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What’s your Best Bet for Summer Dog Fun?
Be a part of our summer guide, and win a Dog Is My Co-Pilot bumper sticker
How will you plunge into summer?

It may be hard for some of us in colder, wetter parts of the country to really believe that summer is coming. But as sure as a treat follows ­ a click!, the clouds will part, the temperatures will rise, and school breaks will commence. Before we know it, our dogs will be waiting at the front door with a Frisbee in their mouths, bags packed with treats and fresh water, wagging their tails, the eager smiles on their faces asking: “What fun have you planned for me?” We don’t want to disappoint.

So, what’s your idea of a perfect summer adventure with your pup. Do you have a favorite urban stroll that ends at a canine ice cream truck? A mountain hike with boundable meadows and splashable streams? How about a dive-ready waterhole or smooth, sandy beach? Do you join your buddy at a dog camp or bring her along to seriously pup-friendly festivals or farmer’s markets? Have you've discovered a divine dog-loving  cafe or al fresco yappy hour?
And because we're all about positive reinforcement, we plan to reward your great ideas. If your suggestion is included in our summer magazine guide, we will give you full credit (as long as we know how to contact you), plus you'll receive a Dog Is My Co-Pilot bumper sticker, so you can trick out your dogmobile for future travels. Be sure to tell us the name and location of your special place.
Help us make this the best summer ever for all Bark pups!

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Submitted by Maura | April 22 2011 |

I love going to the monthly fun match at Heart Dog Agility in Ben Lomand, CA- www.heartdogagility.com/ and then heading down to Sea Scape beach in Soquel after to let the dogs run (the beach right in from of Sea Scape Beach Resort)! This beach is AMAZING and is a secret gem that not many people know about! It's HUGE and normally pretty empty! The sand is clean and the dogs have miles of beach to run!
There are some cute little dog friendly cafes to eat lunch at after too!

Submitted by Angela | April 22 2011 |

Without a doubt, our favorite place for fun with our dogs is Dog Scout Camp in St. Helen, Michigan. This will be our tenth summer going to one of their week-long summer camps. Dogs get to hike, backpack, swim, dock dive, play agility, and learn lots of fun activities all using positive training methods. They can even become official Dog Scouts and earn badges!

Submitted by Anonymous | April 22 2011 |

I like going to Onancock on Virginia's Eastern Shore. The town is dog friendly, dogs can go everywhere.

There are two B&Bs that are dog friendly and there is a private dog-friendly beach nearby.



Submitted by Pam | April 22 2011 |

Burlington, Vermont--swimming in the lake, three off-leash dog parks, outdoor dining on Church Street, walking on the 13-mile bike path next to the lake, exploring trails in the Burlington Intervale and Ethan Allen Homestead, and best of all, dogs can attend the annual Vermont Brewer's Festival on the waterfront in late July.

Submitted by Shelly Senter | April 22 2011 |

Historic Taft beach on the Oregon Coast has the best dog friendly hotel. We stayed at the Looking Glass Inn and were treated like royalty. The rooms are spacious and we got a special basket with towels, bowls, sheets( dogs can sleep on the beds) and treats.

What is super great is the beach access is right out the door! There is lots of sand and driftwood to explore, not to mention sea lions swimming right off shore.

Gryfyn ( my 8lb Brussel's Griffon) and I especially like seeing all the other dogs and their humans. We met a great Dane named Duke and many others.

Taft is located on the South end of Lincoln City. Many great shops in walking distance. Truly doggie beach heaven.

Submitted by Tom Guffey | April 22 2011 |

Taking in all the Summer Dock Dog events. Great friends, wonderful dogs, and the event cant be beat for enjoying a nice summer weekend....like the one at the Bite of Seattle.

Submitted by Kay S. | April 22 2011 |

Cape San Blas, FL is the best pet friendly beach we have visited. There are lots of house and condo rental options right on the gulf, and the beautiful beach is pet friendly 24/7. Lady can't wait to go back this year. She has yet to capture a sand crab, but that is not for any lack of diligence.

Submitted by Karis Daphne | April 22 2011 |

Zephyr Cove beach at Lake Tahoe has a dog-friendly portion on the far end. A wonderful place to take dogs! My two learned how to swim there just last summer.

Submitted by Veronica | April 22 2011 |

This summer I plan to ramp up my agility training with my two Chihuahuas who compete in dog agility. None of us like competing in the hottest part of the summer, but we'll be attending fun matches and trials that offer evening runs, and regular evening training classes. Hopefully by Fall when it cools down a bit, we'll be Q'ing up a storm at local agility trials!

Submitted by Anonymous | April 22 2011 |

We took our dogs to Montreal one summer, stayed in the wonderful Loews Hotel there. It's just a short walk from the hotel to the most beautifully landscaped dog park we'd ever seen, where conversations with dog owning locals were plentiful and helpful, offering advice about destinations as well as restaurant recommendations. Our dogs always make meeting people easier, which is one of the great things about traveling with them.

Submitted by Nancy | April 24 2011 |

I live in Montreal. I'm so glad to hear your comments about the city. Thank you

Submitted by laurelin | April 23 2011 |

If you find yourself in Providence, the East Side is a wonderful network of walkable, tree-lined streets connecting a couple of cute neighborhoods ... each with super dog-friendly businesses! Wayland Square on one end has a dog friendly book store (Books on the Square), Cafe (The Edge Cafe - with home-made dog biscuits), Wine Store (Wayland Square Fine Wines) and dog boutique (Plaid and Stripe). A short (1.5 mile) stroll down Blackstone Boulevard with its tree-filled central park takes you to Lippit Park, home to an awesome and super dog-friendly Farmers Market on Saturday mornings all summer (there's even a doggy bakery, Jack's Snacks). From there, you can wander back up Hope Street to another stretch of restaurants and cafes (Seven Stars, for one!) with dog-friendly outdoor seating.

Submitted by Jen B | April 25 2011 |

We had a great vacation with our dog last summer at the Interlaken Inn in the southern Berkshires. Great dog friendly lodging surrounded by cute little towns. Plus the Inn has a lovely lake with a beach for human and canine swimming. And the Inn supports a local animal shelter.

Submitted by Leslie | April 25 2011 |

In Minneapolis, there is a great dog friendly bar. They hold dog specific events, like "Beer With Your Buddy". I will be spending the fantastic MN summer nights playing Bocce Ball and socializing with my dog.

Submitted by Phil | April 25 2011 |

We go camping on the Minnesota North Shore every year for our wedding anniversary and the past couple of years we've brought one of our dogs with. She absolutely loves it. Not only the camping but nearly every store in Grand Marais doesn't mind if you carry your dog (I'd suggest bringing small dogs for this to work) while in the store.

So not only does our poodle enjoy a full week of the outdoors, hiking, bird watching, barking at everything that makes a sound near the camp site but she gets to go shopping and not be stuck in the car.

Submitted by Frances | April 27 2011 |

I am very lucky to live in a beautiful part of England, with mountains, sea and open country all within easy reach. My dogs love occasional excursions, but what we most enjoy in summer is taking our time on one of our everyday walks along the river to linger and enjoy the sights and sounds and smells. I will sit for half an hour on the bank, tossing occasional pebbles or sticks into the shallows for them, while they turn over stones, try to catch fishes, and just enjoy the sensation of moving water. Then we walk on to the field where the rabbits live, and sit in the sun waiting for the rabbits to show themselves. Sometimes I fill my pockets with a picnic for us to share, but really just being out together is enough. A sunny green hillside, running water, two dogs, and no hurry - bliss!

Submitted by Lizzi K | April 27 2011 |

Here in Chicago, summer is doggie heaven. There are so many options of fun things to do here I couldn't ever list them all! Around here, they don't just call them the "dog days of summer" because of the heat. I'll list a few of my favorites.

The summer mantra for Chicagoans is "cooler by the lake" and Lake Michigan is definitely the summer place to be. Unfortunately dogs are not generally allowed on the city beaches, but we make up for that by having several doggie beaches in Chicago and the suburbs. These are off leash play areas where your dog can take a dip or romp on the sand with their friends.
Here is my girl Bianca at the beach: http://www.chicagocanine.com/bianca/biacalrunaway.jpg
A fun and different lake option is to take a Canine Cruise! There is a cruiseline here which offers 1.5 hour cruises for dogs and their owners which go on the Chicago River and into Lake Michigan. They run on Sundays from July to September.

Another fun thing to do in the summer is to go to one of the city's neighborhood festivals. We have tons of festivals scattered throughout the summer, many of which are dog friendly (not all, so be sure to check!) One of my personal favorites is Custer's Last Stand, which is held on a weekend in June around Custer Ave. in Evanston. Besides dogs, I've also seen people there with parrots on their shoulders and carrying a pouch of ferrets. The Andersonville Midsommarfest is another fun one I often attend with my dogs. There are also several pet-centered festivals and fundraisers during the summer such as Woofstock at Pooch Park.

After a fun summer day, you might like to dine out with your dog. There are quite a few dog friendly patios at Chicago restaurants, where your dog is welcome to join you for dinner. If you are in the city limits you do need to check if the restaurant has a "Dog Friendly Dining" license, otherwise they legally are not supposed to allow dogs (and in all cases dogs are not allowed inside the restaurants.) This only applies to Chicago proper, I'm not sure what the rules are in the suburbs, if any.
I have a list of these dog friendly restaurants on my website: http://www.chicagocanine.com/dining.html
Note that some may not allow dogs during certain busy times or may have other restrictions, so it is always good to call ahead and check.

Submitted by Sue DeHart | May 3 2011 |

Our greyhound, Zoey, just loves Bolsa Chica State Beach in southern California between Seal Beach and Huntington. It's a dog beach and not a wimpy one either. It runs for such a long distance that Zoey can't cover the whole length in one run. While there are lots of dogs and their humans, I have never felt it to be crowded. Parking can be interesting, so arriving early in the day helps. Everyone seems to be having such a good time, after all, what's not to like? Southern California weather, the ocean, and many canine friends!

Submitted by Lauren F | April 16 2014 |

Here is an updated list of dog friendly parks in Chicago. http://www.cruisincanines.com/blog/dog-friendly-parks-chicago-il/
It has some details about each location and links to each Google map. Pretty helpful if you're looking for summer dog fun.

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