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Recommendations for Dog Friendly Vacations
  • hmbackhmback
    Posts: 42
    My husband and I have always traveled a lot but now that we have Clifford, of course we want to bring him along for the fun. I don't want to just bring him to a place and drop him off by himself though - I'd love an experience where he can join in on the vacation such as dinner and sightseeing and maybe a day at the spa. Does anyone have any specific places they've been to that they could recommend as dog inclusive? I know a number of hotel chains are dog friendly such as Kimpton but I've never stayed at one - any thoughts?
  • sunyatasunyata
    Posts: 8429
    Take a look at this website:

    www.bringfido.com

    It may also help to give us an idea of where you want to go on your trip(s). There are tons of dog friendly vacations ranging from hiking excursions to dog beaches. Do you want to be in a city, out in nature, or maybe a visit to a vineyard or brewery tour? What area of the country/world are you in?

    I take my pups with my most places that I go (and I travel a lot for mountain bike races and events). Sometimes we camp, sometimes we hotel it.

    Staying at a pet friendly hotel is pretty easy, especially if your dog is used to it. Just bring along a familiar crate, some new toys, and some extra special chew treats. If you leave the pup in the hotel while you are not there, leave the TV on to drown out some of the noises of the cleaning staff and other guests.

    PS - Dogs do not necessarily find days at a spa relaxing or enjoyable. It is usually pretty stressful on the pup, so I do not recommend this while you are not at home. Having a stressful experience at a groomers and then going back to a hotel, instead of a familiar safe place, can be a bit much for a dog (or even a person!).
    Bella 2Mountains 2Nola 2
    Casey, with Bella and Nola, hanging out in the mountains of Virginia.
    I Wander, I Ride
  • Adding on slightly to what @sunyata mentioned:

    For dog friendly hotels, if they don't have a detailed policy, call them and check to make sure that their policy does not preclude leaving a dog in the room unattended. Some dog friendly hotels are less than friendly in that respect.

    Think about renting a house instead of a hotel room if you're only going to stay in one place. I find that it is easier on the dogs not to have so many people making noises in an unfamiliar place.
  • hmbackhmback
    Posts: 42
    Great ideas - bringfido might give us more ideas of where to go. My husband and I are pretty much up for anything and anywhere which is why I reached out to all you experts. We live in Wisconsin but can drive/fly to places that would be great for Clifford. Sunyata and Violet - do you have any specific places you've stayed that you really loved (or that your pups really loved)? There are a number of dog friendly hotels and campsites around us but would appreciate any feedback of places other people have gone. Thanks!
  • We really liked going to Sleeping Bear Dunes in Northwest Michigan. Not all the trails are friendly, but quite a few are and some of the beaches are dog friendly and it's pretty much gorgeous up there and not so difficult to find a dog friendly house to rent. If you like to be very active outdoors, I would recommend that or checking out some of the other national parks perhaps?

    Plus lots of great breweries though less exciting wineries in that region. My experience with wineries/breweries across the country is that the locations themselves don't tend to be dog friendly but tasting rooms sometimes are. Each state tends to have slightly different regulations so always best to call and check if you are interested in particular ones. There are also some fun dog friendly places in the northeast/midatlantic but I think those will be a much longer travel time and have higher costs than if you look closer to home.

    Honestly though, your pup is young. I think lots of shorter day trips to different cities/parks/towns/etc on the weekends will be more fun and a bit more useful in terms of socialization. By the four month mark our girl had been to five different towns/cities and to this day she loves to travel. Mind you, we were on the east coast where everything is much closer together. Just see if there are some fun cities/towns that are an easy day trip (or overnight trip) and do a little research. Restaurants with patios, bookstores, wineries, breweries, antique shops, etc are all often pretty dog friendly. Just find a couple of places that interrest you, call ahead to confirm, and from there you can just wing it and wander having a list of a few places you know you can hit in case a place says no. They key is to have a well behaved dog, and to be polite and leave one person outside with the dog and the other person inside to ask the shop first. You'd be surprised at the number of places that allow dogs.
  • hmbackhmback
    Posts: 42
    Sounds great - thanks Violet, we for sure will check out Sleeping Bear Dunes! We've taken Clifford to a bunch of stuff in the area like festivals and restaurants so he definitely loves meeting new people, trying new things and seeing different sights. We just want to take him with us everywhere, including vacations, as we love being with him so much. We usually plan a number of longer trips throughout the year and now that we have him, of course we're going to plan our trips with him in mind. It's no fun going places when we can't bring him too! Thanks for the recommendation!
  • We rent a cabin every year with another couple and their dog in Shenandoah, Virginia. We are going again this year and the dogs absolutely love it, it's right on the river and is secluded.

    We always stop at a local winery or brewery on our way to the cabin, we just make sure that they are dog friendly because our dogs are our babies!!!!

    Check any vacation rental websites and filter the search to only include dog friendly rentals. There are lots of them and they are much more fun, unique, and exciting than hotels.

    Cynthia, Proudly owned by Kira
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    Kira the Cream Shiba Inu 吉良 - Facebook Page
    Follow Kira on Instagram! Kira_the_cream_shiba_inu
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    “Dogs are not our whole life, but they make our lives whole.”
    Post edited by Kira_Kira at 2015-09-01 00:56:43
  • @Kira_Kira - wow just looked up Shenandoah and it looks gorgeous in the fall. I'm definitely bringing this idea home tonight. I also agree that the cabin idea looks like something Clifford would love - I'm going to have to get him a longer cable. Thanks!
  • This is the website of the rental that we use.

    http://www.allstarlodging.com

    There is a pet friendly link to all the cabins that apply. :)
    Cynthia, Proudly owned by Kira
    imageimage
    Kira the Cream Shiba Inu 吉良 - Facebook Page
    Follow Kira on Instagram! Kira_the_cream_shiba_inu
    Kira's Life Story & Photo Thread - Chronicles of Kira

    “Dogs are not our whole life, but they make our lives whole.”

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