The beach vacation dogs dream of: He digs, you lounge. Perfection!
Road Trip Refuges
These animal-friendly hotel chains put out the welcome mat—and so much more—for dogs and, in some cases, cats, lizards and others too. Always let the hotel know in advance that you’re bringing a pet, and ask about additional fees and/or restrictions.
Best Western Many locations (1,600 and counting) allow two dogs per room or—with prior approval—cats, birds, snakes and more. Some offer a dog-walking area as well as other pet-related perks.
Kimpton This chain’s policy is among the most liberal: Any animal that can get in through the door stays for free. Some properties have a director of pet relations, such as Ms. Posh Parker, a Jack Russell terrier who greets guests (and takes breaks by the pool) at the Hotel Palomar in San Diego.
Loews When you check in with your furbaby, you’ll receive a tag, bowl, treats and a sign indicating that your room has a pet in residence. Among the amenities is room service for dogs and cats.
Marriott The company makes it easy to find a suitable property: Choose “pet-friendly” when filtering through its database of hotels.
The Perfect National Park
National Parks make for an awesome family vacation, but many have heavy restrictions on dogs. Acadia National Park in Maine is among the most welcoming, with 100 miles of hiking trails and 45 miles of carriage roads where leashed pets are permitted. Dogs can also enjoy the Blackwoods and Seawall campgrounds. If there’s time for a ferry ride, day-trip together to bucolic Isle au Haut, off the coast of Stonington, ME.
Pooches bask in the sun and jump into the waves along with their owners at the pretty 1.5-mile-long Dog Beach (yep, that’s the name) in Huntington Beach, CA, a canine-embracing community.
On Lake Erie’s Kelleys Island in Ohio, about an hour west of Cleveland, four-legged family members can join the bipedal ones at a designated area of the state park’s beach. The nearby glacial grooves are a must-see.
Off-leash Jupiter Beach in Jupiter, FL, has a serious dog lovers’ vibe. Your pup will have as much fun as your kids romping in and out of the water.
Fantastic Food Truck
The food truck craze has extended to canines, at least in this corner of the Pacific Northwest. The Seattle Barkery, offering handmade dog treats (as well as coffee for humans), can be found at multiple locations around Seattle. What’s on the menu? Pretzels, bagels, doggie bones, cupcakes and, yes, chicken feet. For a special occasion, order up a Hound Dog Cake, encrusted with bacon, topped with “cheezy donuts” and served on a Frisbee. There’s also a permanent treat bar at Dogwood Play Park on 33rd Avenue.
The aptly named Chase Field in Phoenix is home turf of the Arizona Diamondbacks and their Dog Days of Summer package at the PetSmart Patio, behind left-center field. The concession stand serves up doggie ice cream topped with kibble. There’s also an indoor play space as well as a baseball diamond where dogs of all sizes—from Brussels griffons to bullmastiffs—can run the bases. Not in the area? Check with your local MLB team for Bark at the Park events.
Photo: Steve Cole Images/Getty.