6 Pet-Friendly Vacation Destinations to Beat the Heat

Amy & Rod Burkert Amy & Rod Burkert  |  09.13.2017

The dog days of summer have arrived, and in many parts of the country the temperatures are soaring. If you and your pets are looking for a vacation destination where you can beat the heat, we’ve done the paws-on-the-ground research and have a few suggestions!

Anacortes, Washington

Anacortes sits in the most northwestern corner of the continental U.S., and is best known for its popular marina and ferry service to the San Juan Islands. Daytime highs in the summer rarely reach the mid-80s, and there is a fantastic selection of RV park options near town and on Whidbey Island to the south.

The list of things to do here is never-ending, with scenic drives, hiking, boating, wildlife watching, interesting shopping, and lively eateries. The ferries to the San Juans are pet friendly, as is Deception Pass State Park, with its spectacular views and 38 miles of trails.

Banff, Alberta

Driving with your pets across the border to Canada isn’t as complicated as you might imagine, and Banff is one of our favorite pet-friendly destinations! High in the Canadian Rockies, temperatures may reach into the 80s on a summer day, but the evenings cool off nicely, and there are plenty of good RV park options in the area.

Situated inside one of Canada’s most popular national parks, primary activities here revolve around enjoying the spectacular scenery and catching glimpses of the abundant wildlife.

Bar Harbor, Maine

On the rugged Atlantic shore, Bar Harbor enjoys glorious weather during the summer, and this is a perfect place to explore the outdoors with your pet! National Parks have a reputation for not being very pet friendly, but that’s not true at Acadia. Dogs are welcome on almost all of the 120 miles of hiking trails and 45 miles of carriage roads in the park and in most of the public areas.

The RV park options are plentiful, with pet friendly campgrounds in the national park and many private options closer to town. If you prefer Mother Nature with a side of civilization, spend your days in the park and your evenings in pet-friendly Bar Harbor!

Carmel, California

Famous for having one of the best beaches in the country, Carmel is loaded with pet-friendly inns, high-end shopping, and excellent restaurants – many that welcome pets on the patio. There are several good RV park options nearby, and the breezes off the Pacific keep temperatures lovely all summer.

Dogs are welcome to romp off-leash in the surf and sand on the city’s main beach, as long as they respond to voice commands. If your pup isn’t a social butterfly, enjoy views of the beach from the Scenic Bluff Path, and make your way to Carmel River Beach, where leashed pets are welcome.

Telluride, Colorado

This beautiful Victorian town is tucked in the back of a box canyon high in the Rocky Mountains. With its elevation of 8,750 feet, humidity is non-existent here, and jackets at night are comfortable – even during the peak of summer.

There’s a very popular Forest Service campground near Telluride, but we prefer traveling a bit further to Ridgeway State Park, where many sites are located with a view of the lake. While you’re in Telluride, don’t miss the free, pet-friendly gondola. Operating during summer and winter, its pet-friendly cars are marked with a sticker in the front window. Birds, dogs and cats are all welcome to enjoy the views – so long as they’re on a leash or in a carrier.

Santa Fe, New Mexico

You may be surprised to see a location in the southwest make this list, but its elevation of 7,200 feet keeps Santa Fe quite comfortable in the summer. And, if the city gets a little sticky, you can take a drive up to the Santa Fe National Forest, where we found snow at the end of May!

The area has a nice selection of RV parks, from full-service resorts to camping in the national forest, and you’ll find plenty to do with your pets. If you like urban hiking, this is a great place to enjoy the hip hangouts in The Railyard, the beautiful, shady Plaza, and the many galleries on Canyon Road.

I hope these ideas help you make a dash for cooler locales with your best travel buddy. If you’d like more information about our pet-friendly travels with Ty and Buster, visit us at GoPetFriendly.com.


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