With the school year ending soon and summer vacations ahead of us, many people will be packing up the car and piling in their pets for some sun and fun. Looking for a vacation destination that will be just as great for Fido as it is for you? Check out DogWatch’s list of pet-friendly cities for some awesome options. From off-leash dog parks to doggie-friendly dining and public transportation, these cities have it all!

Colorado Springs, CO

This Colorado gem boasts myriad hiking and walking trails, perfect for getting back to nature with your pup. Pets are also welcome at its Bear Creek Nature Center and Manitou Cliff Dwellings. A must-visit? The Garden of the Gods Park, home to sandstone formations and both paved and unpaved hiking paths.

Austin, TX

If you don’t mind the heat, check out Austin – particularly its 12 off-leash dog parks. If you and the pup need to cool off, there’s always the natural creek in the Bull Creek District Park and Greenbelt Trail. Want to see the city without overexerting yourself or your dog? Let the horses do the hoofing; dogs are welcome in the city’s horse-drawn carriages. And if your dog has been especially good, treat him to something from the Groovy Dog Bakery.

Portland, OR

Home to 32 dog parks and the famous (and Fido-friendly) Rose Gardens, Portland’s scenery will blow you and your dog away. Also, don’t forget to stop by the Saturday Outdoor Market to see what treasures you can find for yourself and your furry friend. Looking to relax after sightseeing? Make a stop at the Lucky Labrador Brewing Company for a cold beer – just make sure your pup keeps his paws off!

Chicago, IL

This cosmopolitan city offers many pet-friendly outdoor cafes and bars, as well as upscale hotels that are happy to cater to you and your pampered pooch. More nature-oriented? Check out Navy Pier and trek the more than 18 miles of paved trails along Lake Michigan, or if you (and your dog) have your sea legs, many boat operators will allow dogs out on lake cruises.

Seattle, WA

In a city where parking can be at a premium, thankfully public transportation is pet-friendly, provided your dog is leashed. There are also many dog-friendly eateries in and around the city. And we would be remiss if we didn’t mention the gorgeous scenery and parks in this west coast gem. Check out Blake Island State Park, the ancestral home of the Suquamish and Diwamish Native American tribes.

New York, NY

Gotham’s got plenty to offer for the sophisticated canine. Many posh and trendy hotels like the Soho Grand are pet-friendly, as are many high-end stores; provided, of course, that your dog behaves with the proper etiquette and decorum. For the dog with an affinity for art, East 76th street offers the William Secord Gallery, which specializes in 19th century dog art. If your dog is less into galleries and more into adventures, then an NYC Dog Sight-Seeing Tour might be just what he’s looking for; with numerous sights and locales to choose from, there’s bound to be a tour that appeals to all types of pups.

San Diego, CA

For water-loving dogs, San Diego might very well be doggie heaven. With a selection of pet-friendly and off-leash beaches, your dog can get his full of sun, sea, and sand. For the aquatically gifted pup, dog-friendly kayak excursions are offered in La Jolla Bay; while life jackets are provided, it’s best to save this particular activity for strong swimmers. If shopping’s more your speed, check out the Otay Ranch Town Shopping Center, which offers an off-leash park AND pet-sitting services.

From all of us at DogWatch, we wish you and your pets a happy and safe vacation!

Photo credit: Johan Larsson via Flickr. Image is cropped.