6 Fun Ways to Plan a Pupcation in Colorado

Have dog, will travel

Dog vacation in Colorado
••• Colorado is for dogs. Getty Images/Natasha Japp Photography

Colorado loves its pets — especially its dogs.

If you “have dog, will travel” and are headed to the Mile High state, you won’t have to sacrifice your vacation for your furry friend. There’s plenty of adventure for you and Fido to go on together.

BringFido.com notes 258 different dog-friendly cities in Colorado. It’s hard to find somewhere in the state that isn’t welcoming to pets.

Here are some of our favorite pup-friendly things to do in Colorado.

Go Camping in an Airstream

Denver-based Living Airstream is where “glamping” meets retro. You can rent a shiny, silver bubble of an Airstream camper and bring it camping in the mountains — no dirt required. Of course, your pup is allowed to stay with you, says founder Bill Ward. 

“How can you not allow pets in Colorado?” he says.

Get out in nature with your pet, without having to forfeit all of your comforts. The Airstreams have mini kitchens, comfy beds, showers and toilets, and a roof over your head if it rains. It's like camping, minus the biggest inconveniences. Plus, if you're stationed in the mountains, there's plenty of wide open space for your animal to feel free. Just keep a close eye on him to keep him safe from wildlife. Many parks and trails also have a leash law. 

A great spot to camp out with your pet year-round right in the city is Chatfield State Park, with its on-site, off-leash dog park where your pup can get his wiggles out.

Share Ice Cream Together

Ice cream for dogs is nothing new in Colorado. Before it closed, Skoops Ice Cream in Denver served special frozen snacks for dogs.

Today, you can find The Bear and the Rat ice cream for dogs (yes, of “Shark Tank”) at just about every grocery store in Denver and beyond. Or head over to Bonnie Brae in Denver for some people ice cream served on a totally dog-friendly patio.

Stop and Smell the Dog Food

The massive Purina dog food production factory fills the north edge of Denver with the pungent scent of dog food. There is no escape. While the scent will probably stop you in your tracks (and maybe make you gag a little or a lot), watch your pup’s eyes light up when he catches a whiff. This activity is for the most selfless of dog-owners. 

Visit Colorado Springs

Estately named its favorite U.S. cities for dogs, and two Colorado locations made the top 17 cut.

Colorado Springs was chosen for its many pup-friendly amenities, affordable vets and state parks and trails that welcome canine explorers.

You can even bring your dog into the Ghost Town Wild West Museum. You may be glad to have a guard dog by your site, as Colorado Springs claims to be an “authentic ghost town.” Even if you don’t dig museums, give this one a go; the Mobile Travel Guide and Family Circle Magazine named it one of the 55 “special attractions” in America.

Dog Park Hop

The city of Denver also made Estately’s list, recognized for having nine off-leash dog parks and more than 100 places to shop for your pets. That number seems to keep growing. According to DogParksInDenver.com, there are well over a dozen dog parks in this town alone.

You could spend all week bouncing from park to park. 

BYOD (Bring Your Own Dog) to the Bar

Only in Colorado is there a dog-friendly bar. The Watering Bowl bills itself as "your best friend's bar," and here's why: Not only does this bar serve craft beer on tap, as well as human food, like pizzas, but it also will host dog birthday parties, dog reunions, "bark mitzvahs" and dog weddings.

The Watering Bowl has a private dog park, a large patio, pet photography, dog grooming and training, face painting for kids, green chili, shots — yeah, it's pretty eclectic. Welcome to Colorado.