Pet-Friendly Vacations

New Pet Owners  •  Pam Karkow  •  Tuesday, October 5, 2021

While scouring the internet in search of the perfect vacation spot for a weekend get-away, I was surprised to find that many rental properties allow dogs. Sometimes I need a hiatus from all responsibility, so the idea of vacationing with my dog is not appealing, but sometimes I want to make extra time for my pets and get away with the whole family, four-legged members included. I was happy to find lots of options when I started looking into places and activities that are dog friendly.

I’ve broken down five vacation spots to choose from, depending on what you plan to do while vacationing. For instance, if you plan to lay low and veg out all weekend, I’ve got a spot for you. If you want to hike and fish, I’ll share the perfect haven for that as well. So, sit back and relax while you read through these vacation destinations and pick the right one for your crew.


If your vacation goal is to put your feet up and coast, then Rehoboth Beach, Delaware is the place for you. Travel to the Delaware Beaches on the Cape May Lewes Ferry which you can board with your car and your pets (who ride for free). Dogs get the run of the beach, as they are permitted anytime on all unguarded beaches. Be sure you plan for a dog-friendly beach vacation. At night, take your dog to “Cinema by the Surf,” a free outdoor movie spot at the Rehoboth Beach Bandstand.


If you are an extrovert, looking for the perfect place to mix and mingle with new friends of the human and dog variety, Golden Isles, Georgia is your spot. Golden Isles stretches along Georgia’s Atlantic Coast, consisting of Jekyll, St. Simons, and smaller islands. Since 65% of the area is natural and untouched, your dog can have free reign of the beaches anytime. Frederica Park is the place to hang out to meet friends. The dog park, located on the north end of St. Simons, has separate areas for large and small dogs to socialize. Dog-friendly lodging is available on both of the larger islands.


If you’re a night owl at heart, consider hanging out in Asbury Park, New Jersey. Trendy restaurants and stylish shops line the boardwalk of this quaint town. You’ll want to be sure to make it to “Yappy Hour” at the famous Wonder Bar on Thursday nights. You can let your dog socialize in a fenced-in yard while you do the same with a drink in hand! The boardwalk and 8th Avenue Beach welcome dogs all day and night from October 1st through May 15th. Shop for gifts for your pup at the Asbury Park Convention Hall which hosts dog-friendly events, including a flea market, where vendors sell a variety of products for dog lovers.

Hiking and sightseeing

If you love the great outdoors and your dog is happy to tag along, Bar Harbor, Maine is calling your name! Bar Harbor, with its rocky, cliff-lined coast, is home to Acadia National Park. The park consists of over 50 square miles of mountains, lakes, hiking and biking trails, and breathtaking views. Take a two-hour cruise along Frenchman Bay with your (leashed) dog or let him play at the dog park located between Seal Harbor and Northeast Harbor. Your dog can cool off in the ponds as you hike the trails!

Eat, drink, and be merry

If you’re a foodie, then the Outer Banks in North Carolina is your haven. The Outer Banks is a 130-mile stretch of barrier islands off the coast. The coast is lined with quaint beach towns, one of which is Kill Devil Hills, home of the Wright Brothers National Memorial. Make sure to visit the Bonzer Shack there, a surf shack where you and your furry friend can play corn hole and eat a good meal while you listen to live music. Treat your dog to a “puppy cup” at John’s Drive In located in Kitty Hawk.


Going on vacation doesn’t have to mean boarding your dog. Next time you decide to get away for a weekend, consider taking your whole family along, including your pup. He will be head-over-heels happy not to be left behind! With the vacation ideas we’ve shared, the possibilities of adventure are endless! Be sure your pup is enrolled in pet insurance before heading off on your adventures so you can ensure should anything happen during your trip, you won't need to fret over unexpected vet bills!

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