9 Dog-Friendly Places to Visit in the US

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Every dog deserves its day. It’s usually easy to find dog-friendly places in your hometown like breweries, wineries, restaurants with patios, doggie parades around the holidays, and even annual pet festivals, but what about a truly unique experience for you and your dog? We include below your out of the ordinary locations, events, and attractions across the US a dog may want to take his human. Pack the kibble, buckle up, roll the windows down, and get on the road!

Husky dog smiling while at the beach on vacation

#1: Knoebels Amusement Park – Elysburg, Pennsylvania

Knoebels Amusement Park is fun for the whole family, even the furry ones. Just be sure to take an extra human because pups can’t ride on everything (like the roller coasters). But, they are allowed on the train, antique cars, and carousel. On specific days during the summer, they open their giant pool for fidos to frolic in the water. They also host the annual doggie dive event every September.

#2: Jackass Acres K-9 Korral – New River, Arizona

This place is not for donkeys. Much like any amusement park or historic site, the K-9 Korral offers an annual membership for your pooch(es) – up to three to be exact – and it’s only $100 per year. It is certainly worth the annual membership if you live close by or have family in Arizona. It’s the nation’s first green dog park; every part of it is built from recycled and reused materials, operated on solar power, and decorated with upcycled art. Even the poop bags are biodegradable. As with all dog parks, your pups must be up to date on all vaccinations.

#3: Posana – Asheville, North Carolina

Treat yourself and your furry friend to a gourmet meal. That’s right. Dine with your dog at this up-scale, gluten-free, farm-to-table restaurant in one of the most dog-friendly cities in the country. There’s a special menu for your special date: grilled chicken breast with grains, brasstown doggie beef loaf, and bacon soy doggie ice cream treats. They have delicious items on their menu for humans as well.

#4: Nashville Shores – Hermitage, Tennessee

Take your dog for a dip at the second annual Pooch Pool Party this coming September where a portion of human admission will benefit New Leash on Life. This water park permits two dogs per human admission ticket which costs only $15 if bought in advance. Only the wave pool will be open for owners and their dogs (waves will be turned off for four-legged safety). Vaccines and waivers required, as usual.

#5: Nemacolin Wooflands Pet Resort and Spa – Farmington, Pennsylvania

Every pooch deserves a pampering. Next door to Nemacolin Woodlands Resort (a human spa) is a pet resort and spa affectionately called “wooflands.” Licensed, vet recommended, and award-winning, this resort will tend to your pet’s needs while you reward yourself at their human facility. They offer dog massages, scented (assumingly edible) facials, breed specific grooming, and outdoor and indoor play areas.

#6: Doga – San Diego, California

Doga, or yoga for humans and dogs, is offered by Annie Appelby with YogaForce. It’s gaining in popularity, and was recently featured on The Today Show. If you don’t believe us, check out this video. Annie recommends doga for bonding with small dogs since they are incorporated into some of the poses, but bigger dogs can do some of the poses with modifications. Bring treats to encourage participation and a toy just in case you dog has trouble finding its Om.

#7: Acadian Nature Cruises – Bar Harbor, Maine

Acadian Nature Cruises invites well-behaved, leashed pets to enjoy a two-hour boat ride with their human. You and your four-legged friend will observe not-so-four-legged friends in the sky and ocean such as eagles, dolphins, and seals. The cabin area is heated, but, generally, dogs have to stay on the deck. Bring your matching sweaters because the wind can get brisky on the open waters.

#8: Norcal Dog Surfing World Championships – Pacifica, California

This gives a whole new meaning to salty dog. This event has been running since 2006, (going international in 2016), and it all started with the book by Kevin Reed titled, The Dog’s Guide to Surfing: Hanging Ten with Man’s Best Friend. The event is held in August of every year at Linda Mar Beach to benefit local charities. Your dog will be star struck at this very unique event because Reed states, “top surfers believe that dogs who learn to surf develop a unique attitude, knowing they have something that sets them apart from other dogs.” Attendance is FREE and open to the public.

#9: The World’s Ugliest Dog Contest – Petaluma, California

The Westminster has nothing on this event. Most dog club shows, even your local ones, will not allow spectator dogs, but this competition does. And instead of making your dog feel inadequate, it will likely boost its ego. With a tagline of “Advocate, Adopt, Adore,” the so-ugly-it’s-cute contest is hosted by Amica and has been running for an impressive 30 years; it’s described as a “wonderful show of pageantry and pride” and also celebrates the humans that rescue the loveable, less-than-perfect. If you would like to enter your furry friend, registration is open now for the late June annual event. Humans enter free with a free dog admission; otherwise, those without fur have to pay for entry. And, yes, there’s a fresh red carpet provided every year.

You and your dog will not be disappointed in these unique locations and events around the country. You may have noticed that cities in California are featured several times. MSN.com calls California the most dog-friendly state in America, but we are sure you can argue the most dog-friendly place is your own backyard.

Zaneta is a Research Specialist and Writer for carinsurancecomparison.com and carinsurancecompanies.com. Writing and research have been an integral component of her studies in anthropology, instructional technology, technical and professional communication, and adult education. A mountain biker-turned-paddler, she lives in Greenville, SC with her spouse, 12-year-old daughter, three lizards, and two Dachshunds named Samson and Xena.

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