Americans’ favorite four-legged companions have evolved into a multi-billion dollar industry, as hotels and businesses throughout the world seem to be rolling out the red carpet for pet guests. Travelocity(R) travel insiders report that hotels in particular throughout the U.S. and abroad are cashing in by catering to the four-legged set.
Accommodating this exploding trend, Travelocity has compiled a list of pet-friendly places for travelers who can’t bear the thought of leaving Fido behind as well as a few animal-themed attractions for the wildlife lover.
“Travelocity found that one in four people travel with their pets, showing that this is a big part of the growing travel market,” said Amy Ziff, Travelocity’s editor-at-large. “Travelers are no longer limited to walking their dogs in the backyard or local park. Now the entire country can be their pets’ playground.”
With special menus, a kitty concierge, a doggy translator and more, Travelocity’s editor-at-large Amy Ziff names some of the best hotels for pet lovers and animal experiences in North America.
San Diego, CA: This spot tops the list as a year-round pet lover’s paradise. There are a number of pet friendly hotels, from the boutique Hotel Solamar to the W San Diego, which is part of the chain’s PAW (pets always welcome) practices and has special events like doggie happy hours and menus. But it’s not just the hotels that embrace animals — Sea World, with the legendary Shamu shows, swimming with Dolphins, shark encounters and more, tops the list for animal interaction. The San Diego Zoo’s animal park has a summer Roar N’ Snore overnight program where visitors can sleep in the park for extra access to the animals. There are also numerous pet-friendly beaches, dog-runs, salons, and restaurants.
Boston: Beantown has a reputation for making way for our furry and feathered friends with the Boston-based book Make Way for Ducklings. There are the Swan Boat Tours and the Boston Duck Tours which guarantee a view of the area’s more active feathery friends. Beyond the gardens and the commons, Boston has pet friendly hotels such as the Fairmont Copley plaza with a canine companion named Catie. For more animal sightings, visit the Franklin Park Zoo with gorillas, warthogs, Cotswald sheep, Pilgrim geese and more. Zoo details: http://www.zoonewengland.com/.
Chicago: It’s home to the Shedd Aquarium, the world’s largest indoor aquarium featuring Beluga Whales, Black Piranha and Leafy Dragons. It opened in 1930 and added the Oceanarium in 1991, nearly doubling its size. Enjoy a stay at the Hotel Monaco and partake in the Guppy Love program, which makes a Goldfish every guest’s companion for the duration of their stay. Or, consider a Canine cruise for dogs and their people, operating Sunday mornings June - September through Mercury skyline cruises at www.mercuryskylinecruiseline.com. Walk along Magnificent Mile, Lakefront Trail, or the Riverwalk Gateway to learn the city’s history.
Denver & The Mountains: Though the mile high city and surrounding mountains are welcoming to visitors of all kinds, remember to keep pets hydrated at high altitudes. The Monaco hotels in Denver have a line of pet paw-licies that detail special pet services from gourmet canine cuisine to massages and pet-sitting. The Teatro will serve pets food in a personally-monogrammed dish and walk them as needed. When in the mountains, try spotting elk, moose, deer, coyotes, cougars, black bear, hawks and more.
Miami / Ft. Lauderdale: Miami’s SoBe catwalk is full of pooch pride. Dine at the News Cafe with your furry friend or window shop. The Ritz-Carlton, Royal Palm and the Aqua welcome pets as well. Broward county, the Greater Fort Lauderdale area, boasts more than 70 pet-friendly hotels, numerous parks and recreation areas and even restaurants that cater to pets. For pet R&R, check them into the Camp Canine Country Club & Spa in Ft. Lauderdale or the Tail End Pet Resort & Spa in Davie. Pets dine on gourmet fare from Bone Appetit in Ft. Lauderdale or Three Dog Bakery in Plantation. There is even canine couture found at Tea Cups in Hollywood.
New York City: Home to the most notorious of dog shows, the city is over-run with dog lovers each winter for Westminster. From Central Park to Battery Park and Hudson River Park to Washington Square Park, dog runs are as common as play grounds in Manhattan. Visit www.urbanhound.com for the low-down on playing with pets in the city. Visit the famous Central Park zoo featured in Madagascar and the bigger Bronx Zoo as well. Hotels like 70 Park, the Muse, the Affinia 50 (and all other 8 Affinia properties in Manhattan) as well as the five W hotels all welcome pets. The Affinia hotels run a Jet Set Pet program with a special welcome and extensive list of services whereas the W’s offer signature programs including robes (for you and your pet), treats, and a Where-to-Woof guide of dog parks, groomers and pet boutiques.
San Francisco: Take pets to the Golden Gate Park Dog Run, Mountain Lake Park or the Presidio. Even enjoy a jog at Baker Beach, Fort Funston or Ocean Beach — just be aware of the strictly enforced leash laws. Visitors and their pets can hop on and off the public transport while seeing the sites. Numerous local hotels such as the W San Francisco and the Kimpton hotels are pet friendly. Perhaps the most notable treatment is at the Fairmont where guests can sign up for the Doggy Translator which enhances pet communication.
Puerto Rico & Vieques: These destinations are a diver’s delight — for lovers of the deep blue ocean and all of the creatures beneath the water. Not only does the Caribbean offer coral reefs and brilliant fish, they have bioluminescent bays for nighttime dives as well. Bays can be brimming with phosphorescent single-cell animals that glow in the water when they are agitated or moved. Witness the phenomenon from two bays in Puerto Rico: Fajardo and Guarnica. In Vieques, the healthiest of the bio bays in the Caribbean is Mosquito Bay. Stay at Puerto Rico’s Normandie House.
Washington, DC: Even our nation’s capital welcomes pets. The White House has a history with animals from Calvin Coolidge’s pet raccoon that was purportedly walked on a leash to Woodrow Wilson’s herd of sheep. There have been gifts as outlandish as a herd of elephants and tiger cubs. So, it should come as no surprise that the Mall is a two-mile long playground for pets (although no pets are allowed IN the monuments). The city’s National Zoo is a great place to visit more than 2,400 kinds of animals. The city has numerous pet-friendly hotels including the Fairmont, Hotel Palomar, The Topaz, The Rouge, the Monaco and more.
Vancouver: Rover can roam the stunning city of Vancouver and enjoy many of the parks — even off leash! Local dog lovers have united to develop the Vancouver Dog Owners’ Association Web site with useful information including where and when to take pets to the park and which are leash free. Also check out the Doggy Style Deli on Denman Street specializing in a dog diet akin to “raw food.” Dine in or take out with meals that range from $2.50 - $6. There are many pet-friendly hotels including the Fairmont, The Delta Vancouver, The Sutton and the Metroplitan. At the Pacific Palisades Hotel, the V.I.Pets program welcomes dogs for free and offer biscuits, a Frisbee, pick-up bags, dog bowls and plenty of places to take pooches.
Even if Fido can’t come along, some great animal sightings, experiences, and festivals include:
— South Dakota Bear Country (Rapid City, SD)
— Ostrich Festival (Chandler, AZ)
— Camel Racing (Virginia City, NV)
— Sting Ray City (Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands)
— Sail with your pet on Cunard’s QM2
Travelocity’s editor-at-large also has a number of tips for traveling with pets:
— Check with your vet before traveling as it can be stressful to
furry friends. So, make sure it’s OK and they have what they
need (including a letter that documents they are up-to-date on
their shots and vaccinations).
— Be aware that while many hotels welcome pets, some charge
extra. The Fairmont’s fees are from $25-$40 and the W has a
$25 fee and a non-refundable $100 cleaning fee.
— Traveling with pets can be stressful so take care to acclimate
them. Bring items from home to comfort them. Consider Comfort
Zone’s spray & diffusers, for more information visit
— If flying with a pet, make reservations in advance and get an
— For U.S. dog parks, visit
— For pet forecasts, including the best time for walks, visit
For more information visit: www.travelocity.com/animals.
Travelocity is committed to being the traveler’s champion — before, during and after the trip and guarantees everything about a customer’s booking will be right. If it’s not, Travelocity will work with its partners to make it right, right away. This customer-driven focus, backed by live 24/7 phone support, great prices and powerful shopping technology has made Travelocity the fifth largest travel agency in the U.S. — booking $7.4 billion in travel worldwide in 2005. Based in Southlake, Texas, Travelocity also owns and operates Travelocity Business(SM) and GetThere(R) for corporate travelers, lastminute.com, a leader in European online travel and ZUJI, a leader in Asia-Pacific online travel. Travelocity is owned by Sabre Holdings Corporation (NYSE:TSG), a world leader in travel commerce.