Maryland Unleashes Pet-Friendly Travel
From purrfect hotels to ruffing it at local beaches, the state spotlights the dog days of summer with a variety of travel ideas for those with four-legged friends in tow.
Baltimore, Md. (August 7, 2013) – Longing to get away but can’t bear to leave Fido or Fluffy behind? The Maryland Office of Tourism suggests why not bring your pet along and experience everything the state has to offer travelers with furry friends?
Nearly 40 percent of American households own at least one dog, and 34 percent have one or more cats, according to the Humane Society, and the state of Maryland and many of its parks, hotels, restaurants and beaches have taken note. And, 78 percent of pet owners say they plan to take their pet with them on vacation, an increase of 8 percent over last year, according to Petplan.
Just as the national trend in pet travel grows, Maryland’s list of pet friendly destinations is increasing too, with several more attractions, dog parks and hotels/B&Bs opening their doors to pets in 2013. For travelers hoping to spend their vacation with their pets and for residents who want to bring their pets along on their travels, Maryland offers more than 240 hotels, 100 restaurants and 40 dog parks that are all pet-friendly.
Passage of the Dining Out Growth Act of 2011 allows patrons to bring their dogs to outdoor dining areas. State Delegate Dan Morhaim, in sponsoring the legislation, believed that Maryland would benefit by giving residents and visitors a chance to patronize local businesses with their pet.
“As more and more Maryland visitors and residents seek out pet-friendly events and locales, we’re proud to see so many local businesses and towns that have truly embraced the animal-centric trend and now offer a variety of travel options, making us a year-round destination for pet owners,” says Margot Amelia, executive director, Maryland Office of Tourism. “With National Dog Day celebrated on Aug. 26, there’s no better time to take advantage of Maryland state parks, hiking trails and attractions for pets and their people.”
In Annapolis, take your dog kayaking with you. In Frederick, head to the Dog Days of Summer Festival on Sept. 7 featuring a parade, live entertainment and a “yappy” hour. Further west, the Savage River Lodge in Garrett County pampers pooches with a Bone Appetit Menu and pet package with a bandana, toys and treats.
Here is a sampling of other pet-friendly locales and activities where you can sleep, eat and play with your pets while traveling in Maryland’s five regions:
The Hagerstown Dog Park just opened at Fairgrounds Park, at the corner of Jefferson Street and Cleveland Ave in Hagerstown.
The Antietam Guest House offers non-smoking, quiet, comfortable, and private lodging, with off-street parking, for up to eight guests. The house is within a few miles of the Potomac River and the Antietam Creek for boating and fishing, and allows dogs for $10/dog/per day.
Don’t miss the Downtown Frederick Dog Park at Bentz and Carroll Parkway or the Baker Park Dog Park at 121 N. Bentz Street. The Ballenger Creek Dog Park features four acres, small and all dog areas, trails, benches and water. The Bowie Dog Park in Bowie, Md., offers one acre and two fenced areas, one for small dogs and another for large dogs.
The waterfront views of the nation’s capital are even better when enjoyed with a tail wagging friend. The Aloft Washington National Harbor offers a dog bed and bowl, and “woof-alicious” treats!
Looking to dine out with your pet? There are a number of pet-friendly eateries including Frederick Coffee Company and Café, Ben & Jerry’s, Classic Cigars & British Goodies, Brewer’s Alley Restaurant, Café Nola, Griff’s Landing and La Paz Mexican Restaurant.
The Loews Annapolis Hotel offers a pet placemat and water bowl filled with Fiji water, along with a full room service pet menu.
Bring your pup to Quiet Waters Park in Annapolis for a day of walking, jogging or biking along six miles of paved trails and two fenced areas for off-leash play. The dog beach at Downs Park lets pets play in the water and swim, perfect for the hot days of summer.
Some Annapolis restaurants allow your pet to hang out right next to their owners, offering water bowls and treats too. These include the Federal House Bar and Grille, Harry Browne’s, McGarvey’s Saloon and Oyster Bar, Rams Head Tavern, and Stan & Joe’s Saloon.
With water views and acres of lawns and gardens to explore, Woodlawn Bed and Breakfast makes for a pleasant excursion. The owners of the B&B provide tasty treats for people and pet: Wine tastings for the human and dog treats for the pet.
Rumored to be one of the most haunted places in America, you might feel better bringing the family pet along to Point Lookout State Park. Pets are allowed along the beach on the Bay.
The Hyatt Regency Chesapeake Bay Golf Resort, Spa and Marina on Maryland’s scenic Eastern Shore allows dogs up to 70 pounds to join guests during their stay. The luxury four-diamond resort offers nine pet- friendly rooms, as well as kennels available for canines. The property even offers a special “Doggie Delight” menu for these special guests. With veterinarian, grooming, and training services available nearby, Hyatt Regency Chesapeake Bay encourages travelers to bring furry pals along for the getaway.
Dogs who love to swim will find plenty to do at the Dog Beach at Matapeake Park and the Island Dog Park, both in Stevensville, Md. The park features 2 fenced areas, agility equipment, benches and water fountains for pets and humans. The Terrapin Beach Park offers paved, level and shaded paths to the beach and swimming for pets.
Assateague Island State Park allows pets on leashes year-round with registered campers and in day-use areas from Oct. 1 to April 30. Pets on leashes are allowed on the Ocean City Beaches Oct. 1 – April 30 and at the Ocean City Dog Playground with a dog pass access card.
About Maryland Tourism
The Maryland Office of Tourism is an agency of the Division of Tourism, Film and the Arts within the Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development. Visitors to the state spent more than $14.3 billion on travel-related expenses in 2011. During 2011, the Maryland tourism industry also generated close to $2 billion in state and local taxes, and provided more than 131,000 jobs for Maryland residents.