Four dog-friendly vacations to celebrate National Dog Day

Updated August 2021

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Your dog deserves a vacation. Not only are they part of the family, but they’ve been working hard day-in and day-out as your trusted companion, workout buddy, emotional support animal, favorite work-from-home colleague, and personal happiness concierge—they really do it all. With National Dog Day on August 26, what better way to celebrate than having your furry friend in tow for your next getaway?

Dog-friendliness is one of the three most sought-after vacation rental amenities on Vacasa.com, according to our Vacation Rental Search Report. And while there’s no shortage of Vacasa vacation rentals your canine companion will love, select regions are leaders of the pack among traveling dog owners. Looking at 12 months of search data on our website, four locales from the rolling hills of the Texas countryside to the stilt houses of North Carolina’s shores had the highest search volume for homes that welcome four-legged guests.

Read on to find the top destinations—and best pet-friendly vacation rentals—to treat your pup to an epic getaway.

1. New England

Featured Vacasa home: Eaglet Log Home, Franconia, NH

New England has long been a favorite for travelers seeking a scenic respite, but it’s also one of the best places to vacation with dogs. So much so that more than one-third of all searches for New England vacation rentals were for dog-friendly accommodations. With an abundance of outdoor adventure, it’s no surprise this area ranks as top dog. Spend a day with your pup surrounded by the rugged beauty of Acadia National Park in Maine, visit the aptly named Dog Mountain in Vermont, or make a road trip out of it and do it all. Anchor your trip near the Conway Scenic Railroad in New Hampshire for a dog-friendly train ride that covers an epic 60-mile journey through the White Mountains.

2. Texas Hill Country

Featured Vacasa home: Lake Escape, Kingsland, TX

Covering over 10,000 square miles of undulating hills, lush grasslands, and expansive lakes, Texas Hill Country is a dog-owner's dream—and likewise had roughly 35% of guests searching for dog-friendly vacation rentals.

Settle into Fredericksburg as a central hub to explore Texas Hill Country’s numerous dog-friendly state parks. Start your tour at Enchanted Rock State Natural Area, where one of the region’s greatest landmarks is just 20 miles north of the town center. Next, drive west to South Llano River State Park, where you can go down the river in canine-friendly kayaks or canoes. Finally, head to Pedernales Falls State Park, where you’ll find exhilarating dog-friendly hiking and wildlife viewing opportunities. When you’re ready to wind down, you can take in the breathtaking views while sipping Texas Hill Country wines at one of the region’s many pet-friendly wineries.

3. The Outer Banks

Featured Vacasa home: Simplify #1F, Frisco, NC

This string of barrier islands, collectively known as the Outer Banks, stretches nearly 200 miles between mainland North Carolina and the Atlantic Ocean. The region offers a diverse variety of landscapes that playful pups will love to explore—pristine dog-friendly beaches like Duck beach and Kitty Hawk inviting you both for a dip, lush gardens perfect for a serious sniff session, and lofty sand dunes made for digging up hidden treasures. The two-legged travelers will appreciate the area’s variety as well. Visit the famous monument at the Wright Brothers Memorial in Kill Devil Hills while your dog enjoys a nice walk around the park. With a rich history, an array of architectural landmarks, and an unending offering of outdoor adventures at your disposal, OBX is alluring to every member of the family.

4. Oregon Coast

Featured Vacasa home: Boat Basin #1, Oceanside, OR

With the reputation as an adventurer’s playground, Oregon ranks among the top ten most dog-friendly states in America according to Smart Asset’s latest study. The state’s distinctive coastlines, historic towns, and eclectic communities create a desirable destination that offers everything you need in a dog-friendly environment. All 363 miles of the Oregon coastline are accessible to the public, and even better, the majority of beaches are pet-friendly. Go for a drive along roads that hug the coast while you both enjoy the Pacific air in your hair, make a stop for a leisurely game of fetch, or set out into the wild, where coastal forest trails offer a whole new world of scents and sights to explore. At the end of the day, grab a pint on one of the many dog-friendly patios along the beach, like Public Coast or Pelican Brewing, to name just two.

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Hero photo courtesy of Ashley Lamothe

Percentages have been rounded to the nearest whole number.

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