7 Places Every Dog Lover Has to Visit In the U.S.

Is the highlight of your week visiting your local dog park? It’s totally reasonable if you’ve lost a good portion of your day just watching all the adorable pups running around and playing together. If you’re a self-proclaimed dog lover, there are places across the U.S. that are basically like dog parks, but really kick it up a notch.

Whether you have a dog to bring along or not,  these are the 7 places you have to visit across the U.S.

Puppy inside heart hands

Puppy inside heart hands. | Manuel-F-O/Getty Images

1. The Dog Café in Los Angeles, California

If you’ve heard of cat cafés but are more of a dog person, The Dog Café in Los Angeles, California will be the place for you. To be quite honest, it really doesn’t get better than hanging out with a bunch of dogs while sipping on a beverage. Plus, you might even get to bring one of the pups home, considering they’re all up for adoption.

2. The Tompkins Square Halloween Dog Parade in New York City

Does anything sound cuter than a bunch of dogs dressed up in adorable Halloween costumes? We didn’t think so. Each year, these dressed up pooches parade around New York City — and some even get entered in competitions along with their humans.

According to Bustle, however, you may have to wait until 2019 to attend. The 2018 parade is currently canceled as a result of funding issues. We’re holding out hope that things will change before then, but if not, we’re already marking our calendars for next year.

3. Vanderpump Dogs in Los Angeles, California

We normally wouldn’t associate Vanderpump Rules with taking care of pups. But after one visit to Vanderpump Dogs in Los Angeles, California, you’ll totally get why they’re the perfect match. Vanderpump Dogs was opened by Lisa Vanderpump and Ken Todd, and it’s got everything from grooming services to pet supplies to dogs up for adoption.

4. Museum Of the Dog in St. Louis, Missouri

Sure, museums are great. But do you know what sounds really great? A museum that revolves all around dogs. The American Kennel Club’s Museum Of the Dog in St. Louis, Missouri showcases more than 700 pieces — all centered around dogs. It’s only fair that dogs are allowed to enter, as well. While humans may have to pay to enter, dogs can get in for free.

Likely because the Museum Of the Dog is such a hot place, it’s relocating to New York City in January 2019.

Three dogs running at dog park with a stick outside in the dirt.

Dogs at a dog park. | studio-laska/iStock/Getty Images

5. Dog Beach in San Diego, California

This isn’t just a dog beach. It is literally called Dog Beach, and it’s located in San Diego, California. Plenty of beaches across the country allow pups to roam freely, but this is one of the very first off-leash dog beaches in the U.S. Unsurprisingly, their website’s description of the beach sounds heavenly: “On any given day, dogs run freely in the ocean, surfers surf the Dog Beach Break, and people and dogs co-exist peacefully.”

6. The World Dog Expo in Secaucus, New Jersey

If you’re someone who’s impressed by dogs who can give you their paw or roll over, you won’t want to miss this event. The World Dog Expo takes place in Secaucus, New Jersey, hosted by the Meadowlands Expo Center. You’ll get to witness dogs participating in some serious sporting events, such as “dock diving, disc dog, lure coursing, weight pulling, and schutzhund.”

7. The World’s Ugliest Dog Contest in Petaluma, California

We love the messaging behind The World’s Ugliest Dog Contest in Petaluma, California. It’s no secret that prettier-looking pups tend to get adopted ahead of dogs in rougher shape. This contest’s mission acknowledges that the event is “fun and entertaining,” but it “speaks to the importance of advocating for the adoration of all animals and the benefits of adopting.”