From rustic camping far from the mainland to 5-star luxury on your own slice of paradise, these pet-friendly private islands are the perfect place to enjoy a socially distanced vacation with your dog.
Posted by Billy Francis
1. Lake Vermillion Private Island
Located on Lake Vermilion in Tower, MN, this 13-acre private island boasts a single rustic cabin where you and your pooch can bed down for the night. Fido is invited to dive off the dock, chill out in the screen house, and warm up by the fire pit when the sun starts to set. You can explore the rest of the lakefront acreage on winding trails and meet permanent residents like deer and chipmunks. Lake Vermillion Private Island sleeps nine. Two dogs are welcome to stay for a fee of $20 per pet, per day.
2. Dogatraz Island
Despite the name, Dogatraz Island isn’t a high-security jail for naughty canines. It’s actually a delightful getaway just a 10-minute canoe from the mainland in Hinesburg, VT. Your host will take you to the island to drop you off and pick you up when it’s time to go home. When Fido sees the picture of Lily diving into the water on the living room wall and all the other dog-centric decor, he’ll know he’s come to the right place. After exploring the island and going for a splash, use the outdoor shower to clean off muddy paws and hang your wet leash on the hooks. Dogatraz Island sleeps four people and welcomes pups for free.
3. East Sister Rock Island
One of our favorite beachfront properties, East Sister Rock Island is the most luxurious escape on our list. Located off the coast of Marathon in the Florida Keys, this tropical haven is accessible by a complimentary Carolina Skiff. Get out on the water with your hound during the day, then hang out on the veranda and listen to the waves lapping against the manmade moat when the sun sets. East Sister Rock Island sleeps eight guests and has no pet fee.
4. Emerald Isle Tiny House
Check three items off Fido’s bucket list on one trip at this Emerald Isle tiny house, where you can experience tiny living, a glamping adventure and a private island on the same vacation. Guests at this pack in/pack out location in Swansboro, NC, are invited to switch off from modern life and get back to nature. The private island comes equipped with a 40-foot dock, a rustic tiny home and a safari tent for glamping fun. Hop in one of the four complimentary kayaks provided to explore the waterway surrounding the island and visit the nearby, pet-friendly Emerald Isle Beach. In addition to free kayak rentals, the host’s licensed captain can drop you off and pick you up when it’s time to check out. The Emerald Isle tiny house sleeps six and welcomes dogs for free.
5. Moosehead Island Cabin
Moosehead Island Cabin offers a unique stay for guests who own a boat to get to and from the private island. Paddle together in the shallow waters of the lake, grill up Fido’s fresh catch from a day of fishing on the BBQ, and wash his paws in the outdoor shower before retiring to the cozy cabin for the night. Located in Greenville, ME, Moosehead Island Cabin sleeps six and allows dogs for an additional fee of $20 per night.
6. Sharp’s Island
Sharp’s Island is the only legal camping destination in the city of Richmond. Bring your tent and camp on the beach or among the trees of the forested interior of the island. This one-of-a-kind spot in Virginia’s capital offers unrivaled angling opportunities in the James River. Guests must paddle by kayak to get there. If you don’t have your own, rent one from RVA Paddlesports. Sharp’s Island sleeps 14 people and has no pet fee.
7. Idaho Island Retreat
Surrounded by a side channel of the Snake River, the Idaho Island Retreat in Rigby, ID, offers 5 acres of complete privacy. Hang out on the three decks and enjoy views of the surrounding cottonwood forest, where the only sound is gushing water and abundant wildlife. Dogs who like islands but hate water will be ecstatic to learn that the retreat can be accessed by a bridge. The best time to visit is during fall, when the island’s trees turn a stunning array of color. Idaho Island Retreat sleeps 12 and has a pet fee that can be discussed with your host upon reservation.
8. Island Camp
The worst part about a lake trip is having to go home at the end of the day. Why not stay on the lake instead? Located in the heart of Lake Winnipesaukee in Alton, NH, Island Camp offers groups the choice of three cabins. Once you settle in, head out to explore the natural surroundings on the 2-mile walking path, cast off into the lake from the dock, and doggy paddle in the picturesque swim area near the shore. You’ll need your own boat to get here. Island Camp sleeps eight and welcomes dogs for free.
9. Round Island Retreat
If you love nothing more than putting with your pooch, set sail for Round Island Retreat. This private island can be found at the center of Sylvan Lake in Rome City, IN, and is home to its very own putting green for you to practice your swing. After one too many misses, don’t just admire the 360-degree views of the lake; get out on the water on a pontoon that is yours to use with your reservation. Round Island Retreat sleeps 14 and welcomes pets for no additional fee.
10. Whiskey Island
Home to one of the oldest cottages in the 1,000 Islands, Whiskey Island welcomes you and your pooch to experience a piece of history. First built in 1875, this island cottage in Clayton, NY, has been the backdrop for vibrant sunsets and vast stargazing sessions for generations. Explore just over 3 acres of land with your pooch, swim or fish in the river together, and feel the rejuvenating properties of the isolated home. In addition to the grand lodge with a library and five porches, other buildings include a guesthouse, boathouse and skiff house. You’ll need your own boat to stay here. Whiskey Island sleeps 15, and dogs can stay for a $250 pet fee.
Which Isle of Dogs will you visit first? Leave a comment or tweet us @BringFido!
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