Top 10 Dog-Friendly U.S. Cities

PetMD Editorial
Updated: May 16, 2017
Published: June 09, 2009
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I Found My Heart in San Francisco


June 9, 2009

Thinking of heading out of town for a little R&R, but don't want to leave your pup behind? Save the money and guilt that would have been spent boarding your dog in a kennel, stop worrying about who you can call to pop in to your house to take your dog for a walk, and plan a vacation that both you and your dog can enjoy. has released its annual list of dog-friendly U.S. cities to visit, with San Francisco topping the list for their better than average amenities like dog friendly beaches and recreational areas, restaurants that allow your dog to hang out on the patio with you while you eat, and pet friendly hotels. Whichever city you choose, you can bet that you will have a great time, and you won't have to Photoshop your dog into any of the pictures this year!

#10 Ann Arbor, MI – Dog-friendly canoeing, gardens and farms, and don't miss Nichols Arboretum, the 123-acre botanical collection at the University of Michigan.

#9 New York, NY – Dog-friendly luxury hotels, Central Park, lower Manhattan and the Brooklyn Bridge. Walk till you can't walk no more!

#8 San Diego, CA – Take your dog shopping with you at the Otay Ranch Town Center and hang out at the dog park after, go hiking or take your dog to one of the friendly beaches.

#7 Chicago, IL – Take advantage of this gorgeous city on the water by taking your dog on a Canine Cruise, or just hang out and be amused at Navy Pier. And you'll have plenty of culinary delights to choose from with Chicago's dog welcoming patio restaurants.

#6 Charleston, SC – See this historic town in all its glory. Charleston has a number of tours that you can take your dog along to, including the Boone Hall and Magnolia Plantations. Or you can go on a ghost tour (don't forget the Scooby snacks!), and wind down after a night of fright with a day of fun at the beach.

#5 Portland, OR – First thing's first. The beginning of any vacation should start with a relaxing drink, and the Lucky Labrador is just the place to serve it up. The Lucky Lab has three fresh brew locations that you and your pup can check out while you're in town. Plus, make sure to visit the well-known Rose Gardens and the Saturday Outdoor Market.

#4 Northern Virginia, VA – If you won't be making it to Chicago for their Canine Cruise, take heart, Northern Virginia has them, too! Plus, you'll never go hungry again with a great choice of dog-friendly restaurants in Alexandria. If you still have plenty of time in your schedule for some historical sightseeing, you can ramble over to nearby Washington, DC.

#3 Boston, MA – When you don't feel like driving and parking, take your leashed dog onto the subway with you. Then relax and watch the world go by as you hop from place to place in this historic city by the bay. Visit the Freedom Trail, and see where one of America's most famous protests took place at Boston Harbor.

#2 Austin, TX – Spend the afternoon at one of Austin's off-leash parks and then take your dog on a chill walk along the water to see the Congress Street bats take flight at sunset before heading to one of the dog friendly outdoor cafes in the neighborhood.

#1 San Francisco, CA – Another transportation-friendly kind of town, you can take your dog on the cable cars with you to visit the waterside, where you will find plenty of pet friendly patio restaurants. Lots of beaches and parks for you and your doggy to have fun, and don't miss the Golden Gate Bridge, one of America's celebrated man-made wonders, where you can take your dog along to share the lovely view of the colorful, hilly city.