Don’t Just Travel with Your Pet, Create Meaningful Memories that will Last a Lifetime

Making the Ordinary Unforgettable - How to Plan a Meaningful, Memorable Trip with Your Pet

Pets play an integral part of our lives. Two-thirds of American households have at least one pet, and 95 percent of Americans who have pets think of them as members of the family. It comes as no surprise that more and more often, Americans are choosing to include their pets in their travel plans. Some pet parents are even centering their travel around their pet in order to create a unique bonding experience and a treasured memory.

“Pets have such a special place in our hearts,” says Gracie White, Marketing Manager of Pet Photo Saver, a photo storage app specifically dedicated to preserving pet photos. “The memories we create with them really are priceless, and we’ve found that people increasingly want to document and preserve them for the future.”

Pet-friendly accommodations, restaurants, and events have increasingly become more plentiful and accessible, making taking a trip with your pet easier than ever before. But if you take your travel plans from ordinary to extraordinary, we have some ideas for making your next trip with your pet special, memorable, and delightful for you both.

Accommodations to remember

A wide number of B&Bs, vacation rentals, and hotels throughout the United States are pet friendly. But some accommodations take the cake when it comes to creating a truly special pet travel experience.

Kimpton Boutique Hotels

When it comes to chain hotels, our pick for a paw-fect stay is Kimpton. You can be sure to have a truly memorable trip at any one of their many locations, no matter what kind of pet you have, or how many pets are in your crew. Kimpton does not restrict pets based on breed, size, number, or even type – their motto is, “If your pet fits through the door, we’ll welcome them in.”  But Kimpton doesn’t stop there – some locations offer incredible pet-inclusive activities, like yappy hours, pet concierge, and pet-friendly wine events. If you truly want to pamper your pooch, some locations even offer pet masseuses.

Atlantis Lodge

If you’re considering a resort stay, we highly recommend Atlantis Lodge in Atlantic Beach, North Carolina. This welcoming lodge has been a pet-friendly beachside haven since it was established in the 1960s. Atlantis welcomes both dogs and cats, making a special trip with your favorite furry sidekick possible. At this establishment, pets are as much valued guests as people are. Dogs are greeted with gourmet treats when they arrive. The lodge features a designated dog park and a pet-friendly beach, and staff will provide your pooches with chaise lounges and umbrellas upon request. The beach even offers a doggy wash station, complete with organic shampoos. Suite rooms feature furnished kitchenettes and walk-in closets, so you’ll be perfectly comfortable on a long stay. If the beach is your happy place, Atlantis is an ideal spot for a memorable trip with your pet.

Mount Baker Lodging

We also need to mention Mount Baker Lodging in Mount Baker, Washington. This establishment features pet-friendly cottages, condos, and executive vacation rental homes, so you can have nearly any kind of lodging experience you’d like. Our favorite pet-friendly feature is access to majestic Mount Baker and the breathtakingly beautiful Snoqualmie National Forest region.  If you and your pooch enjoy hikes through nature and pristine mountain vistas, this is a can’t miss for a memorable vacation.

Memorable destinations

Asheville, North Carolina

Nestled in the vast and beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains, Asheville, NC is at the top of our short list of unforgettable, unique places to visit with your pet. Notably, Asheville is home to the Biltmore Estate, a famed historic luxury home once owned by the Vanderbilts. The home now features artwork, antique, and furniture collections, and is open to the public.  Pets can’t enter the home, but they are welcome in the hundreds of acres of fascinating and exquisitely beautiful trails and gardens that surround the estate. If you’re a foodie, a wine enthusiast, or a music lover, the city of Asheville itself is a perfect place for an unforgettable trip. Not only is it famous for its earthy, laid-back vibe, its vibrant food, wine, and music scene and its wealth of artisans and artists, it’s notably pet friendly, with an abundance of festivals, outdoor cafes, breweries, and cideries that happily welcome four-legged patrons.

Portland, Maine

There’s nothing quite like the storied charm of New England, and the quaint town of Portland, ME is the best possible place to experience it with your pet. This seaside city offers numerous pet-friendly restaurants and breweries, not to mention shopping, and fun activities. Take a walk down the historic waterfront, enjoy the sand and surf on one of the many local dog-friendly beaches, or–if you’re looking for a really unforgettable adventure with your pet, take an island-hopping tour on a pet-friendly ferry.

Huntington Beach, California

On the West Coast, a pet-friendly seaside oasis awaits beach lovers and their four-legged travel companions. Voted as one of California’s most pet-friendly cities, Huntington Beach, CA, loves canine visitors as much as human visitors. The city has a large, centrally located dog park, a designated off-leash dog beach, and any number of pet-friendly eateries. Plus, Huntington Beach frequently hosts a variety of dog-oriented events, including the "Running of the Wieners," “Corgi Beach Day,” and the Surf City Surf Dog Competition. Your pup can even earn surfer status himself with doggie surfing lessons at Good Karma Surf Instruction.

Memorable activities

You don’t have to head to a pet-friendly hot spot to make your trip memorable. Any trip with your pet can be special if you’re willing to think outside the box. Historic or scenic walking tours are a great option in cities and larger towns, especially spooky ones, like the Ghostly Encounters Walking Tour in St. Augustine, FL. Many monuments, botanical gardens, and historical sites are either pet friendly or have pet-friendly areas. Some museums, like the North Carolina Museum of Art in Raleigh, welcome pets on their grounds. If you and your pet love being on the go, indulge in a trolley ride, a kayaking trip, or even a train ride together. With a bit of research and creative thinking, you really can discover fantastic, memorable pet-friendly places and activities anywhere you go.

Capturing special memories

There are endless ways to hold on to your favorite memories from your adventure, but the simplest and most obvious way is right in your pocket – digital photos, taken with your phone. To ensure those prized photos stay safe, we recommend Pet Photo Saver, a combination smart drive and app that allows for easy storage and preservation of pet photos. Downloading pet photos into the app is straightforward and easy, and can be done even without an internet connection. The Pet Photo Saver feature we like most is its unique pet facial recognition photo. The app will scan your photos for your pet’s face, and only download the photos that feature your pet, saving time and ensuring the most important memories are preserved.

“The memories of our pets are essential to so many of us, and these trips mean so much,” says Gracie. “We love providing a way to ensure they’re preserved forever.”   


Need help planning your memorable getaway with your pet? We're happy to help! Contact us at or 919-249-7387.

Photo credit: istock/Kerkez