All Fido Wants for Christmas Is...

Posted by Billy Francis

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Fido doesn't demand extravagant gifts under the Christmas tree. All he wants for Christmas is you, and the chance to be by your side at all times. From surf lessons in Hawaii to a weekend together in the Big Apple, make his wish come true and share an unforgettable pet-friendly experience with your best friend this holiday season.

Surf Lessons in Hawaii

Honolulu, HI
Go surfing with Spot. Photo by Nancy Uber-Rose

If you’re planning a getaway to Honolulu and want to bring Fido along for the trip, reward him by catching some waves together on Waikiki Beach. Don’t worry if you’ve never surfed before. The crew at Gone Surfing Hawaii, a featured attraction in the 2021 edition of our Ruff Guide to the United States, offers beginner lessons for you and your dog and will equip you with all the necessary gear. During your private lesson, they’ll provide an on-land demonstration of surfing basics before your paws get wet. After jumping in the ocean, you’ll receive instruction on reading the waves, properly using the board, and the etiquette of wave riding. If surfing is not for you, the company also offers stand-up paddleboard lessons. Gone Surfing Hawaii even has a videographer on staff to capture your adventure for posterity.

After Fido learns to ‘Hang 20’ on the water, kick back and relax at The Surfjack Hotel & Swim Club, a trendy boutique property in the heart of Honolulu. The hotel offers dog-friendly rooms with private lanais.

Sleep Under the Stars in Yellowstone

West Yellowstone, MT
“And through this door - the big wide world!” Photo by @undercanvasofficial

Dreaming of sleeping under the stars with your adventurous Alsatian? Camping is a great way to escape the stress of modern life, immerse yourself in nature, and breathe some fresh air. But if you really want to take the stress away, plan a dog-friendly ‘glamping’ getaway to West Yellowstone. Under Canvas Yellowstone takes camping to another level by doing all of the prep work for you and elevating the experience for hounds who still require creature comforts in the great outdoors. The safari-inspired glampsite offers uninterrupted views of the picturesque Montana landscape and convenient access to Yellowstone National Park’s West Entrance, which is just a 10-minute drive away.

Yellowstone isn’t the only place you can experience a once-in-a-lifetime glamping adventure with your pooch. Under Canvas has nine locations, and we’re “mutts” about all of them.

A Romp Through Central Park

New York, NY
"Who's copying who?" Photo by @cityswissy

Start spreading the news. It’s time for a trip to the Big Apple with the apple of your eye. From a dog’s point of view, no trip to New York is complete without a visit to Central Park. You and your pup can hike to waterfalls in the North Woods, meander through woodland trails in the Ramble, stroll the formal Conservatory Garden, or jog around the Reservoir. Pose for a photo with the statue of Balto and hydrate at one of 29 dog fountains. When your pooch needs a break from walking, he can ride in style with NYC Horse Carriage Rides. Hop off the carriage and head to Brooklyn Bridge, one of New York’s most iconic landmarks. For the best views, start in Brooklyn and cross the 1.3-mile span into Manhattan. Once in Manhattan, bring your furry friend to The Battery, which serves as the gateway to Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty.

Enjoy the skyline views from your dog-friendly guest room at 1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge. Adjacent to Brooklyn Bridge Park, this modern and hip property greets furry visitors with fluffy pet beds as well as food and water bowls.

A Day at the Original Dog Beach in California

San Diego, CA
Blue water, white sand, Golden dog. Photo by @fi_nomenal_friends

If life’s a beach, then live it to the fullest at the best pet-friendly beaches in the country. Spend the afternoon basking in the sun while Fido splashes in the ocean at The Original Dog Beach in San Diego, one of our favorite dog beaches on the West Coast. Located at the end of Ocean Beach, this section of sand is possibly the most ‘pupular’ spot in town. There is no fee to enter, and canines can play off leash all day long. If your salty dog needs to be scrubbed and fluffed after rolling in the sand, head straight to the Dog Beach Dog Wash. After cleaning up, make your way to Sally’s Fish House & Bar, an ocean-to-table restaurant with a dog menu.

Spend the night just a few minutes from The Original Dog Beach at the Bahia Resort Hotel, and come back for another day of fun in the California sun.

Climb the Coolest Canine Mountain in Vermont

St. Johnsbury, VT
"No dogmas here! Just dogs and their ma." Photo by Jessica Curtis

Dog lovers come to St. Johnsbury from all around the world to celebrate and remember their beloved furry friends that have crossed over the Rainbow Bridge. Sit on one of the hand-carved pews inside the chapel at Dog Mountain, surrounded by photos of passed dogs and handwritten messages their families tacked onto the walls in memoriam. ‘You were the best co-pilot, Rocco. I’ll always miss you.’ Post a message in the Dog Chapel yourself, or hug your canine companion a little tighter and stay awhile. Either way, leave plenty of time to explore the beautiful grounds. Dogs are free to run, play, and swim wherever they’d like in this 150-acre doggy paradise. The only rule is to leave your leash at the door! Dog Mountain was the creation of the late Stephen Huneck, a talented artist whose love for dogs is obvious in his works on display in the on-site gallery.

Located just 13 miles from Dog Mountain, The Wildflower Inn is situated on 570 acres of bucolic Vermont farmland in Lyndonville. After enjoying the innkeepers’ signature buttermilk pancakes topped with fresh-from-the-orchard maple syrup, you and your pooch can work off your meal by exploring the vast woods and meadows surrounding the quaint, pet-friendly bed-and-breakfast.

Make New Best Friends in Utah

Kanab, UT
Best friends at Best Friends. Photo by @pbj_pack

Best Friends Animal Sanctuary, located in Kanab’s scenic Angel Canyon, is the largest lifetime care animal sanctuary in the nation. Driving through Angel Canyon, you'll immediately feel the peace and tranquility of a place where so many animals have been loved and healed from their hard journeys in life. Any day of the week you and your well-behaved pooch can take a free 90-minute guided tour of the nonprofit’s facilities. In addition to the tour, you and Fido can relax at the wishing garden, visit Angel’s Rest, and hike on ancient Indian trails in and around the beautiful scenery at the Sanctuary. Just bring plenty of water and sunscreen. If a 90-minute tour just isn’t enough, you can also sign up to volunteer at Best Friends for a day, a weekend, or as long as you’d like. There really is nowhere else like it on earth.

Just 5 miles south of Best Friends Animal Sanctuary, you’ll find the non-profit’s newest addition - Best Friends Roadhouse & Mercantile. Designed with furry guests in mind, the property features 40 rooms with unique pet-centric features like pull-out dog beds and pet cubbies. Other perks include a fenced pet park with splash zone and dog-washing stations. Breakfast is served in the Mercantile building, where you can stock up on pet supplies. A complimentary shuttle to the Sanctuary is also offered.

Ready for a Road Trip?

Photo by Linda Segerfeldt


The editors at BringFido have dedicated themselves to digging up the best dog-friendly things to do across the country. And we've assembled it all in our new book, Ruff Guide to the United States.

Now in its second edition, the book features over 365 of the best places to stay and play with your dog in all 50 states. Order your copy today and save 50% off the retail price when you use the discount code ALOHA.

What does your dog want for Christmas? Leave a comment or tweet us @BringFido!

Banner photo by @the_realrothstein.