Pet Trip Destinations in the United States You’d Love

Dogs need to be in crates when traveling on airplanes.
Pets need to be in crates when traveling in an airplane.

By Oscar Davis

Nowadays, taking a pet trip has gone beyond being trendy; it’s a way of life for several pet owners. Fortunately, America is home to various pet-friendly destinations and even more conveniently, the possibility of having an unforgettable adventure with your best friend is right at your fingertips.

People from all different walks of life travel with pets.
People from all different walks of life travel with pets.

Whether you are a dog lover or a cat enthusiast or love the company of rather unusual pets, there is always the right trip for you and your companion. Following is a list of the 3 most pet-friendly destinations and schedules that I took that will surely create wonderful memories for you and your pet.

Oregon Coast, Oregon: Duration: 5 days

On the first day, we started early in the morning from home base and ensured our vehicle was equipped with pet essentials, including water, food, toys, and a comfortable seatbelt harness. We drove along the scenic route from Portland to Cannon Beach for about two hours.

Upon arrival, we settled into our pet-friendly accommodation that I had booked. Remember, many hotels owned by local citizens accept guests of all kinds in Cannon Beach, especially dogs.

The next day, we spent the morning listening to the ocean hit the shore and gave my dog a bracing walk along Cannon Beach. We also checked out Ecola State Park, a gem near the coast.

On day 3, we took a drive down to the quaint town of Seaside, famous for its welcoming pet-friendly environment and bustling promenade. My pet and I went for a relaxing walk along the Seaside Promenade where I stopped to take in the scenic sights and visited pet-friendly pet stores and cafes. In the afternoon, we took a trip to the Seaside Aquarium.

View of Mount Hood and downtown Portland, Oregon, from Pittock Mansion. Katherine Rodeghier photos.
View of Mount Hood and downtown Portland, Oregon, from Pittock Mansion. Katherine Rodeghier photos.

The next day, we visited the Tillamook Head Trail for a scenic hike, enjoying panoramic views of the rugged coastline. Then we treated ourselves to a delicious seafood dinner at a pet-friendly restaurant in Cannon Beach, indulging in local specialties like Dungeness crab and fresh oysters.

We finished our stay at Cannon Beach with a nice last walk and returned home.

Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Tennessee/North Carolina, Duration: 4 days

We departed from home and drove to the Great Smoky Mountains. I booked a pet-friendly cabin near the park entrance making sure the lodging facility has all the necessary amenities suitable for my dog’s comfort. We woke up early the next day to start the day by hiking one of the many pet-friendly trails, the Gatlinburg trail, within the park.

We took regular breaks to give my furry friend a chance to rest and rehydrate and treated him with a leash during the trip for its safety and wildlife. Then we enjoyed a picnic lunch at a scenic spot within the park, sharing bites of pet-friendly snacks with by buddy.

On day 3, we drove into the nearby town of Gatlinburg where spent the rest of the day exploring the pet-friendly sites, including the Gatlinburg Skybridge and Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies. We took a walk along the Gatlinburg Parkway stopping at the pet-friendly shops and eateries to collect souvenirs and pick up some snacks for the road. Then we headed back to the fireplace in our lodging.

We enjoyed one final hike in the morning before packing up on the last day and saying goodbye to the Great Smoky Mountains. We took a scenic drive through the park on our way out, soaking in the natural beauty one last time.

One great thing about San Francisco's poor reputation at the moment is that there are not many tourists and you can walk right up and hop on a cable car instead of having a long wait.
One great thing about San Francisco’s poor reputation at the moment is that there are not many tourists and you can walk right up and hop on a cable car instead of having a long wait.

San Francisco, California Duration: 3

We left home and set a course for San Francisco, which took us around 5 hours. I booked a pet-friendly hotel in the city center ensuring it has treatment like pet beds, food bowls, and green spaces near it.

We started the day with a walk in the Golden Gate Park, in which me and my dog ran and jumped off the leash in designated areas. We experienced some of the city’s architectural wonders like the Golden Gate Bridge and Alcatraz Island, using pet-friendly tours to explore or standing viewpoints to absorb the scenery. Then I enjoyed lunch at one of the many pet-friendly cafes in the town while my furry pal feasted on various tasty and gourmet food items.

San Francisco Bay and Golden Gate Bridge
San Francisco Bay and Golden Gate Bridge

We spent the morning of day 2 exploring the life of San Francisco including Haight Ashbury, famous for the hippie movement, and Chinatown with its bright and colorful streets. We even went to the Exploratorium and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. In the afternoon, we drove to the coast to explore the areas; Baker Beach or Ocean Beach were perfect for a little walk to relax.

On the last day, I packed up my stuff and checked out of the hotel.

Keeping Your Pet Safe During the Trip

While taking a trip with a furry friend can be a whole lot of fun, it remains crucial to consider your pet’s safety and well-being as you head out for your adventures. Here are some tips to ensure a safe and enjoyable trip for you and your furry companion:

Secure Your Pet: Whether you’re traveling by car or plane, take a crate, carrier, or seatbelt harness with you and don’t forget to secure your pet in it in case of sudden stops or turbulence.

Insurance Considerations: Think about buying a travel insurance package for pets to cover unforeseen issues like illness, injury, and trip cancellation. Make sure you review the policy in every detail so that you know all the covered limits and are aware of the possible exclusions. You can learn more here.

Plan Regular Breaks: Provide your pet with rest breaks on the journeys to help them walk around and go potty and also let them breathe fresh air. Try to have breaks every 2-3 hours during your ride to relieve body stress and keep you focused.

Pet Identification: Make your pet wear a collar that has recent identification tags, such as your contact information, so that if they get lost during the travel, you can be easily reached out. One of the most useful tools that you can use to be certain about your pet’s identity is microchipping.

Healthcare Essentials: Keep a pet first-aid kit in your pack that includes bandages, antiseptic wipes, and any prescribed medication along with them. Inquire and check out veterinary clinics around your route just in case of emergencies.

These tips, combined with careful planning, will help you to have both a secure and enthralling travel for you and your furry friend. Whether you visit beaches, climb mountains, or move into urban centers, you will form long-term memories in this way. Now, grab your baggage, leash your pet, and ready yourself for one of the most thrilling ever –the world is ready to unveil one paw print at a time.


Oscar Davis

Oscar Davis is a freelance writer from Leeds UK. 

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