Vacationing with Man's Best Friend

5 Dog-friendly US Cities for Vacationing With Man's Best Friend

Many people pay big bucks to board their dogs when they go on vacation. But why not take your dog with you? In this Vacayholics article, we tell you of the best places you can visit with your canine.
When you're planning your next vacation, instead of figuring into your travel budget the cost of boarding your dog at a kennel, there are plenty of fantastic vacation spots throughout the United States where dogs are not only welcome, they are catered to. Putting your dog up at a kennel can cost several hundred dollars―money that you might rather spend on a great meal at a fancy dog-friendly restaurant or spa.

Top Dog Friendly Places in the USA

Boston, Massachusetts
Boston is one of the most dog-friendly cities on the East Coast. Many of the most popular tourist attractions in Boston are welcoming to canine visitors. The Freedom Trail gives visitors up-front access to 16 historical sites as part of a walking tour that covers more than 250 years of history in the United States. The trail passes through the famed Boston Common Park, 50 acres of lush public gardens, and several leash-free play areas for dogs. If your dog has never been to the beach, then you must take him to Boston's Carson Beach. Dogs are welcome to play in the sand and surf sans leash, if you're willing to hose him down before climbing back into the car. There are also pet-friendly trips aboard ferries between Boston and Martha's Vineyard, Cape Cod, Block Island, or Nantucket. A number of popular restaurants are welcoming to diners with dogs, including the Salty Dog Seafood Grill in Faneuil Market Hall. As for lodging, the Boston Harbor Hotel as well as the Hotel Marlowe both are pet-friendly, and neither charge additional fees for pets or limit weight restrictions for dogs.

San Diego, California
On the other side of the country, San Diego is a terrific destination for you and your best buddy. All the beaches in San Diego allow dogs on leashes, and some even offer leash-free areas, such as Coronado Beach and Ocean Beach. The Otay Ranch Town Shopping Center is a great place to take your pooch shopping, and many of the stores even allow dogs to come inside with their owners. Some even have treats and water bowls available, and the facility includes a dog park where dogs can lose their leashes and play. San Diego has many dog-friendly eateries, including Nine-Ten Restaurant and Bar, which is located in La Jolla's Grand Colonial Inn. There are also a number of hotels that are friendly to dogs, such as the Gaslamp Quarter's Hotel Solamar.

San Francisco, California
San Francisco is another fantastic California destination for dogs. The city is home to some of the most well-designed dog playgrounds for urban settings, such as Golden Gate Park, that offers hundreds of acres of wide open park space, and four off-leash areas for dogs. Baker Beach, Fort Funston, and Ocean Beach are off-leash beaches where your dog can frolic in the surf. If you want to treat yourself and your pooch to breathtaking views of the city and the bay, take a walk across the Golden Gate Bridge. Visitors to San Francisco are welcome to take their dogs to numerous tourist attractions such as Coit Tower, the Embarcadero, and Fisherman's Wharf. All of these sites are easily accessed by cable car rides, and all cable cars allow all dogs of any size. Dog-friendly hotels abound in San Francisco, such as the Four Seasons, the Palomar, and the Holiday Inn Civic Center. Outdoor dining with dogs is welcomed at many eateries, including Ristorante Mona Lisa in North Beach. San Francisco is one of the most dog-friendly tourist destinations in the United States.

Portland, Oregon
Portland is an American city that has the most dog parks per capita. Although there are numerous simple neighborhood play areas, the city is home to several of the biggest dog-friendly public parks in the country. Forest Park alone offers more than 4,000 acres of parkland where dogs are welcome visitors. Tourists can happily take their canine friends with them to enjoy the most popular attractions in Portland, such as the Saturday Market, an outdoor shopping plaza that is home to shops, cafes, and entertainment venues that are all pet-friendly. The woodlands of Washington Park, riverfront trails, and the Columbia River Gorge are all great escapes for tourists and their dogs to explore scenic vistas together. The Mark Spencer Hotel and the Residence Inn cater to canines, and several popular Portland business establishments offer events specific to dogs, such as pug crawls, yappy hours, and doggie dashes.

New York City, New York
Given the fact that the Big Apple is practically constructed out of concrete and steel, you may not think that New York City is an ideal place to take your dog on vacation. But it can be a surprisingly ideal getaway for tourists who want the thrill of a big city adventure without leaving their pet behind. Dog owners visiting New York can take their pets to tour Central Park, the largest open land area on the island of Manhattan. Numerous hotels in New York City are welcoming to dogs, including the Muse Hotels, Novotel, the Soho Grand, and the Regency. Many taxis are happy to carry dogs around the city, and there are even a few taxi services that can be called specifically for transporting pooches. Many of the ferries in the city are pet-friendly, so you can see some of the most famous landmarks of New York City from your water transport. Not only are there plenty of dog-friendly dining venues, such as Gavroche, Zocalo, and Firehouse, there are many shops and boutiques in the city―even Bloomingdale's, Tiffany's, and Saks Fifth Avenue―that allow dogs.

These are just a few examples of big city vacation destinations that are perfectly happy to welcome―and even cater to―your four-legged best friend. So before automatically picking up the phone to make a kennel reservation when planning your next vacation, maybe you should instead do some online browsing to find a destination where your dog can go with you.
Boston Public Garden