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Dog-Friendly Escapes with a Global Twist: U.S. and Canada

Dreaming of whisking away on a global adventure but prefer to stay closer to home, with your best friend in tow? Our curated guide, “Dog-Friendly Escapes with a Global Twist: U.S. and Canada,” invites you to get a taste of international destinations without stepping foot outside North America.

We’ve carefully selected 6 destinations, each providing a glimpse into a foreign land. From Solvang, California’s quaint Danish avenues to the rich Spanish heritage of St. Augustine, Florida, these locations bring the essence of an overseas adventure to you and your pet, all within the comfort of familiar surroundings.

While some of these locales beckon for an extended stay to fully soak in their unique cultures and landscapes, others are perfect for a short, refreshing weekend or day trip. Together, they showcase the diverse beauty and history available just a drive away.

For more dog friendly vacation ideas, visit our posts on Dog Friendly Vacations in the USA, Dog Friendly Family Vacations in the U.S.A. and Dog Friendly Island Vacation Ideas in the USA

Dog-Friendly Escapes with a Global Twist: U.S. and Canada - title pic with photo of places in the US.

Dog-Friendly Escapes with a Global Twist in the U.S.

Before visiting any of the places listed here, please confirm their dog friendly policies, as information can change without notice.

Solvang California - Danish style building with windmill in background

1. Solvang, California: A Danish Delight

Nestled in the heart of California’s Santa Ynez Valley, Solvang is a quaint village that will transport you and your four-legged friend to the charming countryside of Denmark.

Founded by Danish settlers in the early 20th century, this unique town is renowned for its authentic Danish architecture, windmills, and bakeries. Walking through Solvang feels like stepping into a fairy tale, with its half-timbered buildings, horse-drawn wagons, and vibrant flower baskets hanging from lampposts.

Dog-Friendly Activities:

  • Explore Danish Heritage: Take a leisurely stroll through Solvang’s picturesque streets to admire the Danish-themed architecture and several windmills.
  • Go Shopping: Several stores in the area are dog friendly. You can find a list of them at
  • Dining Alfresco: Solvang boasts a variety of restaurants and cafes featuring outdoor patios where dogs are welcomed. Enjoy a taste of Denmark with traditional dishes like smørrebrød (open-faced sandwiches) or aebleskiver (Danish pancakes) as your pup relaxes by your side. You can find a list of dog friendly restaurants at the link above.
  • Wineries: Spend some time at the many dog friendly Wineries and tasting rooms
Dog Friendly Escapes in St Augustine, Florida, - Green fountain with Spanish style building in background

2. St. Augustine, Florida: A Spanish Time Capsule

St. Augustine is nestled on the northeastern coast of Florida. This city holds the prestigious title of the oldest city in the United States. Established in 1565 by Spanish explorers, this enchanting city is a living museum brimming with rich Spanish colonial history. Its cobblestone streets, historic landmarks, and captivating stories from the past transport visitors back to a time when Spanish influence was spreading across the New World.

Dog-Friendly Activities:

  • Historic Streets: Walking through St. Augustine is like wandering through the pages of a history book. The city welcomes dogs on its scenic walks, allowing you and your furry friend to explore the historic district’s ancient beauty together.
  • Castillo de San Marcos: While pets aren’t allowed inside the fortress itself, the expansive grounds surrounding this iconic limestone structure are pet-friendly. It’s a perfect spot for a leisurely stroll, offering panoramic views of the Matanzas River and a glimpse into America’s colonial past.
  • Go to the Beach: Many of the beaches in St. Augustine are dog friendly with the exception of Anastasia State Park. Dogs must remain on a leash.
  • Dining with Your Dog: The city’s culinary scene embraces pet owners, offering numerous restaurants with outdoor seating that welcome dogs. Enjoy a meal at The Floridian for some of the best locally-sourced Southern cuisine or grab a seat at Harry’s Seafood Bar and Grille, where you can dine under the stars in their beautiful courtyard.

For a list of dog-friendly hotels, restaurants, bars and attractions go to Visit St. Augustine

Dog Friendly Escapes - Bavarian Village in Leavenworth, Washington
Bavarian Village in Leavenworth, Washington

3. Leavenworth, Washington: Bavarian Charm in the Cascades

Leavenworth, Washington, is a picturesque town that has undergone a remarkable transformation, reinventing itself as a Bavarian village nestled in the Cascade Mountains. This unique destination offers visitors a slice of German culture with its Alpine-style buildings, authentic German restaurants, and year-round festivals that celebrate Bavarian traditions.

The town’s backdrop of snow-capped mountains and forested hillsides enhances its European charm, making it a captivating escape within the Pacific Northwest.

Dog-Friendly Activities:

  • Explore the Outdoors: Leavenworth is surrounded by natural beauty, offering numerous hiking trails suitable for all skill levels. Dogs are welcome to join their owners on these scenic routes, providing ample opportunities for exercise and exploration.
  • Waterfront Parks: The Wenatchee River runs through Leavenworth, and the town’s waterfront parks are perfect for leisurely walks with your dog. These areas offer stunning views and a peaceful environment to enjoy with your pet.
  • Oktoberfest Celebrations: While pets may not be allowed in the beer tents, Leavenworth’s Oktoberfest is a bustling time with activities and decorations throughout the town. You and your dog can soak in the festive atmosphere on the streets, adorned with Bavarian flags and lively music.
  • Visit Doghaus Brewery: A pint-sized craft brewery, that lays claim to the smallest bar in the state. They are pet-friendly inside.
Tarpon Springs Florida, with sailboat and sea sponges hanging from the sail.

4. Tarpon Springs, Florida: A Greek Odyssey

Located just 30 minutes north of Clearwater, Florida, Tarpon Springs, is a coastal town that offers a unique slice of Greek culture in the United States. Known for its rich history in sponge diving, this charming community boasts the highest percentage of Greek Americans in the country, making it a vibrant epicenter of Greek heritage, cuisine, and traditions outside of Greece itself.

The town’s docks are lined with sponge boats, shops selling natural sponges and Greek products, and restaurants offering authentic Mediterranean fare, creating an ambiance that’s reminiscent of a seaside village in Greece.

Dog-Friendly Activities:

  • Stroll Along the Sponge Docks: Walk with your dog down Dodecanese Boulevard to explore the famous Sponge Docks. Many of the outdoor areas and some shops welcome dogs, allowing you to enjoy the sights and sounds of this unique maritime district together.
  • Dine at Greek Restaurants with Outdoor Seating: Experience authentic Greek cuisine at one of the many restaurants featuring outdoor patios where dogs are welcome. Places like Hellas Restaurant and Bakery offer delicious Greek dishes that you can savor while your dog relaxes by your side outside.
Holland Michigan Tulip Gardens

5. Holland, Michigan: Dutch Wonders

Holland, Michigan, is a charming town that celebrates its Dutch heritage with vibrant attractions and cultural festivities. From the iconic DeZwaan Windmill to the colorful spectacle of the Tulip Time Festival, Holland offers a unique blend of Dutch-inspired experiences in the heart of the Midwest.

Dog-Friendly Activities:

  • Windmill Island Gardens: A must-visit attraction is Windmill Island Gardens, home to DeZwaan, the only authentic Dutch windmill operating in the U.S. While the interior of the windmill itself may not accommodate pets, the expansive gardens surrounding it are a fantastic place for dogs and their owners to explore. The winding paths and open spaces provide ample room for a leisurely walk amidst the beauty of blooming flowers.
  • Exploring Downtown’s Pet-Friendly Spaces: Downtown Holland is known for its welcoming atmosphere and pet-friendly spaces. Many shops and outdoor eateries invite dogs and their owners to enjoy the quaint downtown area together. Just look for the paw print decal on doors and windows to discover pet friendly establishments.
  • Nelis’ Dutch Village: Step back into the Netherlands of over 100 years ago, where costumed dancers perform in wooden shoes. Then wander along the canals to discover Dutch shops, old world amusements and traditional treats at Nelis’ Dutch Village.
  • For more dog friendly fun in Holland, look through their online visitors guide for the paw print that indicated pet friendly activities.

Dog-Friendly Escapes with a Global Twist in Canada

Dog-Friendly-Escapes- Old town square in Old Quebec City

6. Quebec City, Quebec: A Stroll through Time

Quebec City, a French-speaking city, with fortified walls and cobblestone streets, stands as a gateway to the past, offering a glimpse into a charming European city nestled within Canada. This historic city, one of North America’s oldest and most beautiful, is celebrated for its well-preserved architecture, vibrant culture, and the warm welcome it extends to furry visitors. The combination of European flair and the picturesque landscapes of the St. Lawrence River make Quebec City a memorable destination.

Walking through Old Quebec:

Old Quebec, a UNESCO World Heritage treasure, is the heart of the city’s historical charm. As you wander through its narrow lanes with your dog, you’ll discover centuries-old buildings, lively squares, and hidden courtyards. The area’s European vibe is palpable, from the majestic Château Frontenac perched above the city to the quaint shops and art galleries that line the streets. Many of the outdoor cafes and restaurants in this area welcome dogs, allowing you to enjoy a meal together while soaking in the ambiance.

Dog-Friendly Activities:

  • Plains of Abraham: These vast, historic battlefields turned urban park offer sprawling green spaces for you and your dog to explore. The Plains of Abraham are ideal for a leisurely stroll, a picnic, or simply lounging on the grass with stunning views of the city and river. It’s a place where history and tranquility merge, providing a serene escape within the city.
  • Promenade Samuel-De Champlain: This expansive park along the banks of the St. Lawrence River features walking and cycling paths that are perfect for a scenic jaunt with your pup. With its thematic gardens, water features, and observation points, the promenade offers a refreshing waterfront experience.
  • Ferry Ride to Lévis: For a different perspective of Quebec City, take a dog-friendly ferry ride across the St. Lawrence River to Lévis. The short trip offers panoramic views of the city skyline and the imposing Château Frontenac, making for a memorable excursion.
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As we wrap up our journey through “Dog-Friendly Escapes with a Global Twist: U.S. and Canada,” it’s clear that you don’t need to cross oceans to give yourself and your furry friend a taste of the world. From the quaint Danish streets of Solvang, California, to the historic charm of Quebec City, our curated list showcases destinations that offer a unique blend of cultural immersion, adventure, and pet-friendly hospitality.