Have you ever wished you could take your dog shopping or maybe to a historical area? How about on a whale watch or for a massage? More and more hotels, tourist spots, and vacation destinations realize that the way to attract more visitors is on the other end of a leash: A dog leash, that is.
In my 20+ years of pet-friendly travel, here are six surprising places that rolled out the welcome mat to both me and my dog. How many of these places have you visited with a dog by your side?
1. Whale Watching
From whale watching to day cruises, more waterways have adopted the pet-welcoming mantra. My dog and I set sail on a whale-watching excursion in Cape Cod on the Dolphin Fleet and had a wonderful, "whale-ful" time.
2. Historic Landmark
Situated on 612 acres, Arlington National Cemetery in the northern part of Virginia that borders Washington, D.C., is the final resting place of more than 300,000 souls. Well-behaved, respectful people and leashed dogs are permitted.
3. Shop Til You Drop
Retail therapy takes on a whole new meaning with a tail-wagger and a credit card. The aptly named Stony Point Fashion Park in Richmond, Virginia boasts over 90 stores, many which allow dogs inside. Get a bargain and shop with your dog: Talk about retail therapy. There is no breed, weight, or size limit and all stores that welcome dogs have a sticker indicating so in their front window. Try a Google search on "dog friendly malls" and see what turns up in your area.
What better way to spend a weekend afternoon than strolling the picturesque grounds of a winery with your dog? From the Finger Lakes to Napa Valley, there are even many resident winery dogs who serve as official greeters when visitors arrive. A search of "pet friendly wineries" yields a bountiful bouquet.
5. Inn with a View (and Massage)
"Would there be a need for our massage services while staying here," the concierge asked me upon check in. When I politely declined, he informed me a doggie masseuse was on premises for our pooch! Inn by the Sea in Cape Elizabeth, Maine, knows what dog-friendly means. The restaurant has a doggie menu, and guests are welcome to dine al fresco with their dog on the outdoor patio. If Fido needs a little rub down after a day at the beach, a pet masseuse is more than happy to service that need.
6. Bone Appetit
From coast to coast, canines are being catered to al fresco style. Many restaurants and outdoor cafes are opening their doors to dogs, as long as they are well-behaved. If you are traveling, call ahead or check the local visitor's bureau to find out what restaurants allow dogs either inside or on their patio.
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