5 Great Trips For a Man and His Best Friend
When we leave home, we always have a hard time parting with our pup (or cat, or bird, whatever). A week can feel like a really long time without with man's best friend -- which is precisely why hotels around the country are bolstering their pet-friendly programs to make furry family feel special during vacation, too. Check out five prime vacation spots for you and Fido to bark about after the jump!
Where to Visit: Boston, MA
- Take Fido to: Nunziato Field in the city's Somerville section. Gravel surfaces absorb urine better (gross, but true), which saves the park from dead grass (and large maintenance fees). There are plenty of trees, and benches for comfort -- but there are also a ton of dogs -- Boston's a big city. Dogs must be sociable, current on all vaccinations, licensed, and under their owner's control at all times. While there are off-leash areas, your pup must be on one if not in a designated area.
- Stay At: Fairmont Copley Plaza Hotel, one of the most luxurious spots in the fancy Back Bay area. Fortunately, this opulent spot allows pets of any size and provides food and water bowls on arrival. There's also a friend waiting in the lobby -- Catie Copley (at right) -- whose only off on Monday and otherwise available for guests to take on a stroll.
- Cost for Fido: $25 per day
Where to Visit: New York City, NY
- Take Fido To: Tompkins Square Park Dog Run, one of New York's oldest dog parks. However, since the park's recent renovation, there are a ton of modern offerings, including separate runs for large and small pooches, three pools to take a dip in, free tennis balls, and tons of seating for owners looking to take a break. Everything's free, and it's open from 6 a.m. till midnight -- you'll have no excuse not to hit this spot.
- Stay At: Soho Grand Hotel, for its hip, downtown location and well-heeled crowd. The trendy restaurant and bars and well-equipped rooms combined with hotel's generous pet policy -- which includes all the essentials at no cost, plus tricked-out extras for an additional fee, like an extensive menu and grooming specialties.
- Cost for Fido: Free -- but make sure to let the hotel know in advance to ensure you're booked on one of their pet-friendly floors and that a bowl, bed and crate are available for use.
Where to Visit: San Francisco, CA
- Take Fido to: Fort Funston on Skyline Boulevard, arguably the best play area for pups in the entire city . There's tons of open space for off-leash running (as long as they are well-behaved and under voice command), and there are some beaches as well as trails to keep your pup happy.
- Stay At: Hotel Palomar, one of the most dog-friendly hotels around that also happens to be incredibly romantic (and a bit expensive). Besides the fact that it actually doubles as a hip art gallery, the Palomar has free nightly wine tasting and a seriously great location in San Fran's happening Union Square area. As for your dog, you'll fill out a "Pet Preferences" card when you arrive to ensure the best stay, and doggie food and water dishes are left out in the lobby. Some guests are lucky enough to be greeted by Maverick, the hotel's chocolate lab (pictured).
- Cost for Fido: Free!
Where to Visit: Oahu, HI
- Take Fido to: Diamond Head Bark Park, for some of the most beautiful views in Oahu, and perhaps the world. (There are hiking trails nearby for you, too.) Not only was this Hawaii's first dog park, but it also has plenty of room to run around -- off leash, of course.
- Stay At: Kahala Hotel and Resort for their spacious, airy rooms, gigantic bathrooms, and the only swim-with-the-dolphins experience on the island of Oahu. The beach is incredibly chill, the hotel's restaurants are delicious without a touch of pretense, and its just as welcoming to families as it is to couples or individual travelers.
- Cost for Fido: $225 per visit
Where to Visit: Miami, FL
- Take Fido to: Tropical Dog Park in the heart of the city, which has 2 acres of off-leash territory, a special fenced area for pups under 35 lbs., play equipment, doggy drinking fountains, water sprays and ADA accessibility so everyone can join in on the fun.
- Stay At: Fisher Island Resort and Hotel, which underwent a whopping $60 million renovation in 2010. This 45-room spot is located among homes of the super-rich on a lush, private island that's a 10-minute ferry ride from the Miami mainland. It's packed with amenities like golf, tennis, and beautiful pools, but beauty comes at a price -- a relatively steep one at that. While the resort doesn't have any special trimmings for the furry set, they are welcome post-renovation.
- Cost for Fido: $250 per day. Note that dogs over 30 lbs. are not permitted at the resort.
- BONUS BUDGET OPTION: Check out the Clinton Hotel and Spa, where room rates are quite reasonable, averaging at about $180/night right now.