The weather’s getting warmer, and maybe you’re starting to daydream about your next road trip. Why not take one that includes your furry friend? About 68% of US households own at least one dog … so it seems like a natural fit. Whether it’s just a day trip to a neighboring town or a cross-country adventure, travel takes a little more planning when looking for pet-friendly locales. Take a look here to discover some of the most dog-friendly road trip destinations in the country.

California Coast 

There are dog friendly options all along the California Coast. Here are a few favorites:

San Francisco

Check out Fort Funston, a former military outpost turned dog park where owners can frolic with their pups in the dunes above Ocean Beach. While Fido is playing fetch, take in sweeping views of the ocean. You may even spot a hang glider or two: Fort Funston is a favorite jumping-off-point for hang gliders and parasailers.


Hit the quaint town of Carmel-by-the-Sea to explore Mission Trail Park, which offers a short dog-friendly loop trail. Pack a picnic lunch and enjoy the scenery. Depending on time of year, you’ll spot wildflowers, lush greenery, and even a stream along the path.

Big Sur

Farther south down the California coast is Big Sur, yet another stunning locale to explore with furry friends. Dogs are permitted in Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park as well as plenty of nearby campgrounds. If going out to dinner rather than cooking over a camp stove is more your speed, head over to Fernwood Tavern where dogs are welcome on the deck.

San Diego

Boasting the most dog-friendly restaurants in America — San Diego is inviting for dogs and humans alike. Spend a day or a week taking in the beautiful beaches and temperate climes of this city with your pooch. You’ll find that America’s Finest City has no shortage of outdoor adventures.

Scenic Southwest 


National Parks may not be the first spots that come to mind when traveling with pets. But there are plenty of dog friendly spots all over the southwest — including the Grand Canyon! Leashed dogs are welcome on all 13 miles of the South Rim Trail. Not sure where to stay? The Yavapai Lodge offers pet-friendly rooms for you and your four-legged friend.

Durango, Colorado 

For more hiking and camping with Fido in tow, take a look at Durango, CO. Both you and your pooch will love exploring the nearby Animas River. Stroll along the five-mile paved walkway and even take your dog paddle boarding! Don’t leave Durango without stopping by the Durango Dog Park. With six square miles of open space for frolicking, it’s a popular spot for both visitors and locals.

Seattle to San Juan Islands

Ever take your dog on a boat? On the ferry rom Seattle to the San Juan islands, you can do just that! Once you’ve reached the islands, there is no shortage of coastline to splash in, cafes to nosh in, and sidewalks full of doggie water bowls. For a unique tourist experience, visit the Pelindaba Lavender Farm. Pick up a sachet or essential oil for yourself, and a lavender dog biscuit for your pup.

Austin, Texas

Austin, TX not only offers amazing food and music for humans, but pet-parents can rejoice knowing it’s a very dog-friendly city as well. There’s even a Mardi Gras Dog Parade! Don’t leave Austin without picking up a special doggie treat at Groovy Dog Bakery. And when the humans on your road trip get hungry, make a stop at Banger’s Sausage House and Beer Garden: not only are dogs allowed, they’re also welcomed on the large outdoor patio and served a special house-made sausage … cooked specially for dogs!

Travel hacks | Destinations


about Hannah

Hannah Fairbanks is a freelance writer living in San Francisco with her husband and 2 daughters. When she’s not writing, you might find her reading, packing bento box lunches for her kids, and making sure she gets in at least 10,000 Fitbit steps a day.