It can be hard to travel without your dog for so many reasons - you can’t find a good person to look after your pooch, you don’t like your nearby doggie daycare...or perhaps you simply just want to take your dog with you on your travels! There’s something about traveling with your dog that has lit a fire in writers’ hearts for a long time. Like John Steinbeck’s Travels With Charlie, you could be paving your own roads with your dog as your companion.

Because some U.S. cities are more dog-friendly than others, it’s really important to choose destinations that will be friendly to your pet. These seven cities are great places to go with your dog and have an abundance of friendly off-leash parks and restaurants to choose from.


Dog Friendly Cities in the U.S.

1. San Francisco

A mecca for dog-lovers, San Francisco became the home of “bring your dog to work” in the .com boom in the 90’s, and has never looked back. If you want to work with your dog by your side, there is no better place to go than the City by the Bay. Ocean Beach, Crissy Field, Golden Gate Park, and Baker Beach are all beautiful bayside beach parks where you can let your dog run free off-leash. Bars like Holly Water and The Homestead will let you bring your dog while you enjoy a cocktail, while the list of dog-friendly restaurants goes even further.


2. Minneapolis

With events like Nail Trims for Pets and Medium Dog Playgroup, Minnesota is well-geared towards the dog-owning lifestyle. Pet friendly hotels and restaurants are not hard to find in this city, and the website Sidewalk Dog is a great source of information for all things dog-related in the Twin Cities. Minnehaha Off-Leash Dog Park is a gorgeous, riverside park where you can bring your dog and enjoy being outside - but don’t worry, there are plenty of other off-leash parks to choose from around the city.


3. Phoenix

The warm climate in this desert city is perfect for your dog - and the active lifestyle supports being outside! Dogs are very welcome in this city, with dog-friendly restaurants and stores. Happy Dog Phoenix is a guide book to dog-friendly places in Phoenix, written by a local dog lover, and the website also has a lot of great information about places to go. Check out this great list of dog parks in the area for places to go with your pooch.


4. Boston

If you’ve ever wanted to take your dog on a city water taxi, Boston is the place to go! The city’s waterways are the most friendly in America - the Boston Harbor Islands Dog Cruise is a can’t-miss excursion. You can take your dog on the 2.5-mile Freedom Trail, which goes through the oldest and most historic parts of Boston, or escape to Callahan State Park 20 miles from the city to walk your dog in a beautiful forest setting. This list of dog-friendly neighborhoods is a great reference for you as you plan your trip and the areas that you want to explore. Boston Wag is also a great resource


5. Austin

A food truck just for dogs? That’s right, you can find it in Austin! The city is already known for its food trucks, but Bow Wow Bones took it a step further and made an entire truck of food for man’s best friend. If you want to remember your dog for life with a special photoshoot, do it here - there are tons of pet photographers to choose from in this city. Don’t miss Mutt Monday at Banger’s Sausage House & Beer Garden, which happens every third Monday of the month. And Doghouse Drinkery Dog Park is a dog park combined with a bar and game room - it doesn’t get better than that!


6. Albuquerque

With 50 dog-friendly restaurants to choose from, you won’t have any problems getting out for a great meal with your pet in Albuquerque. ABQ Dog, a community-run information source for dog owners in Albuquerque, is a great source of information with a fantastic calendar of upcoming dog events like shot clinics, adoptions, and an Easter egg hunt. Walk around Nob Hill, jog along the Rio Grande, or hit the Paseo del Bosque Riverside Trail, all of which wholeheartedly welcome dogs.


7. Portland

With more dog parks than any other city in the United States, Portland is largely considered to be the ultimate dog-friendly destination. Restaurants, coffee shops, hotels and shops are open to dogs here. Check out this fun Dog’s Day Out local city guide for some ideas about where to go. Be sure to check out Lucky Labrador Brewing Company and Irving Park in Northeast Portland. If you’re planning to head into more of the beautiful Oregon wilderness, the good news is that the whole state is quite welcoming to dogs!

This article was written by Cathy Trainor.