Toys & Activities

All The Fun Places You Can Take Your Dog For A Day… Or For A Vacation!

Need some new dog vacation ideas?

Trying to think of someplace fun that you can go and take your dog with you?

Following are some dog-friendly places to consider for a day-trip — or a vacation — with your four-legged friend.

Speaking of vacations with your dog, did you know there are actually summer camps for dog owners and their dogs?

It’s true!

Dog Summer Camps

Pack a bag for yourself. And then pack a bag for your dog.

Because there’s no better way to spend a vacation than with fellow dog lovers and their outdoor-loving adventurous four-legged friends.

Here’s a short list of dog summer camps that have been attracting dogs and their owners from all over the country for years:

Now, onto all of the other fun places you can take your dog…

21 Places To Take Your Dog (Day-Trips & Road-Trips)

  1. Summer dog camp

Above, I listed the best summer camps for dogs and their owners that have stood the test of time.

  1. A drive-thru that gives dog treats

From Sonic pup cups filled with ice cream to Starbucks puppuccino cups filled with whipped cream, many drive thru restaurants hand out dog biscuits or other small treats for the dogs they see in the car… for FREE.

  1. The beach (or lake, or stream, or pond)

Whether it’s for swimming or just dipping your toes in, your dog will enjoy the time spent in different surroundings… and with water! Here’s a list of dog-friendly beaches in the USA.

  1. A dog park

Dog parks are the place where dogs are encouraged to run free and play together within a large designated fenced-in area. No dog park in your area? Then visit a local city park (where you keep your dog on a leash at all times) instead. There might even be some dog-friendly splash parks or water parks for dogs nearby! (If not, consider this dog-friendly splash pool for your own backyard.) Parks are good because your dog needs to be in the presence of other people and pets on occasion — not to mention the fresh air and exercise benefits you’ll both be receiving.

  1. Another city (ideally, one known for being dog-friendly)

Get out and enjoy the sights and sounds in the area at these dog-friendly attractions across the USA! (Use their search box to narrow your search to a specific city.)

  1. A car ride (…or a road trip)

Just be sure to take all the necessities and secure your dog inside the car. Remember, dogs can fall out of a car window!

  1. A boat ride

A life-vest is a must — especially for smaller dogs.

  1. A walk

Simply walk the sidewalks in your own neighborhood (or some other neighborhood that looks interesting to you). You might even want to use your walking time together as another opportunity to practice heeling and walking on a leash without tugging.

  1. A local store

PetSmart was one of the first to allow pets inside their stores. But it’s not the only one. These days, people frequently take their dogs in home improvement stores like Lowes, Tractor Supply, and Home Depot. Basically, dog-friendly stores are those that don’t serve food — unless your dog is an official service dog. Let your dog pick out her new bed, or a new dog toy.

  1. A hike in the woods

Make sure your dog has a tick preventative on, and you take all of the necessities with you.

  1. Camping

We’ve taken our dogs overnight camping for years now. They sleep right in our tent. Just be sure you have tick protection on your dog first — because you don’t want to risk your dog getting Lyme Disease. You can find a dog-friendly campground here.

  1. A friend’s house (to play with their dog)

I would encourage you to call ahead, rather than showing up uninvited! And make sure your dog knows how to behave in someone else’s house.

  1. A dog daycare facility

These provide a great change of pace for your dog. He gets to mix & mingle with lots of other dogs, and he’ll definitely sleep well that night! One example is PetSmart’s Doggy Day Camp. Another is Camp Bow Wow. And yet another is Pet Resorts of America.

  1. A bike ride

If you have a larger dog, then you might be able to train your dog to run alongside you for short distances. (Don’t overdo it!) Or, you can tote your small dog — in a bike basket or in a dog backpack carrier — on your bike with you.

  1. Running or jogging with you

Just remember, there are some important do’s and don’ts when running with your dog. Oh, and not all dogs are made for jogging.

  1. Sledding or skijoring

Few things are more exciting than watching a dog play in the snow and enjoy sledding together!

  1. A dog training course (obedience school for both of you)

Affordable dog training classes are offered all across the country for dogs of all ages and abilities. It’s never too late to fine-tune your own dog handling skills and test your dog’s abilities in beginner or advanced level courses at the same time.

  1. A dog-friendly restaurant

Usually, dogs are permitted in outdoor seating areas only — so, all ahead to make sure the restaurant you’re interested in is dog-friendly. Lots of restaurants these days even have a secret dog menu!

  1. Canoeing

You’ll need a mild-mannered dog for this one — or at least one that’s been trained to sit still on cue and for long periods of time! Don’t forget the life jacket.

  1. A state park or national park

You can take a long walk, hike the trails, enjoy some history, take a dip in the water, enjoy natural rock formations, and much more. The National Park Paws put together this list of the most dog-friendly national parks. And Bring Fido lists the most dog-friendly state parks in each state. There are lots of opportunities to take lots of selfies with your dog in these beautiful natural surroundings.

  1. A motorcycle ride

This one takes a bit of pre-planning and prep work. But if you already have a dog motorcycle trailer… then by all means get out there and ride!

The Bottom Line

Remember how I said these could all be places that you take your dog on vacation?…

My goal when I made the Dog Vacation List above was:

  1. To create a list that you could use to find quick, local things to do with your dog on any given afternoon.
  2. To create a list that you could use to plan the ultimate dog vacation itinerary on your own.

I think I’ve accomplished the first part. Finding new “things to do with your dog locally” should be pretty easy now…

You can use this list to find new ways to get yourself — and your dog — out of the house for awhile. At the same time, you’ll (hopefully) be introducing your dog to some new sights, sounds, and experiences.

Who knows… perhaps you’ll even be able to cross some things off the bucket list and make some of your dog’s dreams come true!

As for helping you “plan the ultimate dog vacation itinerary,” I’m hopeful that the above list has brought to mind some fun, dog-friendly vacation ideas for you to consider…

You first need to decide on a CITY that you want to travel to — with your dog. (Here’s a list of the most dog-friendly cities in the USA.)

Then, use the above list as a guide to find dog-friendly attractions (a beach, dog day care, a faraway friend’s house, dog-friendly stores, summer camp for dogs), restaurants (drive-thru’s, outdoor seating locations), parks (dog parks, city parks), and things to do (canoeing, motorcycling, dog training, sledding, jogging, bike riding, camping, hiking, boating, walking, road-tripping) IN THAT CITY!

Here’s where to go and what to do with your dog outdoors — a dog-friendly itinerary for every state from Alabama to Wyoming.

Hmmm…. I’m not sure, but I think there’s another dog owner and their four-legged friend who are going to be taking a really fun dog vacation soon!