Thinking of taking a road trip vacation with your family and your pooch? If so, be sure to first check out our Dog-Friendly Travel Tips to help you prepare for the vacation. Once you’re all set to go, take a look at some of the top destinations we’ve found for your whole family to enjoy — especially your furry family members!
About an hour-and-a-half drive from Chicago, Milwaukee is the perfect weekend getaway. The Milwaukee Riverwalk is a great place to stroll and shop with your dog to explore the city. For some added outdoor adventure, Granville Dog Park is a large open area that includes a river, wooded trails, hills, trees and plenty of grassy areas that your pup will love.
Michigan City, IN
Michigan City is just over an hour drive from Chicago. Visit the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore to take your pup to a dog-friendly shore such as Kemil Beach, Dunbar Beach, or Lake View Beach. At the end of your day exploring, enjoy the beauty of Lake Michigan while dining at one of these pet-friendly restaurants on the water.
Grand Haven, MI
A 3 hour drive from Chicago, Grand Haven is a lively beach town on Lake Michigan’s eastern shore.Take a stroll along the 2.5 mile boardwalk or relax with your pooch on Grand Haven City Beach where dogs are allowed on leash. Downtown areas include dog boutiques that sell dog treats, toys, accessories, and daycare. For some off-leash fun, Hiawatha Forest has 365 acres where you and your dog can run free.
Starved Rock State Park, IL
Starved Rock State Park is a 2-and-a-half-hour drive from Chicago in La Salle County. This beautiful park is full of wildlife and the 13 miles of hiking trails that boast steep canyons and waterfalls. The best part? They’re dog-friendly! As a bonus, the Starved Rock Lodge, located in the park, has pet-friendly cabins and even a dog friendly veranda with a “doggy menu.”
Door County, WI
A scenic drive up the Lake Michigan coast will be a trip to remember! Only about 5 hours from Chicago, this is a perfect length for a long weekend getaway, and your pup will love the green stretches of forestry and beautiful beaches of Wisconsin’s east coast! Check out this list of dog-friendly attractions to do there.
If you’re up for a 9-hour drive, Branson has some great attractions your human and canine family members will enjoy. With numerous walking/hiking trails and dog-friendly lakeside beaches, the outdoors in Missouri are the place to be! Here are some ideas for pet-friendly vacation rentals.
Lake Placid, NY
The 14 hours will fly by as you drive through Michigan and parts of Canada along the way. Lake Placid is considered one of the most dog-friendly vacation destinations in the U.S., offering a few miles trail hiking around Mirror Lake. The lake also allows your pups to tag along, too! Here are some nice places to stay with your pup in the Empire State.
Myrtle Beach, NC
Only a 15-hour drive from Chicago is the beautiful destination of Myrtle Beach! Spoil your pooch with early morning and evening walks along the shore – even off his leash! Dogs aren’t allowed on the beaches during the daytime hours, but there are plenty of dog-friendly areas and parks where he can meet new friends. Myrtle Beach is especially known for its great Barc Parc.
Sanibel Island, FL
This is longest drive we’ll include here, but if you’re up for 20 hours in the car, Sanibel Island is a great spot for your family and pup! Boasting beautiful views of the Gulf of Mexico and dog-friendly shorelines, this destination is surely worth the distance. Click here for some great ideas of where to stay, eat, and explore with your pooch on Sanibel Island.
Did we miss your favorite dog-friendly destination? Send us an email or a tweet to let us know!