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Top Dog-Friendly Summer Road Trip Spots

04 Aug 2022 | Written by Tori Holmes

Want to take a vacation, but don’t want to deal with the hassle of flying? Why not plan a road trip? The best part about road trips is that it’s easy for your pup to join as your co-pilot. If you’re still deciding where you want to go, take a look at our list of top dog-friendly summer road trip spots.

Holbrook, Arizona

This tiny town in Arizona is home to Holbrook Dog Park, a small but very clean park across from one of the town's pet-friendly accommodations – but this isn’t what makes it a top dog-friendly summer road trip spot. Holbrook is just a short drive from the Petrified Forest National Park, which is a great destination for owners looking to hike with their dogs. This is because, unlike many other national parks, dogs are allowed in the backcountry areas which means you don’t have to stick to the main paths. We recommend checking out the Rainbow Forest which has a landscape that is as colorful as the name suggests.

San Francisco, California

Believe it or not, more dogs are residing in San Francisco than children. Knowing this, it’s not surprising that the city is very well suited for canine visitors. Your pup is welcome to join you on-leash as you explore the top outdoor sights of this hilly city, but when they’re ready for some off-leash fun you can head to one of many designated off-leash areas, such as:

The city is also home to DogFest, an annual festival held each April that celebrates dogs and raises money for a local elementary school. You can expect a variety of vendors, food, community organizations, and events to watch – including a dog show with awards for the best ears – so plan ahead if you want to go next year!

Raleigh, North Carolina

Are you a beer-loving pet parent? Then North Carolina should be at the top of your road trip wishlist! In July 2019, the governor of North Carolina signed a bill that allows dogs (and cats!) to accompany their pet parents in any of the state breweries, as long as they don’t serve food. Raleigh is a great choice as there are several breweries throughout the city so you can organize a little beer crawl with your pup. Once your thirst is quenched, you can visit the North Carolina Museum of Art, which has a paved outdoor walking trail lined with statues and sculptures – some of which are up to 50 feet tall!

Portland, Oregon

If you left the destination of your road trip up to your dog, we’re pretty sure that Portland would be their top pick. Not only is the city surrounded by dog-friendly hiking trails, such as the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area, but there also are more than 30 dog parks in the city. You read that right – more than 30! That’s more dog parks per capita than any other big city in the country. Some of its most popular ones include:

Portland has no shortage of bars and restaurants and restaurants that welcome dogs, including the Lucky Labrador Brewing Company, so you can cool down with a drink after your trip to the park, or parks!

Austin, Texas

The city of Austin is well known for its network of parks and lakes that locals and tourists flock to when they’re in the mood for some hiking and swimming. But did you know that they have an entire lakefront park reserved just for dogs? Red Bud Isle off-leash dog park boasts 13 acres of recreational space, including an area of the lake reserved just for dogs! This is the perfect opportunity to have a little waterfront picnic, featuring your pup’s Freshpet recipe. If you’re looking for a fun indoor activity to escape the heat, check out Austin Doga, a yoga and mindfulness class designed for you and your dog to enjoy together.

Duncan, Colorado

Duncan is not on this list because we think you should check out the town sights. In fact, Duncan is technically a ghost town! What it does have going for it is that it’s home to the Great Sand Dunes National Park. It may be best known for its towering dunes, but you can find a diverse range of landscapes, including:

As long as they remain on their leash, you can bring your dog into the Preserve, including the Mosca Pass Trail, as well as the main areas of the Park, including:

Mount Desert Island, Maine

Mount Desert Island is the second-largest island on the Eastern Seaboard and is a popular summer destination for road trippers. The town of Bar Harbour acts as a gateway to the neighboring Acadia National Park but is worth a visit to experience its numerous dog-friendly cafes, restaurants, and breweries. Inside the park itself, you and your pup can explore the 100 miles of mainland hiking trails, as well as an additional 45 miles of carriage roads that cover everything from the woodlands and beaches to the mountain peaks.

We hope this list has given you some inspiration for dog-friendly summer road trip spots, but before you hit the road, make sure you’ve packed all of the must-bring items for any summer road trip with pets!

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