Summer is just a few short weeks away. If you want to spend the summer on the road with your dog, you need to know the best pet-friendly places to stop along the way. From the east coast to the west coast, north to south, there are places all over the United States that have your four-legged friends in mind when you visit. Check out some of these favorites as you plan your summer vacation.
1. White Sands National Monument
The 225 square miles that make up White Sands National Monument are some of the most beautiful you'll find in New Mexico. They also happen to be some of the friendliest for dogs. The monument, which was created when the Permian sea retreated and left behind the white, powdery substance known as gypsum, goes above and beyond to create dog-friendly spaces. Dogs are allowed on leashes (six feet long or shorter) anywhere in the park, meaning you can find the best photo opportunities practically anywhere.
When taking your dog to White Sands National Monument, it is important to remember that the combination of high heat and low humidity could lead to dehydration, so be sure to bring plenty of water. On windy days, the sands may whip up into the air and become a danger to your pet's eyes. You can protect him or her by purchasing a pair of stylish doggles such as these ILS2 Pink Zebra Frames with smoke lenses.
2. Lake Coeur d'Alene
About 1,500 miles north of White Sands, you'll find Lake Coeur d'Alene in northern Idaho. The lake's shoreline spans more than 135 miles and offers a peaceful tranquility that sports enthusiasts and nature lovers alike can enjoy. Hiking, biking, fishing, and water sports are just some of the activities that visitors can enjoy. Many people also enjoy checking in at Independence Point, a boat dock that allows for 90-minute cruises of the lake while learning about the history of the area.
Lake Coeur d'Alene offers plenty of pet-friendly spots, including the cruise ships (as long as they are not a brunch or dinner cruise). All you'll need to do is introduce your dog to the captain to ensure he or she is friendly, and then keep your dog on a leash for the duration of the cruise. Other dog-friendly features at the lake include a resort (with no size limits!), a dog park, plenty of hiking and biking trails, and much more. Just be sure you have a sturdy leash, such as the Barking Basics Dog Leash , which is available in multiple colors.
3. Dog Mountain
Travel across the country to Vermont and you'll find an entire mountain dedicated to dogs. Dog Mountain stretches across 150 acres and is an off-leash playground for pups of all ages and sizes. In addition to traditional dog part attractions, the park includes a Dog Chapel that gives pet owners a place to remember their four-legged loved ones. It even features a dog door and stained-glass windows featuring dogs. The chapel is filled with pictures and letters, art, and other pieces contributed by visitors since it opened nearly 20 years ago.
Other features include a pond for swimming, retreat areas, walking trails, and more. During the summer, the park also hosts free, dog-friendly concerts. You can pick up a Paw Prints in Heaven Picture Frame to provide a cherished memory of your own for the chapel.
4. Carmel Beach
If you want a high-end vacation in a city that loves your dogs as much as you do, you need to check out Carmel Beach in California. The classy destination caters to all types, from those who love upscale hotels and fine dining to those who prefer small boutiques and European-style inns. The biggest draw for dog lovers, though, is the beach. At just a mile long, it's the perfect size for people and dogs of all ability types, and its location on Ocean Avenue is just steps from downtown Carmel.
As long as your dog is at least four months old and has all his or her vaccinations, he or she will be welcome at the Carmel Dog Beach. While this section of the beach is best for dogs who can go off-leash, don't worry if yours does better when on a lead. Just around the corner is the leashed area for dogs, Carmel River State Beach. Once you've checked out the ocean views, stop by some of the other pet-friendly attractions in the city, including Mission Trail Park, Crossroads Shopping Village, and Rodrigue Studio Carmel. Don't forget to make sure your dog is dressed to impress, whether his best is a suit and tie or the perfect polo.
5. Holden Arboretum
If you prefer to vacation in the temperate climate of the Midwest, check out Holden Arboretum in Kirtland, Ohio. The 3,600-acre space includes dog-friendly gardens and trails that put you and your pets directly in touch with Mother Nature. The majority of the lush gardens are preserved in their natural state to ensure the safety of ecologically sensitive habitats, such as bogs, ponds, and natural forests. In addition to the gorgeous natural preserves, there is a 600-acre butterfly garden.
Leashed dogs are welcome in most areas of the arboretum, and you can even bring a picnic lunch or purchase pre-packaged items at the visitor center. Enjoy them along the trails or at the picnic area. Remember, some dogs need a bit of extra support on the trails, so be sure to purchase some boots and boot liners if your pet needs better-protected paws during your journey.
No matter where you decide to take your beloved dogs this summer, ensure you follow all local and state laws. This means keeping them leashed when needed, cleaning up after them, and keeping a record of their vaccinations and other vet records in case of an emergency. It also helps to find the numbers and locations of emergency veterinarians at your stops along the way. By keeping safety tips in mind, finding some fun clothes for your pet, and going with the flow, you are all sure to have an excellent summer vacation.
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