Pets are an integral part of many families and bringing them along while traveling has skyrocketed in popularity. Dining out and exploring a city is just so much more enjoyable when you can bring man’s best friend along. As an owner and best friend of four pets, nothing is better than spending the afternoon on a pet-friendly patio or exploring the trails of a new city with my dogs.
Many cities have adopted this mentality and go out of their way to ensure pets are welcome. From dog parks and beaches to Fido-friendly restaurants and shops, these are the top pet-friendly cities in the United States.
1. Albuquerque, New Mexico (Winner)
Albuquerque, New Mexico, tops the 2022 list as the most pet-friendly city in the United States. Old Town Albuquerque is full of culture-rich museums, shops, restaurants, and plenty of outdoor space. Many of these shops allow your pooch to browse with you. The open-air ABQ Trolley city tour is also pet-friendly.
If you prefer to explore the city’s desert surroundings, the maps at the Petroglyph National Monument Visitor Center identify the pet-friendly trails, but make sure to bring the leash! Read more about all the pet-friendly options, including plenty of hotels, this city has to offer here.
2. Austin, Texas
Pets and owners team up together to keep Austin weird. This finalist city offers so many off-leash areas and pet-friendly businesses, it’s almost weird to go somewhere in Austin and not see any dogs! Start your day off with some doggy & me yoga at Austin Doga or by hiking to one of the nearby watering holes like Barkin’ Springs. When you’re ready for some nourishment, pop into any of the cute bars along Rainey Street. Many have large outdoor settings, so dogs are welcome to join you for happy hour.
Some Austin establishments, like Yard Bar and Beerburg Brewery, take it a step further and actually cater to your fur children, offering attached off-leash dog parks within their patios. Discover the rest of the pet-friendly activities in Austin here!
3. Colorado Springs, Colorado
Colorado Springs, Colorado, prides itself on being extremely pet-friendly and the area hotels are no exception. Not only can your pooch stay with you, hotels like Cheyenne Mountain Resort welcome them with open arms and puppy goody bags. Many outdoor dining patios allow dogs, but some restaurants, like Pub Dog, include indoor pet-friendly sections and menus for dogs to dine right along with you.
Of course, colorful Colorado offers plenty of outdoor exploring for you and your dog. Check out the nearby Garden of the Gods Park or the Red Rock Canyon Open Space. For even more dog-friendly ideas in Colorado Springs, check out their tourism site here.
4. Kansas City, Missouri
Kansas City, Missouri, also made the list as one of the top pet-friendly cities in the U.S. This Midwestern city offers miles of outdoor space to enjoy with your dogs, including the 6.8-mile Trolley Track Trail and the grassy commons outside of the National World War I Museum. Need some hiking gear first? Scheels outdoor goods store welcomes your well-behaved pooches to shop along with you.
When you’re ready to relax, check out Bar K, a unique bar/restaurant and event space combined with a dog park, or Lidia’s, an Italian restaurant with a dog-friendly patio. Many area hotels are pet-friendly, but some have size and breed restrictions, so double-check the fine print in advance. Read more about all of Kansas City’s pet places here!
5. San Diego, California
Sunny San Diego, California, is the next city on our list where the pets are welcome to be just as active as their people. One of the first and most famous dog beaches in the U.S. is in San Diego’s Ocean Beach community, simply named Dog Beach. Additionally, the area has a few other dog-friendly beach spots and two off-leash dog parks. These beaches even host doggy athletic events, including the Unleashed Surf Dog competition and stand-up paddle boarding lessons.
Thanks to San Diego’s beautiful year-round weather, many restaurants, breweries, and shopping areas are outdoors and your pets are welcome to join! Is your pup especially spoiled? Make sure to stop at Paw Pleasers, a pet bakery, or book them a spa day at Holiday Pet Hotel. To find a pet-friendly hotel and more things to do, visit their tourism site here.
6. Portland, Oregon
Portland, Oregon, is our pet-friendly finalist city representing the northwest corner of the U.S. The city has multiple large fenced off-leash dog parks, including within Gabriel Park, a 91-acre nature paradise. Additionally, the city and surrounding areas have thousands of miles of dog-friendly hiking trails, like the 30-mile Wildwood Trail in Forest Park.
Portland takes their pet-friendly patios to a welcoming level, with many offering fresh water, treats, and even menu items. The organic Tin Shed Garden Cafe offers breakfast, lunch, and dessert options for both you and your pup! Check out the rest of Portland’s pet-friendly hotels and activities here.
7. St. Petersburg, Florida
St. Petersburg, Florida, is the other beach town that made our best pet-friendly cities list for 2022. Of course, this means there are numerous dog beaches to let your pooch experience the sun and sand! Fort De Soto is one of the best in the country, offering two fenced off-leash areas on the beach. After the swim, stroll down Beach Drive, where it is commonplace to leave dog water bowls outside of businesses and find plenty of pet-welcoming patios.
St. Pete also has a couple of hotels that want to pamper your pet as well as you! The Don CeSar and TradeWinds are both beachfront hotels that include gourmet pet room service menus. Check out the rest of the pet-friendly accommodations and activities here!
8. Denver, Colorado
Denver, Colorado, rounds out our list of the top pet-friendly cities. Denver is another city where residents and tourists alike flock to take in the beautiful outdoors. Cherry Creek State Park, the first park in the Colorado park system, boasts a 107-acre fenced area within it specifically for the dogs. Of course, the hiking trails within and surrounding the city, such as in Washington Park, are also great to explore with your pup.
Microbreweries are hugely popular in Colorado and, true to form, many of Denver’s welcome your dog to drink along with you. If you and your pooch prefer sipping coffee, check out Highlands Cork & Coffee, which keeps plenty of treats on hand. Discover the rest of the pet-friendly things to see and do in Denver here.
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