Two Thumbs (and Paws) Up: Top 5 Destinations your Dog Will Love as Much as You Do

Top Dog Friendly DestinationsIf your dog is like most dogs, she’s happy to tag along with you wherever you go – even if she doesn’t find all of your destinations so thrilling. And, let’s face it  while your dog may love the dog park, and you’re more than happy to take her, watching her sniff trees isn’t the most fun you could be having on a Saturday afternoon.

Traveling around with your pooch involves some give and take. But sometimes the stars align, and you come across fun travel destinations that make you both equally happy.  We’ve taken some of the work out of finding those for you, and rounded up the top five human and dog friendly travel spots.

#5 Asheville, NC
The art, music, and food scene thrives in this NC Mountain city, which is home to bluegrass and jazz bands, folk artists, artisanal cheese, chocolate, and bread makers, and local breweries. If that weren’t enough reason for a visit, Asheville is a nature lover’s paradise, just a stone’s throw away from the Blue Ridge Parkway.

Asheville is a dog friendly place if there ever was one, offering plenty of activities you’ll both enjoy. Hike through nearby Chimney Rock Park, which allows leashed dogs on all of its trails, or along Graveyard Fields Loop, where Fido can splash in creeks and under waterfalls. Sample local fare together at the Posana Café, which offers upscale, seasonal farm-to-table cuisine. Or walk the Urban Trail, a fully interactive, dog friendly trail that features sculptures and live fiddle music.  

#4 Boston, MA
Boston is at once an urban, cosmopolitan, and richly historic city, offering human visitors a wealth of experiences to choose from. But if you take Spot along with you on your trip,he’ll have just as much fun as you will.

Are you a history buff? Take the Freedom Trail together, and stop at each of its 16 historic sites. Want to enjoy some fresh salt air? Take the Boston Harbor Islands Dog Cruise, which features a 3-hour tour of the Harbor designed specifically for dogs and their families. Need some relaxation? Head to one of the city’s beaches, many of which are dog friendly in the off season. Hungry? Dine at South End Buttery, which offers humans a delicious homestyle menu, and offers canines dog biscuits freshly crafted by the nearby Polka Dog Bakery.  

#3 Key West, FL
This laid-back, subtropical city is like no other in the world. The pace is slow, the sunsets are incredible, and it’s one of the last places to experience Old Florida.

Fido is welcome in this very dog friendly city, and there are plenty of things you can do together. You can take a tour with your pup through the Key West Aquarium, which features shark feedings (dogs are welcome to watch!), or visit the Lazy Dog, where you and your pooch can paddle out to a private island dog park, and he can play to his heart’s content. The two of you can enjoy surf and sand on Key West Dog Beach, and when you get hungry, you can dine together at Bo’s Fish Wagon, which offers simple, unpretentious seafood in true Key West style.

#2 Austin, TX
Austin has recently gained a reputation as an art, music and cultural center. It’s also a great place for outdoor adventures, as abundant sunshine keeps locals and visitors al fresco for much of the year.  If you like great music, great food, and an outdoorsy, easygoing atmosphere, you’ll love this Southwestern city – and so will your pet.

Practically the whole city welcomes pets, so just about anywhere you want to go, Fido can come too. Austin features at least a dozen off leash parks, including a spectacular 13-acre beach park situated on a peninsula. You can also hike together on the trails around Towne Lake, take a carriage ride together downtown, or visit the Barton Creek Farmer’s Market to shop for artisanal cheeses and local produce. And make sure to dine at the Spider House, a funky, dog friendly restaurant offering a full bar, great food, and live music.

#1 San Diego, CA
Warm, sunny, and welcoming, San Diego offers everything from desert landscapes, to beaches, to Old World Spanish charm. From hiking, to kayaking, to cultural sightseeing, there’s something for every adventure-seeker and their pet.

Hike the seaside Cabrillo Tide Pool Trail, the rugged Cowles Mountain, or the breathtaking Los Penasquitos Canyon Preserve. Relax at Dog Beach, which is off-leash all day, every day. Shop and people watch at the Westfield UTC open air shopping center, which features 120 boutiques, and visit The Patio on Lamont Street, where humans can experience inspired California cuisine while dogs are treated to gourmet handmade biscuits.

If you’ve been to one of these destinations, or you have another great human and dog friendly travel spot to share with us, let us know! Of course, we believe that no matter where your travels take you, you and your favorite furry friend can always find something great to do together. Happy trails, and happy tails!