For dog owners, scrambling to find a suitable canine daycare or sitter used to be an expected step in the vacation process. Things have changed, though. The most recent report on pet ownership by the American Pet Products Association (APPA) reported 54.4 million of the 79.9 million U.S. households that own pets count at least one dog in the lineup. With so many pooches out there, hotels have started shifting their attitudes on our four-legged friends.
Even luxurious hotels are doing everything they can to make your stay equally as comfortable for your dog, sometimes going so far as to offer special pet packages. Still, not every inn is so accommodating, so you have to choose wisely. We’ve done the research for you and picked out six fantastic spots to visit when you can’t, or don’t want to, leave your dog behind.
1. Staybridge Suites Myrtle Beach (Myrtle Beach, S.C.)
Any guy who likes to swing his clubs on vacation will need very little convincing to make the trip to Myrtle Beach. The Area is home to an astounding number of courses, so you’ll never be far from a chance to tee off. The city features great docks, beaches, and museums for those less interested in an 18-hole round. According to HomeAway, Myrtle beach is also one of the best destinations for folks traveling with pooches thanks to a number of dog parks and a lax leash policy on the beaches in the morning and evening hours.
While many area hotels accommodate dogs, you’d be wise to go with Staybridge Suites. This comfy hotel is a top-rated pick from the folks at BringFido.com that also happens to be conveniently close to the boardwalk. When making your arrangements, make sure to discuss your pet’s stay with the staff. The hotel policy is a fee of $20 per night for up to two pets that each weigh less than 80 pounds.
2. Banana Bay Resort & Marina (Marathon, Fla.)
Key west is a great year-round destination, and it’s particularly nice if you go before the winter crowds arrive. This location is all about the outdoors, so it’s perfect for guys who plan on bringing their dog along for the trip. Yahoo Travel recommended booking a room at the Banana Bay Resort & Marina as it doesn’t charge an additional fee for Fido. The article also suggested checking out Lazy Dog Kayak where you can paddle along as your pup lounges.
As for human accommodations, the hotel includes a poolside Tiki bar, a marina, a tennis court, and boat rentals. Get away from the inn to experience some heart-pounding fishing expeditions or give scuba diving a try. And since you’re in the land of seafood, be sure to check out some of Travel + Leisure’s favorite places to fill your plate.
3. The Cottages & Lofts at the Boat Basin (Nantucket, Mass.)
Designated as a National Historic District Landmark, this charming island is a great stop for anyone who loves history. Attractions include the Coskata-Coatue Wildlife Refuge, the Nantucket Whaling Museum, and the Sankaty Head Lighthouse, which was built in 1850. Though you can easily hop on the bus to get around, Fodor’s said going by bike is the best option. Tours are available, but the island is small enough to go it alone. And don’t forget to go for a beach stroll with your dog.
Your canine companion will also be pleased with a trip to Nantucket. According to GoPetFriendly.com, you can fly in with your dog seated in the cabin for a $10 fee when you opt for Cape Air. Go by ferry, and your dog can travel for free. Though a number of stays will happily house your pup, we recommend going with The Cottages & Lofts, which features lodging specifically designed for folks traveling with pets. The hotel charges an $85 flat-rate pet fee per stay. Go during October, and you can skip the fee and also score some other perks.
4. Iron Horse Hotel (Milwaukee)
You don’t need access to a beach to have a great vacation, and the same goes for your dog. For folks on a Midwestern getaway, Milwaukee’s Iron Horse Hotel is definitely one of the best choices. This hotel offers a $75 special package for dogs of all sizes that includes toys, a pet pillow, and a room service menu designed just for your four-legged friend. They even provide a map of great places to walk your dog. You’ll also love the 24-hour fitness center, spa, and short walk to the Harley-Davidson Museum.
Beer lovers should be sure to check out the Pabst Mansion and the MillerCoors Milwaukee Brewery. Like many other cities in the U.S., the craft beer scene is also booming, so head to some of the smaller operations as well. For more ideas, check out Visit Milwaukee.
5. W Seattle (Seattle)
Don’t let Seattle’s rainy reputation keep you away, because this is a seriously great city with or without your pet. There are plenty of museums, but the real must-visit is Pike Place Market. It’s one of the oldest farmers’ markets in the country and houses restaurants, shops, and the original Starbucks. It’s also home to Pike Place Fish Market, known for some impressive seafood tosses. As for dog-friendly activities, Seattle offers everything from leash-free beaches to canoe rentals.
Keep your dog comfortable by staying at W Seattle. This upscale stay charges an additional $125 for housing your pet, but the fee covers grooming, walking, and a turndown service. Reader’s Digest Canada particularly likes this hotel for the gourmet dog treats.
6. Loews Coronado Bay Resort (Coronado, Calif.)
California may be home to vineyards and movie stars, but Coronado is an experience all its own. It’s a relaxed resort island that also offers easy access to the mainland. The San Diego Zoo is a must-stop for anyone who’s never been. This 100-acre site is home to more than 3,700 animals and an impressive assortment of plants. Thrillist recommended heading to the beaches, catching some waves on a surfboard, and checking out some of the stellar culinary offerings. You’ll also be pleased to know many of San Diego’s restaurants are happy to let your dog sit on the patio, and some even allow the pooches to come inside.
Sunset recommended staying at Loews Coronado Bay Resort on your trip, a good tip for you and your dog. This inn is conveniently located near a selection of golf courses as well as beaches. The hotel also offers a whole host of amenities for pets, but keep in mind they only allow dogs up to 25 pounds.