5 idyllic vacation spots for you AND your furry best friend
By Brandon Gorrell
When I was growing up, it seemed our family dog was more suited to the car than she was to our house. Wherever the family went—whether it was a quick errand to the store or a weeklong drive across three states to spend Christmas with the grandparents—she was always the first one in the car, raring to go. With such an enthusiastic passenger, road trips were always more exciting.
If you’ve got a car-loving dog, consider day-tripping with her in the spacious 2013 Chevrolet Traverse, which offers 116.3 cubic feet of cargo space* (the most in its class) plus full-size third-row seating and best-in-class space behind the third row. Available split-folding rear seats provide even more options for packing in all your cargo and all your family members—regardless of species.
Highway access via Reno, NV; Carson City, NV; and Sacramento, CA
This epic blue-water lake is a great place to bring the “other” member of your family. With pet-friendly lodgings in many of the surrounding towns (try Deerfield Lodge at Heavenly) and cross-country ski areas and beaches that allow your dog to join in on the fun, there are plenty of places to stay and plenty of things to do together. Tour guides at the Truckee River Raft Co. will even let you take Fido river rafting.
Glen Highland Farm
Boasting about 200 acres of rolling meadows, winding trails, a spring-fed pond and abundant wildlife, Glen Highland Farm is an awesome place for both the human and the canine members of your family. The farm’s owners are obviously dog-crazy, but this doesn’t make their Rover-retreat any less fun for humans. They offer group activities, such as an agility course, “disc dog” and hiking through wilderness “well-traversed by dogs.” There is plenty of water for your pooch to paddle around in and, of course, all the other vacationing four-legged friends to play with. The cherry on top of this whole dogtopia is the cabin and cottage lodging on-site. You can also camp.
Dixie National Forest
National parks are, for the most part, not very dog-friendly. Dogs are usually required to stay in the car. Dixie National Forest is one of the few exceptions to this rule. Stretching across 170 miles, the forest includes plenty of beautiful wildlife-filled trails with grand vistas of incredible rock formations—and they’re all dog-friendly. The La Quinta Inn & Suites in Springdale is a great place to stay. It welcomes both you and your dog for a comfortable rest, and it’s just 30 miles from the entrance to the forest.
The Oregon Coast
If you’re in the mood for spectacular beaches, the Oregon Coast is the perfect stretch for you and your pooch. While most beaches here require your dog to be on a 6-foot leash, there are at least a few that don’t. My favorite is Cannon Beach, which allows your pet to run free as long as he or she is responsive to voice commands. On top of that, there are nearly a dozen pet-friendly hotels in the area. Ocean Lodge is a veritable day spa for dogs: There’s a dog wash on the front lawn, goodies for dogs at the desk and rooms with select beach access, just for you and your dog.
Wine is not the only thing that Napa Valley offers. Relax with your canine companion in the region’s many small towns and estates. Rutherford’s Round Pond Estate will give you and your dog a tour of the premises, as long as he’s kept on a leash. The city of St. Helena hosts a pet parade during its annual harvest festival in October. And while you’re out touring vineyards on your own, your dog can have a great time at the Dairydell Doggie Dude Ranch in Petaluma.
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*Cargo and load capacity limited by weight and distribution.