If you love dogs, you’ll love Denver. At the city’s Watering Bowl tavern, you can drink beer and eat pizza while your pooch scampers in a 7,000-square-foot fenced dog park. Staying overnight? Rooms at the Crawford Hotel provide a dog bed, food and water bowls, chew toys and treats for four-legged guests. At the Curtis hotel, dogs’ photos are posted in the lobby.
Denver was named America’s top city for dogs in an April 2021 survey by dog-walker search site Rover.com and real estate site Zillow, but plenty of other cities, parks and hotels nationwide are eager for your pooch’s business (and yours, too). Here are some of the nation’s most tail-waggingly fun destinations.
Some towns have particularly good reputations among pet owners.
Portland, Oregon, for example, has many pet-friendly trails and 34 dog parks, the second most per capita in the United States, according to the Trust for Public Land (Boise, Idaho, is number one). If you go, check out the dog park at Mt. Tabor Park: After your dog plays in the off-leash area, you can walk to the top of a dormant cinder cone volcano, gaze upon the city's downtown or have a picnic near the reservoir.
Many of Portland’s restaurants and more than 70 breweries have outdoor patios that welcome pets. The Lucky Labrador Brew Pub even hosts an annual “Dogtoberfest” that claims to be Portland’s biggest dog wash (try the Black Lab Stout before scrubbing your dog).
New York City has more dog parks across its five boroughs than any city in the country. Not only can you walk your dog through most of Central Park (some locations, such as ballfields and bodies of water, are off-limits), but from 6:00–9:00 a.m. and 9:00 p.m.–1:00 a.m., your dog can be off-leash in certain areas. To give your canine a Big Apple culinary experience, head to Madison Square Park, home to the first-ever Shake Shack. While you gorge on a burger and fries, your dog can eat a Bag O’ Bones (five dog biscuits made by the city’s Bocce Bakery).
Louisville, Kentucky, was ranked number one on a 2021 Orvis list of 100 dog-friendly cities due to its plentiful dog parks and numerous restaurants with pup-friendly patios (the Old Louisville Brewery even has a fenced-in dog area). In Fort Lauderdale, Florida, the Shooters Waterfront restaurant hired a veterinarian nutritionist to develop a pet menu (doggie diners can select from turkey, chicken or beef dishes). You’ll also find many parks, including the city's Bark Park at Snyder Park, with canine swimming holes.
Other options: Chicago has the most dog-friendly restaurants in America (558, followed by San Diego, with 555), and Austin, Texas, has the most dog-friendly shopping malls (28), according to a 2020 study by SmartAsset.com.