America’s Best Dog-Friendly Vacation Spots

Dogs love vacationing as much as their human companions. According to a 2012 AAA/Best Western survey, 51 percent of travelers with pets said they would bring their pet on every vacation if they could. Since many vacation spots are not dog-friendly, it’s crucial to plan ahead to make accommodations for you and Fido. Check out these dog-friendly vacation spots where you and your pooch can stay, play and eat.

Carlsbad, Calif.

Enjoy a seven-mile stretch of Pacific coastline in the north San Diego County city of Carlsbad. This scenic community is the perfect place to bring your beach-loving canine. Ocean View Beach is an off-leash dog park separated into two separate areas – one for big dogs and one for smaller breeds. Your pooch can tackle the challenging obstacle course and canine play equipment and run along a mix of decomposed granite and turf surfaces.

Grand Canyon, Ariz.

Pets are welcome at the beautiful Grand Canyon, but plan to work around restrictions set by the National Park Service. According to the NPS, pets must be leashed and are only allowed on trails above the rim. They are also permitted in Desert View Campground, Mather Campground, Trailer Village, and throughout other developed areas. If you want to take in some sights on your own, there is a kennel at the South Rim.

Wisconsin Dells, Wisc.

Bring Fido to the Wisconsin Dells for a vacation full of fun activities for both dog and owner. Begin your journey at Devil’s Lake State Park, with its 360-acre spring-fed lake and scenic trails. If you want to get off the land, Dells Boat Tours are dog-friendly if the animal is leashed or crated. The tours leave from the Upper Dells in Broadway and from the Lower Dells at the H 12/13/16 intersection. The Standings Rock Park Dog Exercise Area in Portage is the perfect place for Fido to let loose. Stay at a dog-friendly hotel in Wisconsin Dells, such as Baker’s Sunset Bay Resort or Diamond Hotel.

Gatlinburg, Tenn.

Climb more than 1,800 feet high to the top of Crockett Mountain, take in the inspiring views and take a souvenir photo on the Gatlinburg Sky Lift. In the spectacular Smoky Mountains of Tennessee, you and your dog can ride to the top of the mountain and hike together back to the bottom. Gatlinburg is the ideal vacation destination for pets and owners who crave excitement.

Branson, Mo.

Branson was a top-25 U.S. destination in the 2012 TripAdvisor Traveler’s Choice Destination Awards, coming in at number 16. While Branson has incredible theaters and live shows, it also offers dog-friendly parks, lakes, and miles and miles of hiking trails. At the end of your trip, head to Busters Old Time Photos and have an old-time Wild West photo taken with your furry friend.


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