Pet-Friendly Vacation

20 Best Cities for a Pet-Friendly Vacation

If you’re planning a pet-friendly vacation, you should start by looking at these cities. Each is a great place to find lodging for you and your furry friend…

More people than ever want to travel with their pets. Who wants to leave their furry best friend at home when they can bring their energy, joy, and snuggles along?!

According to research by the APPA (American Pet Products Association), over 70% of households in the United States own a pet in 2022, with dogs and cats being the most popular companions. The research also discovered that 1 in 2 pet owners (52%) would only stay at an accommodation that allows furry friends.  

A spokesperson from Family Destinations Guide said: “Pet-friendly vacations are booming. Taking your pet with you on holiday gives you the peace of mind of knowing they are safe and happy. You can enjoy having them by your side to make unforgettable memories together. 

“Traveling with your pet also allows you to experience new destinations you may never have thought to visit. For instance, pet-friendly café, restaurants, and attractions could lead to amazing discoveries you might never have found if it weren’t for your pet. You can also enjoy a more outdoorsy holiday exploring mountains, parks, and beaches.” 

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Pet-Friendly Cities Map!

Click on any city to read more about the city, and continue reading below for more details.

Map thanks to Wanderlog, a vacation planner app on iOS and Android

20 Best Big City Destinations for a Pet-Friendly Vacation

Vacation experts at Family Destinations Guide have discovered which cities in the US have the most listings for pet-friendly accommodations. The team took 50 of the most populated cities in the US and used data from the vacation rental site VRBO to discover how many accommodation listings in each city allow pets.  

Finding pet-friendly hotels can be quite difficult. So, travelers are thus turning to pet-friendly vacation rentals to bring their pets along. These pet-friendly lodgings often have special pet amenities, like water bowls, a dog bed, a fenced-in yard, green spaces or a pet relief area, and more.

That’s why Family Destinations Guide used data from VRBO, one of the largest and longest-standing vacation rental sites. Rural places are more likely to be pet-friendly, so they instead focused their attention on big cities.

Here are the Top 20 Cities:

20. Boston, Massachusetts

19. San Jose, California

18. Washington, DC

17. San Francisco, California

16. Atlanta, Georgia

15. Seattle, Washington

14. Austin, Texas

13. Denver, Colorado

12. Las Vegas, Nevada

11. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

10. New York City, New York

9. Chicago, Illinois

8. Los Angeles, California

7. Phoenix, Arizona

6. San Antonio, Texas

5. Orlando, Florida

4. Jacksonville, Florida

3. San Diego, California

2. Dallas, Texas

1. Houston, Texas

Texas is a Top Pet-Friendly Destination

austin texas pet-friendly vacation
Austin, Texas, number 14 on the list.

Houston, Texas, takes first place as the most pet-friendly destination in the US, with 478 listings for pet-friendly accommodation. It’s a great destination for the whole family, including your canine companion.

Three other Texan cities also make the top 20. Dallas has 470 pet-friendly listings, San Antonio has 463, and Austin has 416. With over 89 state parks and miles of trails, there’s plenty for holidaymakers and their pets to explore. 

California is for Dog Lovers

dog beach pet-friendly vacation

San Diego, California, came in third place, with 467 pet-friendly accommodation listings. No matter where you stay in San Diego, you’re never far from beautiful beaches, and many lodgings have an ocean view!

Other Californian cities, including Los Angeles with 440 and San Francisco with 336, also made the list. Those cities are also known for their dog-friendly restaurants and outdoor patios.

There are plenty of dog-friendly beaches to explore along the Golden State, including Rosie’s Dog Beach in Long Beach, Arroyo Burro Beach in Santa Barbara, and Fort Funston in San Francisco.  

Jacksonville & Orlando, Florida

orlando pet-friendly vacation

Two cities in Florida take fourth and fifth place, with Jacksonville having 466 pet-friendly accommodation listings and Orlando having 464. The Sunshine State also boasts some of the country’s best canine playgrounds and walking trails, including Dog Wood Park in Jacksonville and Lake Winter Park in downtown Orlando. And if you wander over to the Kennedy Space Center, they have an air-conditioned space just for your dog.

How To Find Pet Sitters While Traveling

I plan to dedicate an entire article to finding pet sitters while traveling, but I want to give you some resources now. After all, even the most pet-friendly locations don’t allow pets everywhere.

Sometimes you have to leave your pet in the room or vacation rental. The good news is there are great pet-sitting apps to help you find pet care wherever you are. Rover, for instance, has a website and app to connect you with sitters, walkers, and boarding.

Wag! is another great resource for on-demand dog walking and pet-sitting services.

Pro Tip: You can make money while traveling by becoming a dog walker or pet sitter through the same apps!

Ready for Your Next Pet-Friendly Vacation?

Now that you’ve found the perfect place for your next road trip or vacation, here are some helpful resources and tips. Our sister site, RV Lifestyle, has written extensively on traveling with pets. Here is a sampling of articles you may find helpful:

They’ve also created an Amazon Shopping List of the Best Pet Travel Accessories that is well-worth browsing. It has everything from pet tech to help you monitor your pet to travel accessories to ensure their comfort. There are just as many travel products for cats as there are for dogs, too!

Do you prefer to travel by RV?

mike and jennifer wendland the RV Lifestyle

Use the RV Lifestyle blog as an RV Google – as we have over 3000 articles on living the RV life for over a decade! Use the Search bar to find the answers to living your best life traveling and camping. Then head over to our YouTube Channel or listen to us on your favorite Podcast player (where we have nearly 500 podcasts waiting for you), or hang out with us on any of our social sites. Your adventure awaits!

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FAQ about traveling with Pets

Can I take my pet with me on a plane?

Both the airline and the kind of pet will determine this. As long as they are in a carrier that complies with the airline’s size regulations, small dogs and cats can typically fly in the cabin with their owners. It is necessary to send larger pets and some species of animals, including reptiles and rodents, as cargo, which can be more expensive and traumatic for the animal. Prior to your journey, it’s crucial to contact the airline to learn about their policies and make any preparations that could be required.

Does my pet need a passport in order to travel abroad?

In most cases, you’ll need to get a pet passport if you’re taking your animal abroad. The identity of the animal, a history of immunizations, and other significant details are provided in this document. It’s crucial to familiarize yourself with the rules of the country you’ll be visiting before your journey because the particular requirements for a pet passport differ from one nation to the next.

What should I do to prepare my pet for travel?

There are a few things you can do to prepare your pet for travel:

  • Make sure your pet is healthy and up-to-date on all vaccinations. Some countries have specific vaccination requirements for pets, so it’s important to check the regulations of the country you’re visiting.
  • If you’re flying with your pet, make sure they are comfortable in a carrier and get them used to being in it before the trip.
  • Consider microchipping your pet in case they get lost while traveling.
  • If you’re driving with your pet, ensure they are well-behaved in the car and consider getting them a harness or crate to keep them safe while driving.

Are there any additional considerations for traveling with service animals?

Service animals, such as guide dogs for the blind, are generally allowed to accompany their owners in all public places, including on planes and in hotels. However, it’s important to check the specific policies of the airline, hotel, and any other places you’ll be visiting to ensure that your service animal is allowed. You may need to provide documentation or certification of your animal’s training and role as a service animal.

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