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7 Great Cities to Visit with Your Dog

Go where pets are not only allowed but welcomed

Bring along your furry friend to these prime dog-friendly desinations. (Courtesy Cypress Inn/Michael Troutman)
CBI

Go where pets are not only allowed but welcomed

Thanks to a growing number of pet-friendly trails, accommodations, and even restaurants and bars that welcome dogs, you can now take stellar adventures with pup in tow. You’ll find hotels that not only allow dogs, but greet them with treats, beds, and dog-walking services to make your furry pal feel at home. We’ve rounded up some of the most pet-friendly destinations in North America, with tips on where to go, stay, and eat while you and your dog are there.

Portland, Oregon

Portland might be the most dog-friendly city in the country, with heaps of outdoor restaurants and breweries that accept dogs, more than two dozen dog parks, and ample dog-friendly hiking trails. Drink coffee at Java Hound Coffee Bar and beer at Lucky Labrador Brewing—both invite dogs. Take a walk on the Wildwood Trail in downtown’s Forest Park (pets must be leashed). Stay at the Hotel Monaco, where you’ll get a yoga mat in your room, free cruiser bikes to borrow, and pet-friendly rooms at no extra cost. Your dog is even invited to the courtesy happy hour each evening in the lobby. The pastry chef at the neighboring Red Star Tavern makes dog treats that are available at the hotel’s front desk.

Aspen, Colorado

In summer, you can bring your dog free of charge up Aspen Mountain’s Silver Queen Gondola for a hike. In winter, the Aspen Snowmass Nordic Trail System has several dog trails for cross-country skiing, and Snowmass lets you skin uphill with your leashed dog before the mountain opens. (Be sure to check the resort’s uphill policies.) Dogs love downtown Aspen’s Wagner Park, and don’t miss Annette’s Mountain Bake Shop for homemade dog treats and tasty baked goods for humans. Book a room at the Little Nell, and they’ll pet-sit while you’re out skiing and even give your dog a jet-lag kit to help with the altitude.

Stowe, Vermont

Stowe’s Topnotch Resort couldn’t be more hospitable to dogs. Your pup will get a bed delivered to the room, doggy treats at teatime, pet-sitting services while you’re on the hill, even in-room pet Reiki massages. Plus, there’s a good dog-walking path that winds through the resort. After a day on the mountain, head to Alchemist Brewery, which opened in Stowe in 2016 and allows leashed dogs in the tasting room.

Carmel, California

Carmel-by-the-Sea is known for rolling out the red carpet for pets. This lavish California coastal town allows dogs to roam free on its main white-sand beach, Carmel Beach, and you’ll find many a water bowl in front of local shops. Dogs are welcome on the patio at the Carmel Coffee House, and Forge in the Forest even has a special dog menu. The historic Cypress Inn, which is co-owned by actress and animal rights activist Doris Day, hosts a nightly “yappy hour” for pets, has a dog-washing station in the courtyard, and offers a dog bed and water bowl at check-in.

Asheville, North Carolina

Asheville, which calls itself Dog City USA, opened a dog welcome center downtown that offers guides for dog-approved activities, special dog ice cream, and public bathrooms where you can bring your pet. Take a hike to waterfalls in Pisgah National Forest or Graveyard Fields, or walk along downtown’s Urban Trail. Asheville is packed with craft breweries, and many allow dogs in certain areas, including Asheville Brewing Company, Wicked Weed Brewing, Wedge Brewing Co., and Twin Leaf Brewery. Hotel Indigo, located downtown, has pet-friendly rooms for a small nightly fee.

Ketchum, Idaho

If it’s summer in Sun Valley, you can hike up Bald Mountain with your dog in tow or visit nearby lakes like Redfish and Alturas Lake, which have designated dog beaches. In winter, the Wood River Valley’s extensive cross-country network has select trails that allow dogs. At the Limelight Hotel Ketchum, which opened in 2017, you’ll get a European-style breakfast spread and free fat-bike rental, and your dog is met with a bowl, leash, and Frisbee upon arrival. The Sun Valley Animal Center has $25 per day doggie daycare if you want to ski or bike without your furry friend.

Whistler, British Columbia

Dogs sleep free at Whistler’s Summit Lodge, where front-desk staff hands out food bowls and treats at check-in and helps you book dog walkers while you’re out. For you, the hotel has in-house ski techs who will tune your skis overnight and free cruiser bike and snowshoe rentals. You can take dogs cross-country skiing on more than 16 miles of select dog trails at the Whistler Olympic Park, or let the folks at Alpine Dogs take your pup on an adventure for the day while you ski Whistler Blackcomb—they even offer a pick-up and drop-off service.

Filed To: Dogs / Whistler / Asheville / Aspen / Portland / Stowe / Ketchum / Oregon / California / Sun Valley
Nicolas Henderson/Creative Commons )

San Marcos, Texas

Billed as the world’s toughest canoe race, the Texas Water Safari, held each June, is a four-day, 260-mile jaunt from the headwaters of the San Marcos River northeast of San Antonio to the small shrimping town of Seadrift on the Gulf Coast. There’s no prize money—just bragging rights for the winner. Any boat without a motor is allowed, and you’ll have to carry your own equipment and overnight gear. Food and water are provided at aid stations along the way. Entry fees start at $175 and increase as race day approaches.

The Ring

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(Courtesy Quatro Hubbard)

Strasburg, Virginia

The Ring is a 71-mile trail running race in early September along the entire length of Virginia’s rough and rocky Massanutten Trail loop. To qualify, you need to have run a 50- or 100-mile race before the event and win a spot through the lottery system. Entry is free. Complete the run and you’ll become part of the tight-knit Fellowship of the Ring and be eligible for the Reverse Ring, which entails running the trail backwards in the middle of winter.

Plaza2Peak

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(David Silver)

Santa Fe, New Mexico

Each spring, competitors gather in Santa Fe’s historic plaza with a simple goal: be the first to reach 12,308-foot Deception Peak, 17 miles and 5,000 feet of elevation gain away. Competitors run or bike the first 15 miles to the local ski area before transitioning to their waiting ski-touring setups for the final push to the top. Time stops only when they’ve skied back down to the tailgate in the resort’s parking lot, which is funded by the modest entry fee of around $25. To add to the sufferfest, some participants sign up for the Expedition category, in which they strap their skis, skins, boots, and poles to their bikes for the long ride up. Start dates vary depending on snow conditions, but look for the event page to be posted on Facebook in late March or early April.

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