Without a doubt, pets are family. And dogs especially hold a special place in our heart; that’s why they’re affectionately called “man’s best friend.” So Vacasa, North America’s largest vacation rental company, created a report that uncovered the top pet-friendly vacation rental destinations across the U.S. and polled travelers about how their animals influence trip planning. It also evaluated the benefits that vacation rental homeowners gain by opening their doors to dogs — and their results might surprise you.
Vacasa teamed up with Allison+Partners to survey 1,003 Americans age 18 and older about their travel plans over the next 12 months to learn how important vacationing with Fido really is. Here are the highlights:
- Dogs play a huge role in determining where their owner goes on vacation
- 64% of dog owners plan accommodations for trips specifically so they can bring their pups and 61% choose trip destinations with their dogs in mind.
- Most pet owners are keeping it local this year
- 82% percent are staying in the U.S. for their upcoming trip—likely so their dogs can come along. And 75% are driving to their destination.
- Vacation rentals are the pet-friendliest accommodation option
- Pet owners consider vacation homes to be the most pet-friendly (61%) and more are inclined to bring their animals along if they are staying at a vacation rental (58%). The most desired feature in a pet-friendly accommodation is a designated area for their dog to go outside and play (32%).
- People who treat their animals like family have a laid-back travel style
- 54% report a “go with the flow” travel style and would like their vacations to be as relaxing as possible. They plan to hike (44%), play fetch or hang at a nearby park (41%) and visit the ocean or a lake (40%) while spending time with their pets on vacation.
- Travelers with pups are willing to shell out more cash to make their furry best friend happy
- 53% of dog owners would pay an extra $100 or more to ensure pet-friendly accommodations, versus only 29% of cat owners.
To identify the most coveted dog-friendly vacation rental destinations, we used a comprehensive set of Vacasa and partner data to rank our U.S. markets by their percentage of short-term rentals that allow pets. Then, we filtered the list to uncover destinations where pet-friendly units have historically earned more positive reviews than non-pet-friendly homes. Finally, we factored in areas where pet-friendly units have garnered more bookings compared to non-pet-friendly rentals over the last 12 months. Most of the destinations on our list are away from the hustle and bustle of city life, and close to large bodies of water that are sure to have tails wagging.
10 Dog-Friendliest Vacation Rental Destinations
- Port St. Joe, FL: More than 70% of travelers are headed to the coast this summer, and all but one of Port St. Joe’s beaches are dog-friendly.
- Morganton, GA: This tiny town is a hidden gem surrounded by the Chattahoochee National Forest, where dogs can run freely and join their owners on fishing or boating excursions.
- Lake Arrowhead, CA: A striking waterfront town in the heart of the San Bernardino National Forest that is close to shopping, dining and plenty of outdoor adventure for dogs and humans alike.
- Sea Ranch, CA: The place for unique architecture and ocean views, dogs and owners can enjoy plenty of secluded beaches and 40 miles of hiking trails.
- Arnold, CA: A mountain town close to White Pines Lake that also offers several pet-friendly restaurants, including a local favorite appropriately named Dogwood Seasonal Cuisine.
- Neskowin, OR: This quaint retreat on the Oregon Coast lets dogs and owners to freely run, eat and take in the sights.
- Bethel, ME: A blend of serene forests and vast farmland, this laid-back town is a peaceful getaway filled with many attractions.
- South Padre Island, TX: Buzzing with more activity, this place is best for dogs that don’t mind the occasional crowd, birdwatching (or chasing) and wakeboarding.
- Panama City Beach, FL: Another lively destination with miles of white-sand beaches, a popular outdoor shopping center and plenty of pet-friendly restaurants.
- South Lake Tahoe, CA: A pup’s paradise with the Bijou Dog Park and weeklong retreats at Wild Blue Dog Camp in September, this place has lots of dog-specialty shops and is in close proximity to the wilderness.
Content written by Vacasa and photo courtesy of Bryce LaDuc and Callie Sharp