The Best Vacation Destinations In The US Where Dog Lovers Will Absolutely Thrive, According To Reviews

There's really nothing quite like the bond between dogs and humans. Given how close many humans often are to our furry friends, it's only natural that we might want to incorporate them into our travel plans from time to time. Of course, Fidos aren't always welcome to many destinations, but that doesn't mean that there aren't many amazing places around the United States that will happily invite them in.

Dogs aren't exactly like most humans in that they'll probably be just as happy on a hike in the woods outside your house as they will be on an epic vacation to the other side of the country. But sometimes you might find yourself wanting to treat yourself and your dog to a particularly unique adventure — or if you don't have a dog, you may want to head to destinations where you're more than likely to be able to encounter a few of them. 

From dog parks to national parks, you'll definitely find plenty of dogs at particularly dog-friendly destinations. According to reviewers on Tripadvisor and Yelp, these destinations will provide plenty of fun and adventure for both humans and dogs.

Fiesta Island - San Diego, California

San Diego is a famously dog-friendly destination, and you'll find no shortage of furry friends here. One of the best destinations to visit is Fiesta Island, located in Mission Bay, where dogs are allowed to roam off-leash across sand dunes and dog-friendly beaches to their hearts' content. There are also tons of dog-friendly hiking options on San Diego's coast, from the steep trails at Sunset Cliffs National Park to the more low-key Batiquitos Lagoon.

If you'd like to venture out onto the water, Seaforth Boat Rentals offers pet-friendly boat rides and will even provide dogs with their own life vests. Dogs are also welcome in San Diego's sprawling Balboa Park, which features tons of museums and gardens in addition to an off-leash dog park. 

After a long day of exploring, you may want to try out one of the city's dog-friendly restaurants, such as Fred's Mexican Cafe or Barbarella in La Jolla, both of which offer dog menus in addition to, of course, human options. Meanwhile, if you're seeking a more cosmopolitan experience, you could also extend your Southern California trip by heading up to Los Angeles and staying in one of the city's many boutique dog-friendly hotels, such as the London West in Beverly Hills.

Acadia National Park - Bar Harbor, Maine

With its windswept cliffs, vast forests, and plentiful ocean smells, coastal Maine is an adventurous dog's paradise, and it's a pretty nice place to visit for humans as well. Maine's Bar Harbor is an appealing destination for dog lovers, and the area's crown jewel — Acadia National Park — offers miles of hiking trails where dogs are welcome, so you'll almost definitely see a few dogs having the time of their lives as they race across the rugged coast.

If you're looking to spend the night among the trees, the park's Blackwoods, Seawall, and Schoodic Woods campgrounds allow dogs. So do the park's carriage roads, which John D. Rockefeller Jr. created in the early 20th century so he could ride his carriages through the awe-inspiring landscape. If you're bringing a dog along, remember to pick up after them and keep them leashed, and be sure to double-check which areas of the park are dog-friendly. As one of the only national parks to allow dogs, Acadia is generally a great bet for adventuring with your pet or meeting new furry friends.

After a day roaming the woods, you can enjoy a meal at one of Bar Harbor's dog-friendly restaurants, such as seasonal Beal's Lobster Pier, and there are also a fair number of dog-friendly places to stay at night. All in all, Acadia is a wild paradise for both humans and dogs.

Sanibel Island - Sanibel, Florida

Just off the coast of Cape Coral, Florida, rests Sanibel Island, a little cross-section of idyllic beaches and palm trees that also happens to be the perfect destination to bring your dog (or meet other dogs), especially if you're looking to log some hours on the beach. All of the island's beaches are dog-friendly, though dogs must be leashed on public beaches. Dogs are also permitted on certain trails in the island's famous wildlife reserve, the J. N. "Ding" Darling National Wildlife Preserve, and canines will definitely find tons to be excited about among the lush flora and fauna here. You can also take your pup fishing through the Port Sanibel Marina.

If you're looking to extend your trip, Key West, Florida, is also a famously dog-friendly option, and you might want to visit Key West's Higgs Beach Dog Park and the nearby Island Dogs Bar. A 2023 study by WalletHub also ranked nearby St. Petersburg and Tampa in the top three on its list of most dog-friendly cities in the U.S., meaning that Southern Florida is generally a safe bet for dog lovers.

Red Bud Isle - Austin, Texas

Across Tripadvisor and other sites, reviewers consistently rank Austin at the top of dog-friendly destinations, and it's hard to choose just one particular reason for that. But Red Bud Isle just might take the cake as one of the most fun places for dogs in the city. On the island, dogs are allowed to run around off-leash across the entirety of its 13 acres. You could also pay a visit to the dog-friendly Zilker Botanical Garden for a dose of nature, or take your dog canoeing or kayaking with Zilker Park Boat Rentals

After a day of running around and enjoying nature alongside plenty of pooches, you can stop in one of Austin's many dog-friendly breweries and restaurants, such as Dog House Drinkery, which includes a dog park where you can watch dogs to your heart's content. You might also add a visit to the nearby Texas Hill County, which is a bit quieter than Austin but offers tons of very dog-friendly places, from dog-friendly parks to breweries that allow dogs on their patios and hotels that welcome furry friends with open arms.

Anchorage, Alaska

If you've ever dreamed of going dog-sledding over fields of pristine snow, Alaska is the place to do it. There are lots of options when it comes to picking a sled-dog tour in Alaska, but Tripadvisor users particularly enjoyed Alpine Air Alaska's tours, with one reviewer calling the experience a "once in a lifetime event." 

The outfitter's dog-sledding tour, which only runs during the summer months, begins with a short helicopter ride. The aircraft will take you out of Girdwood, Alaska — a small town south of Anchorage — all the way up to the top of a towering glacier. Once you arrive here, you'll have the chance to meet a horde of Alaskan huskies and their human mushers. You might even have the chance to play with some husky puppies while you're at it. Then, you'll be able to enjoy your very own thrilling ride, sailing over blue-tinted ice as a cluster of fluffy tails wags in front of you. 

The Resort at Paws Up - Greenough, Montana

Montana's Paws Up resort has glowing reviews on Tripadvisor, and dogs are more than welcome — after all, dogs inspired the resort's name. If you'd like to bring your pet, there is a pet fee, but it'll get you a dog bed, dog dish, treats, a complimentary kennel, and more. You can also book walks, hikes, and even daycare for pets, making it easy to enjoy all of the resort's many activities, which include horseback riding, wintertime dogsledding, and more, without worrying about how your dog is doing. If you just want to be around dogs, this is also a perfect excuse to get some fresh air while almost definitely running into furry friends.

You might even plan on making a point of attending the resort's annual dog-themed race, the Canine Classic, where dog owners can compete in a two-mile walk, a five-mile run, or even a half-marathon with their pooches. And if you want to extend your trip, you could pair your stay at Paws Up with a drive over to Bozeman, which offers dog-friendly hotels, restaurants, parks, and a whole lot more.

Dog Mountain - St. Johnsbury, Vermont

The name of Vermont's Dog Mountain says it all: this is a beautiful outdoor destination specifically dedicated to canines and the people who love them. Dog Mountain is a 150-acre property created by the late artist Stephen Huneck, who designed the location as a tribute to the bond between dogs and humans. The project began in 2000 when a near-death experience inspired Huneck to create the Dog Chapel, a custom chapel that honors man's best friend. Today, it includes many notes from owners written to their late furry loved ones, making it an emotional place to commemorate any dog you've loved and lost. The rest of Dog Mountain developed organically from there, and today, it includes tons of hiking trails, ponds, an obstacle course, and more areas where dogs can run and play.

According to its website, Dog Mountain celebrates "the healing power of 'dogs, nature, love, and art.'" Leashes are optional across the entire mountain, and dogs are welcome to visit the chapel and the Steven Huneck gallery. The mountain also hosts a couple of special dog-themed events each year, including special dog parties and dog-friendly music festivals. While Dog Mountain doesn't include accommodations, there are plenty of nearby dog-friendly hotels. You can also combine a visit to Dog Mountain with a trip to New Hampshire's White Mountain National Forest and Mt. Washington, where you'll find miles and miles of trails to enjoy.

Central Park - New York City

New York City may not necessarily be the best destination for dogs who struggle with loud noises or other dogs, but there are certainly lots of canines who happily call the Big Apple their home. If you and your dog love to immerse yourselves in new and exciting sights and sounds, the city that never sleeps can be paradise. Dogs are most definitely allowed in New York's Central Park, and you'll inevitably run into plenty of new dog friends while here.

Many stores and cafes in New York also allow dogs inside, and the city offers a wide variety of dog-friendly hotels, such as TriBeCa's Greenwich Hotel, which allows dogs for no extra fee and will even provide a dog bed, water bowls, and treats. You might also take a trip over to Brooklyn, where you'll find plenty of dog-friendly waterfront areas, such as the dog park in Williamsburg's Domino Park.

Kanab, Utah

Dog lovers of all kinds will almost certainly enjoy a trip to Kanab, Utah. Kanab is home to Best Friends Animal Sanctuary, the largest animal sanctuary in the United States, so even if you don't have a dog, this is the perfect place to spend time with some furry friends — and you might even find yourself inspired to take one home. Dogs are also welcome on some of the sanctuary's walking tours, so if your dog has ever wanted to see pigs or goats, this is the place.

During your trip, you can stay at one of the city's many pet-friendly hotels, but Best Friends Roadhouse and Mercantile might be at the top of the list. This hotel is an extension of the animal sanctuary and is specifically designed for pets. The hotel offers two dog parks, a pet spa, and even custom-made dog beds in each room. Best of all, proceeds from the hotel directly benefit Best Friends Animal Sanctuary.

Unfortunately, you won't be able to take Fido to the nearby Zion National Park during the warmer months, but they are allowed into the park when the shuttles aren't operating, so if you're in the mood for a wintertime National Park adventure, this might be the perfect place. If you don't want to brave the freezing cold, though, you might consider taking a hike through Angel Canyon, a jaunt through Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park, or a drive to the stunning Vermilion Cliffs.

Pub Dog Colorado - Colorado Springs, Colorado

Dogs are welcome to dine indoors in Pub Dog Colorado, the state's only restaurant to allow dogs inside with their owners. You can even purchase a non-alcoholic Dog Beer or other snacks for your pet off a special dog-themed menu. There's also an off-leash area near the restaurant where dogs can socialize while their owners eat. In total, Pub Dog offers over 9,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor off-leash space for dogs to roam.

In general, Colorado Springs offers plenty of great vacation activities year-round for dog owners, and whether or not braving the wilderness is your activity of choice, the destination may still be the perfect choice. Dogs are welcome inside both the Peterson Air & Space Museum and the Manitou Cliff Dwellings Museum. You can also bring your pooch while exploring the area through Colorado Jeep Tours; on a train ride on the Cripple Creek and Victor Narrow Gauge Railroad; or on a gondola ride over the Royal Gorge in nearby Cañon City. Of course, there are also many gorgeous natural locations to visit nearby, and you're also welcome to take your dog for a walk among the towering rock formations and stunning views of Colorado Springs's Garden of the Gods.

Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona

Leashed dogs are welcome on the outer South Rim of Grand Canyon National Park. They're not allowed in inner canyon trails — which can be too rough and steep for many people anyway — but you can indeed bring them through developed park areas and miles of trails on the outskirts of this natural wonder.

Yavapai Lodge also has dog-friendly rooms, and you can also leave your dog at the Grand Canyon Kennel for the day if you want to take a hike down into the heart of this unearthly fissure or enjoy other activities in the area.

About a two-hour drive away from the Grand Canyon is Sedona, another dog-friendly city. With its towering red rocks, desert landscapes, and mystical reputation, it's a destination that you and your dog can both enjoy. The city offers dozens of pet-friendly hotels, and leashed dogs are also welcome on many of Sedona's breathtaking hiking trails.

The Cypress Inn - Carmel-by-the-Sea, California

Carmel-by-the-Sea is a great destination for you and your dog if you're looking to enjoy some charming beaches and plenty of laid-back energy. It's also "incredibly dog-friendly," according to one reviewer on Tripadvisor. There are lots of places to stay with your dog, but one of the more notable ones is Cypress Inn, founded by the late icon Doris Day, who specifically wanted the inn to be welcoming to dogs. Today, most guests at this luxurious, Mediterranean-style inn come with their dogs, who are all welcome at the hotel's daily "Yappy Hour," where dogs are given treats as their owners enjoy their human beverages. Pets are also welcome to join their owners for tea in the living room.

During the day, you can pay a visit to Carmel City Beach, where dogs are allowed to roam off-leash as they please. You could also bring your dog on a wine-tasting tour, such as the Carmel-by-the-Sea Wine Walk, though many other vineyards are actually dog-friendly, so it's always worth checking. 

To make the most of your trip, you can also pair a visit to Carmel-by-the-Sea with a trip up to San Francisco, which is also a very pet-friendly city. From Golden Gate Park to Lands End, you'll find no shortage of fun places to take your dog during a trip to Northern California.


We compiled this list of the best vacation destinations in the U.S. where dog lovers will absolutely thrive by comparing dog-friendly amenities and dog accessibility among popular parks, hotels, and reputed dog-friendly cities. Traveler reviews sourced from trusted review sites, such as Yelp and Tripadvisor, also helped inform our decisions.