Are you ready for a summer trip? Whether you’re looking to explore historical cities, enjoy the salty sea breeze, or explore the wilderness in a preserved forest, there are tons of amazing vacation destinations just a few hours away from Chattanooga that are perfect for the whole family – pets included!
Why bother looking for a dog sitter when you can bring your furry friend on the road? Be sure to grab your dog’s suitcase as you prepare to spend some quality time with your pup visiting these top human-friendly and dog-friendly destinations in the Southeast.
Lake Lanier in Georgia
Just an hour away from Atlanta is Lake Lanier, the largest lake in Georgia. The lake is surrounded by parks and campgrounds, many of which are dog friendly. There’s even a dog park at Laurel Park!
When you’re not cruising on a boat (with your pet snuggly wrapped in a life jacket), spend some time exploring the dining and shopping destinations all around the 700 miles of shoreline. The lake also offers golfing and a skate park.
Charleston is easily South Carolina’s most popular destination for travelling dogs. The city is full of free dog parks, many of which boast dog ponds to splash around in. Make sure to call ahead for reservations at Poogan’s Porch, one of the most dog-friendly brunch spots in town, and snap a photo with the iconic Poogan dog statue. Or if you’re looking for a meal by the beach, stop by the airy Lost Dog Cafe for lunch on the patio.
Amicalola Falls State Park
Located in the Chattahoochee National Forest, Amicalola Falls is a 729-foot cascade in the heart of Northern Georgia. The park is filled with family friendly adventures, including ziplines, archery, guided tours, and camping.
You four-legged friend will love traversing the trails and sleeping under the stars at the pet friendly campsites. And if you and your pooch are looking for a more indoorsy accommodation, there a rea a number of pet-friendly cabins available for the night.
This coastal town is perfect for those looking for a chance to view classic Southern architecture, sample fresh seafood cuisine, and engage in the growing art culture of Georgia. Take your pet on a self-guided walking tour of some of Savannah’s most historic neighborhoods, and be sure to stop by Wolf Gang Bakery to grab an artisan dog treat for the road.
Looking to catch some rays and tan on the shore? Panama City is the ideal beach destination for humans and dogs alike. Spend some time strolling the boardwalks and grab lunch at Hook’d Pier Bar & Grill.
After lunch, introduce your dog to the ocean at Pier Park Dog Beach. The waves at this oceanside park are shallow enough to let Fido and the kids run free and enjoy the gently lapping the of the sea.
Barkwells in Asheville North Carolina
Looking for just a cozy getaway? Rent a pet friendly cabin at one of the Barkwells locations in Brevard or Asheville. Each ground is home to several dog-oriented luxury cabins that are perfect for the whole family. While the humans soak in the hot tub or cook up burgers on the grill, pups get to run around the meadow or enclosed yards and swim in the fishing pond. It’s the perfect place for a quaint escape from big city life, and you may even get to see migrating birds and feed the farm animals.
Chattahoochee National Forest
Just outside of Chattanooga near the Georgia-Tennessee border is the Chattahoochee National Forest, a 867,000 acre area of trees, wildlife, and mountains. The forest is filled with all sorts of recreational activities, including camping, picnic areas, trails, and swimming holes.
While hiking the dog-friendly trails, keep an eye out for horseback riders and wild deer. If walking isn’t for you or your pooch, travel in style along in an Off Highway Vehicle trail before cozying up next to each other under the stars.
Of course, going on a trip with your pet requires more than simply picking a destination. It’s in your and your dog’s best interest to come as prepared as possible to make sure your trip goes smoothly. Before you head out, be sure to pack:
- Plenty of dog food,
- Water and food bowls
- Dog blankets and pillows
- The correct length leash and collars
- Doggy waste bags
- Proper dog identification and health records
Remember to take plenty of stops throughout your trip. Flyers should make sure your dog’s kennel is big enough, and also be certain your pet is comfortable flying. If you’re road tripping, make sure to drive a comfortable car or SUV that has enough room for two and four legged passengers. Keep the windows down so the pup can get a whiff of that fresh air, and don’t forget to take lots of pictures !
By: Guest Contributor Lexi Carr