Summer is approaching and there’s no better reason to load up your car and hit the road for an unforgettable trip with your dog. It’s time to get out of the house and get active, soak up the sun, and experience something new and exciting.
One of the more difficult parts of planning an awesome road trip is choosing the stops you’ll make along the way.
Whether you’re looking to take your pooch on a warm coastal retreat, chilly mountain expedition, or charming southern tour, we’ve rounded up 6 dog-friendly stops you’ll both enjoy.
Once you choose your destination, we’ve also got everything you need to make travel with your pup comfortable. From traveling water bottles and bowls to comfy collars and leashes, pack up all the dog essentials as you gear up for an amazing trip.
And don’t worry if you’ve never traveled with your dog before, we’ve got the best tips to keep your dog cozy while you hit the open road.
So go ahead, let your dog hang their tongue out the window while you make your way to any of these pup-friendly travel destinations!
Tips for Traveling With Your Dog
Preparing your dog for a road trip can take a little work, but once you’ve got them comfortable with long rides in the car, they’ll love every minute of it.
- Give your dog a spot of their own in the car: create a little bed or comfy area where they can rest and relax when not peering out the window.
- Try to keep them on the same food and water schedule: if you keep up with this routine they should feel more comfortable no matter where they are.
- Pay attention to potty breaks: if they need to go, let them go!
- Acclimate them to the car: if they aren’t used to car rides, start slow with a couple of trips around the block and work your way up.
- Bring something that smells like home: pack their favorite blanket, a sweatshirt, or their favorite toy — it’ll give them comfort.
Your pup may still need some time to adjust and learn while you’re on the road, but keep at it — it gets easier every time.
1. Mammoth Lakes, California
Nestled in the eastern Sierra Nevada mountain range, Mammoth Lakes offers the best of winter and summer. In the cold months you can hit the slopes and when the temps get too hot you can chill out on the lake!
This alpine community is wildly dog-friendly — your dog can go off-leash in certain areas like hiking trails and under-developed zones and are welcome to accompany you around town on-leash. Mammoth Lakes is known for its hospitality towards pets, so whether you want to stay in a standard hotel or a cute Airbnb, you’ll have no issues finding the right fit!
Mammoth Lakes values sustainability as you’re traveling with your dog, so if you do head up to their community, be sure you sign their promise to keep the lakes beautiful, pick up after your pup (and yourself), and share a picture of you “hugging nature.”
2. Kanab, Utah
Surround yourself and your pup with red rock majesty and beautiful landscapes with this ultimate outdoor getaway. Together you can check out caves, ancient ruins, sand dunes, and desert trails — there’s no shortage of pet-friendly activities you can both enjoy.
A must-sit, stay, and relax is the Best Friends Roadhouse and Mercantile. Best Friends Animal Society went above and beyond in establishing this pet haven in the Utah desert. Not only are your pets welcome to stay in the rooms, but you can also host an animal who’s currently staying in their sanctuary for a sleepover!
Stroll through the town together and chill out on the many dog-friendly patios you’ll find at Kanab’s cafes, restaurants, and bakeries. Don’t forget a travel bowl to fill with special treats along the way.
3. Durango, Colorado
Tucked away in southwestern Colorado near Four Corners — where Arizona, New Mexico, Utah, and Colorado all meet — sits dog-loving Durango. With thousands of miles of trails to explore, rivers to splash in, and a historic downtown to sightsee, you’ll both have a blast checking out this quaint Colorado town.
Locals enjoy taking their pups on the Animas River Trail, which is roughly 5 miles long. Your dog is welcome to walk around off-leash, as long as they can get along with others they see on the trail. Along the trail you’ll come across the Durango Dog Park — around 6 acres of free-roaming space with access to the river and plenty of socializing opportunities.
Colorado in the summer can be more on the mild side in the mountains, but be prepared for higher temperatures — pack something your pup can cool down with so they're comfortable.
4. Fredericksburg, Texas
Just to the west of Austin, you’ll find a little slice of Europe in Fredericksburg. As you venture through town, you’ll enjoy the preservation of its German heritage in its architecture and scenic Main Street.
Traveling with dogs is easy here, as it's loaded with dog-friendly eateries and accommodation options. But what you’ll really love is checking out the area’s pup-friendly wineries. While you’re sipping on a tasty rosé or pinot, be sure you bring a water bottle to keep your travel companion hydrated and happy.
Before you leave town, head over to the Fredericksburg Dog Park. Your pup will make all kinds of new friends and have a good run around before hitting the road again.
5. Savannah, Georgia
Explore history, sights, southern charm, and pet hospitality in Savannah. They pride themselves on being a dog-friendly place — from ice cream shops and cafes to breweries and markets, your pup is welcome to accompany you as you explore this Georgian slice of paradise. You’ll also have plenty of options to choose from in where you stay.
Create a unique memory together by going on Oliver Bentley’s Historic Dog Walk Tour. Learn all about the historic district of Savannah while your pooch smells the sites and meets new four-legged friends. If you prefer a tour with just the 2 of you, leash them up and check out the Moon River District and Skidaway Island Park — both have trails and educational markers.
Pampering should always be part of road tripping with your dog. Treat yours to a spa day at Dogtopia where they can get freshened up before the next leg of your trip.
6. St. Augustine, Florida
St. Augustine is a historic city and charming beach town all wrapped into one. Known as “The Oldest City in America,” you’ll love the mix of ancient cultural attractions and tropical vibes found throughout the area. Meanwhile, your pooch will love all the attention they’ll get every time you walk into a shop or restaurant or take a stroll down the beach.
Every beach in St. Augustine is dog-friendly, except for Anastasia State Park. St. Augustine Beach is especially popular for dogs and their humans — they can run along with you off-leash, enjoy play fetch in the waves, and mingle with other pups. Don’t forget to pack the dog essentials like extra water and snacks.
After the beach, head to The Fountain of Youth Archaeological Park where your pet can awe at the bright plumage of peacocks strutting their stuff. Grab a snack then visit the fountain — let your dog take a sip to keep them young at heart! If you’re up for some live music, don’t miss the best local and regional musicians playing outdoors at the Plaza de la Constitución.
Stay at one of the many dog-friendly hotels or lodges in town as you take breaks from frolicking at the beach, walking around historic downtown, and meeting with the locals. St. Augustine will welcome you both with open arms just about anywhere you go!
Gear Up Before Your Trip
These dog-friendly road trip ideas are just a starting point. The best trips are those that take you on the roads less traveled, inspire spontaneity, and dare you to explore the unexpected.
You’ll need more than a map and a sense of adventure to prepare going on a long road trip with your dog. Stocking up on supplies and road trip essentials will save you a lot of headaches later on.
Before you take your dog on an epic adventure, make sure they have what they need to stay comfortable and happy no matter what you both get into or where you end up.
Enjoy the ride!