With summer now here, getting outside with our little furry friends is a must! Whether that is a hike in the mountains or a relaxing day on the lake, summer is a great time to soak in the sun. Vacationing is going to be a bit different this summer, so being aware of where you’re going and being prepared with the proper resources is extremely important. Thus, for ideas on where to go this summer, check out this list of the best summer vacation spots for both you and your best friend. 

Lake Tahoe, CA

Residing on the California and Nevada border is the beautiful Lake Tahoe. The 192 square mile lake consists of many dog-friendly beaches with beautiful views. Kiva Beach on South Lake and Zephyr Cove on the North End are both great places for you and your buddy to get some much-needed summer relaxation. Along with the beaches, Lake Tahoe has some scenic dog-friendly hiking trails to explore! The Rubicon Trail in South Lake is one of the very best. The 16.4-mile trail sits along the lakeside making it a truly spectacular sight to see. Make sure to have your

dog on a leash! The Brewery at Lake Tahoe is a great place to grab a bite and is dog friendly too! With a variety of different beers and food, The Brewery at Lake Tahoe is the perfect place to lay back and forget the time. 

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Lake Tahoe

Lake Placid, NY

Located in New York State’s Adirondack Mountains is the village of Lake Placid. A former venue for the Winter Olympics, Lake Placid has many breath-taking locations for both you and your dog to explore. Mirror Lake is a must-see for anyone who visits. Fit with a dog-friendly beach and a nice 2.7-mile paved trail, Mirror Lake has all the aspects for making a great day happen. The Adirondack Mountains boast plenty of dog-friendly hiking trails, but the best one’s end with a swimming hole! Fit with waterfront sites and amenities, Owen, Copperas, and Winch Ponds give a pleasant ending to nice hikes! After a long day at Mirror Lake or the ponds, Emma’s Lake Placid Creamery is a perfect stop for a snack. With ice cream available for both you and your dog, what more could you ask for!

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Mirror Lake 

Bend, OR

The central Oregon based town provides more than enough for the average pet owner. Located on the Deschutes River and the Cascade Mountains to the west, there is an abundance of places to go with your furry friend. With 51 miles of trails within the city limits, the hiking won’t stop! There are 13 off-leash areas for your dog to free roam as well. A nice walk to take with your pet would be the Deschutes River Trail. It may get pretty crowded during the summertime, but it is worth it. With rock gardens along the way and the river right beside you, it is a beautiful hike. Ending at the Benham falls overlook is a very pleasant surprise too! Bend has plenty of pet-friendly restaurants and breweries to relax at as well. Deschutes Brewery and McMenamins at Old St. Francis are great choices to go and stop by! Bend is also rumored to have the highest per capita dog population in the world, with an estimated 49 percent of residents owning dogs! So, you and your little friend may meet some new companions along the journey! 

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Deschutes River

Colorado Springs, CO

Located south of Denver is Colorado Springs. Since it is right on the foot of the Rocky Mountains, there are plenty of hiking trails with scenic views for both you and your pet to take in. Palmer Park provides trails that are leash-free so your furry friend can go explore on and off-trail! Colorado Springs also offers other attractions that allow leashed pets such as Garden of the Gods, the Manitou Cliff Dwelling, and the Cripple Creek District Museum. The Garden of the Gods is one you won’t want to miss as it is a registered National Natural Landmark. The 300-foot sandstone rock formations with snow-capped mountains backgrounding it, this is truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

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Garden of the Gods

Bozeman, MT

Located in southern Montana sits the city of Bozeman. This city is perfect for the outdoor lover so bring your pet along for the journey! Bozeman is another city that is located in the Rocky Mountains, so that means plenty of great hiking trails! Drinking Horse Mountain Trail and M Trail are two of the best trails for you and your furry friend. They are both around 2 miles and feature beautiful views. Gallatin Regional Park is also a great place to visit with your pet while in Bozeman. With features such as an off-leash dog park, swimming area, and trails, you and your pet will have plenty of activities to do! After a long day, stop by either Montana Ale Works or Bozeman Brewing to relax and have a drink. Dogs are welcome at both locations! 

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Fort Myers, FL

If you are looking for a warm place to go with your four-legged friend, Fort Myers is the place to go. Located in southwest Florida, you’ll be right on the water with plenty of activities to do with your pet. You can take a stroll down John Yarbrough Linear Park Trail if you are looking for a nice relaxing hike. Make a trip to Lakes Regional Park to experience some nice trails, the lake, and gardens. You can also make a stop by Bonita Beach Dog Park. This is an off-leash dog park where your dog can play in the sand or frolic in the calm, warm water. There are also plenty of dog-friendly restaurants such as Bonita Bill’s Waterfront Café and LaMotta’s Italian Restaurant and Pizzeria. 

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Fort Myers

Austin, TX

Austin is a different destination compared to the rest of these, but just as great for you and your pet. With tons of parks everywhere, the need for hiking trails is obsolete. Red Bud Isle Park is a unique island park that allows you and your dog to splash in the water! It is also off-leash so you can chill and relax while your dog has some fun. You can also check out Barton Creek Greenbelt or Zilker Metropolitan Park if you’re looking for a more traditional park. You and your furry friend can also check out The Domain, a downtown shopping neighborhood that is almost all dog-friendly! Austin is a very lively city as well, so there are sometimes free or cheap festivals, concerts, or entertainment that you and your dog can enjoy! 

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