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Those of us who like to travel with our pets are faced with some difficult situations sometimes. Many hotels, motels and inns don’t accept animal guests, many buildings don’t let pets indoors and finding somewhere to eat with a critter in tow can be a challenge.

However, all is not lost! There are many animal lovers in the tourism industry who welcome human guests and furry guests alike. Hotels, restaurants, tours, you name it, there are options out there for you and your furry friends. Some of these places even have resident furry friends themselves!

No matter where you are in the country, these are some of the best places to travel with companion animals. Hopefully, one of these is near you. Time for a new adventure!

1. Boulder, Colorado

Boulder, Colorado is one of the most dog-friendly cities in the United States, making it a great place to visit with a dog in tow!Creative Commons

Where to Stay

Best Western Plus Boulder Inn

This is probably the best pet-friendly hotel to stay in Boulder (and it’s gorgeous!). There is a pet fee of $50 at check-in, but it is fully refunded upon check-out if the room is clean. There are a few rules to follow, no grooming in the room, no leaving pets alone in the room, etc.— but who brings their dog on vacation and leaves them in the room the whole time, anyway? Guests with pets get to stay in rooms on the first floor, so there’s plenty of chances to meet other animal lovers and get outdoors quickly— no long waits in the elevator for a pooch who has to go!

Where to Eat

If you’re into craft beer, go have a pint at Avery Brewing Company— they love their dogs as much as they love their drinks! They even have a dog-friendly patio where you can enjoy one of their year-round brews, an American Brown Ale with russet hues called Ellie’s Brown Ale—named after the brewer’s own brown dog, Ellie.

What to do

When you’re done there, go over to one of the city’s pet parks, run by the Boulder Open Space and Mountain Parks Department. If you have a dog, Fido will love to run around in all the open space the parks provide—but if you have a cat, there are still plenty of quiet spaces to walk around a little bit, lay down and relax. Don’t forget the leash!

2. Chicago

Many hotels have pet policies--be sure to check the policy before you make reservations!Creative Commons

Where to Stay

Hotel Monaco is by far one of the best pet-friendly hotels anywhere. Not only do they have no size or weight restrictions for pets, but they place a pet bed and food and water dishes in the room for your pet during your stay. They also have a Director of Pet Relations, Oliver, who they describe as “a spunky Lhasa Apso who loves to greet hotel guests and play chase in the lobby.” It doesn’t get that much more adorable than that.

Where to Eat

Bad Dog Tavern and Grill, like Avery Brewing in Boulder, is a pet-friendly restaurant that loves animals so much that staff encourage customers to take photos of themselves and their pets to put on the establishment’s Wall of Fame. They will bring water to Spot or Fluffy and make their experience at the restaurant just as pleasant as yours.

What to do

If you have a dog with you, bring them shopping with you at Nordstrom— they let dogs of any size or weight inside! Shoppers and their pooches can have a great time shopping together at the famous department store, and there is sure to be more than one designer who makes chic carriers for the most fashionable of little dogs. If you and your pup are more of the outdoor types, check out Montrose Dog Beach. This awesome off-leash dog beach is the perfect place for you to enjoy some sunshine and meet other dog lovers and their pups. It’s sure to be a fun time for you and your four-legged bestie.

3. San Francisco

There are several great dog beaches and parks in San Francisco for dogs and their humans. Photo via Creative Commons.Creative Commons

Where to Stay

The Fairmont San Francisco is one of the most beautiful and historic hotels in the city and has absolutely no weight or size restrictions for guests’ pets. Their only rules are that animals must never be left unattended in a room and they must be on a leash at all times.

Where to Eat

SOMA StrEat Food Park is the best place to take a dog in the city—lots of new smells to sniff and other dogs to meet! The food trucks in the park offer some of the best food in the Bay Area, and you can get anything from wood-fired pizza to curry-heavy Indian food. Depending on the day, there might also be live music, so make sure your pooch doesn’t scare easily!

What to do

Gold and Fleet Bay Cruises let guests bring their animal friends with them on their hour-long cruise tours under the famous Golden Gate Bridge, around Alcatraz and back. The sights are amazing, and the prices are pretty good—tickets are $30 for adults and there is no charge for furry friends who want to go on the tour.

4. Orcas Island, Washington

Most dogs love the water--take them to Orcas Island, Washington! Photo via Creative Commons.

Creative Commons

Where to Stay

Once In A Blue Moon Farm is an adorable little fruit farm that can boast more than 100 years in business. While the inn is a fairly new part of the business, human and animal guests can take a tour of the farm and buy the farm’s famous fruit, jams and jellies. Just be sure to make reservations for your pet, as well! While all rooms are designed for families with pets, reservations must be made for the whole family, not just the human family members.

Where to Eat

While it might be a bit of a drive, Market Chef in Friday Harbor, Washington has great reviews. Not only is it an off-the-beaten-path local deli, but it is very dog-friendly, too. The restaurant offers outdoor seating for people and their pets, making it one of the best places to visit with Fido.

What to do

Because Orcas Island is so rural, there aren’t any exciting museums or shops to go to with your furry best friend, but there are some great dog parks in the area. One, Orcas Island Dog Park, offers lots of space for your dog to run around in, and the park even has a dog toy box, a picnic shelter and water for the dogs.

5. Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

Myrtle Beach is one of the most dog-friendly cities in the country, and offer lots of eating options for people and their pets. Photo via Creative Commons.

Creative Commons


Where to Stay

The La Quinta Inn in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina is an extremely dog-friendly hotel in a city that loves dogs. Two pets of any size can stay with hotel guests for no additional fee, and any other pets can stay at the discretion of the hotel manager. 

Where to Eat

Sharkey’s Beach Bar has incredible ocean-view seating in the outdoor area, which welcomes restaurant customers and their dogs (although word has it that guests can occasionally sit in the indoor area upstairs with their dogs, too). It may not be the fanciest restaurant in town, but patrons with pooches are treated very well here.

What to do

Myrtle Beach has two very popular “Barc Parcs” for local and tourist dogs alike. Myrtle Beach State Park allows dogs on the beach during certain times, mostly in the early morning or late afternoon and into the evening.

6. Cambridge, Massachusetts

If you have an adventurous, mellow cat, don't leave them at home! Bring them with you (just make sure your hotel allows feline guests first). Photo via Creative Commons.Creative Commons

Where to Stay 

Hotel Marlowe offers a couple of pet packages for guests arriving with furry friends in tow—one for dogs AND one for cats! “Man’s Best Friend Pampering Kit” comes with a fluffy dog bed, a warm blanket and a box full of doggy treats from the local Polka Dog Bakery. The “Finicky Feline Pampering Kit” also comes with a soft, comfy blanket for kitty, a scratching post and a box of treats from the same bakery. Best. Hotel. Ever.

Where to Eat

Just five minutes from exciting Boston, Cambridge is a short drive to fun and pet-friendly local restaurants like Petit Robert Bistro, which allows dogs to sit with their humans at the outdoor tables. They also provide water bowls for patron pooches, making it one of the best east coast restaurants to bring an adventurous pet.

What to do

You and your pets will get a kick out of the Dolphin Fleet Whale Watch in Provincetown. One of the best whale-watching tours around, Dolphin Fleet doesn’t charge for children under four or for dogs. The whale watches last for a few hours, and breakfast and lunch are provided on board. It will definitely be memorable for everyone in the family, fluffy ones included!

Lead image source: Nikki Dougan Pogue/Flickr

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