My Favorite Pet Friendly Cities in America

Lauren Bassart
by Lauren Bassart

Oh, what we would give to travel the country with our dogs! But if we can’t do it, at least we can live vicariously though Lauren Bassart, who shares her travel adventures on the blog She tells us about some of her favorite dog-friendly cities across the U.S., so if you’re planning a trip in the near future, be sure to visit them with your pooch.

After traveling across the majority of the United States with my Weimaraner, Zoe, I’ve found that you get a wide range of dog-friendliness. Some places call themselves dog-friendly, but don’t let you take your pets anywhere with you, while others are almost utopic in how open and inviting they are to travelers and their four-pawed friends. I’ve put together a list of some of my favorite cities for dog-friendly travel, so you too can enjoy all the tail wagging goodness I have with Zoe.

1.) Key West, Florida – The first city on my list is closest to home for me. Key West, Florida is known for it’s beach bums, fishing, and it’s island life. It does however have a furry side to it too! Dogs can visit almost all outdoor patios. Some can even cozy up to the bars. It is not unusual to see many locals and tourists alike, having meals or drinks with their pets. You will see dogs in boats, in cars, and on foot. Key West does a great job at making your pets feel welcome. With lots of options for accommodations from B&B’s to vacation rentals it’s easy to plan a pet-vacation in beautiful Key West.

2.) St. Charles, Illinois – I found St. Charles, Illinois while traveling to Chicago one year. I happened to go in the fall when the foliage was turning and everything was orange and beautiful. I found out about a local fall festival that St. Charles does every year called Scarecrow Fest. This is a festival that has gone to the dogs, literally! Dogs dress up for costume contests, they get treats, there are water bowls everywhere, even the local art is all about dogs. For an extra dose of fun Scarecrow Fest also features some high speed action, Wiener Dog Racing! That’s right, many contestants enter each year to see who’s got the fastest legs in Illinois. If you are ever in St. Charles in the fall, this festival is a must.

3.) Rapid City, South Dakota – We took a trip out to Rapid City, South Dakota and found many pet-friendly hotels in this area. We stayed here for a few days and visited several of the National Parks, most of which allow dogs on the main trails as long as they are on a leash. I came across so many people with their dogs enjoying a vacation as much as their owners were. It was such a wonderful sight to see. Me being me, I had to stop and pet just about every single one of them. Some even tried to pet me back. 🙂

4.) Portland, Oregon – Portland, Oregon was a city that I have always wanted to visit in the US. My husband, Kenin, and I wanted to visit their many breweries. It turns out, that most bars and restaurants in Portland allow you to bring your dog as long as you sit outside on the patios. There are many people walking around the city’s parks with their pets and many people stop in to the breweries and leave their doggies at the door. Whether you come to Oregon for the fantastic beer culture or just to enjoy the beautiful city, your pooch will be just as welcomed as you are.

5.) Boone, North Carolina – Boone, North Carolina was a great time for Zoe. We took her to stay at a wonderful B&B and Winery. There are a great number of pet-friendly accommodations in Boone many of which are cute and cozy cabin rentals. There are also many things you can do in the town with your dogs. We took Zoe for a hike at Elk River Falls. She had a blast, and so did we. There are even a couple of doggie bakeries in the town so you can stop and get your furry friend a treat after your hike.

6.) Any town, Alaska – Let me just say, Alaska might not be a city, but it needs to be on this list. When you consider that so many cities here have sled dogs and hunting dogs, dogs are more a part of the family than any other state I have visited. There are stores in the malls dedicated to booties for your sled dogs and there are so many dog friendly hotels and accommodations . You see people everywhere running there sled dogs and in the summer, when there is no snow, mushers will ride ATV’s pulled by their sled dogs for training. This state isn’t just great for working dogs. There is such dog culture they are welcome most places and everyone wants to stop and give them a little love.

Lauren Bassart is half of the blogging team at TheConstantRambler, a pet-friendly travel blog dedicated to making travel fun and easy for you and your pet. Featuring pet-friendly travel tips, product reviews, and trip planners, it’s a great resource for any four legged traveler.

Lauren Bassart
Lauren Bassart

More by Lauren Bassart