One thing we dog owners love to do is take our dogs with us when we travel. Of course, bringing your dog along means you have to find places that are interesting for both humans and dogs, and where dogs are as welcome as their people.
After all, we dog owners and our dogs mean big business for holiday proprietors. In the United States, many popular tourist destinations have opened their doors to people and their beloved dogs. If you are planning a trip to the United States, here are three wonderful places to consider visiting with your pup:
Hilton Head, South Carolina, and the Low Country
The southeastern coast of the United States is dotted with beautiful semi-tropical islands and broad sandy beaches. One of the best-loved dog-friendly destinations in this region is Hilton Head Island, South Carolina. Dogs are welcome at the Hilton Head public beaches and certain island resort hotels during the off-season months of October through April. During the high season months, dogs are allowed on the beach in the early mornings and after 5:00 p.m.
For the specifics about the dog rules and regulations on Hilton Head beaches, click here. If staying at a resort hotel does not appeal to you, you can easily find vacation homes that allow dogs. In either case, you will need to book your reservation well in advance.
Beaches are only one attraction at Hilton Head. You can take your dog on a dolphin-watching cruise or rent a kayak and go out with your pup. When you have had enough surf and sand, your dog can play in one of the numerous community parks on the island. Then you can take your pup to lunch or dinner at one of the many restaurants that have outdoor dining for you and your dog. Several offer menu items for dogs, like Bruster’s Real Ice Cream, where you can order a special sundae for your dog with a crunchy dog biscuit topping.
For a change of pace, take a short drive to nearby beautiful Savannah, Georgia, and go on Oliver Bentleys Historic Dog Walk Tour. It takes 90 minutes and takes you and your dog through historic Savannah. Every dog on the tour receives a complimentary bag of Oliver Bentley’s original recipe biscuits.
Northern California offers so much for you to see and do. It has miles of beaches along the coastal highway 101, including a number of unspoiled state and national seashores. Be sure to observe the rules and regulations pertaining to dogs at each location. You may decide to do some birdwatching on the secluded beaches. Or you can watch surfers or mingle among the other beachcombers on more popular beaches.
As you beach hop down the coastal highway, you will find many state parks to explore. Rent a canoe or a kayak and take your dog down a river and do some nature watching. Consider staying at the well-known dog-friendly Stanford Inn by the Sea in Mendocino for a wonderful dog and human weekend. Visit a winery or two. Many of the businesses in the area welcome dogs.
North Carolina Blue Ridge Mountains
This area has plenty to wear you and your dogs out. Located in the western part of North Carolina, the Blue Ridge Mountains are a cool escape from summer heat. A popular place for dogs and their people is the Biltmore Estate located just outside of the town of Asheville. The Biltmore sits on 250 acres of landscaped grounds and is covered with beautiful hiking trails and a scenic lake.
While the humans tour the estate, the dogs can rest in the free, self-service, on-site kennels. Then you can all go to one of many wonderful restaurants in nearby Antler Hill Village for outdoor dining, or visit the winery and just relax. The town of Asheville is surrounded by spectacular national parks with lots of dog-friendly hiking trails and mountain overlooks. Visit the North Carolina Arboretum there and walk your dog through some of the 65 gardens and hiking trails there.
If you are there in October, you can take a drive to the town of Tryon, North Carolina and enter your dog into the Annual Any and All Dog Show. Some of the categories include “So Ugly It’s Cute” and “Dog That Would Rather Be At Home”. All proceeds go to benefit the local humane society. You can find a wide selection of dog-friendly lodging in Asheville and the surrounding area.
Whenever you travel with your dog, you make happy memories. Just remember that accidents can happen. Make sure your dog is microchipped and has a collar with identification tags and your contact information in case the dog gets lost. Brush up on safe car travelling with your dog. Also, familiarize yourself with the signs that your dog may need a vet and be sure to pack a first aid kit. If you plan to be in or around water, make sure your dog will tolerate a life vest, just in case. Happy tails!