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Welcome to this week’s GoPetFriendly.com Pet Travel Photo Challenge … where we post your pet travel pictures, and you guess the pet friendly destinations!

The Winner

Thanks to everyone who played last week, and congratulations to Uschi G. of Salt Lake City, Utah! She recognized this pet friendly destination as the Mt. Hood in Oregon. We hope you enjoy the prize, Uschi!

Photo copyright: Instagram user @cashewthegolden

Let’s See Your Photos …

We’re sending tail wags to Instagram user @cashewthegolden. Thank you for sharing your photo last week!

Want to see your pet featured? Submit your pet travel photo or use the #gopetfriendly hashtag on Instagram, and your favorite furry travel companion could appear on GoPetFriendly.com, too!

This Week’s Photo Challenge

You can’t win if you don’t play! Guess where the photo below was taken, and submit your answer in the entry form.

For the winner …

Each week we randomly select one winner from the correct entries to receive a GoPetFriendly.com ID tag for their pet!

And the photo is …

This week’s fantastic photo of Heineken was submitted by Nia A. (@nia_ale on Instagram). Do you recognize the waterfall he’s admiring?

Photo copyright: Nia A. (@nia_ale on Instagram)

Hint: This 30-foot cascade is perhaps the most scenic waterfall on Spring Creek.

Contest Entry
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    United StatesCanada
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  • This Week's Photo Location
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The Fine Print

This week’s contest closes on Wednesday, June 19th, 2019 at 11:59 pm EST. The contest is open to US and Canadian residents over the age of 18, except in Quebec and where prohibited by law. All correct submissions will be assigned a number and the winner will be selected using www.randomizer.org. The winner will be notified by email. The decision of the judges is final. The winner of the prize is responsible for any and all applicable taxes on the prize. Employees of GoPetFriendly.com are not eligible to win. This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook.

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The post Weekly Pet Travel Photo Challenge appeared first on GoPetFriendly.com.

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The Great Dismal Swamp does not live up to its name—making it a delightful place to visit with pets!

If you’re planning to visit Virginia Beach, Hampton Roads, or even North Carolina’s Outer Banks, add the Great Dismal Swamp to your itinerary. Its unique history and natural setting make it an ideal place to explore with your dog, adventure cat, or other pet.

Let me tell you why …

How I Discovered The Great Dismal Swamp

The Great Dismal Swamp canal connects the Chesapeake Bay to the Albemarle Sound. It’s one of two routes on the Intracoastal Waterway (ICW) used by hundreds of boaters (like us) in the spring or fall as they head to or from Florida and the Caribbean. 

Last spring, we traveled the canal on our way to the Chesapeake Bay. It looked so appealing, that when we headed back south, we set aside five days to explore the canal, national wildlife refuge, and North Carolina state park that make up the Great Dismal Swamp. 

While there, we humans learned about history and nature. And our pup, Honey, enjoyed exploring by nose. 

Boaters can tie up to free docks overnight so they can explore the swamp.

A Place In History

Humans are believed to have lived in the area for over 13,000 years. In 1650, its residents spoke Algonquin. And it was Europeans who applied the name “dismal.” George Washington created a plan to drain the Dismal Swamp, but when that scheme was determined to be unprofitable, the land’s owners decided to build a canal to move timber out of the forest.

The canal was dug by hand in terrible conditions. But the knowledge gained by enslaved people constructing the canal, and later by free black persons hauling timber, led to the Great Dismal Swamp becoming a refuge. 

By the end of the Civil War, communities of maroons (black individuals who freed themselves) lived on the highest ground in the swamp. Historians and archaeologists are still learning about these remarkable people who carved out a life for themselves in the swamp.

The Great Dismal Swamp was exploited for its natural resources until the early 1970s when a portion of it became a national wildlife refuge. The site of the only natural peat beds in North America, the Dismal Swamp is also the source of the purest drinking water. Before perfecting reverse osmosis, NASA planned to fill water tanks for the moon landing with water from Lake Drummond. The high tannin of the water keeps it pure indefinitely.

With protections from development and exploitation, the plants and animals of the Dismal Swamp are flourishing. And there are several ways to explore it with your pet!

Things To Do

The Dismal Swamp offers plenty of fun for outdoorsy dogs and their people.

Hiking

The Dismal Swamp has miles of hiking trails between the national wildlife refuge in Virginia and the state park in North Carolina.

Virginia

You can find trailheads at the following parking areas:

Jericho Ditch: 1330 White Marsh Road, Suffolk, VA (flat grass trail with ruts)
Washington Ditch: 3076 White March Road, Suffolk, VA (flat, boardwalk trail through woods)
Railroad Ditch (Wildlife Drive): 3120 Desert Road, Suffolk, VA (flat, with crushed stone)
Portsmouth Ditch: 3457 Martin Johnson Road, Chesapeake, VA (flat, with crushed stone)

Packed trails are good for running with a stroller. Other trails are more rustic.

North Carolina

There are also several miles of trails you can access from the Great Dismal Swamp State Park. The park removes the bridge across the canal so boats can pass after the park closes, so be sure to leave enough time to get back to the entrance before closing.

My favorite trail was the Boardwalk trail going directly through the swamp. This trail is in deep shade and has lots to see although it is only a 1/2 mile long.

Boardwalk trails allow you to experience the swamp without getting your feet (or paws) wet.

Biking

Most trails are open to bikers as well as hikers.

Virginia

Canal Trail – Paved and closed to cars, this trail follows the canal for over 8 miles and is perfect for bicycles.

The North trailhead is located at Dominion Boulevard and Old Route 17.

North Carolina

Bikes are allowed on most trails. If your pup likes to run by your side or if you have a pet small enough to ride in a backpack, you can rent bicycles at the Dismal Swamp State Park Visitor Center.

With miles of paved road closed to traffic, the Dismal Swamp canal trail is great for biking.

Paddling

The protection of the canal provides calm paddling for kayaks or canoes.

Virginia

Use the small craft boat launch at 3825 Dismal Swamp Canal Trail, Chesapeake, VA to drop your kayak or canoe.

North Carolina

Your pet is welcome to join you if you rent a kayak at the state park. Rangers point out that they have human life jackets but you must bring your own for your pet.

READ MORE ⇒   Tips for Canoeing or Kayaking with Dogs

Camping

The only camping in the entire Dismal Swamp area is a primitive campground near Lake Drummond. It is only accessible by shallow-draft boat (less than 3 feet).

If you can get to it, you will find fire pits, open grills, picnic tables, sheds with bug screens, and restrooms with non-potable water.

Boating

Of course, my favorite way to explore the swamp is by boat!

Conditions are so calm in the canal that Honey gets lots of time to doze with her favorite stick.

Recreational boats can center the canal at the Deep Creek Lock on the north end or the South Mills Lock on the south end.

 You will need to have a radio and lines on board that are at least 20 feet long to transit the locks. The lock masters will tell you what to do.

The Dismal Swamp provides free overnight dockage, first-come first-served, at both locks, at the Douglas Road free dock, and the Dismal Swamp Welcome Center.

The lock master at Deep Creek lock shares the history of the Dismal Swamp with visiting boaters. They, in turn, bring him conch shells from the Caribbean.

Know Before You Go

So, what do you think? Are you excited to be the first of your friends to check out the amazing Great Dismal Swamp?

Here’s what you need to know before visiting this region with your pet:

  • You’ll see plenty of nature in the area. That includes bears. So keep your pets leashed.
  • It’s a swamp, so be prepared for bugs. You’ll find fewer in the spring and fall than in the summer. And winter is your best bet for enjoying a bug-free visit.
  • If you can’t access the primitive camping area because you don’t have a boat, you’ll find pet-friendly campgrounds 30 minutes away in Chesapeake, Virginia.

We didn’t see bears this time. But we kept our eyes open!

Returning To The Great Dismal Swamp With My Dog

As I write this, we’re traveling the Intracoastal Waterway on our sailboat headed for the Great Dismal Swamp. Honey and I only got to hike a few of the trails on our last visit, so I’m looking forward to seeing more. And maybe even spotting a bear!

The lock master lifts the bridge so boats can pass through.

If you enjoy watching boaters as much as I enjoy being one, you’ll love the Dismal Swamp. I bet your pet will too.

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The post The Great Dismal Swamp Is Delightful and Pet Friendly appeared first on GoPetFriendly.com.

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Welcome to this week’s GoPetFriendly.com Pet Travel Photo Challenge … where we post your pet travel pictures, and you guess the pet friendly destinations!

The Winner

Thanks to everyone who played last week, and congratulations to Melissa L. of Irving, Texas! She recognized this pet friendly destination as the Bixby Bridge in Big Sur, California. We hope you enjoy the prize, Melissa!

Photo copyright: Year of the Money (@babuthetraveldog on Instagram)

Let’s See Your Photos …

We’re sending tail wags to Year of the Monkey. Thank you for sharing your photo of Babu last week!

Want to see your pet featured? Submit your pet travel photo or use the #gopetfriendly hashtag on Instagram, and your favorite furry travel companion could appear on GoPetFriendly.com, too!

This Week’s Photo Challenge

You can’t win if you don’t play! Guess where the photo below was taken, and submit your answer in the entry form.

For the winner …

Each week we randomly select one winner from the correct entries to receive a GoPetFriendly.com ID tag for their pet!

And the photo is …

This week’s lovely photo of Cashew was submitted by Instagram user @cashewthegolden. Can you guess the name of the mountain in the background?

Photo copyright: Instagram user @cashewthegolden

Hint: The mountain Cashew is admiring is a potentially active volcano!

Contest Entry
  • Your Name*
    First Last
  • Email*
  • Your Country*
    United StatesCanada
  • Your City*
  • Your State*
    AlabamaAlaskaArizonaArkansasCaliforniaColoradoConnecticutDelawareDistrict of ColumbiaFloridaGeorgiaHawaiiIdahoIllinoisIndianaIowaKansasKentuckyLouisianaMaineMarylandMassachusettsMichiganMinnesotaMississippiMissouriMontanaNebraskaNevadaNew HampshireNew JerseyNew MexicoNew YorkNorth CarolinaNorth DakotaOhioOklahomaOregonPennsylvaniaRhode IslandSouth CarolinaSouth DakotaTennesseeTexasUtahVermontVirginiaWashingtonWest VirginiaWisconsinWyomingArmed Forces AmericasArmed Forces EuropeArmed Forces Pacific-- Select State --
  • Your Province*
    AlbertaBritish ColumbiaManitobaNew BrunswickNewfoundland & LabradorNorthwest TerritoriesNova ScotiaNunavutOntarioPrince Edward IslandQuebecSaskatchewanYukon-- Select Province --
  • This Week's Photo Location
  • Photo Place*
  • Photo State or Province*
  • Confirm Entry
    • By entering this contest, I authorize GoPetFriendly.com to send email to my provided email address to announce winners and share future GoPetFriendly.com email communications.
  • Name
    This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.
The Fine Print

This week’s contest closes on Wednesday, June 12th, 2019 at 11:59 pm EST. The contest is open to US and Canadian residents over the age of 18, except in Quebec and where prohibited by law. All correct submissions will be assigned a number and the winner will be selected using www.randomizer.org. The winner will be notified by email. The decision of the judges is final. The winner of the prize is responsible for any and all applicable taxes on the prize. Employees of GoPetFriendly.com are not eligible to win. This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook.

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The post Weekly Pet Travel Photo Challenge appeared first on GoPetFriendly.com.

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Many people dream of seeing the country in an RV! If you’re thinking of taking a road trip – and you want to include your pets – renting an RV is a popular option. Below you’ll find everything you’ll need to know to find the perfect RV rental that’s pet friendly.

RV Rental Companies That Are Pet Friendly

Wouldn’t it be nice to take your family on a vacation to your favorite destinations without ever leaving the comfort of home? Getting an RV rental that’s pet friendly gives you that option! Complete with a refrigerator, microwave, toilet, shower, air conditioning, and heat – it’s like having a home on wheels. Explore and play all day, and at night recharge in familiar and comfortable surroundings that make it easy to relax.

READ MORE ⇒  Tips for RVing with Pets

Cruise America

Cruise America offers pet friendly RV rentals at 132 locations in the United States, Canada, and Alaska. There are no restrictions on the size or number of pets in the motorhome, and no additional deposits are required for traveling with a pet. In fact, as long as the RV is returned as clean as you received it, you won’t incur any additional charges for taking your pet along! If the RV does require cleaning, a $250 fee is charged.

Cruise America also offers a free app, which directs you to the campsites that provide the amenities that you want. They also offer both round-trip and one-way rentals.

El Monte RV

With 30 locations across the country, El Monte has been renting pet friendly RVs for more than 40 years! And they understand that pets are part of the family. When you rent with El Monte, there are no restrictions on the size or number of pets, no additional deposits, and a charge of $50 to $100 for cleaning only if the RV is not returned in the condition it was received.

El Monte also offers a discount to AAA members, provides extensive travel information on their website, and offers both round-trip and one-way rentals.

All the companies offer several sizes of RVs and prices vary by size. Roadside assistance is also available, in case something goes wrong – though the rentals appear to be newer models and well maintained. We’re seeing a lot of these rentals on the highways, so it must be a worthwhile experience.

If you’ve never done it, RV travel (with or without pets) is an adventure. There’s a whole country out there to explore, and we’re having a blast seeing it with the boys in the Winnebago. So, what’s stopping you from giving it a try?! If you’re still unsure, check out our best tips for RVing with pets, and you’ll see there’s really nothing to it!

Planning a pet friendly trip of your own? We’ll make it easy:
Pet Friendly Hotels | Pet Friendly Destinations | Pet Friendly Activities

The post Pet Friendly RV Rental Companies appeared first on GoPetFriendly.com.

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Just a couple hours north of Phoenix and its classic desert landscape sits Sedona, a small city tucked into a stunning backdrop of red rocks and thick green foliage. Cool Whip, Hercules, and I recently sniffed around town and logged some miles on the Sedona hiking trails that allow pets.

At an elevation of 4,350 feet, Sedona isn’t nearly as high as neighboring Flagstaff (almost 7,000 feet). But it does get a bit of snow over the winter and has a fairly toasty summer. Regardless of the season, however, you’ll want to bring your walking shoes. A trip to Sedona isn’t complete without exploring its natural beauty.

Dog Friendly Sedona Hiking Trails

Our first stop was the Red Rock Visitor Center and Ranger Station. Visitor centers are always a great place to get current information on the area, trail conditions, maps, and in this case, a parking pass. Quite a few of the scenic stops around town require a Red Rock Pass for parking ($5/day, $15/week, $20/annual). The America The Beautiful Interagency Pass is also accepted, which is helpful if you and your pup will be exploring any national parks.

READ MORE ⇒  The Most Dog Friendly National Parks in America

There are a variety of parks and wilderness areas throughout greater Sedona, including Red Rock State Park, Coconino National Forest, and Red Rock-Secret Mountain Wilderness. No matter where you and your dog choose to go, you’ll have a wonderful adventure. Below are a few of our favorites to help you plan your trip to red rock country!

Bell Rock and Courthouse Butte Loop
  • Distance: 4.2 miles, loop
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Parking: Red Rock Pass

Bell Rock and Courthouse Butte are accessible from the same parking lots. Most people head straight to Bell Rock because it’s one of the four main vortexes in Sedona. A vortex is a location in nature where a strong energy field is said to be perceptible. Many believe these centers of swirling energy boost healing and meditation. The four most popular vortex locations around Sedona are Bell Rock, Cathedral Rock, Boynton Canyon, and Airport Mesa. Their popularity draws more people, so expect a little more traffic in these areas.

For more solitude, we opted for the loop around Courthouse Butte. Fewer people and epic views? Yes, please! You’ll share portions of the trail with mountain bikers and horse riders, so keep common trail etiquette in mind: Hikers yield to equestrians, and bikers yield to hikers and equestrians.

Cathedral Rock
  • Distance: 1.2 miles, out and back
  • Difficulty: Difficult
  • Parking: Red Rock Pass

As one of the four main vortex locations and a place of epic beauty, this trail gets quite busy. The 1.2-mile (round trip) hike up Cathedral Rock is considered difficult, but there are easier options if you want to stick to the trails along the base. Pack snacks for you and your dog the night before so you can hit the trail for a sunrise hike and enjoy breakfast with a view. An early start usually provides easier parking and less traffic on the trail. Plus, you’ll get the see the rocks glowing in the morning sunlight.

Chimney Rock
  • Distance: 1.7 miles, loop
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Parking: Free

The Chimney Rock area has several trails that intertwine. Hike just one loop for a short and easy outing, or mix and match for a longer adventure. The dogs and I opted for Chimney Rock Pass, a 1.7-mile option starting from the Thunder Mountain Trailhead. Even though you’re right on the edge of a residential neighborhood, it doesn’t feel like that for long. Follow the trail counter-clockwise so you’ll pass the nearby houses first and then enjoy red rock views for the rest of your hike.

Devil’s Bridge
  • Distance: 4.2 miles, out and back
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Parking: Red Rock Pass

This is a classic Sedona hike featuring a natural bridge. As one of the more popular hikes, parking at any of the trailheads for Devil’s Bridge can be difficult. We opted to skip this one because Cool Whip doesn’t like to travel uphill, but if your dog isn’t as picky, this hike rewards you with a spectacular, one-of-a-kind view.

READ MORE ⇒  Seven Essentials for Desert Hiking With Dogs

Long Canyon
  • Distance: 7.2 miles, out and back
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Parking: Free

Sedona is an understandably popular destination, and we loved Long Canyon for its sense of seclusion. And you don’t have to hike all the way to the end to experience the beauty. From the moment your dog’s paws hit the trail, you’re immersed in the wilderness. Aside from catching a glimpse of a golf course about a half-mile in, it feels like you are miles away from town.

West Fork Trail
  • Distance: 6.9 miles, out and back
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Parking: $10/vehicle

If your dog loves water, the West Fork Trail is a perfect adventure. This trail takes you up the west fork of Oak Creek into the Coconino National Forest. There are several creek crossings on this hike with rocks for hopping across, but I still recommend wearing shoes you don’t mind getting wet. Head out early to beat to rush for parking and be sure to pack plenty of snacks or a picnic lunch. The trail is doable in 2-3 hours, but with so many options to hang out in the shade or water, you’ll want to take your time to enjoy nature.

Sniffing Around Town

When you’re ready for a break from the Sedona hiking trails, you’ll find many of the businesses are pet friendly. The main road through town has an abundance of options for shopping and dining. Shopping can get a little tricky with pups in tow, but there are plenty of dog friendly restaurants in Sedona. Our favorite was Theia’s, a locally owned coffee shop within walking distance of the main drag. They brew coffee from Flagstaff and provide water bowls for dogs on the shaded patio. Cool Whip loved this spot because people from the nearby offices came out to say hi and tell her how pretty she looked. Even with all the tourism, Sedona has a friendly, small-town feeling.

Once you’ve refueled, consider some of the other pet-friendly adventure options: jeep or ATV tours (rules vary by company), winery and vineyard tours, and Slide Rock State Park.

Slide Rock is more than just a hiking destination. As the name implies, it features a natural rock slide where Oak Creek flows over a section of smooth stone. Originally, the park was an apple farm started in 1912, and much of that homestead is still intact for visitors to explore.

Rest Your Paws Then Explore Some More

Trust me when I say you’re going to want to spend more than a day exploring the Sedona hiking trails. We stayed for the weekend, and I can’t wait to go back for more. The dogs and I camped at one of the Coconino National Forest campgrounds along Oak Creek—Hercules loved having easy access to the water! Or, if you want a place to stay in town, there are a variety of pet friendly hotels in Sedona that allow your whole crew to kick back and relax.

If you’re up for a longer trip with your furry friend, check out the 9 Pet Friendly Things to Do in Flagstaff, or head north and visit Grand Canyon National Park. Arizona has a wide variety of landscapes you and your dog will enjoy!

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The post Sedona Hiking Trails That Allow Pets appeared first on GoPetFriendly.com.

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Welcome to this week’s GoPetFriendly.com Pet Travel Photo Challenge … where we post your pet travel pictures, and you guess the pet friendly destinations!

The Winner

Thanks to everyone who played last week, and congratulations to Sarah W. of Houston, Texas! She recognized this pet friendly destination as the Shakespeare Bridge in Los Angeles, California. We hope you enjoy the prize, Sarah!

Photo copyright: Instagram user @heyheybettymae

Let’s See Your Photos …

We’re sending tail wags to Instagram user @heyheybettymae. Thank you for sharing your photo of Betty last week!

Want to see your pet featured? Submit your pet travel photo or use the #gopetfriendly hashtag on Instagram, and your favorite furry travel companion could appear on GoPetFriendly.com, too!

This Week’s Photo Challenge

You can’t win if you don’t play! Guess where the photo below was taken, and submit your answer in the entry form.

For the winner …

Each week we randomly select one winner from the correct entries to receive a GoPetFriendly.com ID tag for their pet!

And the photo is …

This week’s lovely photo of Babu was submitted by Year of the Monkey (@babuthetraveldog on Instagram). Can you guess where Babu is posing?

Photo copyright: Year of the Money (@babuthetraveldog on Instagram)

Hint: This bridge is a reinforced concrete open-spandrel arch bridge, and is one of the most photographed bridges in the state due to its aesthetic design and magnificent setting.

Contest Entry
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The Fine Print

This week’s contest closes on Wednesday, June 5th, 2019 at 11:59 pm EST. The contest is open to US and Canadian residents over the age of 18, except in Quebec and where prohibited by law. All correct submissions will be assigned a number and the winner will be selected using www.randomizer.org. The winner will be notified by email. The decision of the judges is final. The winner of the prize is responsible for any and all applicable taxes on the prize. Employees of GoPetFriendly.com are not eligible to win. This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook.

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The post Weekly Pet Travel Photo Challenge appeared first on GoPetFriendly.com.

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Welcome to this week’s GoPetFriendly.com Pet Travel Photo Challenge … where we post your pet travel pictures, and you guess the pet friendly destinations!

The Winner

Thanks to everyone who played last week, and congratulations to Heike R. of Tigard, Oregon! She recognized this pet friendly destination as the Pacific Crest Trail which runs through Washington, Oregon and California. We hope you enjoy the prize, Heike!

Photo copyright: Instagram user @the_hiking_grumble

Let’s See Your Photos …

We’re sending tail wags to Instagram user @the_hiking_grumble. Thank you for sharing your photo of Lola and Rufus last week!

Want to see your pet featured? Submit your pet travel photo or use the #gopetfriendly hashtag on Instagram, and your favorite furry travel companion could appear on GoPetFriendly.com, too!

This Week’s Photo Challenge

You can’t win if you don’t play! Guess where the photo below was taken, and submit your answer in the entry form.

For the winner …

Each week we randomly select one winner from the correct entries to receive a GoPetFriendly.com ID tag for their pet!

And the photo is …

This week’s fantastic photo of Betty was submitted by Instagram user @heyheybettymae. Can you guess where this happy girl is posing?

Photo copyright: Instagram user @heyheybettymae

Hint: This bridge was built in 1926 and was decorated in a Gothic style. Named for a famous playwright, actor, and poet, it was designated an Historic-Cultural monument in 1974.

Contest Entry
  • Your Name*
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  • Your Country*
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  • Your City*
  • Your State*
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  • Your Province*
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  • This Week's Photo Location
  • Photo Place*
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    • By entering this contest, I authorize GoPetFriendly.com to send email to my provided email address to announce winners and share future GoPetFriendly.com email communications.
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The Fine Print

This week’s contest closes on Wednesday, May 29th, 2019 at 11:59 pm EST. The contest is open to US and Canadian residents over the age of 18, except in Quebec and where prohibited by law. All correct submissions will be assigned a number and the winner will be selected using www.randomizer.org. The winner will be notified by email. The decision of the judges is final. The winner of the prize is responsible for any and all applicable taxes on the prize. Employees of GoPetFriendly.com are not eligible to win. This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook.

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A Pet Friendly Road Trip On Route 66

Established in 1926, Route 66 was one of the original US highways, and its allure survives today. Also known as the Mother Road, the Main Street of America, and the Will Rogers Highway, Route 66 was far more than a paved track across the country. People saw it as a path out of hardship – a way to reach the better lives in the west. And, as it’s popularity grew, it supported the economies of the communities it passed through.

US Route 66 went through many realignments and improvements over the years. But in 1985, it was replaced by the Interstate Highway System and removed as a US highway. Since then, portions of the road have been designated a National Scenic Byway. And several states have incorporated significant bypassed sections into their state highways systems as State Route 66.

There are many resources for traveling Route 66, listing all the historic attractions along the way. This article supplements those guides, highlighting pet friendly sights that will delight your furry travel buddy!

Pet Friendly Stops Along Route 66 1. Begin Route 66 Sign – Downtown Chicago

Every journey begins at the beginning, so the first stop on our Route 66 road trip is the “Begin Route 66” sign in Chicago.

Located at Michigan Avenue and East Adams Street, snap a picture of the sign. Then walk toward Lake Michigan on Jackson Avenue to the actual eastern-most point of Route 66.

From there, you’re just steps away from Chicago’s spectacular Lakefront Trail. With a 2,300-mile road trip in front of you, stretch your legs while you can! The trail runs for 18 miles, but Navy Pier is just 1.5 miles north. Here you’ll find pet friendly boat tours, water taxis, and restaurant patios where your pup is welcome to join you.

READ MORE ⇒  Chicago’s Lakefront Trail and Navy Pier

2. Lincoln’s Tomb – Springfield, Illinois

The Lincoln Tomb is the final resting place of the 16th President of the United States, Abraham Lincoln, his wife, Mary Todd Lincoln, and three of their four sons. It is located in Oak Ridge Cemetery – the most visited cemetery in the country after Arlington National Cemetery in Washington, DC.

Pets aren’t allowed inside, so stick your head in the doorway to admire the rotunda. Marble is used throughout the interior and several statues of Lincoln are displayed.

Outside, you’ll find four flights of stairs leading to the terrace. Climb up to admire the view and the statues standing at the base of the 117-foot obelisk. Constructed of granite, the monument is truly something to behold.

3. Chain of Rocks Bridge – Madison, Illinois

Originally opened in 1929, the mile-long Chain of Rocks Bridge was a significant landmark for travelers of Route 66. It’s most surprising feature is the 22-degree turn midway across the span. However, that wasn’t the original plan.

The bridge was designed to run straight across the river. But before construction began, it was discovered that the western end of the planned location lacked sufficient bedrock to support the weight of the piers. So, the bridge had to turn.

Chain of Rocks Bridge was closed to motor traffic in 1968. It now connects more than 300 miles of pedestrian walkways and bikeways on both sides of the river. You and your pup will have plenty to explore! The easiest access point is a parking area on Chouteau Island, where you’ll also find plaques about Route 66.

4. Gateway Arch National Park – St. Louis, Missouri

The Gateway Arch towers over the Mississippi Riverfront in downtown St. Louis – a symbol of the role this city played as the American frontier expanded westward.

From the beautiful Citygarden, past the Old Courthouse, and down to the riverfront, you and your furry travel buddy will find plenty to enjoy during your visit. While pets aren’t allowed inside the Arch, the extensive park grounds offer lovely places to relax. Find a bench and wait in the shade while part of your party takes the tram to the top.

Gateway Arch Riverboats welcomes pets aboard their one-hour tours. On the waterfront, get a photo at the sculpture of pet travel pioneers, Lewis and Clark, with their Newfoundland, Seaman. If hunger strikes, you’ll find a nice selection of pet-friendly restaurants at Laclede’s Landing, a short walk from the Arch.

READ MORE ⇒  Gateway Arch Park: Missiouri’s Top Pet Friendly Attraction

Wagon Wheel Motel – Cuba, Missouri

The Wagon Wheel Motel, Cafe and Station opened in 1936, and is easily identified by its landmark neon sign. Now the motel offers guests a glimpse into the past with original wood doors and glass knobs and hardwood floors. Pets are welcome in select rooms.

Best Western Rail Haven – Springfield, Missouri

The Best Western Route 66 Rail Haven has been welcoming guests along Route 66 for 75 years. Included on the National List of Historic Places, this refurbished historic motel is set on beautifully landscaped grounds and offers complimentary continental breakfast, outside pool, spa, and Route 66 Pavilion. Pets are welcome in select rooms.

5. 66 Drive-In Theatre – Carthage, Missouri

The 66 Drive-In Theatre shows double-feature movies the whole family will enjoy! The drive-in is open most Friday, Saturday, and Sunday evenings from the first weekend of April through mid-September. Call or check their website to confirm films and show times.

6. Will Rogers Memorial Museum – Claremore, Oklahoma

The Will Rogers Memorial Museum stands on land purchased in 1911 by beloved American celebrity, Will Rogers, as the planned site of his retirement home. The location was donated by his widow and children after his untimely death in a plane crash in 1935.

Opened in 1938, the museum houses the world’s largest collection of Will Rogers memorabilia and his entire collection of writings. Over time it’s become a world class museum with paintings, sculptures, movie posters, books, and other artifacts being added to the collection.

The museum frames the family tomb in the sunken garden overlooking the 20-acre grounds. Though pets aren’t allowed inside, this is a lovely spot to stretch your legs or enjoy a picnic.

7. Gilcrease Museum Gardens – Tulsa, Oklahoma

Designed to enhance the collections, themed gardens cover 23 of the Gilcrease Museum’s 450 acres. Nestled in the Osage Hills, you and your pet are welcome to explore the Pre-Columbian, Pioneer, Colonial, Victorian, and Rock gardens. Each area reflects gardening styles and techniques common in the American West.

If you’re ready for a bit of retail therapy after enjoying the gardens, head to Utica Square. Built in 1952, it was Tulsa’s first urban shopping center and has an appealing village-like charm. Pets are welcome in the Dog Dish, which offers premium food treats, toys, bowls, collars, apparel, and more.

Utica Square is known for its great stores and restaurants, so plan to get a bite to eat!

8. OKC PAW Park and Dog Beach – Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

Take a break from the road and burn off some energy at the Oklahoma City PAW Park and Dog Beach. This two-acre, fenced dog park has separate areas for smaller and larger dogs. A pond borders the north end of the dog park and it’s gravel beach gives dogs a large area for swimming and playing in the water. Be sure to pack an old towel to dry your pal off before he hops back in the car!

The PAW Park has water stations, lots of shade, and park benches. All the normal dog park rules apply, including up-to-date vaccinations and picking up after your dog. In addition, children under 10 are not allowed in the park, and children between 10 and 18 must be accompanied by an adult.

9. Palo Duro Canyon State Park – Amarillo, Texas

Just south of Amarillo, Texas, the Palo Duro Canyon stretches 120 miles across the Texas Panhandle. Carved by the innocuous Red River, it’s the second largest canyon in the United States And, with more than 30 miles of pet friendly hiking, biking, and equestrian trails, it’s a great place to stretch your legs!

Palo Duro Canyon has been inhabited for more than 12,000, and its past is as colorful as its scenery. Rangers offer programs about birds, Longhorn cattle, and the park’s natural features throughout the year. Check their Events page to make plans for your visit.

Before you leave Amarillo on Route 66, make a quick stop at Cadillac Ranch, a roadside attraction where 10 Caddies are buried nose-down in the ground.

10. Petroglyph National Monument – Albuquerque, New Mexico

Step back in time at Petroglyph National Monument, one of the largest petroglyph sites in North America! Native Americans and Spanish explorers carved images into volcanic rock between 400 and 700 years ago. Now you and your pet are welcome to view their work along two of the parks trails.

The trails in Rinconda Canyon and Piedras Marcadas Canyon are both pet friendly and relatively short. But don’t go unprepared! This is the high desert and you’ll need good walking shoes and plenty of water. Also remember there are critters here that your pup may be curious about. Be sure to keep him safely on a leash no longer than six feet.

After your hike, head back into town for a stroll around Nob Hill. This retail and entertainment district offers several restaurants with pet friendly patios.

El Rancho Hotel – Gallup, New Mexico

The El Rancho Hotel opened in 1936 along U.S. Route 66 by R.E. Griffith, brother of the famous movie director D.W. Griffith. Because of its proximity to striking western landscapes and the hotel’s rustic elegance, El Rancho was the center of the movie industry in Gallup. Crews and stars on location used the large, rambling Rustic-style building to “rough it” in comfort. Pets are welcome in select rooms.

11. Petrified Forest National Park – Holbrook, Arizona

Don’t let the name mislead you – you won’t find a traditional forest at Petrified Forest National Park. About 225 million years ago, this area was a rainforest with dinosaurs, ferns, and giant trees. River sediment covered the trees when they fell and soaking up minerals from the groundwater caused the wood to crystallize into quartz in an array of colors. And that created the petrified wood you’ll see throughout the park.

Visitor center/museums are located on both ends of the park, and pets that stop in can participate in the BARK Ranger program. Pets cannot go inside the buildings, but there are plenty of trails to explore together.

For the classic experience, plan to drive the 28-mile road running through the park. Then stretch your legs on one of the seven hiking trails. The Long Logs and Giant Logs trails give you an up-close look as some of those old trees!

READ MORE ⇒   Visiting Pet Friendly Petrified Forest National Park

Wigwam Village Motel – Holbrook, Arizona

Seven Wigwam Villages were constructed between 1936 and the 1950s along Route 66. Finished in 1950, this village was the sixth, and still gives travelers along the Mother Road a chance to sleep in a wigwam. Of course, the Wigwam Village is composed of teepees – not wigwams. Fifteen teepees, each standing 28 feet high and 21 feet wide at the base, are arranged in a semi-circle around the main office. Pet are welcome.

12. Standing on the Corner Park – Winslow, Arizona

Get a photo of your best friend in Winslow, Arizona! Standin’ on the Corner Park commemorates the song “Take It Easy,” the Eagles first big hit, which was written by Jackson Browne and Glenn Frey and released in 1972. The song includes the verse “Well, I’m a standing on a corner in Winslow, Arizona and such a fine sight to see. It’s a girl, my Lord, in a flatbed Ford slowin’ down to take a look at me.”

13. Flagstaff, Arizona

Flagstaff has so many pet friendly things to do, you could easily spend days exploring them all! Start at the visitor center, where pets are welcome, and pick up free self-guided walking tours maps of downtown. Choose from the public art tour, the Route 66 tour, and the “Haunted Flagstaff” tour – or enjoy all three!

Flagstaff boasts a couple nice dog parks where your pup can romp with the locals, and then plan to hit the brewery trail together. With a growing reputation as Arizona’s craft brew city, five of the eight breweries also..

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Most pet lovers get sentimental around their pet’s birthdays, and I’m no different. In fact, as our dogs get older, the more emotional I am. But Buster’s birthday always holds a deeper significance. Partially because, by all rights, he shouldn’t be ours. And partially because this stray dog has made such an unbelievable impact on our lives.

A Stray Dog Changes Everything

Exactly eleven years ago, a stray dog wandered into our lives and changed everything. Rod, Ty, and I had just moved into a brand new house in the Northern Liberties neighborhood of Philadelphia, and life was good. We ran a successful business from our guest bedroom and spent most weekends at our cottage in the Poconos. Adding another dog to our family – much less making any drastic life changes – hadn’t even crossed our minds. We never could have imagined what was just around the corner.

When I think about the astronomical odds of Buster, running terrified through the city, ending up in our cul-du-sac, I’m beyond amazed and grateful. We’ll never know if he was dumped, got lost, or dropped straight from heaven. What is certain is that no one responded to the “found dog” posters or reports we published.

But, even after we legally had the option to keep Buster, there were many tear-filled days when I thought he’d better off with another family. I was way over my head trying to train this year-old, reactive German Shepherd. We had no yard, so we spent several hours everyday walking together. And Ty and Rod made it clear they didn’t want him to stay. But through it all, I saw Buster’s potential. And I couldn’t shake the feeling that he was with us for a reason.

Hitting the Road Made Things Clear

Back in 2008, traveling with pets was much harder than it is now. Having won Rod and Ty over, Buster was just beginning to settle into our family when I started planning our summer vacation. The resources to find pet friendly accommodations, restaurants, and activities didn’t exist back then. With two dogs, and Buster breaking hotel weight restrictions, the process was even harder. The frustration nearly caused me to cancel the whole trip.

That’s when I knew we needed create GoPetFriendly.com. Rod was on board, and a year later we launched the site.  Bringing pet friendly hotels, vacation properties, campgrounds, beaches, restaurants, attractions, and activities together in one place – and providing a road trip planner to make travel planning easy – was all thanks to Buster’s inspiration.

Life Takes A Left Turn Toward Freedom

Around the time we launched GoPetFriendly.com, it became clear that traveling with Ty and Buster was the most effective way to encourage other people to use the website. But we needed to make those long distance trips comfortable for us all. We needed a Winnebago. And that meant selling our house. And our cottage.

When we left Philadelphia, we told ourselves it was only for a year or two. Just long enough to help the website gain some traction. Little did we know that, because of a stray dog, we’d fall in love with the nomadic lifestyle. Now, after more than nine years on the road, we have no desire to “settle down.”

Tribute To Our Stray Dog

We celebrate the day we found Buster as his birthday, though I was the one who received the gift that day. Each year I reflect on how much we owe the dog who wandered into our lives exactly eleven years ago.

Buster, my sweet boy, you are the best dog. We’ve traveled well over 100,000 miles since you landed on our doorstep, and those memories are precious. But what I treasure even more are these lessons you’ve taught me along the way:

  • Approach every day with a happy heart and a smile. For you, everything is fun as long as we’re doing it together.
  • Be present. You never waste time lamenting the past or worrying about the future.
  • Embrace what is. You have no expectations, so you approach every detour, speed bump, and change of plans like it’s an adventure.
  • Find joy in the little things. Snow, a squeaky ball, and your favorite people all make your eyes dance and your heart sing.
  • Busy is not better. You spend hours at my feet, watching or napping, content to just be.
  • Age with grace. Now that your body is slowing down, our walks are shorter, but you’re every bit as pleased to be outside. You do what you can and make the best of what you have.

My love, time passes far to quickly. And I know that we have more days behind us than ahead. I’m so grateful to have spent these eleven years with you. I’m living my dream because of you. But, more importantly, you’re showing me how to be a better human being. I hit the lottery the day you showed up, and my love and gratitude for you knows no bounds. I promise you, wherever life takes us next, we’ll go together with happy hearts and pockets full of treats.

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The post How A Stray Dog Gave Us Our Freedom appeared first on GoPetFriendly.com.

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Welcome to this week’s GoPetFriendly.com Pet Travel Photo Challenge … where we post your pet travel pictures, and you guess the pet friendly destinations!

The Winner

Thanks to everyone who played last week, and congratulations to Terrie L. of San Antonio, Texas! She recognized this pet friendly destination as Table Rock State Park in Pickens, South Carolina . We hope you enjoy the prize, Terrie!

Photo copyright: Instagram user @jbuckets123

Let’s See Your Photos …

We’re sending tail wags to Instagram user @jbuckets123. Thank you for sharing your photo of Bear last week!

Want to see your pet featured? Submit your pet travel photo or use the #gopetfriendly hashtag on Instagram, and your favorite furry travel companion could appear on GoPetFriendly.com, too!

This Week’s Photo Challenge

You can’t win if you don’t play! Guess where the photo below was taken, and submit your answer in the entry form.

For the winner …

Each week we randomly select one winner from the correct entries to receive a GoPetFriendly.com ID tag for their pet!

And the photo is …

This week’s fantastic photo of Lola and Rufus was submitted by Instagram user @the_hiking_grumble. Can you guess where these sweet pups are posing?

Photo copyright: Instagram user @the_hiking_grumble

Hint: This long-distance hiking and equestrian trail runs from the US border with Canada to the US border with Mexico and follows the highest points of the Cascade and Sierra Nevada mountain ranges.

Contest Entry
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The Fine Print

This week’s contest closes on Wednesday, May 22nd, 2019 at 11:59 pm EST. The contest is open to US and Canadian residents over the age of 18, except in Quebec and where prohibited by law. All correct submissions will be assigned a number and the winner will be selected using www.randomizer.org. The winner will be notified by email. The decision of the judges is final. The winner of the prize is responsible for any and all applicable taxes on the prize. Employees of GoPetFriendly.com are not eligible to win. This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook.

EXPERIENCE MORE TOGETHER Accommodations | Destinations | Trip Planner

The post Weekly Pet Travel Photo Challenge appeared first on GoPetFriendly.com.

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