My hubby and I rarely travel without Chester and Gretel. We’re going on an anniversary trip next week to Jackson, Wyoming and will be bringing them with us. I thought I would share some of the resources we use to plan a dog friendly vacation.
It’s a 14-hour drive from Seattle to Jackson so, to ensure we all get enough breaks, we will be playing the 100-mile road trip game and splitting the drive into two days.
For this trip we needed to locate dog friendly hotels, dog friendly campgrounds, dog friendly restaurants; and dog friendly trails.
Planning a Dog Friendly Road Trip
When planning a dog friendly road trip the first thing I do is use Google Maps to calculate driving times and find approximate stopping points. For example, we only want to drive 12 hours the first day because that will be about 14 total hours on the road with breaks. I keep picking destinations and plugging them into the map until I find one that is about 12 hours from Seattle.
The next thing I do is visit the Go Pet Friendly website. They have a road trip planner that is Google map based. After you enter your starting and ending destination you can locate dog friendly campgrounds, hotels, and other amenities along your route by checking a couple of boxes.
Finding Dog Friendly Hotels
To find dog friendly hotels in a particular city I use the Bring Fido Website. It’s like Expedia for dog friendly hotels. You can view all dog friendly hotels in a city as well as estimated rates, descriptions, reviews, and usually pet policy information. You can book a hotel, and a competitive rate, right on the site.
This is, by far, the most comprehensive, easy-to-use website I have used for locating and booking dog friendly hotels.
Finding Dog Friendly Restaurants
I like to search the Go Pet Friendly Destination Guides first. The destination guides are like personal reviews on a specific location. I like seeing the pictures and hearing the stories from actual humans instead of marketing mumbo-jumbo off of a website.
Whether I find a destination guide for the city I am visiting or not, the next places I look are the Go Pet Friendly travel search and the Bring Fido dog friendly city directory. Between those two resources I usually find all of the dog friendly restaurants in an area.
Sometimes I will do a little extra checking for restaurants on Dog Friendly.com. These two websites are a little clunky but I sometimes find one or two restaurants not listed on the other two sites.
If you are vising Seattle and looking for a dog friendly restaurant, you are in luck. My friend Jenny has a blog called Dog Gone Seattle and she personally investigates every dog friendly restaurant and bar she hears about in Seattle and shares her experiences. You’ll even find some restaurants in Seattle that let you eat with your dogs INDOORS (which is great if you are visiting in the winter).
A note of caution: restaurant policies change all of the time and what was dog friendly one day may not be the next. If I found the restaurant on Go Pet Friendly, Bring Fido or Dog Gone Seattle I am pretty confident the information is accurate. If I find a restaurant using any other source, I always call ahead to confirm they are dog friendly. Even so, I always have a plan B in case we get there and are turned away.
Finding Dog Friendly Trails
While Bring Fido lists some dog friendly trails on their website, I find their listing sorely lacking. Specifically, they primarily only list park and “tourist” trails. That is enough for some people but we like to get far out into nature and see some of the best natural sights the area has to offer.
I have my own research process for locating dog friendly trails when we travel. Check out my post Finding Dog Friendly Trails to find out how I find them.
If you know of any good dog friendly blogs or websites for the City you live in please leave them in the comments below for other travelers to find.
Are you planning any dog friendly vacations this year?