Bring your dog because he’d bring you…asshole.
When we leave home, we always have a hard time parting with our pup (or cat, bird or ghost). A week can feel like a long timeout with man's best friend -- which is precisely why hotels around the country are boosting their pet-friendly programs. We found five prime vacation spots for you and Fido to growl at, though we find it unimaginative that you actually named your dog Fido.
Where to Visit: Jacksonville, FL
Take Fido to: Dog Wood Park, which offers 25 acres of fenced play areas, swimming pools, Frisbee fields, a sand pile for digging and park-provided toys so you needn't bring any sloppy squeakies with you. The park keeps a special area for smaller dogs, and a kid-friendly one as well so you don't need to worry about your Great Dane murdering that kid who tried to pet his eyeball. While there are fees for these perks--an annual membership here sets you back $289--day passes are available. (Click here for details.)
Stay At: One Ocean Resort and Spa, a contemporary hotel located directly on the beach and with one of the best couples-friendly spas in the States. Its modern decor, splashy colors and prime location make this hotel one of the chicest -- albeit priciest -- options in Jacksonville. It’s so classy your dog (and you) will regret farting.
Cost for Fido: $75 per day
Where to Visit: New York City, NY
Take Fido to: Tompkins Square Park Dog Run, one of New York's oldest dog parks. Since the park's recent renovation, there are a ton of modern offerings, including separate runs for large and small pooches, three pools to take a dip in, and tons of seating for owners looking to take a break and watch tattooed meth heads dig through garbage cans. Everything's free, and it's open from 6 a.m. till midnight. After midnight, the rats and C.H.U.D.s take over. Seriously, they do.
Stay At: The Cooper Square Hotel, in the Lower East Side section of the city. Not only is this chic spot super-close to the park, but it also rolls out a veritable red carpet for your dog -- upon arrival, Fido is welcomed with a bed, a bowl and some freshly prepared "cuisine" from the hotel's chef.
Cost for Fido: Free!
Where to Visit: Fountain Hills (Phoenix), AZ
Take Fido to: Desert Vista Off-Leash Park in Fort McDowell , which offers over 12 acres for romping, running and rock climbing. Don't worry, though -- the area is fully fenced with a multi-fountain watering station and tons of structures built to increase the amount of shade. Several annual pooch festivals are held here, but we recommend going during the Spring -- when the Phoenix weather is better than sex.
Stay At: Radisson Fort McDowell Resort and Casino, a luxury spot that's packed with fun features for the humans on your trip, including a casino, two 18-hole golf courses, live events, restaurants, lounges, and a heated pool. Views of the surrounding mountains and national park are unreal, and the Native-American decor adds a nice extra touch. Rooms are big, too, so even a Mastiff can feel right at home here.
Cost for Fido: $150 deposit, of which $100 is refundable upon check-out.
Where to Visit: Carmel, CA
Take Fido to: Anywhere in this famous-for-loving-dogs town. For pun fans, the Fountain of Woof located at the Carmel Plaza Shopping Center is a must. Many of the stores themselves cater to the pups and their owners. You can also check out Carmel City Beach, where dogs can run around off-leash.
Stay At: Tradewinds Carmel for their spacious, airy rooms and overall Zen vibe. The rooms are decorated with Asian prints, bamboo stalks, and orchids. Super Zen, right? Bathrooms are huge, breakfast is free (so is the Wi-Fi and the parking), and there's a tranquil fire pit to sit around by night. And since the hotel is steps from the Shopping Center, Poochy will never be without a friend -- or food -- nearby.
Cost for Fido: $25 per day
Where to Visit: Santa Barbara, CA
Take Fido to: Camp Canine, the kingdom of all kennels and doggie day cares. Buy your dog the Roscoe's Retreat package for the ultimate in pup pampering, which includes a private indoor suite with a spacious bed and toys, play time at Camp Run-A-Muk (with the camp's regulars), special turndown service (with a bonus treat, of course), and a special nap-time belly rub that'll put your dog right out. Wait. So if the dog wants a nap-time belly rub, that’s fine, but when we try to order one at the Super 8, suddenly we’re the weirdoes. There are spa services, like a blueberry facial, available for additional fees, too. And again, not available for humans at the Super 8.
Stay At: Bacara Resort and Spa, where the gym and spa are top-notch. The beautiful coastal setting doesn't hurt if you're trying to make the trip romantic, as does the poolside drink service and fine dining (which of course is organic). Though it's expensive -- even after you check in -- many guests claim the splurge was well worth their while.
Cost for Fido: $150, charged at checkout. Note that dogs over 75 lbs. are not permitted at the resort. Sorry, Sir Chubbsly, our critically obese schnauzer.