Time flies when you’re having fun! That old saying couldn’t be more true than when I think back over the past five years and 75,000 miles we’ve covered since jumping in the RV and taking off with Ty and Buster. We’ve seen the best pet friendly destinations – the places your dog would definitely consider taking you, if he were the one planning the vacation. This is the first post in a series of places your dog definitely wants to go on vacation:
Covering 1,136 acres and consisting of five interconnected islands, Fort De Soto Park is a dog’s dream. You can take a self-guided tour of the Fort and other historical landmarks, explore seven miles of paved trails, play a round of Frisbee golf, or paddle the canoe trail with your furry buddy … but the piece de resistance is the quarter-mile long dog beach. If recall isn’t in your pup’s repertoire, visit the 2.5-acre fenced dog park instead. There are separate areas for large and small dogs, and you can hit the doggy showers to wash the sand off before hopping back in the car!
The gondola in Telluride takes you over the mountain to the ski resort on the other side. Operating during winter, summer, and on special occasions, it’s free to ride, and the pet friendly cars are marked with a sticker in the front window. Birds, dogs and cats are all welcome to enjoy the views – so long as they’re on a leash or in a carrier.
The setting for Washington Irving’s, “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow,” the Sleepy Hollow Cemetery is steeped in history. Spreading across almost 90 acres just 25 miles north of Manhattan, there are plenty of shade-covered paths spider-webbing the grounds and along the babbling Pocantico River to wander – and it’s all dog friendly.
San Antonio’s River Walk is a public park consisting of more than five miles of paved walkways, passes, and bridges. Some areas are lined with restaurants, shops, and businesses, while others are so quiet and green, you can easily forget you’re in a city. Evenings in the downtown section of the River Walk get packed, and there is no barrier that would keep you or your pup from being bumped into the river. While it’s not deep, it wouldn’t be a pleasant way to end your evening. If your pooch is like ours – too big for a pocket book and without a firm grasp on the “heel” command – it’s best to avoid the throngs. Stroll the downtown River Walk during the day, and check out the new 2.5-mile Museum Reach Extension when the crowds start gathering.
An active military base until 1953, this 433 acre state park is truly unique. You’ll find bunkers and gun batteries on the strategic hilltops overlooking Puget Sound, two miles of sandy beaches, twelve miles of hiking and biking trails, two boat ramps, and the original barracks – three dozen Victorian houses – that have been renovated into pet friendly vacation rentals. And it’s all just a few miles from the quaint fishing village of Port Townsend. What more could a dog on vacation ask for?
Established in 1835, Balboa park is one of the oldest sites in the United States dedicated to public recreational use. It’s 1,200-acres provide visitors access to open spaces, gardens, walking paths, gift shops, restaurants, museums, theaters, and the world-famous San Diego Zoo. More importantly to our furry friends, there are three dog parks within Balboa’s boundaries. The largest, Grape Street Dog park, is five-acres and fully fenced at 28th and Grape Streets.
Situated on 8,000 acres in the Blue Ridge Mountains, and completed in 1895 for George Vanderbilt II, this French-style chateau has 250 rooms (175,000 square feet) and is the largest privately owned home in the US. Pups are not allowed inside the house, but the Frederick Law Olmstead-designed grounds are very dog friendly. Meander around the lawn and gardens, or hike Deer Park Trail for a nice a 2.4-mile loop. Kennels are available in parking lot C, but we suggest inviting a friend to join you and taking turns touring the house.
Custer State Park is famous for it’s spectacular terrain, scenic drives, and free-roaming bison herd … but what dogs like best are the miles and miles of hiking trails – all of which are pet friendly! Leashes are a must, and we also recommend fitting your pooch wear bear bells. Though the chances of running into a black bear are pretty slim, it is possible you’ll come across one of the 1,500 bison that make the park home, and it’s best not to startle a bison. Two of our favorite hikes are Lover’s Leap and the Sylvan Lake Loop.
For more information on any of these locations, simply click on it’s name above. And, be sure to check out all the posts in this series:
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