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Pet-Friendly Destinations That Are Worth the Trip

By Christy True
June 4, 2021 • 3 min. read
Dog at a bar

Now that more people are vaccinated and starting to travel again, many pet parents are thinking about where they might go with their four-legged family members without hassle or a lot of extra fees.

The number of hotels, restaurants/bars, and other tourist attractions welcoming pets is on the rise. According to BringFido, there are at least 150,000 hotels or vacation rentals, 61,452 restaurants, and 17,807 pet service businesses that welcome pets worldwide. While most focus on dogs, some also include cats.

The businesses featured here don’t just tolerate your pet; they welcome them with open arms, with a menu of pet-friendly amenities. Some are places where you might meet dogs and cats that need a home. So, even if you are not traveling with your pet, you can experience some pet cuddling while on the road and maybe even bring home a new friend.

Here are websites for all the businesses featured: 

Best Friends Roadhouse and Mercantile, Kanab, Utah

“Where your pets are welcome… and expected.”

Talk about a win-win. The Best Friends Roadhouse and Mercantile provides pet-centric lodging in one of the most picturesque parts of Utah.

With 40 modern and stylish rooms, the hotel offers unique amenities for furry friends, such as a dog bed, pet washing area, and a fenced dog park area with a splash zone.

Your stay supports the life-saving work of the nearby Best Friends Animal Sanctuary, the nation’s largest no-kill facility for companion animals. Take a free shuttle for tours.

Dog Yard Bar, Ballard, Seattle, Wash.

“A 21+ gathering place for people and their dogs”

It’s fun to take your dog to pet-friendly bars. But what if there was a bar designed for your dog?

Well, now there is! In Seattle’s Ballard neighborhood, the Dog Yard Bar is an indoor/outdoor off-leash play park and bar for dogs and their humans.

Pet parents can relax with a drink and socialize while their pups can play, exercise, and meet new dog friends. The play park features grass turf, natural boulders, tunnels, tires, and water features.

There are outdoor heaters and an inside retail and lounge area with a fire and heated floors for your pooch when it’s cold. Besides a well-stocked bar, humans can choose from tempting treats such as fresh-baked pie, pizza, and soft pretzels.

Golden Road Vineyards, Blue Mountains, N.C.

“Dog-Friendly * Dog Welcome”

This recently reopened winery welcomes your pooch to join you around the sunken fire pits for exceptional views of the vineyard.

The family-run business loves dogs so much that it planned a Dog Days in the Vineyard recently. During the all-dog-themed event, canines walked around the vines for photo opportunities and enjoyed “pup pops” from Patty & the Dogs food truck.

Humans were able to meet adoptable dogs, sip wine, listen to live music, and chow down on burgers and hot dogs.  All proceeds supported Surry Animal Rescue.

Pounce Cat Café, Georgia and South Carolina locations

“The first cat café in the South”

The Pounce Cat Café serves up a little cat cuddling with their coffee or wine, and it’s so popular that it’s been booked solid recently. All the resident cats come from local shelters, so if it’s just too hard to say goodbye to a furry feline, you can take one home with you.

Cats roam freely – no cages or crates – and sleep on comfy beds or windowsills. So while they wait for their perfect person to come along, the cats live in a friendly, loving environment where they can show off their best selves and be seen by a wider audience than they would in a shelter.

Guests pay $15 for an hour with the cats, which pays for their care. Pounce has helped find furever homes for more than 2,300 cats and kittens. You can’t bring your own cat (or dog!).

Kimpton Hotels, 64 locations in the U.S.

“Wagging tails welcomed”
This chain of boutique hotels welcomes pets of all kinds – any “furry, feathery or scaly family member — no matter their size, weight, or breed” – at no extra charge. These hotels pamper your pet with a selection of amenities such as plush pet-bed loaners, food and water bowls, mats, and courtesy poop bags. For cats, some locations offer in-room pet spa services, a “Finicky Feline Pampering Kit,” and a catnip toy.

Add to that a pet concierge service to point you to nearby pet-friendly restaurants, parks, groomers and pet boutiques and a pets-welcome nightly wine reception, and your furry family is going to feel right at home.

At several locations, Kimpton Hotels employ a Director of Pet Relations – a sort of four-legged pet ambassador — to give you and your buddy a tail-wagging welcome.

Are you someone who travels with your pets? Protect them  – and your wallet – on the road by enrolling in pet insurance. Healthy Paws offers one simple plan to protect dogs and cats from any unexpected accidents or illnesses and you can take them to any veterinarian when you travel. Start by getting a free quote.

Christy True and Tomas
By Christy True

Christy has been writing about pets for Healthy Paws for 21 dog years. She previously worked in journalism, hence her penchant for writing about offbeat animal studies and the latest viral pet trends. She has been owned by several dogs, and right now, Tomas, a Mexican street dog rescue, is staring at her because he wants a walk. Outside of work, she can usually be found sliding down a mountain near her home in Bend, Ore.

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