9 “Paw-triotic” Cities to Visit With Fido

Posted by Billy Francis

Does Fido’s “star-Spaniel” banner still wave? If he pledges as much allegiance to the flag as he does to his tennis ball, then take him on a tour of these “paw-triotic” destinations that welcome pups to celebrate our great nation.

1. Washington, D.C.

“This guy isn’t much fun to play with.” Photo by Melissa Halliburton

Where better to start Fido’s historic tour of his “fur” fathers’ stomping grounds than in the nation’s capital? Begin your trip at the National Mall, where you can gaze upon memorials to America’s most revered presidents. Pay tribute to Honest Abe at the Lincoln Memorial; his brilliantly named pooch, Fido, was the first presidential pup to be photographed. Cross the river to the FDR Memorial, which commemorates the 32nd president and his Scottish Terrier, Fala. They’re just two of the pups who once had their dog house at the White House. For a convenient way around the monuments, reserve a ride with Nonpartisan Pedicabs. Their trusty guides will even watch your pup if you want to go inside any of the buildings where dogs aren’t permitted. Hop out of your cab at Art and Soul for a Southern-inspired spread and a dog menu that includes Peanut-Banana Pupsicles.

Located minutes from the monuments and other attractions, The River Inn offers a pet-friendly stay in the heart of the nation’s capital.

2. Philadelphia, PA

“Learning about history is exhausting!” Photo by @pep_tronics

Philadelphia was the temporary capital while Washington, D.C. was being built in 1790, and is where the Founding Fathers met to form the country. First stop for history buffs should be Independence National Historical Park, where you’ll discover Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell. Dogs aren’t permitted inside the buildings but can join you on the paved pathways outside. If you don’t want to miss out on any of the sights around the city, join The Constitutional Walking Tour. The 75-minute guided stroll takes you and your pooch to 20 historic sights around the city. Before you leave the City of Brotherly Love, there’s one more historic pit stop to make. Pull up for a Philly Cheesesteak from the birthplace of the famous sandwich, Pat’s King of Steaks.

Spend the night between the Delaware River and the National Historical Park at Sheraton Society Hill Hotel. Four-legged guests receive beds and bowls to use during their stay.

3. Boston, MA

“I’m not falling for that again! There’s nobody behind me…” Photo by Melissa Halliburton

Boston’s incredible history began with Puritan settlers fleeing persecution in England. Beantown played a prominent role in the  American Revolution and is a cradle of academia where some of the nation’s most revered universities were founded. It’s also one of the most pet-friendly cities in the country. The Freedom Trail will give you a rundown of the city’s early history. “Paws” along the way to sniff out information about those who have walked the trail in years gone by. If you want a more in-depth narration from a local expert, sign up with your pup for one of the city’s many tours. After walking all day, you’ll have earned yourselves a traditional Bostonian meal. Head to State Street Provisions for “chowdah” and “lobstah.”

Rest and relax at the Colonnade Hotel, where Fido will be rewarded for his “pawtriotism” with a pet bed, bowl, and a choice of dog food.

4. San Antonio, TX

Strolling through Historic Market Square. Photo by @rankie_and_juni

San Antonio is an American city sprinkled with Spanish flavor. Start your journey in the Tex-Mex capital at The Alamo, the most famous historic Spanish fortress in the city. The Battle of the Alamo was a major turning point in the Texas Revolution, and gave rise to legendary figures like Davy Crockett and James Bowie. To this day, the cry of “Remember the Alamo” is synonymous with American courage and patriotism. Not surprisingly, the fort is the main reason why San Antonio is considered to be one of the most haunted cities in the country. Once you’ve snapped a picture in front of the first fort on your travels, make your way to San Antonio Missions National Historical Park to discover four more.

Rest up at Hotel Gibbs Downtown Riverwalk, just a two-minute walk from the Alamo.

5. New York, NY

"I need a minute." Photo by Mason Davis

New York is a helluva town to immerse yourself in the industry and ingenuity of the American people. Architectural wonders like the Empire State Building can make your heart skip a beat, but seeing the completed buildings will make it sing. It’s not all steel and concrete in NYC; Bring Fido to a leafy oasis at The Battery, where you'll have a fine view of the Statue of Liberty, a longstanding symbol of America for immigrants from around the world. Another patriotic park worth visiting is Brooklyn’s Prospect Park. The arch at the entrance, Grand Army Plaza, honors soldiers from the Civil War and features tributes to many famous New Yorkers and presidents. The highlight for pups is Prospect Park Dog Field, where dogs can roam leash-free from 5 a.m. to 9 a.m. and 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. daily.

Stay with your best friend for less at Holiday Inn Express Brooklyn.

6. St. Louis, MO

“Arch you glad we came here?” Photo by @adventuresofwinniethedooh

Gateway Arch was constructed in 1963 to commemorate President Thomas Jefferson's Louisiana Purchase from France and St Louis’ integral role in the expanding American west. Walk the pet-friendly trails with your dog and admire the iconic structure, before making your way to Forest Park, where the Purchase was signed in 1803. The park also hosted the 1904 Olympics, so you and Fido can practice your 100-meter sprint together on the paved trails. Make your final patriotic stop at Jefferson Barracks Historical Park, which served as a major military installation until 1946 and acted as military barracks for both sides during the Civil War. Refuel at nearby Stacked Burger Bar.

Get a view of Gateway Arch from your room at Hyatt Regency Saint Louis at the Arch.

7. San Diego, CA

“Step back into the past!” Photo by @bluetheterriermix

In 1769, Father Junipero Serra and a group of Spanish soldiers settled in San Diego, making it the first permanent European settlement in California. Saunter into Old Town San Diego to learn about the converging cultures of Mexico and the United States, and the history of the city. Afterwards, pay a visit to Balboa Park, another place that has stamped itself on the identity of the city. It’s one of the largest urban parks in the country and has two dedicated off-leash areas that share the space with historic buildings and stunning gardens. While you’re enjoying the surroundings, sit down together for a full-service meal at The Prado at Balboa Park.

Spend the night downtown near the water at Westin Gaslamp Quarter San Diego.

8. George Washington’s Mount Vernon, VA

“Who’s Vernon?” Photo by Melissa Halliburton

During his lifetime, America’s first president owned French hounds, Greyhounds, Newfoundlands, Briards, Spaniels, Terriers and toy breeds. You can learn all about his love of canines on a trip to his estate, Mount Vernon. Although dogs are not allowed inside the buildings on the property, there’s still lots to see outside in the beautiful grounds. Walk along the tree-lined pathways and visit highlights like his tomb, the stables, and the gardens. Afterwards, cross the river into Maryland and check out Fort Washington Park, which was actively used for defense and training until World War II.

Mount Vernon was a plush respite for Washington back in the day, but seeing a Kimpton can have the same effect on Fido today. With three off-leash areas within walking distance, Kimpton Lorien Hotel and Spa is the place to stay in nearby Alexandria.

9. Vicksburg, MS

“The grass is always greener …” Photo by @tigersfan1987

Playing a pivotal role in the Union’s victory in the Civil War, Vicksburg National Military Park is a solemn place where you can learn about one of the most important moments in American history. Bring your leashed pooch on a walk around the trails and learn about Ulysses S. Grant’s victory along the way. You can also pay your respects to the brave soldiers who fell in battle during this turbulent chapter of American history at the Vicksburg National Cemetery. Established in 1866, it was one of the first national cemeteries in the country and is the final resting place of more than 17,000 troops from various conflicts throughout our history. After honoring the fallen, explore the rest of the city, and make your way to Martins at Midtown for a bite with your best friend.

Spend the night at one of the most popular hotels in the area, La Quinta Inn & Suites Vicksburg.

What’s your favorite “pawtriotic” destination in America? Leave a comment or tweet us @BringFido!