Growing up, our dogs always came to the beach and on road trips, and they got their own stockings at Christmas. So it makes perfect sense that as an adult, my dogs became my adventure partners. From camping and family hiking to watching sunsets at the beach, everything is a little better with a dog.
However, not every place necessarily welcomes dogs with open arms. People travel with their pups more and more today, so I set out to learn about the most dog friendly cities in the US.
Of course, dogs can’t go everywhere we go. For example, many national parks understandably don’t allow dogs because of the delicate environment and wildlife. Still, there are plenty of options for dog friendly vacations.
Pet friendly hotels and even attractions are becoming more common as the travel industry aims to keep up with this ever-increasing trend. Next time you and your pup are craving some adventure, consider one of the most dog friendly cities in the US for a weekend getaway.
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Most dog friendly cities in the US
Maybe you simply want to enjoy a beverage with your pup by your side in a restaurant. Or perhaps you seek something more specific, like dog friendly vacation rentals California. Whatever it is, the most dog friendly cities in the US each offer up unique local adventures.
I tend to gravitate toward more adventurous trips, like floating down a river in the Tetons or off-roading in Moab Utah. But sometimes, a girl just needs to wander aimlessly around a city, listen to live music, and stuff her face with BBQ.
Austin, Texas, offers all of that, but also happens to be one of the most dog friendly cities in the US. To be honest, I’d venture a guess that Austin is actually one of the most dog friendly cities in the world.
Here, you can have your fill of authentic Texas pit barbecue (skip the ridiculous lines at Stubb’s and make a beeline for Cooper’s — thank me later), pop into countless live music venues, and enjoy all the eclectic-ness that ATX is famous for. All with your dog in tow.
Start your day off with some exercise at the Hike-and-Bike Trail around Lady Bird Lake or take your pup paddleboarding on the lake with SUP ATX. The off-leash Austin dog park at Auditorium Shores is nearby, and taking a selfie on the (dog friendly) lawn of the Texas State Capitol is a must.
When you’re ready to refuel, there’s no shortage of dog friendly restaurants and bars in Austin. And rather than simply tolerate four-legged guests, many ATX establishments actually encourage owners to bring them.
Lustre Pearl has a fenced-in backyard, allows dogs to socialize off-leash, and even throws an annual fundraiser Puppy Party. Banger’s Sausage House & Beer Garden has a small doggie playpen — plus the famous “Manmosa,” but I suppose that’s neither here nor there…, and the Yard Bar is essentially an off-leash dog park with a bar inside.
Keep it weird, Austin.
Where to stay: My favorite dog friendly hotels Austin are Aloft Austin Downtown and Hotel Ella.
Recommended by Jordan from The Homebody Tourist
I am always on the hunt for unique dog friendly cities and things to do. I LOVE when I find attractions that I can enjoy without leaving my pup behind. Chattanooga Tennessee is FULL of exciting dog-friendly adventures. I may have even considered moving there…
Start your weekend off by exploring downtown Chattanooga and walking across one of the world’s longest pedestrian bridges, Walnut Street Bridge. You can watch the boats sail underneath the bridge or marvel at the sunset over the river.
After walking around, grab a bite to eat at one of Chattanooga’s many dog friendly restaurants. Then, you and your pup can end the night by hunting for ghosts with Chattanooga Ghost Tours!
If you’re looking for more adventure, head out to Fall Creek Falls State Park to admire the beautiful waterfalls and give your pup some exercise on the dog friendly hiking trails. On your way back towards town, stop at The Lookout Winery for wine tasting, pizza, and a beautiful overlook.
Finally, end your Chattanooga weekend getaway with a stop at Rock City Gardens. It’s a magical 4,100-foot trail that weaves in and out of natural rock. Throughout the trail, there are many photo ops and other unique attractions!
Your pooch will definitely thank you for such an adventurous weekend getaway — and certainly “beg” for more dog friendly vacations!
Where to stay: Hotel Indigo Chattanooga and The Read House are both excellent dog friendly hotels Chattanooga.
Recommended by Paula from Paula Pins the Planet
Pets are members of our family, our closest companions, our guardians, and our love bugs. Why shouldn’t they enjoy the benefits of beach life in Clearwater?
I have two furry babies and I’m a foster mom, and Clearwater is a paradise for me and my “babies.” The city is very dog friendly, and it offers many opportunities for us to enjoy activities together.
If you’re interested in dog friendly vacations Florida, one of the best things to do in the area is enjoy the Honeymoon Island Dog Beach. Located only 20 minutes from Clearwater, this paradise is the best dog friendly beach in Florida. Here your puppies can play, go for a walk, and swim in clear, calm water. They will absolutely love it!
Clearwater also offers a large diversity of parks where you can hike with your pets or they can play off-leash.
Because this is sunny Florida, Clearwater has good weather all year long and it offers a large array of outdoor, dog-friendly restaurants. Even better? Some of them even offer a dog menu, so your puppy can enjoy a delicious meal with you!
Where to stay: Of all the dog friendly hotels Clearwater Beach, I love the Residence Inn by Marriott Clearwater Downtown and Sandpearl Resort.
Recommended by Daria from The Discovery Nut
One of the most dog friendly cities in the US, Denver consistently ranks in the top five — and has for the last few years.
For example, dog-walking company Rover, which offers an app for finding a dog sitter for your pooch, ranked Denver as the third most dog friendly city in 2019. The company cited walkability, the number of available dog sitters, and homes for sale listed as dog-friendly.
Let’s take a deeper dive beyond those metrics and see what exactly makes Denver one of the country’s most dog friendly cities.
Besides boasting a lot of parks and green spaces where you can take your pooch for a run, Denver also offers many dog-friendly restaurants, bars, and coffee shops. Some of my favorite dog-friendly restaurants in Denver include Kaos Pizzeria, Joyride Brewing Company, and Rock Bottom Restaurant and Brewery.
In addition, Denver has a number of dog friendly hotels. So whether you’re visiting the Mile High City or just in need of a staycation, you won’t have a problem finding a place to stay.
Where to stay: The best dog friendly hotels Denver CO are the historic Brown Palace Hotel and the Kimpton Hotel Monaco.
Los Angeles, California
Recommended by Dymphe from Dymabroad
One of the most dog friendly cities in the US is Los Angeles, which also happens to be the country’s second-largest city. As you may imagine, there is a lot to do and see.
The city’s atmosphere is very laid-back, with lots of great dog friendly restaurants Los Angeles, viewpoints, and hiking trails. Besides that, L.A.’s Hollywood is the world’s center of entertainment. Take your pup to the Hollywood Walk of Fame or hike up to the Hollywood sign on top of Mount Lee.
There are other dog friendly hiking trails all over Griffith Park, so be sure to check out the Mount Hollywood Trail as well. From there, enjoy some of the best views of the Hollywood sign, the Griffith Observatory, and Los Angeles in general.
There are also many Los Angeles dog parks where you can let your dog run around off-leash. One of the best is Hermon Dog Park. If you want to visit a dog friendly beach with your pup, Rosie’s Dog Beach in Long Beach is great. This small stretch of beach allows completely off-leash hours for dogs.
Where to stay: The city is tremendous, so choosing dog friendly hotels Los Angeles largely depends on where you want to be. My favorites include Freehand Los Angeles downtown and Cara Hotel near Hollywood.
Recommended by Victoria from Guide Your Travel
Life in Miami is all about being outside, which makes it the perfect city to visit with your furry friend. The city center is very walkable with lots of boardwalks, parks, and waterfront areas, all perfect for a quick walk with your dog.
Home to many beaches, Miami actually has quite a few that are specifically-designated as a dog friendly beach. You don’t need to use a leash and you’ll meet lots of other dogs your pup can play with. Head to Bark Beach or Haulover Beach Park for the best experiences.
Whether you’re interested in a weekend getaway at a dog friendly hotel Miami or you’re a local looking to take your dog out for the day, Coconut Grove is a popular area. The Grove features several dog friendly restaurants, shops, and waterfront parks.
There are lots of options in Miami for the perfect day at the dog park. Head to South Pointe Park, North Beach Oceanside Park, Washington Avenue Bark Park, or Stillwater Park, all of which both you and your dog will love.
Where to stay: A nice thing about dog friendly hotels Miami is that you also have easy access to awesome dog friendly beaches. I love both Villa Italia South Beach Miami and the Kimpton EPIC Hotel.
Recommended by Paulina from Paulina on the Road
There’s no doubt that a man’s best friend is his dog. The adorable four-legged creature is the most loyal and fun companion one can have — perfect for, say, traveling to one of the most dog friendly cities in the US, like Milwaukee.
Milwaukee is a beautiful US city situated on Lake Michigan’s western shore. It is also one of the best destinations for dog friendly vacations because it offers many, many things to do with your pup. The city has everything from dog friendly hotels to restaurants and bars where you can socialize with your pooch. One such place is Black Husky Brewing.
Aside from that, Milwaukee also has great dog friendly beaches and parks. The city park system includes Estabrook Dog Park and the East Bank Trail, with designated dog-only areas and even dog friendly hiking trails.
Top off your outing by taking your furry friend shopping for the best made-in-the-USA organic clothing brands. Your dog will enjoy accompanying you as you spend time with friends and enjoy everything Milwaukee has to offer!
Insider Tip: Don’t miss the free-to-use grills and yard games at The Backyard. Bring your own meat (yes, seriously) and grill out with your pup!
Where to stay: My favorite dog friendly hotels Milwaukee are The Pfister and the Iron Horse Hotel.
Recommended by Gabby from Journey to the Destination
Nashville, Tennessee is known for its country music, hot chicken, and honky-tonks! While there are plenty of great things to do in Nashville, there’s lots of fun stuff for your dog as well! It’s one of the most dog friendly cities in the US, full of dog parks, outdoor restaurants, and pet friendly hotels.
When you first arrive in Nashville, I recommend checking into The Hermitage Hotel. Not only is it beautiful, but the hotel also offers pet massages, organic pet treats, and dog walking. Your pup will never want to leave!
Once you and your dog settle in, you’ll both want something to eat. There are so many great dog friendly restaurants in Nashville! Some of the best are Biscuit Love, Pucketts, and Peg Leg Porker.
After eating, it’s time to hit the park. While there are plenty of great dog parks in Nashville, the one I recommend most is in Centennial Park. This dog park has separate areas for big and small dogs, a dog water fountain, and benches for relaxing on. Once your dog gets all of its energy out, spend some time exploring Centennial Park, which has a full-size replica of the Greek Parthenon!
Where to stay: The Hermitage Hotel and the Union Station Hotel are some of the hippest, best dog friendly hotels Nashville has to offer.
New York City
Recommended by Shandos from Travelnuity: Dog-Friendly Travel
While New York City doesn’t likely spring to mind when you think about the most dog friendly cities, it’s a surprisingly dog friendly destination.
With so many dog-owning locals, there’s plenty of demand for dog friendly places in NYC, from cafes to parks. Plus, there’s a certain willingness to creatively bend the rules (refer to photos of dogs in bags on the subway).
During your visit, take advantage of the dog-friendly expanse of Central Park. Leashed dogs are welcome in most areas of the park all day long, plus off-leash in selected areas before 9am and after 9pm.
For another classic touristy experience, hop on the Staten Island ferry and cruise by the Statue of Liberty. Dogs are welcome on the free ferry as long as they’re in a carrier bag or wearing a muzzle. Many of the paid NYC cruises are also dog-friendly.
Depending on your budget, choose from some of the fanciest dog friendly hotels in New York that welcome pups alongside human guests (such as the Peninsula Hotel on Fifth Avenue), or find pet-friendly vacation rentals on Airbnb.
Where to stay: There are many, many options for dog friendly hotels New York City. Check out the Le Meridien New York near Central Park, the High Line in Chelsea, or the previously-mentioned Peninsula New York.
Living in Arizona, it’s pretty common to head to San Diego for weekend getaways. Meaning, everyone in the state seems to have the same idea at the same time. That results in highway traffic, crowded beaches, and long lines everywhere.
That’s exactly why we go to Oceanside, about an hour north of San Diego in the northernmost part of the county. It’s a rare hidden gem in SoCal, one of the last coastal towns where locals still outnumber tourists and prices are relatively affordable.
O’side is also one of the most dog friendly cities in the US, with the entire community catering to pups and their people.
Water dishes and even little doghouses outside of shops aren’t at all uncommon, and there are a dizzying number of options for dog friendly restaurants in Oceanside. After at least 10 trips, I have a few favorites. Bonus, they’re all locally-owned.
Bagby Beer Company is arguably the most dog friendly restaurant Oceanside has, frequently holding dog adoption and fundraiser events. Local Tap House (LTH), Flying Pig Pub, Stratford at the Pier, and Belching Beaver are also extremely dog friendly — and have legitimately great brews and food, too.
Technically, Oceanside doesn’t have any dog friendly beaches. However, Cardiff State Beach in Encinitas/Solana Beach and the Del Mar “Dog Beach” are just a short drive away. You can also walk your pup on “The Strand” in O’side, the paved boardwalk-esque path that runs parallel to the ocean for over one mile. This is an excellent activity at sunset, as there’s nothing quite like the sun setting over the ocean on the west coast.
Where to stay: One of the best dog friendly hotels Oceanside CA has is the La Quinta Inn. I’m also a huge fan of the Cassara, which is technically in Carlsbad, less than five minutes away.
Phoenix is well-known for its desert landscape and insanely hot weather. What many people don’t realize is that the entire, enormous metro area, commonly called “the valley,” is exceptionally dog friendly.
From hundreds of dog friendly restaurants across the valley and “Bark at the Park” Diamondbacks games to dog friendly hiking trails and dozens of off-leash dog parks, Phoenix should be high on your list of dog friendly vacations. Just not during the summer. Seriously.
Hiking is truly a way of life here, so introduce your pup to the magic of the Southwest desert with one of the many dog friendly hikes Phoenix. We hike a lot with our dog and I highly recommend McDowell Mountain Regional Park, the Treasure Loop and Hieroglyphic trails in the Superstitions, or any of the dog friendly trails at South Mountain. There’s truly nothing like a desert sunset and all of these trails are excellent viewing points.
After hiking, head to one of the many dog friendly restaurants. OHSO (which, fun fact, stands for Outrageous Homebrewer’s Social Outpost) is one of my personal favorites. They have excellent beer and several locations, all with awesome dog friendly patios. I also love The Macintosh, Arizona Wilderness, and SanTan Brewing Company.
Where to stay: For dog friendly hotels Phoenix, check out the Arizona Biltmore, the FOUND:RE, and The Saguaro in Scottsdale.
Recommended by Karen from Outdoor Adventure Sampler
A visit to dog-friendly Provincetown, Massachusetts is a treat for both you and your pooch. The beautiful seaside town at the end of Cape Cod has rolled out the welcome mat for dogs and their people, making it one of the most dog friendly cities in the US.
Over 20 Provincetown restaurants welcome dogs. Enjoy ocean breezes while dining al fresco with your pup. In addition, many shopkeepers even put out water bowls for thirsty dogs. Dogs are also allowed in many of the charming shops on Commercial Street, the main shopping thoroughfare.
If you’re looking for fun with Fido on the beach, Provincetown has you covered. The Provincetown Cover Town Beach allows off-leash dog play. Watch as your dog frolics in the surf with other dog friends.
Other dog friendly beach options include the many Cape Cod National Seashore beaches, which allow leashed dogs outside the lifeguarded areas. Stroll over the gorgeous sand beaches for some quality ocean time with your canine best friend.
There is also a Provincetown dog park to visit. Pilgrim Bark Park has beautiful art statues and separate sections for small and large dogs. Interested in dog friendly vacations New England? Provincetown also has many dog friendly hotels or inns on the Cape, perfect for retiring to after busy days.
Where to stay: The Crowne Pointe Hotel and Pilgrim House & Landing Restaurant are some of the best dog friendly restaurants Provincetown has to offer.
Recommended by Jessica from Uprooted Traveler
Seattle is one of the most dog friendly cities in the US. With countless tech companies — which frequently operate dog-friendly offices — the city itself has become a playground for pups.
There are 14 off-leash dog parks, a public transit system that welcomes dogs, and many restaurants where your canine friend can even eat inside with you. Local favorites include Norm’s Eatery and Alehouse and the aptly-named Bark Espresso.
If you’re a beer lover, make sure to check out the Ballard neighborhood — there are 11 breweries within one square mile, most of them with dog-friendly patios! Here, you and your furry best friend can enjoy some microbrews and that famously crisp Pacific Northwest air!
Cap off your sightseeing in the Emerald City with a visit to a dog friendly beach in Seattle. Magnuson Park is an excellent choice, with scenic walking trails, a fenced dog park, and a stretch of beach specifically for dogs. There’s even a hose and rinsing station for washing your pup after playing in the water! PS: this park is also very close to Norm’s!
Where to stay: For dog friendly hotels Seattle, consider Hotel Theodore and The Edgewater Hotel.
Recommended by Sarah from Roadmaps and Restaurants
Not only is Washington D.C. filled with history but it is also one of the most dog friendly cities in the US!
You frequently find dogs walking with their owners along the National Mall or laying under the tables at many of the outdoor beer gardens and dog friendly restaurants throughout the city. Many shops are also dog friendly and offer treats and water to your dog while you shop.
Interested in exploring any of the many parks or dog parks throughout Washington D.C.? Experience the variety of dog friendly hiking trails in Rock Creek Park or stop by the Yards Park in the Navy Yard, where dogs frequently enjoy the outdoors with their owners.
The Washington Nationals even offer “Pups in the Park” baseball games. Your dog can go to the games with you, but even better, the proceeds from the ticket sales are donated to the Humane Rescue Alliance!
Looking for a relaxing experience for both you and your dog? Pack a picnic and head to Gravelly Point in Arlington, Virginia. Here, you can relax outdoors while spotting all the airplanes taking off and landing at Ronald Reagan National Airport. Gravelly Point is just North of the airport along the Potomac River and offers some of the best airplane-spotting in the country.
Considering Washington D.C. for one of your next dog friendly vacations? Check out this three day itinerary!
Where to stay: Depending on which part of town you want to be in, there are tons of options for dog friendly hotels Washington DC. I recommend Eaton DC and Canopy by Hilton Washington DC The Wharf, on the waterfront.
So there you have it — 14 of the most dog friendly cities in the US. Have you been to any of them, or is there one you would add to the list? Let me know in the comments, and be sure to pin this post for later!