2017’s Most Pet-Friendly U.S. Vacation Destinations
Traveling with pets can be a hassle. Pet parents are reluctant to leave their furbabies behind when they go on vacation, but it requires an extra layer of vacation planning to research pet-friendly accommodations and activities - especially when traveling to a big city.
The good news is that cities in the United States have become increasingly pet-friendly. Travelers are experiencing new cities with their pet in tow while exploring pet-friendly restaurants and cafes, parks, beaches, hiking trails, and more. RewardExpert set out to determine which of America’s biggest cities are the most welcoming and accommodating for the whole family, including Fido.
We compared 53 of the largest metropolises in the United States and evaluated them on ten key metrics broken down into three categories: Pet Needs, Pet Recreation, and City Profile. Using this data we determined a full ranking of the the most pet-friendly cities in the country.
Top 5 Big Cities to Visit with Pets
Tampa comes in as the number one most pet-friendly city in 2017. Tampa has more pet-friendly hotels per capita than any of the other cities we analyzed. According to RewardExpert’s findings, there are 32 hotels that allow dogs per hundred thousand residents. Additionally, Tampa boasts 50 dog parks, which means travelers won’t have any trouble discovering fun activities to do with their pets.
84.3San Francisco, CA
Surf’s up for pets! The greater San Francisco area tops our list in the Pet Recreation category. Travelers can choose from one of 15 dog-friendly beaches in the Bay Area to let their four-legged best friends swim in the sun. San Francisco is ranked third of all cities for weather; the city receives 153 pleasant days a year on average.
Miami comes in a third overall, but it ranks at the top when it comes to what a pet needs. There are more pet stores and veterinarians per capita than any other city we analyzed. RewardExpert discovered that Miami has 75 and 141 pet stores and veterinarians per hundred thousand residents, respectively.
The nation’s capital is number four on our list of the most pet-friendly cities to travel to in the United States. D.C. is solid across the board, offering a wide variety of restaurants and cafes that allow pets, dog-friendly hiking trails, and pet-related events.
Atlanta scored consistently well across each category in our rankings, with the number of veterinarians per capita as a stand out category. While the city lagged behind slightly in the recreation category, it still had a high density of pet related businesses and a high concentration of pet friendly restaurants.
Best Cities for…
Taking a Hike
Go to Pittsburgh to hike with your pet! Pittsburgh has 18 hiking trails per hundred thousand residents, which is greater than any other city in our ranking.
Miami has the most pet friendly restaurants and cafes per capita, reaching over 780. Miami’s 135 days of pleasant weather per year on average will make strolling around and exploring Miami’s bustling culinary scene a great activity to do with your pet.
Portland is a wonderful destination for you and your pet. The city scored consistently well across all ten of our indicators, but particularly shines when comes to green space for you and your furry friend. There are eight dog parks per hundred thousand residents.
According to RewardExpert’s findings, Saint Louis has 81 total pet-inclusive tourist activities. From pet-friendly wineries to sculpture parks, Saint Louis is an incredible city to explore with your furbaby in tow. While you are there you can visit the American Kennel Club Museum of the Dog: a whole museum dedicated to dogs!
Runts of the Litter
According to RewardExpert’s findings, Wichita has only nine pet-friendly restaurants, four dog parks, zero hiking trails, and a low walkability score of 34.3.
Memphis is lacking in things to do with your pets. Memphis and Washington D.C. have similar population sizes, but Memphis has only a third of D.C.’s pet-friendly accommodations and recreation activities.
53El Paso, TX
El Paso ranked last in the Pet Needs and City Profile categories. According to RewardExpert’s findings, El Paso severely lacks pet-friendly accommodations, restaurants, or recreation activities.
|#||City & State||Score||Pet Needs||City Profile||Pet Recreation|
|2||San Francisco, CA|
|7||St. Louis, MO|
|10||San Diego, CA|
|15||Los Angeles, CA|
|17||Virginia Beach, VA|
|19||San Jose, CA|
|22||Corpus Christi, TX|
|23||Kansas City, MO|
|24||New Orleans, LA|
|29||Las Vegas, NV|
|30||New York, NY|
|42||Colorado Springs, CO|
|46||Oklahoma City, OK|
|49||San Antonio, TX|
|53||El Paso, TX|
To help Americans discover which of the biggest U.S. cities are the best to visit with pets in 2017, RewardExpert compared U.S. cities with more than 300,000 residents across three key dimensions: 1) Pet Needs, 2) City Profile, 3) Pet Recreation.
RewardExpert used the U.S. Census definition of a metropolitan area. The Census may include the some of the surrounding area when calculating data relevant to the cities we examined.
We first identified 10 relevant metrics, which are listed below with their corresponding weights. Each metric was given a value between 0 and 100, wherein 100 represents the most favorable conditions for travel and 0 the least.
Finally, we calculated the overall score for each city using the weighted average across all metrics and ranked the cities accordingly.