city with service dogs

Top 10 Cities to Visit with Your Service Dog

When you have a service dog, there's an extra element of planning that goes into a vacation. Between pet needs, recreation, dog-friendly hotels and restaurants, and good weather, you want to make sure that man's best friend is as comfortable on your trip as you are. While the U.S. has excellent places to visit, these 10 cities, in particular, are ideal to visit with your service dog.

City Criteria

These cities were evaluated based on pet needs like access to veterinarians and pet stores as well as pet recreation areas provided by dog-friendly beaches, trails, and activities. The city profile was also evaluated by walkability, days of sunshine, dog-friendly hotels and restaurants.

1. Scottsdale, AZ

Scottsdale is known for having nearly 300 days of sunshine daily and is an all-around family-friendly destination, even for your furriest member. There are dozens of dog-friendly hotels, six dog parks, nine trails, top-rated emergency vets, and a whopping 117 restaurants that you can bring your dog to. Due to the Arizona heat, this is a great spot to take your service dog from September to April. Sunny days are abundant without unbearable heat.

2. Charleston, SC

Although coming in after Scottsdale, Charleston still ranks above average for U.S. cities with 209 days of sunshine. It's a popular destination for family vacations and weddings because of its southern charm. The outdoor activities and pet-friendly hotels will keep you and your service dog content throughout your trip.

3. Jacksonville, FL

You can never get enough of the Florida sunshine. Jacksonville has 221 days of sunshine and 154 dog-friendly restaurants. You can also take your service dog to get some energy out at the nine dog parks in the area.

4. Salt Lake City, UT
service dog resting in the city

Salt Lake City has some of the best outdoor scenery in the country. Between its snowcapped mountains and canyons, your service dog will love accompanying you on all your excursions. There's also a wide variety of pet-friendly hotels right in downtown SLC along with 12 dog parks nearby.

5. Nashville, TN

Nashville is at the top of the list for best pet-friendly amenities with close to 200 dog-friendly restaurants and countless pet-friendly hotels. Your service dog will also enjoy the six different dog parks and trails that will give you a true peek into the gorgeous Tennessee countryside.

6. Knoxville, TN

Knoxville is considered a hidden gem for most who live near it! The southern hospitality will charm you, and there are dozens of hotels who will welcome both you and your service dog. There are also 149 restaurants in the area and eight dog parks.

7. Virginia Beach, VA

If you're looking for a beach vacation, you're sure to find what you're looking for at Virginia Beach. This city has 213 days of sunshine and numerous dog-friendly establishments for you to cool down after you're at the beach all day.

8. Seattle, WA
service dog shopping in the city

Seattle may not be in the running for days of sunshine per year, but it tops the list when it comes to walkability. Perhaps you already live in a super sunny spot, and you're seeking some variety in your vacation. Seattle already has more dogs than children and can have really pleasant summers! Dogs are permitted on city bus lines, the light rail, ferries, and even seaplanes. With plenty of dog-friendly businesses, keep Seattle on the list.

9. Nantucket, MA

Nantucket ranks as the number one outdoor activity location in the entire country. Your dog will love how many dog-friendly beaches and trails you have access to. However, in terms of local vets and dog parks, the small community doesn't provide quite as many. This is the ideal spot to take a service dog when you're in need of the relaxing outdoors. Rent a dog-friendly beach house and get ready to chill out.

10. Chicago, IL

Another great spot to visit with your service dog in the summertime (not sure you and your pup would want to brave the Chicago winter)! Chicago is a walkable city that loves dogs. Plan your trip to line up with Dog Day with the Chicago White Sox or take your dog to the Montrose Dog Beach. The city also has dozens of dog-friendly hotels for you to stay at right downtown.

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