Carson Ridge

Walks and Wine

Portland routinely tops lists of the country’s dog-friendliest cities, with dozens of dog parks and dog-friendly green spaces to explore. Add a liberal policy on dogs in pubs and restaurants, plus the region’s usual penchant for outdoor fun in the surrounding Columbia River Gorge and vineyards, and Oregon becomes a solid vacation spot for Spot.

Do: Portland’s parks are must-visits for man and mammal alike. Visit Washington Park, the Hoyt Arboretum, and gorgeous International Rose Test Garden, where you and your dog can stroll through a riot of colorful botanicals. Stop at Lucky Labrador Brewing Company’s pup-approved patio to sip local beers and enjoy the sun. If you’re feeling wine more than beer, time your trip for the annual Oregon Humane Society’s Canines Uncorked event, which brings multiple Willamette Valley wineries together to celebrate oenophiles and their fuzzy friends. Grab a glass of wine, take your pup for a hike through the vines, or learn a new skill. (Dog massage, anyone?) If you can’t make the popular event, many area wineries welcome dogs year-round, such as Plum Hill Vineyards, where your dog can come inside and chew toys while you taste.

The Inn: Carson Ridge Luxury Cabins, located within the Columbia River Gorge area, are well-suited to a nature-focused vacation without losing the convenience to downtown Portland. Days spent hiking, kayaking, and wine-tasting are capped off in cabins that come with jetted tubs and comfy robes.

Pet Policies: The Knotty Pine and Northern Territory cabins are dog-friendly and carry an additional $30 fee per pet, per night. Guests are asked to bring all pet supplies and food with them.
 

 


 

Brava House

Animal Lovers in Austin

Artsy Austin also ranks high among America’s pet-friendliest cities — not surprising, given the laid-back vibe of its human residents. There are dedicated dog parks and activities aplenty, plus an assortment of quirky animal-focused events that do the town proud, from “catio” tours to goat yoga with goats … seriously.

Do: Among the many parks that welcome pets, Auditorium Shores is a favorite for dogs that come to splash in Lady Bird Lake or roam around the Stevie Ray Vaughan memorial statue. (As its frequent subjects, dogs love the blues.) You can also catch a Frisbee, spy the butterflies, and catch Austin’s best skyline views at Zilker Park with your pup. Stop in the eclectic South Congress neighborhood, where indie shops, music venues, art galleries, and cafes all come alive with that keep-Austin-weird spirit. Many shop owners allow dogs inside, while the food trucks often dole out treats to passing pets. On Rainey Street, plan a Sunday at Banger’s, a massive open-air beer garden that dishes up homemade sausages and live country music. There’s an off-leash park on-site, plus the restaurant has menu items just for the countless dogs who flop on its sun-soaked patio.

The Inn: Brava House is in the heart of downtown Austin. An exceptionally dog-friendly city, you’re within walking distance to many local restaurants and shops that welcome those who walk on two or four feet.

Pet Policies: Pets need prior approval before your stay, and you will need a pet-friendly specific room for your stay. There is an additional $30 per night charge for Fido.
 

 


 

Captain Jefferd's

Nautical in New England

Dogs love beaches, but not all beaches (and the parks departments that manage them) love dogs. Luckily, there’s Kennebunk and Kennebunkport, two classic New England seaside towns that welcome pooches with open arms. Prepare yourself for lobster rolls and plenty of cuddles.

Do: Dogs are permitted on beaches all year long, though there are daytime restrictions during summer high season. (Check local info before your stay). The interconnected trio of Mother's Beach, Middle Beach, and Gooch's Beach in Kennebunk are great for families and sunbathers, while Kennebunkport’s Goose Rocks Beach is tops for walking and sunrise views. On non-beach days, explore the dog-friendly Seashore Trolley Museum and ride the antique shoreline railway. Owners and pups can hike the easy Kennebunkport Trails that thread through dense Maine forest and over creeks that trickle toward the sea. Or they can just explore pretty-as-a-postcard Kennebunkport village, where even the marina store sells dog treats.

The Inn: The Captain Jefferds Inn couldn’t look more Maine, with its white-painted exterior and manicured gardens. The 19th-century former sea captain’s home is today filled with historical charm, while modern amenities include whirlpool tubs and Tesla chargers. Plus it’s just a few minutes’ walk to Dock Square.

Pet Policies: Dogs are permitted for $30 per night in five Carriage House rooms, all of which have direct access to the outdoors. Just ask the innkeepers and they’ll be happy to supply dog treats, water and food bowls, and plenty of pickup bags.
 

 


 

The Adobe & Pines

Trails and Tails in Taos

Taos, New Mexico, is simply enchanting, from its snowcapped mountains and its brush-covered hills to the boho town thrumming with good vibes and even better eats. No surprise that this laid-back region is especially pet-friendly, with so much natural beauty surrounding it.

Do: Hiking is one of the many outdoor pleasures in Taos, where uncrowded trails thread through designated reserves, rushing gorges, and wildflower fields. Hike the Rio Grande del Norte National Monument, with its ever-changing scenery and the Sangre de Cristo mountain range guiding you east. The Carson National Forest has hiking, too, plus hunting, fishing, mountain biking, overnight camping, and even snowmobiling in winter, if you and your pup are feeling particularly high-octane. But on more sedentary days, explore downtown Taos’ art galleries and shops. Dogs are welcome on leashes, and many businesses place water bowls and treats right out front for pups to enjoy. A quick tip: If you’re planning to visit the Taos Pueblo for a public event or feast day, you can drop off your dog for a day visit at 10,000 Wags Pet Resort for his own little vacation-within-a-vacation.

The Inn: The Adobe & Pines Inn is a historic, charming 19th-century hacienda right in Taos. Enjoy oversized jetted tubs, fireplaces, and plenty of Southwestern style in the rooms and private casitas. Throughout the adobe-clad property, positive energy can be found in the meditative labyrinth or during an on-site hot-rock massage. The whole B&B promises to replenish your soul (and possibly your pet’s, too).

Pet Policies: Dogs and cats are both welcome, although they may not be left unattended in rooms. A $25 per pet per stay fee is standard.
 

 


 

Best Friends Animal Sanctuary
Photo by Molly Wald - Best Friends Animal Society

Find Sanctuary and Snuggles in Utah

Don’t have a four-legged friend of your own? Not a problem, pet lover. You can interact with literally thousands at the Best Friends Animal Sanctuary in Color Country, Utah, where once-homeless animals are waiting to meet and play.

Do: Five miles north of Kanab, Utah, is where you’ll find this tranquil animal sanctuary. The largest of its kind in North America, Best Friends is hidden among the red rocks and wide plains of Zion, Grand Canyon, and Bryce Canyon national parks. There’s plenty of room to roam among the dogs, cats, horses, pigs, rabbits, parrots, and countless other animals sent from shelters nationwide to find healing and rest. (Many are rescues from natural disasters and overburdened shelters.) Here, unlike at many wildlife sanctuaries, humans are encouraged to interact with the residents on tours and volunteer days. Hike the canyon with a pack of dogs or socialize with shy cats; muck and rake the horse trailers or chop veggies for the bunny residents. You may even get the chance to walk a potbellied pig! The rescue pets soak up the love and attention, and after a day of enthusiastic snuggling and slobbering, you may feel so moved to adopt one of your own.

Purple Sage B&B

The Inn: You can stay overnight at the sanctuary itself, but you should really extend your vacation to get the most out of Kanab. Stay at the Purple Sage Inn, a late-19th-century pioneer home turned B&B that’s listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Expect antique clawfoot tubs and open-air verandas that look out on the colorful landscape, plus delicious full breakfasts with homemade fruit jams and pepper jelly — perfectly filling for a day of national park exploration.
 

 

 

 

—by Dara Continenza