have been given names like Coffee Pot, because it is actually shaped like a coffee pot! Too many people pass Sedona by on their way to the Grand Canyon, just two hours North. But I think that's a mistake. Sedona is an extraordinary travel destination, especially if you travel with dogs!


Yes, we went in search of little green men! I'm joking, we weren't looking for aliens but we did want to experience the cooky fun vibe of the infamous Roswell New Mexico. We had such a fun time visiting Roswell, it was really a hoot and everyone we met was so nice and welcoming.

The little town is small and quaint. The thing we really wanted to see was the UFO Museum! It was actually a lot more elaborate and interesting than we thought - AND it was dog friendly! How fabulous is that?  

My dogs were a little taken aback by the strange alien exhibits, especially the main one where the aliens and their spaceship actually moved and blew off "smoke". But Icy and Phoebe handled it like the experienced, inquisitive canine travelers that they were, taking it all in stride!  The lovely ladies in the gift shop even gave them each a little green stuffed alien doll to take home!

My dogs weren't sure about these Alien exhibits in Roswell!

The exhibits were super cool, but I was really fascinated by all the original newspaper articles that were papered all over the walls. The articles showed just how frightened and confused people were at the time, of what came to be known as "The Roswell Incident"   Although the military claimed it was a Weather Balloon, rumors swirled wildly and many people were convinced that the 1947 incident was a spaceship that crashed near Roswell.  It was widely believed that remnants of the crashed spaceship, and actual alien remains were kept hidden in a secret military installation in Nevada, known as Area 51.

Whether you believe the truth is out there or not, it's a super fun dog friendly town to visit!  Read more about our Roswell trip.  Do a search on Dog Friendly Hotels in Roswell NM to find a great pet friendly place.


Santa Fe is a very artsy, culturally diverse town. Many artists arrived in Santa Fe, attracted to it's rich, stunning landscape. Quite a few artists settled there creating the vibrant art scene it is today. One such artist is the legendary Georgia O'Keeffe, who spent many Summers in Santa Fe, creating stunning works of the badlands, adobe structures, and mountain landscapes. These important works of art made her one of the most influential artists of the 20th century.  

Santa Fe is definitely a dog friendly town! At the center of town is the Central Plaza, where people and dogs congregate to enjoy the collection of magnificent statues, surrounding art galleries, shops and restaurants. And to people and pooch watch of course! 

Many of the restaurants are dog friendly on their outdoor patios. It's fun to walk your dog around town, and there are several walking and hiking paths in the surrounding area. The hiking around Santa Fe is beautiful!

We found a fabulous dog friendly hotel in Santa Fe, walking distance to everything in town. Our unit was in a charming adobe style and had a little courtyard which the dogs loved. It was really quaint and had such an authentic Santa Fe vibe, we loved it!  

ARKANSAS (Hot Springs and Eureka Springs)

Arkansas is neither Western nor Eastern U.S.  It's considered part of the South, Central United States.  Known as the "Natural State" Arkansas is kind of right smack in the middle of the country! Once we saw Arkansas, it's majestic mountains and vast areas of natural beauty made it clear why it's called the Natural State!  As a Natural State it's no surprise that they welcome dogs!

Our first trip to Arkansas was to the Southern part of the state, where we visited Hot Springs, nestled deep in the Ouachita Mountains. Hot Springs is known for it's thermal springs, natural hot springs. For years these thermal waters were thought to be healing springs (they still are by many people!). Bathhouse Row, is an area where bathhouses began springing up in the late 1800's for people seeking the healing properties of these natural spring waters. 

Hot Springs National Park is the place for dog friendly hiking! All 26 miles of hiking trails in the park allow dogs.  For me, hiking with our dogs was the best part of our visit.  Walking past the natural thermal hot springs through town with my dogs was so beautiful. Don't worry, dogs must be leashed and the 147 degree hot springs are kept secure so you don't wander into them!

Our second trip to Arkansas was in the Northern part of the state, where we visited Eureka Springs, in the Ozark Mountains. In Eureka Springs, the natural springs are cold water springs.

We loved this charming mountain town, and so did the dogs! There was lots of dog friendly walking and hiking, but it is a bit rugged. Make sure you have great walking shoes, water, and can tolerate some hilly terrain. This town is quaint and artsy, I loved browsing all the unique shops.

The Historic Loop Walk around the town is a wonderful path to walk your dogs on. There are dozens of lovely historic homes and natural cool springs along the way. It was so much fun discovering all the little springs!

The natural beauty of Arkansas makes it another place I really look forward to visiting again with our dogs!



Colonial Williamsburg is known as an educational living museum, located in Eastern Virginia.  The heart of Colonial Williamsburg is The Revolutionary City, a historic re-creation of life in Colonial Williamsburg during the American Revolution, that looks and feels so authentic.  

Employees roam the Revolutionary City dressing, speaking, and behaving like true early American "Colonists"! They not only dress in period costume, but they wander the town in character, re-enacting scenes from the revolutionary era and engaging tourists in 1700’s style conversation. It's so fabulous, and hugely entertaining to meet and engage with these folks.

Colonial Williamsburg was surprisingly dog friendly, and our pet friendly hotel in the heart of the Revolutionary City was gorgeous! We couldn't believe they allowed dogs in such a beautiful room! We are not used to that.

9 GREAT DOG FRIENDLY TRAVEL DESTINATIONS ACROSS THE U.S.  Dog friendly Colonial Williamsburg, Virginia
My dog Icy posing with a beautiful statue in Colonial Williamsburg

I didn't think Colonial Williamsburg would be that dog welcoming, but it was.  Of course, we couldn't bring the dogs inside any of the authentic historic buildings for obvious reasons.  But our dogs were able to walk all around the revolutionary city with us and eat at a couple of cafe's with outdoor tables.  We were even able to bring them with us to a nighttime Ghost Walk, which was such a hoot! Check out my blog post on our trip to Colonial Williamsburg with our dogs.


New York City is surprisingly dog friendly, considering it is such a big city with hordes of people and traffic! New Yorkers love dogs and tons of New York City residents have them. I love seeing New Yorkers walking their dogs along the residential streets, eating in outdoor cafes with their dogs, and taking them to the city parks. It always makes me smile!

My favorite place to bring dogs in New York City, is Central Park, hands down! Manhattan's 843 acre city park is unparalleled. It's completely dog friendly and has very little vehicular traffic permitted. Think how great it would be just chilling on The Great Lawn with your dog, or snapping a selfie with you and your dog sitting in the iconic Imagine Mosaic Circle in Strawberry Fields. Or my favorite thing to do in Central Park with dogs, visit the statue of Balto, the world famous Iditarod sled dog!

My Husky Icy posing with the statue of Balto in Central Park, NYC

There are lots of Pet Friendly hotels in New York City, but be sure to pay attention to pet fees and any pet restrictions they may have. Hotels in New York City are expensive but it's important to be in a good safe area!  There are some real considerations you should think about before taking your dog to New York City. I talk about several of them in my blog post on visiting New York City with dogs.


Long Island is where both my husband and I are originally from. "The Island", as we locals call it, isn't exactly the most dog friendly place. It always amazed me that New York City, with it's hordes of people and congested streets, is way more dog friendly than it's closest of neighbors, Long Island! You'll find more "No Dogs Allowed" signs on the Island than probably any other place I've seen! No wonder I had to move, LOL!

OK, so having complained about the lack of dog friendly places on Long Island, I did manage to discover a few hidden gems across the Island that will actually welcome dogs! 

Montauk, at the very Eastern end of Long Island is one such gem. Long Island is well known for it's gorgeous beaches, but hardly any of them allow dogs. Montauk, however is an exception to that rule. There are some beautiful, fun beach areas to visit with your dog.

As you travel East on Long Island all the way to Montauk you pass through The Hamptons. Montauk is a bit more laid back than the posh Hamptons, although in recent years it's casual style is beginning to fade and it is getting a bit too hip for my taste.  

My dog Icy in Montauk, Long Island, with the Montauk Lighthouse in the distance

You can usually take your dog on the beach in Montauk, especially if you go to the very end, Montauk Point, where the historic lighthouse is. The beach can be a little rocky but it's beautiful and you can walk along the beaches with your dog.

The two places in Montauk I like to take my dogs are the beach at Camp Hero and Gosman's Dock.

Camp Hero was an old military base given to the state of New York in the 1980's and allows dogs. The bluffs and shoreline below are just beautiful.  It's a fun time with your dog at the beach!

Gosman's Dock is a waterfront area in Montauk that began as a small chowder stand in the 1940's. It's now a popular little area with shops and restaurants. Not all the restaurants are dog friendly on the patio, but you're welcome to sit along the water and watch the big commercial boats go by. It's lovely and relaxing.

Montauk is a relaxing place to go with your dog to get away from the hustle and bustle of New York City and the rest of Long Island!


Florida is all about the beach and having fun in and on the water.  On Florida's East coast there are two great beach areas that welcome dogs with open arms. Juno Beach and Jupiter Beach are extremely dog friendly, and your dog can romp along the sand or in the water off leash. Here's a short video of Phoebe playing on Juno Beach - she was so adorable!

On any given day you'll see dogs playing together along these beaches. It's so much fun to see them running free, having the time of their lives on the beach!  Jupiter beach is pretty much all dog friendly, whereas Juno beach allows dogs on much, but not all beach areas. But no worries, there's plenty of sun and sand for the doggos to play in! 

The majority of parks throughout Florida, and outdoor shopping areas also welcome dogs. In West Palm Beach, Rosemary Square (formerly City Place) is a large outdoor area with restaurants, shopping and cafes that allow dogs in their outdoor areas. You can take your dog for a stroll through the area, then stop for lunch or at Starbucks for a coffee. 

9 GREAT DOG FRIENDLY TRAVEL DESTINATIONS ACROSS THE U.S.  Pet friendly. Dog friendly, West Palm Beach FL
My dog Phoebe along the Intracoastal in W. Palm Beach, FL

My favorite dog friendly hotel in West Palm beach is the Hyatt Place hotel. Not only is it walking distance to Rosemary Square, it's also just a couple of blocks from a gorgeous, lengthy promenade along the Florida Intracoastal waterway. We often travel 30 minutes from our Florida home just to walk our dogs along this waterfront!

In the Palm Beach Gardens area your dog will enjoy the Downtown, a lovely area with a few restaurants and shops as well as a nice lake you can walk around with your dog. We take our dogs there a lot, they love to take laps around the lake, then walk through the shopping area and stop at Subculture coffee shop for a coffee and chew stick break!  There's plenty of open seating through the shopping area where you and your dog can relax.

I've mentioned a few dog friendly hotels I love, but wherever you go you can do a Google search for Dog Friendly Hotels in the city you're going to, or Pet Friendly Hotels in [city name]. Be sure to check all the rules around dogs staying at the hotel, B&B, or vacation rental, and what all the fees or restrictions for dogs are. 

I hope you enjoyed learning about these 9 Great Dog Friendly Destinations across the U.S.  These travel destinations were some of my best dog friendly vacations. I hope you'll visit one of these pet friendly places soon! After all, if you have to leave your dog at home when you go on vacation, is it really a vacation? 

Let us know in the comments if you vacation with your pets and what your favorite pet friendly destination is!  

Check out the perfect Travel Bags for a vacation with the dog! 

Duffle Bag for a vacation with the dogs.  Bag for holiday with pets
The Perfect Duffle Bag for a Getaway with your Dog!

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Kamira G said...

This was a great trip down memory lane with Icy and Phoebe traveling with you on all your dog friendly destinations. I love NYC Central Park! I have been a few times and there's always something new to discover! I've never been to the far end of Long Island but have friends that rave about Montauk. I'll have to put that on my bucket list to visit one day. Thanks for sharing these travel destination ideas. I'll be sharing!

LaylasWoof said...

I have always wanted to go to New Mexico, I love the vastness of deserts but hey what about San Francisco, we are very very dog friendly also with lots of dog parks plus places to explore, we waiting for you to visit LOL. Great post thanks for all the info

Tail Wag Wisdom said...

What a wonderful list of places to visit with your dog. I'm certain Henry would love them all. I really love seeing Phoebe and Icy. I miss sweet Phoebe too. Ever time I drive down to Las Vegas and pass the Area 51 cut off I tell Henry to mind his ps and qs. It makes me chuckle. Then we generally pull over that the Area 51 gas station. There's a funny little cut out with green aliens in front of the store at the gas station where you can stick your face in and pretend you're an alien. It's the craziest thing. Anyhow, it's those crazy things that make you laugh on vacation, right? I've yet to be able to get a good photo of Henry and I in it. But there's still hope. I can't wait to share this list with all my dog parents as everyone starts out on the vacation season.

FiveSibesMom said...

I always love your travel pieces! How fun to have Icy and Phoebe along. Such great memories. All the times I have been to NYC both for work and living there, can you believe I never saw the statue of Balto?!! How crazy is that? I do love that Lake George now made a lovely dog beach. And as you can guess, it's quite popular! I never did travel with my FiveSibes, well, because I never really traveled! With five of them, I was pretty much a homebody (and loved every minute!) and our trips were close by. They did love car rides, and Wolf was the only one who I did get to bring to our local beach, but alas, it wasn't on the ocean, but rather a river. He seemed to enjoy the surf, but the waves and boats made him a little nervous. But I do have some wonderful photos! I'm sharing all your great info!

Anonymous said...

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