Any pet owners out there will know that leaving them behind for a holiday can be the hardest part of going away, which is why many travellers choose to venture to places the entire family can go to. And the USA’s varied landscapes and cities mean there’s no shortage of pet friendly getaway destinations to choose from – and we’ve picked five of the best.
Bar Harbor, Maine
Take in the views of the wild and maritime scenery
The USA’s most northeasterly state, Maine has a rugged, lighthouse-filled landscape that serves as a wonderful choice for those travelling with pets and also in search of bountiful nature. The town of Bar Harbor is a great place to start, being the gateway to Acadia National Park, notable not only for its wild, maritime scenery but for its dog-friendliness, too. While much of the park requires you to keep your dog on a lead, the range of hiking options and views mean this is a small concession. Wander rocky shorelines while your pet ambles along beside you and spend the night at one of the area’s pet-friendly campsites, including Blackwoods, Seawall and Schoodic Woods. The park also borders the 1,000-acre Little Long Pond – an off-lead area and small park where wooded paths cut through sleepy meadows and your pets can race around freely. Local restaurants are equally canine-loving; opt for a meal out on the lawn with bay views at Jordan Pond House, or an oceanfront dinner at the pet-friendly Stewman’s Lobster Pound in Downtown Bar Harbor. The Birches B&B is a notoriously animal-loving place to stay.
Head to Red Bud Isle Park where your pup can swim with their fellow furry friends
Austin’s alternative, open-minded reputation also extends to pets, since the city is filled with both dog-friendly parks and urban activities. Chart a course straight to the Red Bud Isle Park, a quiet island on the Colorado River outside of the city centre where you’ll often find pups paddling in the blue-green waters. Go for a swim and work up an appetite, before heading across town to the neighbourhood of Westgate and the Groovy Dog Bakery, which whips up a range of healthy treats suitable for pets, including the CinnaBone, BarkBQue and PeaMutt Butter biscuits. For owners who need refueling too, there’s the Dog House Drinkery & Dog Park, with a laid-back bar, picnic tables and plenty of space for pets to roam. But pet-friendly Austin isn’t all parks and recreation; if you’re visiting in the summertime, you can take your dog on a kayak tour, catching a glimpse of the world’s largest urban bat colony under Congress Avenue Bridge. Or your dog can join you at a yoga class at Austin Doga. Retreat back to Aloft Austin Northwest, where a complimentary bag of doggy treats and toys will be waiting.
Asheville, North Carolina
Go hiking in Pisgah National Forest for views that will keep your pet happy too
It may be better known for its art scene than as a dog-friendly travel destination but the city of Asheville is a very worthy choice for getaways with pets. Located beside theBlue Ridge Parkway, Asheville is both culturally cool and naturally blessed thanks to the inky blobs of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Begin your visit with a trundle through town via the Urban Trail – a tour of the city’s art deco architecture with stop-offs at the Three Dog Bakery and one of Asheville’s many microbreweries (the city is dubbed ‘Beer City’ due to the number of breweries in the area). The highlight of any visit here, however, is Biltmore House – the largest privately owned home in the USA. Explore this 8000-acre estate and gaze longingly at its Loire Valley-inspired homestead. Head back to the Grand Bohemian Hotel after a day out, and get up early the next morning for a trip to the nearby Pisgah National Forest.
Teddy's always happy when he gets to his favourite spot – the lake beach
The Windy City has a wealth of options for pet owners looking for an urban escape. Other than being home to a range of excellent dog parks (Wiggly Field Dog Park is a playful derivation of the Chicago Cubs’ Wrigley Field stadium), Chicago puts on novel events such as Bark in the Park; a baseball event where dogs can join you in cheering on the Chicago White Sox (you may even have a better chance at catching a foul ball). Sports games aside, the spacious Montrose Beach is dog-friendly and a lovely way to take in the city’s skyline. While you’re out and about, see if you can chase down the city’s Fido Dog Truck, which specialises in ice cream and treats made for dogs – perfect for enjoying on the Seadog boat cruise along Lake Michigan or at one of the city’s many patio cafes. Spend the night at the endlessly stylish Ace Hotel.