The 10 Top Dog Friendly Cities to Visit in North America
For all of us dog lovers this is a handy list to have if we’re planning our next trip or vacation or maybe even planning a move. So check it out!! Does your city show up on the list??
Thanks DogFriendly.com for putting this together! And be sure to visit DogFriendly.com next time you plan a trip with your dog for all the ‘dog friendly’ info you need!
10 Top Dog Friendly Cities
1. Boston, Massachusetts (see also Boston Area) – In Boston, you can see most of the best tourist sites without leaving your dog at home. Getting around Boston and the suburbs is easy as the Boston T (subway) allows leashed dogs of all sizes during non-rush hours. Follow the red arrows on the sidewalk along the 2 mile Freedom Trail, take one of a number of boat tours or whale watching tours that welcome pups. Visit one of the cities many parks including the Boston Common, Minute Man National Historical Park or the Arnold Arboretum. You can ride a horse and carriage ride together at the Faneuil Hall Marketplace. In Salem take a walking or trolley tour or visit the Salem Willows Amusement Park. For a weekend getaway near Boston you can take a dog-friendly ferry to Cape Cod, Martha’s Vineyard or Nantucket or visit the dog-friendly beaches of Block Island.
2. Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada – Visit Historic Gastown, Granville Island and the Capilano Bridge and Park with your pooch. Many ferries allow leashed dogs of all sizes and the city’s public transportation allows small dogs in carriers. The city has many outdoor restaurants and cafes and quite a few of the stores allow you to shop inside with your dog. When in Vancouver consider taking a dog-friendly trip to the Minter Gardens, Hell’s Gate Airtram and to Victoria on Vancouver Island. While on Vancouver Island be sure to see the beautiful Butchart Gardens. There are numerous beaches and parks that welcome you and your dog. Vancouver boasts 7 off-leash dog beaches and over 20 off-leash dog parks giving your dog ample opportunity to run.
3. New York City – Stay in luxury at some of New York’s most fashionable hotel addresses with your dog. The Regency, Soho Grand Hotel, Novotel and many W hotels all welcome dogs. If you want to stay outside of the city you can bring your dog on the Metro-North trains from Connecticut or the northern suburbs or on the Seastreak Ferry from New Jersey. There are also a number of Pet Taxi services in the city that you can call for transportation and some regular taxis will pick up dogs. Many of the famous stores and department stores in Manhattan will allow leashed dogs to accompany you. Take a walking tour of lower Manhattan, a carriage ride in Central Park, walk the Brooklyn Bridge or visit one of the 30 off-leash parks in the city. Or visit the William Secord Art Gallery on 76th Street. For canine swimming, check out the man-made swimming pond for dogs in Brooklyn’s Prospect Park.
4. San Francisco, California – San Francisco is a great vacation site for a traveler with a dog. There are so many parks, off-leash areas and beaches. Try Baker Beach, Ocean Beach or Fort Funston. There are many off-leash dog areas sprinkled throughout the city. Visit Golden Gate Park, walk across the Golden Gate Bridge or shop in many dog-friendly stores in the Union Square area or throughout the city. Stay at a number of pet-friendly hotels including the Palace Hotel, the Four Seasons or the Hotel Palomar. San Francisco is a compact city and easy to walk around. Also, dogs are allowed on most of the public transportation, including the famous Cable Cars, Muni buses and trains. Small dogs are allowed on the regional BART trains that run to the East Bay. Every August the San Francisco Giants host their annual Dog Days of Summer baseball game where your dog is welcome to attend with you.
5. Austin, Texas – When visiting Austin you will have your choice of many fine dog-friendly hotels and motels. You can stay at the Hyatt Regency Lost Pines Resort or one of the many La Quinta Hotels, Red Roof Inns or other hotels throughout the city. You and your dog can take a walking tour of downtown, ride a horse and carriage or visit the Zilker Botanical Garden Austin has a large number of dog-friendly parks as well as ten off-leash dog areas. The most interesting tourist attraction in town may be the Congress Street Bat Colony. Around sunset from around March to November the bats all fly out looking for food. You may dine with your dog at many dog-friendly patio restaurants throughout the city.
6. Portland, Oregon – The Lucky Lab Brewing Company is a landmark establishment for dog owners. In addition to its two locations, a newcomer to the local dog scene is the Iron Mutt Coffee Company with an off-leash outdoor area to play in while coffee and food are enjoyed. Portland boosts over 20 off-leash dog parks, some of which are fenced; a city amusement park where leashed dogs are allowed; the Hoyt Arboretum and of course the Rose Gardens that the city is famous for. Also visit the Portland Saturday Market which is an open air market with artists, entertainment and all sorts of shops including pet items. Nearby Portland is excellent hiking in the Columbia River Gorge and throughout the Portland region.
7. Northern Virginia (see also Washington, DC) – During the summer months you may cruise the Potomac with your dog on the Potomac Riverboat Co. Canine Cruises. Visit the outdoor areas of historic Mount Vernon, the Iwo Jima Memorial, and the Theodore Roosevelt Memorial on Roosevelt Island. Hike the Mount Vernon Trail from Washington DC to Mount Vernon or visit over twenty off-leash dog parks with your dog. In historical Alexandria you can treat your dog to a carriage ride or attend the Doggie Happy Hour at the Old Town Holiday Inn Select during the summer months on Tuesdays and Thursdays. While in Northern Virginia you can visit the National Mall in Washington, where you and your dog can see all of the monuments from the outside and enjoy a visit to Georgetown and the C&O Canal.
8. Orlando, Florida – Orlando, long a popular people destination, has recently greatly improved it popularity with our four-legged friends. There are some fabulous pet-friendly resorts such as the Sheraton World Hotel and the Portofino Bay Hotel among many others. While there you can take a boat ride on the St. Johns River with your dog, shop in the dog-friendly Winter Park area and dine at Sam Snead’s, the center of Florida doggy dining. It was here that former Florida Governor Jeb Bush signed Florida’s doggy dining law. Fleet People’s Park in Winter Park is an excellent off-leash dog park.
9. San Diego, California – San Diego is known for its beaches and, for dogs, it doesn’t disappoint. There are two major off-leash beaches in San Diego and Coronado plus many other beaches that allow dogs on leash. With its warm, yet not too hot year-round weather, San Diego is perfect for those outdoor activities that shine during vacations with pups. There are many nice outdoor dog-friendly restaurants in San Diego, La Jolla and throughout the region. While in San Diego visit the very pet-friendly Otay Ranch Town Shopping Center with an off-leash dog park built into the shopping center.
10. Dallas / Fort-Worth – While in Dallas ride a carriage with your dog, take a walking tour or visit Pioneer Plaza. There are many fine hotels that are dog-friendly to fit all budgets. Fort Worth offers your dog Fort Woof, one of the countries nicest dog parks and a visit to the Stockyard Stations to watch the daily cattle drives. Dallas this year joined fellow Texas city Austin in officially allowing dogs in outdoor dining areas ending years of ambiguity on where you can eat in the city with your dog.
Honorable Mentions – While these five cities did not make our top ten this year they did make our honorable mentions as the five next best cities to vacation in with your pet.
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