Going on vacation is the best, but if you have a pup at home, vacation means a few days away from your furry baby, as vacations aren't always the most dog-friendly; most restaurants don't allow dogs, and many hotels and rentals either don't allow dogs at all or require steep pet-stay and/or cleaning fees. So where can you go for fun human-and-dog accommodations? From dog shows to inner tubing, here are three great vacation destinations for you and your best friend.
1) The Pacific Northwest
The Pacific Northwest has a lot to offer when it comes to what dogs love. Manzanita, in northern Oregon, is nicknamed "Muttzanita" by dog lovers because of its dog-friendly nature. Run and play in the surf or dig for bones on the seven mile strip of beach, go hiking on Neah-Kah-Nie Mountain, and at the end of the day take your furry friend shopping at Four Paws on the Beach pet boutique.
Up the coast and inland is Leavenworth, Washington. The Iron Horse trail has miles of hiking; following the Great Northern railway line, it passes through the gorgeous forests and waterfalls of the Pacific Northwest. If your pup likes to swim, call up the Leavenworth Outdoor Center and rent safety equipment for you both to go tubing on the Wenatchee River. Keep in mind that pet fees can get a little extreme, so compare rates at the pet-friendly lodges and hotels before making reservations.
If you have a social-butterfly canine at your side, why not take a trip to Woofstock? Toronto, Canada is home to the largest dog festival in North America and admission is free. Every year, Woofstock draws more than 300,000 people and dogs who love silly events like Wiener dog races and the Running of the Pugs. While you’re there you can see the fashion show, the Stupid Dog Trick Contest, and the Ultimutts Stunt Dog Show. You can even enter your super-furry model in the Best Costume competition. From Wiener Dogs dressed as hot dogs, to Chihuahuas in frog costumes, see if you can outdo the best in show at Woofstock.
3) Ten Thousand Waves & West Hills Hunt
One city, two dog-friendly destinations. Except these two places are on opposite sides of the interest spectrum.
First, Santa Fe's Ten Thousand Waves mountain spa resort is a dog-friendly, traditional Japanese-style inn that offers everything for dogs as well as their humans. The resort is only 10 minutes from Downtown Santa Fe and borders the national forest nearby, so if you are runners, lace-up for a morning jog and hike.
Santa Fe is also home to the West Hills Hunt, the seasonal coyote hunt from September to April. So if you happen to be a hunter with a trained hound dog, this is the vacation spot for you. You can also attend as a spectator, but it's important to take a hunting safety course beforehand so you know what to expect and are aware of the proper etiquette for spectators.