The 25 Best Cities to Visit With Your Dog
If vacationing with Fido is your idea of heaven -- hiking together, dining together, bunking together, and gazing at the stars together -- then you're in luck. A recent report from RewardExpert says U.S. cities are becoming increasingly pet friendly, allowing travelers and their four-legged sidekicks to experience everything together, from restaurants and cafes to parks and beaches. The travel-rewards service ranked 53 cities based on such things as pet-friendly activities and accommodations, and the number of nearby veterinarians. Here's a look at the top 25.
With more pet-friendly hotels per capita than any other city in the country, Tampa landed at the top of the study's ranking. There are 32 hotels that allow dogs per every 100,000 residents. In addition, the city also has 50 dog parks, many nature trails and hiking opportunities. Some of the top dog parks here include Logan Gate Dog Park, Gadsden Dog Park, and Curtis Hixon Waterfront Dog Park.
Pet-Friendly Hotel: The Westin Tampa Harbour Island welcomes dogs up to 40 pounds and has a special Westin Heavenly Dog program, which includes delivering a dog bed, floor mat, food, and water bowl to your room.
San Francisco is another top-ranking city when it comes to pet recreation. There are 15 dog-friendly beaches in the Bay Area, including Barker Beach, Ocean Beach, Fort Funston Doggy Beach, Crissy Field, and Lands End Beach. An added bonus, dogs are allowed to run unleashed at many of these beaches.
Pet-Friendly Hotel: The Argonaut Hotel wants to be your dog's best friend (well, second to you of course). The hotel's pet policy does not have any size restrictions or extra charges for bringing along a four-legged friend, as long as you book directly with the hotel.
Miami has more pet stores and veterinarians per capita than any other city analyzed by the report, which means it's a city that truly loves its animal companions. There are also more than 40 pet-friendly activities in the city. Among the top-ranked experiences is the dog park at Haulover Park, with more than 3 acres featuring separate spaces for small and large dogs to exercise off-leash, as well as doggie play equipment, and dog and people water fountains.
Pet-Friendly Hotel: Kimpton Epic Miami is another hotel that rolls out the red carpet for your family pet, no matter what that pet happens to be -- furry, feathery, or even scaly. There are also no size, weight, or breed limits, or any extra charges for bringing a pet.
While people may want to steer clear of nation's capital in today's political climate, the city gets high marks for being one of the most pet-friendly urban destinations in the country. The city ranked high for having a variety of restaurants and cafes that allow pets (check out Art and Soul, which has a Pooch Patio Menu), as well as dog-friendly hiking trails and pet-friendly events. Everything from the National Mall to the U.S. National Arboretum and the district's famous Rock Creek Park, are dog friendly.
Pet-Friendly Hotel: Kimpton Rouge is part of the Kimpton family, which means pets are first-class guests. The same policy applies here as at other Kimpton hotels -- pets of all types are welcome.
Atlanta scored well in a variety of categories when it comes to pet features. It has a solid number of veterinarians at the ready should anything happen to your pet. It also boasts a high density of pet-related businesses and pet-friendly restaurants.
Pet-Friendly Hotel: Atlanta's Artmore Hotel loves your pet just as much as you. The hotel's Barkmore Package includes a dog bowl, doggie pillow, bottled water, and even a chew toy.
Pittsburgh is one of the best choices for those who love hiking with a pet. The city has 18 hiking trails per 100,000 residents, which is greater than any other city on the RewardExpert ranking. What's more, according to the site BringFido, there are nearly 70 dog-friendly activities in the city altogether, including dozens of dog parks. Some of the top-rated spots include Hartwood Acres County Dog Park and Sewickley Heights Borough Park Off Leash Area.
Pet-Friendly Hotel: Monaco is another animal-friendly Kimpton property, which means your pet will be welcome here, too.
St. Louis offers everything from pet-friendly wineries to sculpture parks. The Laumeier Sculpture Park showcases 60 large outdoor sculptures amid a 105-acre park that's free and welcomes leashed dogs. St. Louis is also home to the 14,000-square-foot American Kennel Club Museum of the Dog -- an entire museum dedicated to dogs, so of course, your dog is also welcome.
Pet-Friendly Hotel: The Cheshire has a Noble Pet program, which includes a dog bed and bowl. The hotel is also located right next to a pet-friendly park.
A city steeped in history, Boston is also a pet lover's paradise. There are more than 100 pet-friendly activities in the city ranging from parks and beaches to stores and water taxis. Top-rated parks include Peter's Park, where there's 13,000 square feet of play space, and South Boston Dog Park, which features tunnels and a water fountain for dogs. Among the top tourist attractions, the Boston Public Garden is also dog friendly. As for stores, don't miss Pawsh Dog Boutique or Polka Dog Bakery.
Pet-Friendly Hotel: Kimpton has Boston covered with pet-friendly properties, among the choices here are Nine Zero and also Onyx.
Bookstores, beaches, and parks are among some of the pet-friendly options in Minneapolis, where there are more than 60 pet-activity options. At Birchbark Books, you can shop for literature with your leashed pet. Top outdoor destinations include Minnehaha Park, where there are trails through woods and past stunning waterfalls. There's also doggy access to the Mississippi River.
Pet-Friendly Hotel: The W Minneapolis hotel (also known as the Foshay), has a PAW program that stands for "pets are welcome," and includes such perks as a W Pet Bed and a pet treat.
A city of sunshine and year-round outdoor living, it should be no surprise that San Diego is entirely pet friendly. There are more than 70 fun pet-oriented opportunities throughout the city. Among the most notable options is the Fiesta Island off-leash park, a large sandy island in Mission Bay that's completely leash-free and offers endless sand dunes for your dog to explore. And when it's time to wash the sand off, the calm waters of Mission Bay are near ideal. A few other not-to-miss options include Cabrillo Tidepools Trail and shopping with your pet at Westfield UTC outdoor mall.
Pet-Friendly Hotel: Kimpton's San Diego option is Hotel Solamar, a property right in the heart of downtown San Diego, convenient to many of the neighborhood's top attractions including the Gaslamp Quarter and Petco Park.
Yes, Seattle is famous for rain, being the home of Starbucks, and its unforgettable oysters. But beyond those highlights, the city is also a great place to bring your pet on vacation. There are more than 80 pet-friendly activities to choose from here, including dog parks and shopping. Don't miss the Washington Park Arboretum, a beautiful Seattle park with extensive trails that's pet friendly. And for a special treat, check out the Fremont Sunday Ice Cream Cruise, where you and your leashed pet can take in a view of the city from the water.
Pet-Friendly Hotel: The Edgewater allows up to two animals per guest room, and there is no weight limit, so feel free to bring along multiple pets. Pets however, are not allowed in the Edgewater Spa, so you'll have to get a massage or facial sans Fido. Kimpton also has a property here, the Alexis Hotel Seattle, where you can bunk with your pets.
A city that ranked well across all categories in the RewardExpert study, Portland scored particularly high when it comes to green space for four-legged friends. There are about eight parks per 100,000 residents. Top choices include Sellwood Riverfront Park, where there's a 1.5-acre off-leash area. At Powell Butte Nature Park, a 611-acre preserve of meadowlands and forest in the heart of Portland, you and your dog can leave the noise of the city far behind.
Pet-Friendly Hotel: Red Lion Hotel On the River – Jantzen Beach welcomes pets. The hotel has rooms that are specifically designed to be pet friendly with close access to the outdoors.
In Sacramento, the pet-friendly options range from carriage rides through Old Town (for small pets) to bakeries and of course specially designated dog parks. Don't miss Paws and the Palette Dog Bakery if you're in search of a special treat for your canine buddy. The Tanzanite Community Dog Park, meanwhile, is among the city's top rated, offering 2 acres of fully fenced play space, water spigots, benches, and shade trees.
Pet-Friendly Hotel: The Citizen Hotel welcomes your furry friend at no additional cost. Bonus feature: The hotel is across the street from a dog-friendly park.
With more than 50 activity options for you and your canine companion, Baltimore is another popular travel option. One of the best choices here is Locust Point Dog Park at Latrobe Park, a fully fenced-in play space with astroturf, rocks to climb, and even a water slide just for dogs. Doesn't get much better than that. For those seeking a more nature-oriented experience, check out the 380-acre Cromwell Valley Park, which includes pastures, cultivated gardens, fields, woods, and orchards.
Pet-Friendly Hotel: Brookshire Suites welcomes pets, allowing them to stay for free and offering a variety of pet amenities.
In a city where celebs famously carry pets around as accessories (Paris Hilton, for example), it should go without saying that there are plenty of pet-friendly options. There are well more than 100 activity choices. One of the not-to-miss options is Runyon Canyon Park, where countless famous folks go running and hiking with their pets. A 160-acre city park near Hollywood and the Hollywood Hills, Runyon includes a staggering 90-acre off-leash dog park. When not hiking, do some people watching at the Grove, a shopping and entertainment center that's not only pet friendly but also a starlet shopping destination.
Pet-Friendly Hotel: The Standard, one of the most stylish hotels in downtown Los Angeles, allows your pets to stay with you for free. Thank Anjelica Huston for that.
For the outdoorsy types, Denver is always a popular vacation choice, thanks in large part to the fact that it's a jumping off spot for visits to the Rockies. It's also a great place to bring your pet. There are about 80 recreation options for furry friends. Among the more unique and well-rated options here is Earthdog Denver, where there's doggie daycare, a pool for dogs, and training equipment for them to enjoy. Kennedy Dog Park, Berkeley Dog Park and Fuller Dog Park are some of the other popular choices among dog owners.
Pet-Friendly Hotel: The Marriott Denver Tech Center allows one pet per room, but there's a $100 non-refundable pet fee. The La Quinta Inn Denver Cherry Creek also welcomes as many as two pets for no extra charge.
Admittedly there are fewer pet options here than many of the other cities on the RewardExpert list, but Virginia Beach does have more than two dozen choices, should you be visiting with an animal companion. And pets are allowed in all of Virginia's state parks. First Landing State Park Beach is just one example, and it gets rave reviews from dog owners. The sprawling historical park includes miles of walking trails and a beach that's dog friendly year round.
Pet-Friendly Hotel: The Wyndham Virginia Beach Oceanfront, located right on North Beach, allows up to two furry family friends for a cost of $25 per pet.
In Honolulu, the pet-friendly activities range from exploring the beautiful Kaiwi State Scenic Shoreline to basking in the sun on the stunning white sands at Kailua Beach Park. You and Fido on a beach in Hawaii, great place for a selfie, wouldn't you say? When it's time for some eats, check out the Mahiku Farmers Market, where you can browse fresh local produce, flowers, plants, food, crafts, and artwork with your leashed friend.
Pet-Friendly Hotel: Hotel Renew allows up to two small dogs (there's a 20-pound limit). The hotel provides doggy treats and a toy upon arrival. Doggy beds are available upon request.
San Jose's top pet attractions include Almaden Lake Park for quality nature time, and for the more well-heeled pets and humans, don't miss Santana Row, where there are pet-friendly patios for dining and plenty of shopping. Additional public spaces that receive top marks from dog owners include Hellyer Dog Park and Jeffrey Fontana Dog Park.
Pet-Friendly Hotel: Hotel Elan allows up to three pets (30 pounds or smaller) for an additional fee of $15 per pet, per night. The hotel also charges a $40 security and cleaning fee that is refundable upon checkout.
Bow Wow Beach and the Ohio & Erie Canal - Cuyahoga Valley National Recreational Area are two of the top names to remember when visiting Cleveland with your pet. Bow Wow Beach has a 7½-acre fenced-in play area for dogs and a 5-acre lake. Additional features include a special section for smaller dogs. The Ohio & Erie Canal attraction is a multi-use trail that provides a great walking space for your dog and history lessons for you.
Pet-Friendly Hotel: The Radisson Hotel Cleveland Gateway is pet friendly, allowing two pets (up to 50 pounds) for a fee of $35 per pet.
If you're in Detroit with your pet companion, don't miss the Dequindre Cut Greenway, a previously unused rail corridor that has been converted into a pristine 2-mile recreation trail that links the East Riverfront, Eastern Market, and several residential neighborhoods. Another popular spot for pet owners is 3Dogs1Cat, a hip boutique that offers trendy gifts for your animal pal. The Mall at Partridge Creek provides another pet-friendly shopping option.
Pet-Friendly Hotel: The TownPlace Suites Detroit Dearborn, a Marriott property, welcomes pets. The limit is two pets per room, but there's a non-refundable fee of $100.
Pet activities in Corpus Christi are somewhat limited, but the top option here is easily South Padre National Seashore. The seashore is pet friendly but requires that dogs be on a leash at all times. Pets are allowed to camp here and explore the more than 60 miles of beach. If you and Fido need a little retail therapy, check out Pup-A-Palooza, an upscale dog boutique selling such brands as Oscar Newman, Urban Pup, and Doggie Design.
Pet-Friendly Hotel: Homewood Suites by Hilton Corpus Christi allows pets up to 75 pounds, but the hotel charges a $75 non-refundable pet deposit.
Art museums, bakeries, and parks are among the options in Kansas City for travelers with pets in tow. Longview Lake Park encompasses nearly 5,000 acres and features nature trails, picnic shelters, and a 930-acre lake where there are fishing docks. All this, and dogs are allowed. Penn Valley Park and Swope Park are also popular parks for dog lovers. And although the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art doesn't allow dogs inside, they are allowed to explore the museum's grounds.
Pet-Friendly Hotel: Dogs up to 40 pounds are welcome at no additional charge at the Westin Crown Center Kansas City. Dog beds and bowls are available for borrowing.
The French Quarter is a fascinating place in its own right, and it also happens to be pet friendly. Check out City Park, a 1,300-acre spot in the middle of New Orleans where leashed pets are allowed. NOLA City Bark is focused exclusively on dogs. It's the city's top dog attraction and includes 4.6 acres of landscaped grounds, separate areas for big and small dogs, water fountains, shade pavilions, restrooms, and a walking trail.
Pet-Friendly Hotel: Omni Royal Orleans allows pets up to 25 pounds and charges a $50 cleaning fee. The limit is two pets per hotel room, and that includes cats or dogs.
In Philadelphia, you and Fido can walk past such historic sights as the Liberty Bell and Independence Hall, and then enjoy some exercise in one of 77 pet-friendly locations including the Schuylkill River Dog Park, Triangle Dog Park, or Columbus Square Dog Park.
Pet-Friendly Hotel: Dogs up to 40 pounds are welcome at the Sheraton Philadelphia Society Hill Hotel.