Pet friendly vacation sounds like a great plan
These days, you don’t have to leave them behind — and you don’t have to sacrifice luxury at your destination. From hospitable canine ambassadors that make hotel guests immediately feel at home to specially curated menus and activities for pups, high-end resorts around the country are welcoming your pets with open paws.
Park City, Utah
If all dogs go to heaven, then heaven must be in Park City. Nicknamed “Bark City,” the ski town boasts more than 30 dog-friendly lodging options and even hosts the annual ‘Howl-O-Ween’ parade, where costumed canines strut down historic Main Street. With 400-plus miles of public trails and endless outdoor recreation, you and your pet-pal can bound through the snow in winter or romp through the wildflowers in summer.
Waldorf Astoria Park City
Pet Perks: This alpine stunner, located on the largest ski and golf resort in the U.S., is hailed as Park City’s premier pet-friendly hotel, providing five-star service to furry companions. Pets often arrive to custom homemade treats engraved with their names and receive bowls and posh beds. Guests and their pets have free rein to play on two expansive lawns, and (well-behaved) dogs can even join their parents for a nail appointment! The hotel will also shuttle pet guests over to the city’s largest dog park, Willow Creek, which features an agility course. Pet fee: $100 per stay for up to two dogs.
People Perks: Snuggle up in oversized suites equipped with a roaring fireplace, a full kitchen, and a dining table suitable for a large family. The famous Waldorf bedding paired with blackout shades assures an amazing night’s sleep. The resort sports a dedicated gondola to Canyons Village and Park City Mountain, along with a ski valet to do all the heavy lifting, and offers a complimentary shuttle to Main Street or other ski resorts. End your day in one of the many outdoor hot tubs, then gather around the main fireplace for s’mores each night.
MONTAGE DEER VALLEY
Pet Perks: At this uber-luxe retreat, which welcomes dogs up to 45 pounds, you’ll be greeted by the resident canine ambassadors, two Bernese mountain dogs named Monty and Parker. All pet guests receive a dog bed, water bowls, and a “Do Not Disturb” sign to ensure your pet is restful while you’re away. Dogs can also eat like royalty with an in-room dining Canine Cuisine menu, which features healthy breakfast, lunch, and dinner options. Pet Fee: $100 per stay for up to two dogs.
People Perks: Heated bathroom floors, fireplaces, and in-room humidifiers will tempt you never to leave the room. You can’t miss the property’s elaborate spa (the largest in Utah) fitted with an indoor mosaic lap pool, separate his-and-her relaxation rooms with serene crackling fires, and breathtaking views. Ski bunnies will enjoy ski-in/ski-out access, and with five dining options, including a pub with its own bowling alley, you’ll never have to leave the property.
During the weekly happy hour, owners can accompany their dogs as they test their skills on an obstacle course, and
then end the evening sipping vino on the terrace of Gold Cup Wine Bar overlooking the beautiful countryside.
It’s hard to find a more peaceful escape for people and pets than Virginia’s famed horse country, which is also considered one of the top 10 wine destinations in the world. If riding horses, sipping fine wine, and strolling along tranquil trails in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains while your dog chases squirrels and birds (did someone say squirrels?) sounds like paradise, then this tranquil spot is for you.
SALAMANDER RESORT & SPA
Pet Perks: This homelike resort treats furry guests like VIPs (Very Important Pups) with designated terrace-level rooms that offer easy access to the grounds, “Yappy Hours,” and a pastry team crafting special treats for dogs. Upon arrival, the hotel rolls out the red carpet (really, a turf carpet) for dogs, so owners have the opportunity for a star-studded photo of their pet. Turndown service includes a plush dog bed, food, and water bowls, and dog treats made fresh each day. During the weekly happy hour, owners can accompany their dogs as they test their skills on an obstacle course, and then end the evening sipping vino on the terrace of Gold Cup Wine Bar overlooking the beautiful countryside. Pet fee: $130 per dog.
People Perks: With 340 acres, there’s so much to do on the property. Float in the indoor and outdoor pools or spend a day riding horses through the foothills courtesy of the full equestrian center (guests can even bring and board their horses). Enjoy the excitement of rocketing down an exhilarating zip line course or engage in leisurely lawn games, including croquet, bocce ball, and life-sized chess. You’ll also want to swirl and sip your way through the surrounding area’s 20-plus wineries or browse local boutique shops.
Bluffton, South Carolina
If you’re seeking Southern comfort in the Lowcountry, head to this quaint town nestled between Hilton Head Island and Savannah, where you and your pet can reconnect with nature. Bluffton is filled with charming antebellum homes, historic churches. Hop on a pedicab to explore Old Town Bluffton, which is dotted with restaurants, art galleries, and unique artisan shops. The area’s sparkling centerpiece, the May River, mingles with the Atlantic and offers endless water activities.
MONTAGE PALMETTO BLUFF
Pet Perks: Dog lovers will feel right at home when they’re greeted by labs May, River, and New (named after the rivers that surround Bluffton), and their Southern gentleman brother Cooper. They gather in the lobby twice a day to show off their tricks and even go on guided hikes with guests. Amenities for pet guests include deluxe beds, treats and bowls, and special in-room menu items like “Best of Show,” which includes ground Angus beef with rice and mixed vegetables. The resort offers plenty of green spaces for dogs to run and play, as well as miles of trails to explore for an unforgettable pet-friendly vacation. Owners and their pets can have dinner together on the patios of the two on-property restaurants, Jessamine and Buffalos. Pet fee: Guests are invited to bring one dog free of charge, and the second dog is $100.
People Perks: From a lavish suite inside the resort’s new inn to a guest house or a private cottage, guests pick their pleasure on how to vacation in the century-old community. It’s a place where “porching” is a real thing —where every afternoon guests congregate on wrap-around porches to sip lemonade or sweet tea—and where guests zip along gaslit walkways on bikes. The resort’s antique yacht is ideal for a leisurely cruise down the May River for dolphin spotting and sipping mimosas. End busy days in the rooms’ indulgent soaking tubs sprinkled with soaking salts provided by the resort.
It’s a place where “porching” is a real thing—where every afternoon guests congregate on wrap-around porches to sip lemonade or sweet tea— and where guests zip along gaslit walkways on bikes.
Pet-Friendly Vacation in Key West, Florida
If you’re seeking changes in latitudes (and attitudes), book a salt-life trip to Key West. Many bars and restaurants on the laid-back island now welcome pets—and when it comes to exploring, leashed dogs can join owners at the open-air Key West Aquarium, stroll down party-centric Duval Street, and watch the famous sunset celebration at Mallory Square. Small and large dogs have their own sections at Higgs Beach Dog Park, where locals love to bring their pups to frolic, and dogs are allowed in certain areas of oceanside Fort Zachary Taylor Historic State Park.
THE PERRY HOTEL KEY WEST AT STOCK ISLAND MARINA
Pet Perks: About 15 minutes from the craziness of Duval Street on the edge of a private marina, this new boutique hotel offers guests and their canine companions the chance for an epic Key West adventure. The hotel partners with Lazy Dog Adventures to offer kayak and SUP excursions where guests can explore towering mangroves and pristine waters with their pups in tow. Dogs can also sunbathe with their owners by the property’s posh pool deck or roam free at two onsite dog parks. Pet fee: $150 per stay.
People Perks: The 100-room boutique hotel features a pool deck that overlooks the waterfront, guest rooms and suites with spacious private balconies and waterfront views, and two “boat-to-table” seafood-driven restaurants. Wander the Stock Island Marina Village, which offers more restaurants (don’t miss the famed hogfish sandwich at Hogfish Bar and Grill), quirky shops, and art studios. If you’re a boater, the resort sits on the largest deepwater marina in the Florida Keys. The property also offers complimentary shuttle service to/from downtown — perfect for those nights when you’ve imbibed too much.
Small and large dogs have their own sections at Higgs Beach Dog Park, where locals love to bring their pups to frolic, and dogs are allowed in certain areas of oceanside Fort Zachary Taylor Historic State Park.
THE GATES HOTEL KEY WEST
Pet Perks: This new island hotel with an eco-chic vibe offers relaxed fun for you and your pet (two dogs up to 50 pounds are allowed) for the best pet-friendly vacation. Pups are welcomed with a box filled with treats and toys, along with bowls. Dogs can join their owners for a chill happy hour at the hotel’s Rum Row, and there’s a monthly Yappy Hour that benefits the local SPCA. The hotel is a 15-minute drive from Higgs Beach Dog Park, and dog walking services can be arranged for those days when you’re relaxing by the pool or partying on Duval. Pet fee: $25 per pet.
People Perks: The hotel, located at the entry point of Key West, is a literal gateway to all that the island offers. Rent an on-property bike and cruise the island or take a complimentary shuttle to Duval Street. Guests can pool-hop between The Gates and its next-door sister property, 24 North. In true Key West-style, happy hour goes from 12 to 4 at one property and picks up from 4 to 7 at the other property. Hang at Rum Row for tapas, creative cocktails, and live music in the evenings.
By Angela Caraway-Carlton
Before heading on a pet-friendly vacation, we recommend checking specific state travel rules with US Department of Agriculture.