Chicago, Illinois (photo from Seadog Cruises website)
Chicago seems to be an extremely pet-friendly city. In addition to many dog parks in the area, there are also hotels, activities, and even boat tours that are okay with you bringing your furry friend along! The photo above is from the Seadog Cruise gallery - the popular boat tour company has something for everyone: history buffs, architecture lovers, and, yes, dogs! Your pup can enjoy the beautiful views Chicago has to offer right along with you (as long as they are friendly and on a leash, of course!). The Chicago James Hotel is one of several hotels in the city that welcome dogs. The amenities the James offers your pet are quite impressive - a doggie bed, several food and water bowls placed around the hotel, collars and leashes, toys, and a discount at a local pet boutique. They even offer an in-room dining experience for your fur-child...cats are offered salmon tartare, dogs filet mignon! Now that's luxury.
Raccoon River Dog Park (West Des Moines, Iowa) (photo from the park's website)
There are quite a few dog parks in the Des Moines area, but Raccoon River is said to be among the best. 10 fenced-in acres of park for dogs to run off all their energy! Dogs of all sizes are welcome, and different areas of the park are specified for large/small breeds. The park also has a list of rules, which helps to keep it safe, clean, and friendly. This park is one of the best places for your dog to meet new friends.
Camp Dogwood (locations in Illinois and Wisconsin) (photo from Camp Dogwood website)
You read that right - a camp just for you and your dog! Camp Dogwood is an all-inclusive vacation destination for dogs and the people who love them - you and your pup will learn, bond, and have a blast. The camp has sessions in both Ingleside, Illinois and Lake Delton, Wisconsin - check out the website for dates. You may choose to attend one of the many training sessions that focus on positive reinforcement...or you may just want to relax and play Frisbee. Either way, Camp Dogwood sounds like an awesome experience for both dogs and owners, offering TONS of physical activities (flyball, tracking, herding) and ways to relax (doggie yoga, dog treat making courses, and nature hikes)! Riley and I will definitely be checking this one out!
Canine Country Kennel & Farm (St. Louis, MO) (Photo from Canine Country website)
If you're looking for a peaceful vacation to bond and spend some time alone with your best friend, Canine Country Kennel & Farm sounds like just the place! A vast 233 acres of beautiful farmland for you to roam as you please, along with a lake, opportunities to herd sheep, and two agility fields with experts to help train your dogs. Of course, you can choose to completely forgo the training and simply hike along the many trails.
Candlelite Inn Bed and Breakfast (Ludington, MI) (photos from Candlelite's website)
Listed in the top ten of the best dog-friendly B&Bs, the Candlelite Inn is a beautiful and homey place for you, your loved one, and your pooch or kitty to visit. The owners know that many travelers refuse to go places without their pets, and they opened the Bed and Breakfast with the goal of making several rooms pet-friendly. The outside stairs provide an easy way to take your dog outside, and a snuggly bed and lots of treats are in store, too! The town is also very welcoming of pets - a beach, a state park, and a sculpture park are within walking/biking distance from the B&B, and all are full of friendly pet-loving people!
And don't worry, Minnesotans, I didn't forget about you. There are tons of pet-friendly cabins in Minnesota, and most are lakefront. They are all absolutely gorgeous and only require a small deposit for you to bring your dog or cat along. Riley loved our stay at a Minnesota cabin - just watch out for ticks!
I wish you and your beloved pet happy and safe travels! :)