Dog owners are nothing if not loyal to their furred encounters. So it makes sense that their ideal travel destinations are ones that welcome dogs. With their book, Fifty Places to Travel With Your Dog Before You Die, Chris Santella and DC Helmuth set out to provide a road map and inspirational guide for those who want to take Fido along wherever they go. Helmuth and Santella came up with their list by interviewing experts in the canine community, and each place is presented as the recommendation of one of these experts. From their book, here’s a selection of top venues to travel around the globe with your dog. Happy Trails!
“Culturally in Alaska, there’s an acceptance that if you’re going to do something, you’re more likely than not to bring your dog,” explains dog-supply store owner Mark Robokoff. “Whether you’re going four-wheeling, snow machining, fishing or hunting, the dog is coming.” why? It has to do with the official state sport—dog mushing, which some may know as dog sledding. Variants now include skijoring in the winter and bikejoring and canicross in the summer.
“Bend is a great place to visit, or live, with your dog,” Dani Reese, the community manager of an outdoor performance dog gear company, says. “Most of the businesses are dog-friendly, and so are the breweries.” She continues, “In the summer, I like to take my dog out on a stand-up paddleboard” on the Deschutes River.
National Park Adventure
Yosemite National Park
All drive-in, non-group campgrounds in Yosemite National Park welcome dogs on-leash and a network of paved paths weave through the park’s famous valley, allowing you to see nearly all of the most iconic viewpoints with your dog by your side. Generally speaking, if the path is paved, you can take your pup. “Our favorite hike was probably Tenaya Lake,” reflected Kate Sumser, an aspiring public defender who’s traveled far and wide with her dog Luna. “There were other dogs playing in the water there…I think that is one of my favorite places on the planet.”
Jasper National Park has miles of majestic dog-friendly trails and lakes. It is a protected evergreen paradise that is almost double in square mileage and half as populated as its southern sister, Banff. “Jasper is really an all-season destination,” says Instagrammer Matt Campbell, pet-parent of Dogtor Ellie Sattler. “You can hike and canoe in the spring and summer, but in the winter you can ski, rent snowshoes and enjoy acres of fresh powder.”
Dog-friendly beer gardens and outdoor patios decorate Atlanta’s cityscape. Instagrammer Julie Chabot, dog mom of Ernie says, “There are so many dog-friendly events. There are hikes, meetups at breweries, walks on the BeltLine”—a 22-mile-long network of former railroad tracks. “It’s very easy to get into the dog community here…I feel like you can take your dog just about everywhere.”
With about one dog for every 11 residents, Madrid is proud to be the most dog-friendly city in Spain. It was the first city in the country to allow dogs on the Metro, outside of commuting hours. Many restaurants are dog-friendly, too. “At El Perro y la Galleta the inside is all dog-themed. They let dogs sit with you right at the table,” says Instagrammer Caitlyn Nissim and parent to Remy.
A little-known fact about Venice is that dogs are typically welcome on gondola rides. “One aspect I quickly noticed about Italian culture is that it is quite dog-friendly,” says Shandos Cleaver, founder of a dog-friendly travel blog in Australia and Europe. “One of our miniature dachshund Schintzel’s favorite things was to visit Saint Mark’s Square. If you go earlier in the morning, there are usually huge flocks of pigeons. Schnitzel used to dive into them, and they would scatter everywhere, like a pile of leaves that keeps filing up.”
Vienna’s elegant cafés serve decadent coffees, grand pastries and luxurious cakes to humans—and dogs are welcome guests. “It’s not just that you can bring your dog. It’s that your dog is invited,” emphasized Amanda Klecker, an advocate against kill shelters and dog mom to Jonathan Warren. Be sure to check out Cafe Landtmann in particular. This plush, wood-paneled 19th-century coffeehouse is famous for its artful espressos and has been frequented by Sigmund Freud and Paul McCartney.
Japan is the only country in the world where pets outnumber children. Dogs are treated like royalty in Japan’s resort town of Koyaru. Doggy’s Island Resort is equally dedicated to (if not more so than) the comfort and health of its canine guests and its human ones. The experience for dogs is “like a kindergarten,” says Kimiko Takemura, PR executive and pet-rescue advocate. “At Doggy’s Island, he can be a dog, he can be free.” Each mealtime includes a chef’s handmade dog menu and the grounds feature multiple swimming pools and splash ponds.
Martinborough, New Zealand
A key stop on the nearly 292-mile Classic New Zealand Wine Trail is Martinborough— “extremely charming, provincial and so dog-friendly,” says Rachel McIndoe, cofounder of a dog-friendly travel blog. “My favorite may be Palliser Estate. The family loves dogs. They recently started releasing some vintage wines and named each of them after one of the family’s beloved dogs.” Other especially dog-friendly wineries include Colombo Martinborough and Luna Estate.
Adapted from Fifty Places to Travel With Your Dog Before You Die © Chris Santella and DC Helmuth. Published by Abrams.