Dogs are family members. Anyone who lives with one or more of them will undoubtedly concur. We dub them with cute names, make certain they’re well-fed and healthy, and even pour our hearts out knowing they’ll sense our mood and provide the comfort we’re in need of. They grow up with our kids, snuggle us in our sleep, and become an integral and important part of our lives.
While cranky misbehaving children are considered acceptable by hotels and restaurants nationwide, the same is not always true of our well-trained obedient furbabies. A 3-year-old child has a better chance of tinkling in a hotel room bed than a dog who would rather burst before peeing on the floor.
If a vacation is long overdue but there’s no way you would even consider leaving Fido behind, here are some of the most pet-friendly cities in the nation where dogs almost rule.
1 Portland, Oregon
Portland is perhaps the most pet-friendly city in the world, bar none. Leashed dogs accompanying their loving owners are as common as the cities ever-present rain clouds. No one gives dogs a second thought. In fact, lots of people will greet the friendly canines with an affectionate pat on the head for which they are thanked with a wag of the tail.
Portland has over 70 restaurants that happily welcome well-behaved dogs and there are dozens of dog parks scattered about the city. If sipping a brewski while Fido sips cold water from a bowl sounds good, go to Lucky Labrador Beer Hall. Council Crest Park is where people and pets alike go to mellow out at sunset. At 1,073 feet above sea level, it’s the best view in town. At last count, there were 207 pet-friendly hotels in Portland, not including numerous B&B’s.
If your dog is your hiking companion there are lots and lots of trails with all levels of difficulty where you’ll both be welcome. Some are urban while others lead deep into the wilderness.
The rule of thumb in Portland is if you aren’t certain of an establishment’s pet policy, take your faithful companion anyway. If one place won’t let you in, the next place will.
2 Provincetown, Massachusetts
A town of only 2,800 residents give or take a dozen or so, it’s been said Provincetown is the most dog-friendly city in America. It’s a small seaside town with long stretches of deserted beaches, open land, and zero leash laws. It would be somewhat foolish to not have a dog and most all of the residents agree.
Despite the town’s quaint reputation, Provincetown is, after all, a seaside town which means it receives visitors, many of which show up with their pets. Seventy-One hotels in the local area allow them, and almost all of the private rental cottages will let them in.
All of the beaches of Provincetown are leash free from 6 AM – 9 AM, and again from 6 PM – 9 PM. There are roughly 15 dog-friendly restaurants, some of which offer dining options on their patio. There are campgrounds, parks, and hiking trails where you and your best buddy are both free to roam.
3 Scottsdale, Arizona
Scottsdale has over 100 dog-friendly restaurants. The wide open spaces just outside of town are ideal for running, romping, and playing, minus an annoying and restrictive leash. If the dog happens to be a trail sniffing hound who needs a leash, them and their human can still enjoy the freedom of nature in the vehicle-free openness.
Scottsdale was ranked first in animal health and wellness, and second in outdoor pet-friendliness in 2017 by Wallet Hub. There are three dog parks and approximately 260 dog-friendly hotels.
Go to Duke’s Sports Bar & Grill and enjoy their patio area with a huge widescreen and plenty of water for your pooch. The same thing applies at K O’Donnells’s where they have multiple widescreens. Don’t worry about the weather. It’s Arizona.
4 San Francisco
There are an extraordinary 174 dog-friendly restaurants in the City by the Bay and lodging will never be an issue with 183 pet-friendly hotels. The city is full of dog parks and pet-friendly walking trails. Want to take a boat tour of San Francisco Bay? Yep. You can do that also.
Walking along the cities beaches is an activity to not be missed and there is no reason anyone has to. Five of San Fransisco’s beaches allow unleashed dogs, and Fort Funston Doggie Beach is expressly reserved for our canine kids.
The Toronado Club has a five-dog bone review. Dog owners and their sidekicks get together as the owners enjoy some of the clubs’ 40 craft beers. The club is described as a friendly dive bar with excellent live music. Or try the small Black Horse London Pub where a fun time can always be had.
Dogs are allowed on cable cars, buses, and subways so you can leave your vehicle parked and avoid getting lost or driving up, or worse, driving down, one of the cities frightening hills.
5 Key West, Florida
The island of Key West is the epitome of laid back. It has so many outdoor bars and restaurants your dog can go just about any place you can. No one will think anything of it as long as they behave, and wherever you end up yours won’t be the only one there.
Lazy Day Charters will set you and your dog up with a kayak or paddleboard and there is special dog beach appropriately called Dog Beach. If you get hungry for some world-class food and a glass of fine wine, Louie’s Upper Deck is right next to Dog Beach. Fido is welcome and the attire is Key West casual.
it would be harder to find accommodations not allowing pets and even most of the boat tours, including fishing trips, allow them. You could spend an entire week in Key West with your companion by your side and not miss one single thing.
There is no reason to not travel for fear of your furbaby not being welcome. These are five of the most pet-friendly cities in America and they are all pretty cool places to visit anyway. You have no excuse now. Tell Rover to “load up” in the car and take that long overdue vacation.