by D.J. Wilson - It’s fun to indulge in travel and discover the world from a new perspective. In today’s society it is widely acceptable to share this experience with our pets. Pet friendly vacations are not simply designed to pamper our pooches; they are about spending quality time with man’s best friend. Things used to be vastly different. While growing up, our dog accompanied us on several rustic vacations to the lake and even panted along on a car trip to Florida. My Father, eyes weary from driving, lacked respite as the bed collapsed due to a poor frame. That less than elegant motel was the only place we could get reservations with a dog. That was thirty-five short years ago, when a majority of hotels balked at the idea of welcoming pets as guest. Lucky for us pet lovers, things have changed. Modern hotels are now offering services beyond ones imagination. Take a look at these vacation options where domestic companions are most welcome.
BEST WESTERN PLUS GARDEN INN - A luxuriously appointed AAA Three Diamond hotel, this garden inn offers pet-friendly accommodations. Located in the downtown setting of Santa Rosa, California, the rooms are surrounded by attractive gardens and mountain views. With two luxurious seasonal pools on site, the hotel invites guests to relax. Nestled in beautiful Sonoma wine country, the resort is close to abundant vineyards, great shopping, petrified forests, stunning beaches and fantastic museums such as the Charles M. Schulz’s “Snoopy Museum”. Should you wish to take an excursion to a non-pet friendly attraction; the hotel will assist you in locating services to entertain your pet for the day. If you’re looking for open space for your dog to run, the helpful staff can suggest several community parks open from dusk to dawn for off-leash play. If you’re looking for a hotel which boasts a great location and with dog-friendly allure, the Best Western Plus Garden Inn is a great place to stay.
FESS PARKER’S DOUBLETREE RESORT – This hotel is located in the beautiful southern California Valley of Santa Barbara and welcomes pets of all sizes. Both dogs and cats, are treated well and are given special treat bags upon arrival. Situated on 24 beachfront acres of the breathtaking waters of the blue Pacific, the location is described as an oasis. The goal of this hotel is to inspire and entertain guests. The rooms are spacious and feature private balconies or patios. In addition, there is a fitness center, a relaxing spa, a pool, soft-sand beaches and on-site restaurants bound to please every palate. While pets are not permitted inside the restaurants, special in-room dining is available. Spoil your cat by ordering fresh albacore tuna via room service. Let your pup be king for the day with a special order of Howlin’ Ground Sirloin, eight ounces grilled to perfection. The hotel is surrounded by acres of landscaped grounds and is just a short drive from many dog-friendly beaches where pets can swim. There are also off-leash parks nearby, which make this hotel a dream getaway for active pet owners.
THE DOUBLETREE HOTEL, NYC – One might believe it impossible to find a hotel which accepts pets in New York City. While this newly constructed 27 story hotel located in Mid-town Manhattan welcomes dogs, there are weight restrictions. Furry friends must weigh 35 pounds or less. At this Doubletree Hotel location, your pet will receive a welcome gift upon check-in. The hotel concierge is happy to direct you toward outdoor activities for you and your four legged friend, sharing information on enjoyable places to go for leashed walks. While in the city, you may enjoy dining at The Barking Dog Café located in Midtown. According to customer reviews, the establishment welcomes well-behaved canines in its outdoor eating area, even providing thirsty pets a water trough from which to drink. Pet owners may dine on American Fare in this casual eatery. With the exception of service animals, pets are generally prohibited from entering retail establishments where food is served. It is advisable to call ahead or to ask if your pet is welcome outdoors, prior to being seated. It is very important that animals be leashed and well-behaved. This is vital to the safety and comfort of other diners and for the welfare of your beloved animal in high-traffic areas.
HOTEL MONACO – Located in Portland, Oregon, this downtown, dog-friendly hotel offers hospitality to guests, including furry and feathered ones. Without pet size restrictions and requiring no additional “deposit” for pets, the hotel is extremely accommodating. Many fantastic amenities await your pet, including fresh water bowls and dog beds placed in your room during your stay. Special services are available such as dog walking, pet sitting, grooming, and even pet massages. Although the hotel loves pets, hypoallergenic rooms are available for guests with allergies and are pet restricted. Portland is a great place to bring man’s best friend. Known for featuring a large variety of off-leash parks, the city welcomes pets to many green locations, such as the beautiful 185 acre plus Hoyt Arboretum. Surrounded by lush scenery, the Arboretum provides visitors with the opportunity to observe more than 5,800 tree specimens from around the world, in a peaceful and serene environment. It was founded in 1928 to conserve endangered species of plants, as well as to educate the community. The Arboretum requires that dog owners keep their pets leashed at all times when in the park. Additionally, owners are required to pick up after their pets. The dog policy is established for safety and sanitary purposes. It is important to keep our parks clean. Owners are also required to stay on the path with their four legged friends, so as to not disturb nature.
These are just a few examples of fine hotels throughout the United States which welcome pets. With many resorts offering outstanding services and accommodations for man and his best friend, pet-friendly vacations are rising in popularity. Vacationing together provides a unique opportunity for animals and owners to bond in a new environment. Planning a trip of a lifetime with your favorite buddy is bound to be a most memorable event.
HELPFUL HINTS WHEN TRAVELING WITH PETS: (Remember by “Pets rule”)
*Provide your pet with plenty of access to fresh drinking water.
*Exercise your pet often and provide frequent potty breaks.
*Travel with emergency phone numbers (e.g. your veterinarian’s number) should a health crisis arise.
*Show respect and always “pick up” after your pet.
*Remember to maintain a safe and comfortable temperature and environment for your pet.
*Understand it is NEVER wise to leave a pet unattended in a vehicle.
*Leash your dog and keep pets well controlled at all times.
*Establish and maintain a stable diet for your pet (avoid overindulging with treats).
AMAC loves your input! Please feel free to share additional tips for traveling with pets.