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5 Best Dog-Friendly Road Trips in the United States (+ Tips on Dog Travel)


Are you looking to head out on the highway with a canine by your side? Here are the top dog-friendly road trips you can take across the US.

dog-friendly road trips in the united states road trip with a dog on vacation
Taken by Erik Mclean via unsplash.com. [Public Domain].

East coast to west coast, up north to down south, anywhere you go with your best friend by your side is bound to be an adventure to remember. Though the dog days of summer have faded away, any season can still be a wonderful opportunity to head out of town and explore what the United States has to offer.

For the foreseeable future, traveling within the country may continue to be the safest traveling option. Read through this list of the best dog-friendly road trips in the United States that you can take when it’s prime time to hit the open road with your beloved pet companion. 

Road-Tripping With Fido 101

Preparation is crucial before you plan a road trip with your dog in tow. Dogs do considerably better on shorter car trips. Give it your best shot to stick to a trip in your general region or a shorter timeframe if you can. Otherwise, treat your pup just as well as you normally do at home.

Research pet-friendly hotels or sites to stay at. Dogs on the road will need pit stops, food, water, and an opportunity to stretch their legs just as your human passengers do. Above all, remember that these routes are starting points to consider.

The California Coastline

Everyone’s heard of California’s beautiful coastal highway, stretching from the very top to the bottom of the nation’s most populated state. Such a long road brings you past ample beaches, mountains, farming country, and tall trees. Your dog will enjoy riding along, hiking, or even camping in the northern part of the state on grounds like Big Sur.

Related Read: The Ultimate Road Trip Packing Guide & Travel Planning Checklist

Out West Is Best

The magnificent land along the mountains out west is full of grand adventure opportunities. Montana is a popular haven for dogs and humans alike. With nature galore and breathtaking views for miles, hiking with your dog can be a breeze. Whether you arrive from east or west, you can take a scenic journey up to Glacier National Park.

A diverse route starts you out in Denver and takes your mountain mutt out to the Rockies, touring through Colorado and Utah before ending your trip in Salt Lake City. You can find dog parks, dog-friendly lodging, and nature reserves in abundance when you plan this trip adequately.

A Great Lakes Adventure

Urban canine adventure at its finest begins in the beautiful city of Chicago before winding around the curve of the lake and heading east through Indiana and Michigan or west through the Chain of Lakes up to Minneapolis. Traveling through the Great Lakes region is one of the best dog-friendly road trips in the United States, especially during the summer when beaches are open for your pup to romp around.

Either way, you’re bound to experience an epic Midwestern road trip no matter the season. Check out some quirky destinations if you’re changing direction, such as the largest ball of twine or a cheese castle in Wisconsin.

Route 66 & Down South

The infamous Route 66 is often considered the main street of the US and is the nation’s first all-weather highway linking Chicago to Los Angeles. It’s best to take this trip through the American southwest during cooler months, as Texas and Arizona can be too hot for your dog during the summer.

Plan accordingly for your dog-friendly road trip. Remember that safety comes first for both you and your dog. Buckle up, have a travel buddy, and know how to keep your dog safe in your car. Keep these matters in mind as you plan your itinerary.

Related Read: How To Take a Vacation With Your Dog (4 Top Tips for a Dog-Friendly Trip)

Becca Polk
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Becca Polk
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