Traveling with dogs is such a good way to see different cities and spaces from a newfangled perspective. You’ll have to find the right pet-friendly accommodations, dining establishments, parks and services that will make the trip go off without a hitch. Likely, you’ll walk your pooch at an early hour as well as after the sun has gone down, so you’ll need to visit somewhere that is not only walkable, with sidewalks and access to grass, but also safe. Coast to coast and destinations in between—here are the best dog-friendly places in the country.
Shine Bright in the Emerald City
You might see more than one little pup in a baby stroller when you walk the streets of Seattle, even in the bustling touristy areas by Pike Place Market or the original Starbucks. And, according the U.S. Census, there are more dogs in Seattle than children, which would account for an explosion of dog-related businesses offering gourmet dog food, pet toys, sitting and walking services, and kennels for overnight stays.
The city has over two dozen off-leash dog parks—Regrade Dog Park in Belltown, Dr. Jose Rizal Park at the north end of Beacon Hill, and Magnuson Park with hiking trails and water access are favorites. You can eat inside many restaurants with your leashed and well-behaved dog in tow. Norm’s Eatery & Alehouse in Fremont (near Seattle’s Fremont Troll) and the award-winning RockCreek Seafood & Spirits, which has a large outdoor patio that is perfect for diners with dogs, are two examples. Bark Espresso might be the most dog-friendly café we’ve ever seen. Of course, there are many trails and woodsy hikes you can take your man’s-best-friend on, including Rattlesnake Ledge and Discovery Park.
Stay: Hotel Max, a trendy and affordable hotel in downtown Seattle, provides your pooch with pet toys, treats, food and water bowls, and a special room service menu.
Bark in the Mile High City
One thing is for sure, Denverites love exploring the great outdoors, especially with their four-legged friends. Visit Mouthfuls Pet Supply, a boutique that offers way more than dog food and chew toys—they’ll help you find your missing pet, give you canine nutrition counseling, and clean your dog’s teeth. Pop into Colorado’s Banded Oak Brewing Company to enjoy a cold one on the outdoor patio—dogs are welcome. Get some exercise with your dog at City Park, Railyard Dog Park, Fuller Dog Park, or Cherry Creek State Park.
Stay: The best pup-friendly hotels in the city include The Crawford Hotel, offering pet amenities and a dog camera so you can watch your pal when you’re away; Kimpton Hotel Monaco Denver, which has a Pampered Paws Pet Package for dogs that need their nails done; and The Westin, Westminster, located near the Westminster Hills Dog Park.
Visit Space City
Houston is a great city for dogs because the fanfare is set at a high here. The Houston World Series of Dog Shows takes place here in the summer, where hundreds of dogs compete in the five-day event, for example. Eat at Cottonwood, near Graham Park—it’s dog-friendly and yummy to boot, and you can support their AKC Reunite Canine Support & Relief Fund. Let your dog run around in one of the many parks—Danny Jackson Family Dog Park, Millie Bush Dog Park and Bay Area Dog Park are all great local-loved options. Rummy’s Beach Club is where to bring your dog for swimming in a heated dog pool, complete with a ramp designed for jumping. The Houston Arboretum, an enormous 155-acre nature preserve, is dog-friendly plus it’s free to enter.
Woof it Up in the Windy City
Chicagoans love their dogs and bring them everywhere. From restaurants that offer special menus to hotels that roll out the red carpet with in-room amenities to beaches and parks—dogs love romping around the Windy City. Even O’Hare International airport has an AstroTurf with little red fire hydrants so dogs can relieve themselves in Terminal 3.
The SoFo Tap, an LGBTQ bar on Clark St., welcomes dogs every Saturday from Noon—3:00 for their Doggy Days mingle event—you can indulge in a half-priced pint while Fido snarfs free treats. Montrose Dog Beach is the perfect place to go to socialize your pet with other dogs, watch them swim in Lake Michigan, and throw a frisbee on the beach—there's a place to bathe your dog afterward to get all of the sand and muck off of him. Wiggly Field in Lincoln Park is another place to let your dog off leash so they can run around and get exercise on the agility equipment. And, if you own a Pug, you’re in luck—Chicago has a twice-annual Pug Party where hundreds of Pugs gather in once place.
Stay: The Claridge House, a lovely dog-friendly boutique hotel in the Gold Coast, has a special doggie cocktail menu at Juniper Spirits & Oysters. If you visit in the warmer months, you can take your dog to the farmer's market around the corner.
Bring Your Dog to the Big Apple
New York City is the city that has it all and for folks with dogs, it really is no different. Dog parks exist in all five boroughs, many restaurants with alfresco patios are dog-friendly, and walking throughout the city or at lively places—like the Brooklyn Bridge—is always more fun with a dog. Stroll through Central Park between 6:00 a.m. and 9:00 a.m. and again from 9:00 p.m. to 1:00 a.m. when dogs are allowed to run around off-leash. Brooklyn Brewery is the place to go with your leashed dog to enjoy a pint in the tasting room. Bring your dog for a breezy ride on the Staten Island Ferry (dogs need to be muzzled). Visit Coney Island, where dogs can walk on the boardwalk alongside their owners, year-round—you can even cop a squat on the beach and watch a free movie through the Coney Island Flicks on the Beach program. Visit Prospect Park in Long Meadow for doggie swimming.
Stay: There’s no need to board your pooch while visiting Gotham City. The Kimpton Muse Hotel, The Roxy Hotel, The Benjamin, SoHo Grand Hotel, and many others allow dogs and have special amenities like dog bowls, treats, chew toys and beds.