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May 21, 2013

I had a chance to visit New York City for the first time last year. Since I couldn’t take my dogs on that trip, I thought I would share a blog post about pet friendly New York by our favorite Beagle, Maggie, at WagTheDogUK.

Here are some photos of dogs that I took while I was in Manhattan.

Lots of open space in Central Park. There is no designated off-leash area but there are off-leash times.

Lots of open space in Central Park. There is no designated off-leash area but there are off-leash times.

If you think New York is too crowded to have two big dogs, you're wrong. These two pups enjoy it here.

If you think New York is too crowded to have two big dogs, you’re wrong. These two pups enjoy it here.

Early AM, lots of people headed to Central Park to walk their dogs.

Early AM, lots of people headed to Central Park to walk their dogs.

In the fast paced life, you can take your dog for a walk, stop at an outdoor cafe for a quick breakfast, and take care of business on your cell phone all at the same time.

In the fast paced life, you can take your dog for a walk, stop at an outdoor cafe for a quick breakfast, and take care of business on your cell phone all at the same time.

The biggest dog in New York is Balto. I love this statue!

The biggest dog in New York is Balto. I love this statue!

 

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May 14, 2013

Florida Beach

The beautiful weather we have been having lately really makes me want to go to the beach. I’ve been to the west coast and to beaches in Texas, but never to the east coast. There are a lot of nice beaches to the east. But one that stands out as a great vacation spot is Key West in Florida.
According to US News Travel, the best time to visit Key West is between March and May. The weather is relatively mild and it is the off-travel season, which makes hotel rates and other attractions less expensive. So what is there to do in Key West? Lots!
The first thing you need when visiting Key West is pet friendly accommodations. Choose between dog friendly hotels, vacation homes, or RV parks. Be sure to call your stay of choice in advance to verify their pet friendly regulations. Some may charge extra fees or have weight limits.
You can’t go to the Florida Keys without doing a little snorkeling, boating, or fishing. Thankfully, some boat tours are pet friendly! Check out this cool video from Lazy Dog Outfitters:

After a day of boating, do some leisurely shopping along Duval Street. Many of the shops are pet friendly. Have lunch at an outdoor cafe such as Louie’s Backyard. Louie’s Backyard is right on the beach. And next to it is a dog beach! Check out this video:

Still want more stuff to do? Go visit the Key West Tropical Forest and Garden. Then visit the pet friendly Key West Aquarium. I’ve called them and confirmed that friendly dogs on leashes are more than welcome to visit the aquarium. Here is a video of the things you can see there:

Other attractions include the Dry Tortugas National Park and the Fort Zachary Taylor State Park. Another dog park is the Higgs Beach dog park. And other dog friendly outdoor restaurants include the Six-Toed Cat, Harpoon Harry’s, Old Town Mexican Cafe, and Dante’s.
Our two primary resources for this edition of Pet Travel Destination Tuesday is DogFriendly.com and GoPetFriendlyBlog.com. Have you been to Key West? I bet you have much better photos than we do. Please feel free to share and tell us your favorite pet travel distnation. And don’t forget, wherever you travel with your pet be sure they travel safe!

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Milwaukee Skyline

Thanks to Midwest Pet Bloggers on Facebook, our next pet travel destination is in Wisconsin. It was a tossup between Milwaukee and Madison, but since they are only an hour-and-a-half drive apart from each other, why not talk about both?

Both cities have a number of pet friendly hotels. Be sure to call the hotel you’re considering in advance to make sure they take all sized pets and whether or not they charge extra fees for pets. Some dog friendly hotels are friendlier than others.

I love nature walks and there are a number of state parks near Madison and Milwaukee. There is the Lake Kegonsa state park, Blue Mound state park, Governor Nelson state park, and, one that I find interesting for historical reasons, Aztalan state park. Aztalan state park features an earthwork mound constructed by the Mississippian culture about 900 years ago. More in Wikipedia.

Pets on leashes are welcome to the Wisconsin state parks. But if you prefer your dog be allowed to run off-leash, Madison has several off-leash dog parks. Milwaukee has a few too, but Madison seems to rule as far as off-leash dog parks go. There is the Brittingham dog park, Quann dog park, Token Creek pet exercise area, Viking park pet exercise area, Sun Prairie pet exercise area, Sycamore dog park, and still more in Madison. Milwaukee has Muttland Meadows, Brookfield dog park, and a couple of others.

After all that walking around, you’re going to want to stop for a bite to eat. how about stopping by a restaurant with an outdoor patio? Some of these restaurants with outdoor patios are pet friendly. A few in Madison are the Mermaid Cafe, Capital Brewery, Marigold Kitchen, and Hawk’s Bar and Grill. A few in Milwaukee are the Apollo Cafe, Beans & Barley, Crazy Water, Mimma’s, Brewed Cafe, The Palomino, Milwaukee Waterfront Deli, and the Community Bark Dog Wash & Coffee Bar. These are just a few. You can find more on the resource links listed below.

After a nice lunch break, you can do more sightseeing. Visit the capitol building in Madison. The grounds are pet friendly so long as you pick up after your pet and make sure he stays on a leash. There is also a pet friendly botanical garden at the University of Wisconsin in Madison. In Milwaukee, there are a few pet friendly boat rentals and tours. Check out Blue Max Charters, Milwaukee Boat Line, and Juneau Park Paddleboats. You can also walk along the Milwaukee Riverwalk.

Not all the places in this video are pet friendly. But as you can see, there is a lot to do here! Neither you nor your dog will get bored. I’ve only listed a few things. But you can find more fun dog friendly things to do with your best friend by checking out DogFriendly.com and BringFido.com. Also, check out a review of Milwaukee from Ty and Buster from GoPetFriendly.com. Remember, wherever you travel with your pet, be sure to travel safe and use a dog car safety device.

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Dog at a Pet Friendly Beach

I am so glad spring is finally here! This warmer weather makes me think about vacationing again. And you know, I have to take Maya and Pierson wherever I go. This means looking for a friendly pet travel destination. This week I am looking at Charleston, South Carolina.

After a little research, I found a number of pet friendly places in Charleston. Firstly, there are several dog friendly hotels. The ones I would consider include La Quinta, Red Roof Inn, and Hampton Inn. There are also places for RVing and camping. If my dogs and I get hungry, we can eat on an outdoor patio at the Dog and Duck Food and Spirits, DIG in the Park, Firehouse Subs, and Danielle Island Grille.

I’ve covered the most important aspects of travel – lodging and eating. What about fun stuff? I like gardens and Charleston has quite a few dog friendly gardens. There is the Battery and White Point Gardens, Magnolia Plantation and Gardens, and the Boone Hall Plantation and Gardens. Dogs are allowed on leashes but be aware that they probably are not allowed inside any of the buildings.

To get around, there are a couple of pet friendly carriage tours and other tours. Charleston even sports a pet friendly kayak rental. Let’s not forget about the dog friendly beaches and a number of off-leash dog parks in Charleston. Here are a super cute video of a dog having fun at the beach.

And check out these dogs having fun at the James Island County Dog Park.

Doesn’t Charleston, South Carolina look like fun? Have you been here with your dog? We’d love to hear about your experience. If you haven’t gone and decide to go, be sure your dog rides safe in the car with a dog seat belt or pet car seat.

(Our primary resource for these pet friendly activities comes from DogFriendly.com.)

 

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Portland, Oregon

The Best City for Pet Travelers Tournament being held by GoPetFriendly.com is still underway. It is now down to eight cities. Read a little bit about each of these eight cities, and then go cast your vote for your favorite pet travel destination.

Portland, OR
Besides a number of off-leash dog parks, Portland, OR has several pet friendly rose gardens and other gardens. It also has a few dog friendly wineries. More on our blog post at http://www.petautosafetyblog.com/?p=667.

Aspen, CO
Take your dog for a pleasant outdoor walk downtown. Then ride the pet friendly sky car of the Silver Queen Gondolas to the top of Aspen Mountain. There is much more for you and your dog to do on top of the mountain. Read more on our blog post at http://www.petautosafetyblog.com/?p=1885.

Carmel, CA
This city has quite a few pet friendly beaches, parks, tours, restaurants, shops, and hotels. My dogs have never been to the beach, so this is one city we’d love to visit.

Charlottesville, VA
Many of the estate tours, including the ones of Thomas Jefferson’s estates are dog friendly outside. Dogs aren’t allowed inside, but well-behaved dogs are welcome to tour the outside areas. Charlottesville also has a number of pet friendly wineries.

Fredericksburg, VA
This city beat out one of my favorites, Sedona, AZ, and I see why. Fredericksburg has a number of pet friendly attractions like the Chancellorsville Battlefield and the outdoor areas of George Washington’s Ferry Farm and Kenmore Plantation and Gardens.

Bend, OR
This city has a number of off-leash dog parks. Dogs are also allowed, on a leash, at the outdoor areas of Peterson Rock Gardens and Sunriver Nature Center.

Annapolis, MD
Take your dog to the Annapolis Maritime Museum and Historic London Town and Gardens. Annapolis also has dog friendly boat tours, such as Watermark Cruises, and boat rentals, such as Annapolis Small Boat Rentals.

Charleston, SC
This city also has dog friendly beaches and off-leash dog parks. It also has quite a few pet friendly hotels and vacation rentals, a number of pet-friendly stores and restaurants, and a several pet friendly tours and attractions such as the Magnolia Plantation and Gardens, Tour Charleston Ghost Tours, and Fort Moultrie National Historic Site.

The only one of these places I have been to is Portland, Oregon. So this is the city that has my vote! But the others look like a lot of fun too. Go vote for your favorite pet travel destination at GoPetFriendly.com.

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Where is your favorite dog friendly destination?

Where is your favorite dog friendly destination?

Vote for the Best Pet Friendly City at GoPetFriendly.com

Where are some great dog friendly places to visit? Find out at GoPetFriendlyBlog.com. They are currently running a competition where people can vote for their favorite pet friendly travel destination. Rather than have a judge determine the winner, it is us dog lovers who get a say. So go check it out and cast your vote, then keep going back to find out which cities the dog lovers liked best.

The winning cities and towns are now narrowed down to 32 places. Some of those pet friendly places are Park City, UT, Bar Harbor, ME, Seattle, WA, Aspen, CO, Key West, FL, and more! The only two places on this list that I have been to are Portland, OR and Sedona, AZ. Personally, I hope Sedona, AZ wins! It was the best pet travel destination I have ever been to – http://www.petautosafetyblog.com/?p=689.

Sedona, Arizona

Sedona, Arizona has a lot of hiking areas that are great for you and your dog.

Where are the pet friendly places you’ve been to? Go cast your vote at GoPetFriendly.com today!

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March 12, 2013

Tulda, Oklahoma skyline

Let me start out by saying that there weren’t many obviously dog friendly places I could find in Tulsa. So why did I choose it to talk about? First, I know one of our commenters is from there and she mentioned it wasn’t very pet friendly, so I wanted to see what I could find. Second, perhaps you are in an area that isn’t known to be pet friendly but you want to take your dog anyway. Perhaps by seeing what seemingly non pet friendly Tulsa has will help you know what to look for in the area you are visiting.

The only obvious places I could find in the Tulsa area that allows dogs are the parks. About 30-40 minutes outside of Tulsa is Claremore Lake Park off of East Blue Starr Drive in Claremore, Oklahoma. This looks like a beautiful park with lots of areas to walk. The Tulsa area also has a few state parks including Walnut Creek State Park and Keystone State Park. As always, dogs are required to be on a leash. If you want to take your dog somewhere off leash, try Biscuit Acres.

How about visiting a doggie store in Tulsa? We found an interesting place called The Dog Dish. It looks like it has a lot of great dog things to shop for and to do. Coming up on March 30th is the Easter Biscuit Hunt. Doesn’t that sound like fun!?!

As far as dog friendly restaurants for people, you will have to call any place that has an outdoor patio to see what they think about dogs. We got word that perhaps the Tropical Smoothie Cafe allows dogs on their outside patio. Doesn’t a tropical smoothie sound delicious? There is a Tropical Smoothie Cafe about 5 minutes from The Dog Dish (The Dog Dish is on E 51st, and the Tropical Smoothie Cafe is just off of E 51st on S 109th East Ave).

If you find yourself living in or visiting a place that doesn’t seem very dog friendly, find out where your parks are. At the very least, you can take your dog for a walk in a park. Also, look for cafes or coffee places with outdoor patios. Be sure to call and ask first before you take your dog.

Another smart thing you can do is call a local pet store, like Petco or Petsmart, and ask employees if they know of any pet friendly places in town. They may also be able to tell you of any upcoming pet events. There are also a number of good website resources for dog friendly places such as dogfriendly.com and gopetfriendly.com.

Have you ever been in Tulsa with your dog? What were some of the places you visited? Tell us your pet travel experience.

And don’t forget… Wherever you travel with your dog, make sure you travel safe! 🙂

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March 5, 2013

Niagara Falls

I love nature. My best vacations have been to see the natural wonders of the United States. By far, the most amazing wonder I’ve ever seen was the Grand Canyon. Its vastness was awe inspiring. I’ve often wondered if the Niagara Falls in New York and Ontario, Canada would evoke the same feeling. Someday, I’d like to find out.

On looking into the Niagara Falls State Park website, I was glad to see that many parts of the park are pet friendly. Dogs must be on a leash, of course. They are not allowed in buildings but they are permitted on the hiking trails. According to the website, the park has more than 15 miles of hiking trails. My dogs Maya & Pierson would love that! I also understand from their website that there are a number of outdoor snack stands in the park. So after we’re done working up an appetite while hiking, we can stop for a bite to eat.

Searching online also found a bunch of pet friendly hotels in the area. In fact, there were so many, I couldn’t possibly name them all. If you plan on visiting Niagara falls with your pets, simply do a little search in Google for pet friendly Niagara falls and you will find a bunch of websites with the information. Be sure to call the hotels to verify as some change their policies. Some may also have weight limits and/or may charge extra fees for pets.

If I haven’t been to Niagara falls yet, why should you trust my word on how pet friendly it is? Perhaps we haven’t yet had the experience of visiting, but our friends at GoPetFriendly.com have. They’ve been there with their pets and they loved it! Be sure to visit their site and check it out.

Have you been to Niagara Falls with your pets? How about other places nearby, either in New York or Ontario? Tell us about it! 🙂

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February 26, 2013
"Enchanted Hill" by Dawn Ross

“Enchanted Hill” by Dawn Ross. A pastel representation of a scene at Georgetown Lake in Texas.

We had about a foot of snow last week. And we’re expecting another foot of snow today. While my dogs really love the snow, some days I wish I were back in Texas enjoying its milder winter weather. I used to live in central Texas and there are so many pet friendly places there that I miss.

My favorite places to take my dogs were Georgetown Lake, Zilker Park and its connecting trail to the Barton Creek Greenbelt in Austin, and the Bastrop State Park in Bastrop, Texas. I believe much of the Bastrop State Park burned from the major forest fires in 2011, but much of it is still intact too. The image above is a drawing I made in pastels of a scene that I saw at Georgetown Lake when I hiked it with my dog Smokey. This one below is of me and Smokey at Georgetown Lake.

Me & my dog Smokey at Georgetown Lake ~1996

Me & my dog Smokey at Georgetown Lake ~1996

Another great place to visit in central Texas is Enchanted Rock. Enchanted Rock is named from an interesting rock formation which can be hiked or climbed. There are lots of places around Enchanted rock to hike and dogs love it! Go in the cooler weather in winter to avoid the rattle snakes! Here is a review from the DogTipper dog travel experts – http://www.dogtravelexperts.com/postcards/enchanted-rock-state-natural-area-fredericksburg-texas.

Another place to visit in the Texas Hill Country includes the River Walkway in San Marcos. You can almost always see people with their dogs swimming there… maybe not in winter months, but winter in Texas is very short. The Riverwalk in San Antionio is great too, although it is not really a place to swim, but a place to shop. Walk the Riverwalk in San Antionio, then sit down at an outdoor cafe for a bite to eat. The Alamo, too, is off the Riverwalk, but dogs are not allowed. You can see the Alamo very well from the street with your dog, so it would be worth stopping by. GoPetFriendly has done a great review of areas in the Texas Hill Country – http://gopetfriendlyblog.com/pet-friendly-tour-of-texas-hill-country/

I’ve also enjoyed taking my dogs to McKinney Falls State Park in Austin. The park has lots of campsites, trails for hiking and mountain biking, and fishing areas. You can go swimming too and have a wonderful family picnic.

McKinney Falls State Park

A scene from McKinney Falls State Park.

There are many many more places in central Texas to visit. These are just a few of the ones I could think of off the top of my head. Have any of you ever been to central Texas? Tell us about your experience.

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Pet Travel Destination Tuesday – 1

Author: MayaAndPierson
February 12, 2013

MP900178659 Dog & Man Loyalty

Spring is coming soon… just a few weeks away for the official spring equinox. I’m not only excited because of the nicer weather, but also because spring break is coming! I’m not sure what we are going to do yet, but I do know that we will be taking the dogs with us. What are you going to do for spring break? How about visiting somewhere that is pet friendly so that your best friend can come? Here are some pet friendly ideas from our previous posts and from GoPetFriendly.com.

Here is a fun place just for dogs at Lake George, New York: Canine Camp Getaway

We will probably visit Clinton Lake, Kansas, which is a 15 minute drive from home. If you’re in Kansas or western Missouri, stop by and say hi!

Chicago, Illinois was voted one of the top 10 dog friendly cities. Here is a list of all 10 dog friendly cities: Top 10 Pet Friendly Cities

Portland, Oregon is also on the list as one of the top 10 dog friendly cities.

Tampa Bay, Florida has some fun things you can do with your dogs.

So does Colorado Springs.

Sedona, Arizona has a lot of hiking areas that are great for you and your dog.

Sedona, Arizona has a lot of hiking areas that are great for you and your dog.

Years ago, my dog Smokey and I went to Sedona, Arizona. That was the best pet friendly vacation ever!

Barton Creek Greenbelt located near Zilker Park in Austin, Texas.

Barton Creek Greenbelt located near Zilker Park in Austin, Texas.

Austin, Texas also has a lot of pet friendly places to visit. I should know, I used to live there!

Austin is in the Texas Hill Country which is a very beautiful part of Texas. The Hill Country covers a number of cities and towns in central Texas. GoPetFriendly has visited quite a few places in the Hill Country that are dog friendly: Pet Friendly Tour of the Texas Hill Country

How about visiting a pet friendly beach? More specifically, how about taking your dog to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina?

Camping would be a fun thing to do with the dogs. Believe it or not, my husband has never been camping. Hmmm. Here is a pet friendly camp site in North Carolina worth checking out: Four Paws Kingdom

I hope you liked my first edition of Pet Travel Destination Tuesday. I am going to try to do this every Tuesday – the key word being ‘try’. 😉 For the most part, I may only feature one place a week instead of an entire list like today. If you would like to recommend a pet friendly place to visit, please email us at naturebydawn@gmail.com. Feel free to send your recommendation along with a photo of your pets!

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