Dog Friendly Vacation Spot
June 1, 2008 3:31 PM   Subscribe

Your recommendations for dog-friendly vacation spots in the midwest!

We're looking to take a local, driveable, weekend trip with one of our dogs this summer. She's a mellow Bluetick Hound and loves the outdoors. This would just be a camping/sightseeing/chillout excursion 0-8 hours by car from St. Louis, Missouri. If you know of any camping spots or hotels or just small towns in general that are dog friendly, please tell us.

Discussions about taking dogs on vacation or dogs as family members or dogs in public places are for some other question, not this one. We're looking for places that already specifically accept dogs, not 'maybe I can bring dog here and they're cool with it we hope'.
posted by pieoverdone to Travel & Transportation (8 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
All Nebraska state parks allow dogs. I would recommend Mahoney State Park - they have great cabins! The cabins have air conditioning, so you can leave your dog there and explore the other attractions around that area. Or, take your dog on the hiking trails or swimming in the lakes.

This will be about 8 hours exactly from St. Louis.
posted by Ostara at 4:08 PM on June 1, 2008

This lists several Wisconsin State Parks that specifically allow dogs.
posted by Pockets at 4:09 PM on June 1, 2008

Many, many years ago, I was on a family vacation through the Blue Grass region of Kentucky. With a large, hyper but well trained dog. The Kentucky Horse park allowed dogs at the time. Unfortunately, I can't remember too much about campgrounds (might have been one of the Yogi Bear themed ones?) and other places which were dog friendly/dog allowed places. But on a whole, everyone we ran into on that trip seemed very pro-dog, but this is going back over 15 years. Hope this helps.
posted by kellyblah at 4:17 PM on June 1, 2008

Call first. Call first. Call first. Call first and get the name of the person you spoke with.
One incident is enough to change the rules even if those rules are on a website page with this week's noteworthy events updated just today.

Please be aware that "Pets" and "Dogs" sometimes means under 15 pounds which a bluetick hound is not likely to be.

Also, there are several chains, such as La Quinta, that generally allow dogs but even within these chains, you may hit the occassional hotel that does not allow pets.

I've gone all over with fuzzy, 45-pound dogs, and it's not that difficult, but bitter experience has taught me that you want to talk to a human very close to your travel date.
posted by Lesser Shrew at 4:26 PM on June 1, 2008

The Wisconsin Dells is a great little tourist trap/vacation spot. Lots of nature-related stuff that your dog might cotton to, and some decent water parks to cool off during a hot summer.
posted by thanotopsis at 4:44 PM on June 1, 2008

Oh, and Motel 6 seems to be dog-friendly. The one in St. Jo, Missouri, even has a bowl of dog biscuits at the front desk.

If you do go to Mahoney, and want to hop off the interstate in Omaha, go to The Bookworm. It's a little independent bookstore that allows you to bring your dog in with you! I was there on Sat. and saw a poodle and a rottweiler.
posted by Ostara at 5:48 PM on June 1, 2008

Well, Google says this is about 10 hours from St. Louis, but it's worth it IMO. Washington Island, at the tip of Door County in Wisconsin, has a great campground that allows dogs. It's a great place for chilling out; it's an island only accessible by ferry so it's a pretty slow pace of life there. There are plenty of beaches.
posted by desjardins at 6:18 AM on June 2, 2008

Red Roof Inns nearly universally welcome dogs.

The Kentucky Horse Park has its own campground which is lovely and dog-friendly.
posted by acorncup at 10:15 PM on June 3, 2008

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