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Boarding Pass: Pet-Friendly Vacation Destinations

Mar 01, 2016 04:39PM ● By Dia

Leaving your pet behind while the family enjoys a much-needed vacation may feel as though you are leaving one family member out of the fun. While it’s not uncommon for travelers to pack up their pooch or kitty for a road trip, pet owners are increasingly boarding their furry friends on an airplane. Be prepared to be a jetsetter with your pet when choosing a vacation destination that’s for the birds ... or cats or dogs or turtles.

Beach Vacation

 From what we know about dogs and their love of water, bringing Fido with you on a beach vacation seems like the perfect fit. Located off the Gulf of Mexico, Key West, Florida, is the southernmost city in the continental United States. It boasts miles of white, sandy beaches and beautiful blue water along the coast. Relaxing by the ocean or taking part in a variety of water activities such as snorkeling is what vacation dreams are made of. And if you are worried about leaving your pooch behind at the hotel when you want to partake in these water sports, Lazy Dog Kayaking has you covered. Whether you choose to go with a guided kayak tour or venture out on your own, bring along your dog to share in your exploration of Key West’s remote backcountry regions.

After a long day of kayaking or paddling with your pup, it’s nice to relax at a hotel that welcomes furry friends. The Hyatt Key West Resort & Spa is an ocean-side retreat and spa that features 118 guest rooms, each with private balconies. Waterfront dining is available at the Shor American Seafood Grill or the Blue Mojito Pool Bar and Grill. And although dogs may not be allowed at the Jala Spa, the hotel is pet- friendly.

City Vacation

First off, when vacationing in Chicago, you need to have a place to rest your head, and equally 

 important, a room that comes with a dog bed. The Kimpton Hotel Monaco overlooks the Chicago River and has plenty of patience for your pet. And while they may not always be able to roam among the 119 hotel rooms and suites, all pets are welcome at the Monaco—with no fee. Just in case you do have to leave your four- legged pal behind (there’s only so much window shopping you can do), the Monaco provides plenty of activities for your pet. Massage and acupuncture services are not just reserved for bipeds only; those with four paws can enjoy the pampering as well. Oliver, a spunky Lhasa Apso, is the Director of Pet Relations and loves to play chase in the lobby.

The Windy City has its fair share of pet-friendly hotels, and while your dog can remain your constant companion on strolls throughout the city’s concrete jungle, a girl has to eat, right? The Benchmark Bar, part of the Four Corners Tavern Group, is as dog-friendly as they come. Enjoy dinner and drinks, or join your friends on the patio for weekend brunch.,

Resort Vacation

Does all-inclusive to you mean bringing the family favorite along for the ride? If the answer is a resounding “yes,” then you’ll want to visit FireSky Resort & Spa in Scottsdale, Arizona. This destination is truly unique in that it welcomes almost any animal you are willing to call your pet. Hamsters, lizards and cats unite! Finally, a place for all creatures—not just those who offer puppy love. According to the resort, “if your pet fits through the door, we’ll welcome them in.” And, there’s no extra charge.

Also part of the Kimpton family of hotels, FireSky is considered to be a tropical hideaway complete with a beach. There are 204 hotel rooms and suites each with a private terrace or balcony, many of which overlook the private courtyard. While at the resort, enjoy FireSky’s onsite restaurant, Taggia, which serves Italian cuisine. Or explore one of the many nearby trails or world-class golf courses.

Two hotel pools (one includes a sandy beach), the Jurlique spa and a 24-hour fitness facility are resort amenities reserved for humans. But hotel amenities and extras for the feline and canine breeds include plush pet-bed loaners in guest rooms, food, water bowls and mats. The concierge is always prepared with a list of pet- friendly restaurants, parks and groomers in the area. And it wouldn’t be fair not to include your pet at the nightly wine reception, so bring Fido or Polly along with you to mingle with guests. 

Winery Vacation

 And finally, of all the pet-friendly vacation destinations, a trip to explore the wineries of the Sonoma Valley in California might seem far-fetched. However, there are many wineries in this area that do, in fact, welcome your pup. A few of these include Larson Family Winery, Anaba Winery and Meadowcroft Winery (pictured). The staff of Meadowcroft not only make sure your tasting room experience is the best, but they offer dog treats and tummy rubs to your furry travel companion. If this doesn’t convince you they are pet-friendly, how about this: Each year the winery hosts a benefit called Days of Wine and Wags which promotes advocacy for local shelters and rescue groups.