America has a lot of cool businesses that are the backbone of our great nation and many of them have rules like “No Pets Allowed”. Now, who can blame store owners for not wanting dog drool on that $5000 Armani dress, cat scratches on that azure-blue, soft-as-butter $2000 sofa, endless barking in the hair salon, or horse poop in the soda shop? Poor babies, it seems that pets can go no further in their travels than to the end of their own leashes.
Still, one of the greatest things about living in America is freedom, so how about exercising your right to take your pets with you wherever you want to go? Well, perhaps not quite everywhere! But fret not pet-lovers, because believe it or not, there are many very special places all over this great nation happy to welcome your favorite 4-legged friend onto their premises and show them a good old time.
Here are some pet-friendly locations dotted all over the map, where you and Fido (or Kitty for that matter) will be welcomed with open arms, water bowls, and perhaps even a treat. And you may be surprised at which unexpected businesses can be pet friendly, including restaurants, clothing stores, hardware stores and even banks!
For example, aside from the plethora of restaurants with outdoor patio areas that allow dogs to join their owners while they dine, there are quite a few restaurants these days that specialize in catering to dogs as well as humans, at the table, not under it! Take the Bridge Lounge in New Orleans, LA, located right on world-famous Magazine Street, which became well-known for its “Dog Nights” once a week. The restaurant’s walls are covered with photos of dogs and their humans at their table, enjoying handcrafted dinners specially made by the chef, just for them.
As if that’s not enough, dogs that are itching to get out on the dance floor can shake a tail with their owner and be a part of a “doggie dance party”! And it’s great even if you don’t have a dog, because there’s no cover charge to get in, if you bring a dog bone!
But if the dance club scene is not your dog’s style, there are more subtle places you can bring him, like The Bookstore in the Grove, Miami, FL. If you can’t seem to keep your dog’s nose out of a book, this shop will allow him to follow along with you excitedly, as you purchase the latest in Cynthia Baxter's blockbuster series, the Reigning Cats & Dogs Mystery Series.
Yea, right! A furniture store in Portland, OR called “Design within Reach” allows your dog to come in the store with you to help pick out furniture! Not certain if they allow your pet to try out that mattress, or lounge in that easy chair though. But they do offer dog biscuits to their canine customers! Now how’s that for giving a dog a bone!
If you really want to see your pet’s imagination blossom, dress him up and take him to the colorful Kansas City Renaissance Festival in Kansas City, KS, (Weekends only, September 1st - October 14th) a great place to bring your pet for a fun filled day of excitement. Just bring your own bowl and fill it up with water when the excitement and summer heat gets to him.
If you happen to be in the Louisville, KY area and you need a new t-shirt but you don’t want to leave your pet in the car, look no further than Dirty Tease. This hip and edgy t-shirt shop is privately owned and welcomes all pets, feathered and furry alike! The owners even have their own mascot, a parrot that minds the shop while the owners are in the back, frantically grabbing t-shirts out of boxes to be designed. They also provide a bowl of water to anyone that asks!
In Atlanta, GA you can take your dog to the ball game (be sure and take a pass on the peanuts and cracker jacks) where “the Atlanta Braves are a fan of dogs that are a fan of baseball.” Turner Field, home of the Braves, dubs one day during the baseball season as “Bark in the Park Day.” Take note, there must be only one dog per owner - so if you have more than one furry friend, have one of your human friends come along and act as his owner. Tickets are $25, which includes a human ticket and a canine ticket, plus a donation to charity. (The 2012 event took place April 15, but remember, there’s always next year!) And by the way, pretty much every major league baseball team across the country has an event like this, so check out local listings. Your dog will thank you!
Most dogs just love a day at the beach and if you live in, or are visiting North Florida a day at the beach can be just about everyday. Home Depot in Destin, FL makes it easy for you and your dog to satisfy your home improvement needs without sacrificing your pet’s beach time. As long as your dog is on a leash, he can accompany you through the aisles while you pick out which drill would be best to install his new doggie door. Or repair the mahogany door frame he just destroyed. Or replace the carpet he turned into a toilet. Or.....you know what I mean.
Like us, all dogs love to indulge in the sweet things in life which is why, “In 1989, three dogs, two guys, and one 59 cent biscuit cutter joined forces to create Three Dog Bakery. As a result, furry friends everywhere can enjoy premium, oven baked, all natural dog food and treats!” There are now many Three Dog Bakeries all over this great nation of ours, plus Canada and Hong Kong (how’s that for random?)! Now you can get freshly made organic treats for your dog and even your cat, especially if you have three cats!
I’m sure at this point you’re thinking, “Hey, what about cats?” Well, New York City sure didn’t forget about our feline friends! The Meow Mix Cafe, was once just a “pop-up” store located at 5th Ave & 42nd St. used as a marketing tool for Meow Mix. The Meow Mix Cafe was open for one week only, to promote new cat food flavors including Filet Meow , Ocean Delight, and Cluck Cluck Chicken. While this idea was short lived, it enjoyed overnight success as people and cats alike stormed the doors in hope of getting in o this trendy new hot spot in Downtown Manhattan. Not only could people purchase food for their feline friends, but they could also sit at a table and enjoy a meal of people food as well. Even the very catty Broadway-star Eartha Kitt made an appearance at the grand opening, quoting that it was “The purrrfect place for a cat to be a cat.” Though the original restaurant is gone, there is now talk of creating a franchise so that kitties across the nation can dine in style, just like the big dogs do.
For more awesome places to go and people to see with your pets, check out the posts from fellow pet lovers like yourself at Petsarewelcome.com, including a user description for each post!
Here's a list of some of the most pet friendly cities in America based on the quality and amount of pet friendly resources all around the city.
1. Portland, Oregon - Visit the many dog parks (some off-leash), pet-friendly hotels (try the Red Lion Hotel On The River Jantzen Beach Portland}, and outdoor restaurants throughout the city.
2. Chicago, Illinois – Visit the Navy Pier, dine in elegance, cruise on a pet-friendly tour boat or walk the parks of the city. North Community Bank is pet-friendly--you can bring your dog in, make a transaction and they'll give your pup a treat! They also sponsor PAWS, a pet charity. about 10 locations around Chicago, mainly on the northside.
3. San Diego, California – The country’s best dog beaches and trails and world class pet-friendly shopping centers.
4. Seattle, Washington – Take public transportation with your leashed dog. Many pet-friendly venues in a dog-friendly city.
5. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania – Get a famous cheese steak. See historic early American sites and stay in a downtown luxurious hotel with your dog.
6. Minneapolis, Minnesota – Great hiking trails and parks, pet-friendly dining. A pet-friendly atmosphere throughout.
7. Austin, Texas – Dog-Friendly parks. Outdoor cafes. Take tours and see the sites. See the Zilker Gardens and the Congress Street bats.
8. Alexandria, Virginia/ Washington D.C. – See the capital’s sites, walk in charming Old Town, and the best part about Alexandria for dogs is the Potomac river and the Dog Cruise that floats along it! Yes I said it! A dog cruise where people and dogs alike can enjoy a cool breeze and soothing effects of the water while cruising down the Potomac River and at the same time marvel over the historic sites of Washington D.C.
9. New York, New York – Luxury hotels welcome dogs, Central park beckons, off-leash parks everywhere. Shop the famous stores with your dog like Banana Republic, The Gap, and Bloomingdales. You and your dog can also be a part of the morning news if you stand in from of the NBC or CBS windows in Rockefeller Plaza while they tape the live recordings.
10. Indianapolis, Indiana – Many historical sites, Nature preserves, trails and parks. Many of the cities tourist sites can be viewed with a dog.