In many families, pets are essentially children and siblings, so leaving them behind when you go on vacation is just not an option. While not every place on the map welcomes pets, many area vacation spots offer ideal accommodations for families with pets. These nearby staycation getaways are your best bet for a pet-friendly adventure.
26 West St.
Annapolis, MD 21401
(410) 280-0445

Dogs love the rush of air from a car window, and they’ll love the breeze off the water while touring the Annapolis Harbor and Chesapeake Bay on a Watermark sightseeing cruise ship. On dry land, many shops welcome pets and offer treats as well as water. The Federal House Bar and Grill even has a dog menu. Dog parks include the Quiet Waters Park which has trails, two fenced areas for off-leash fun and a dog beach.

Related: Top Pet-Friendly Resorts

Atlantic City
2314 Pacific Ave.
Atlantic City, NJ 08401
(888) 228-4748

Poker may not be a realistic activity for dogs in Atlantic City, but the vacation spot still has plenty for pets to do. A favorite spot is the Absecon Lighthouse, with its two-acre lawn for play. Pets are also welcome in various accommodations, from hotels to vacation rentals, and there is also a hotel just for them. Just north of Atlantic City in Brigantine Beach, dogs are allowed on the beaches from from Oct. 1 to May 29, and on the North-End Beach throughout the year.

501 Greenfield Road
Lancaster, PA 17601
(800) 723-8824

Lancaster is known for its Amish charm, but it is also a dog’s paradise. Not far off the turnpike exit is the quaint Stoudtburg Village, which allows families to shop with their pets in many of the stores. There are grassy areas for play in the village, as well as special events throughout the year that are pet friendly. Lancaster also boasts two dog parks (Buchanan and Overlook) and a wide choice of pet-friendly hotels.

Related: Top Winter Road Trip Destinations Near Philadelphia

Lehigh Gorge Scenic Railway
1 Susquehanna St.
Jim Thorpe, PA 18229
(570) 325-8485

Not only is the train at the Lehigh Gorge Scenic Railway family friendly, but it is also dog friendly, with well-behaved dogs allowed to ride the train for free. The ride lasts about an hour, and when its over, you and your pup can go for a walk along the Switchback Railroad Trail, an unused railroad corridor that’s been turned into a trail.

30 S. 17th St., Suite 2010
Philadelphia, PA 19103
(215) 599-0776

For some in the area, just visiting this historic city filled with attractions is a vacation. Pets are welcome on the grounds of historic Independence Hall, but are not allowed in the buildings. Parks perfect for pets to play are plentiful, from Fairmount Park to to the Schuylkill River Park Dog Run. When staying overnight, Hotel Palomar in Center City near Rittenhouse Square is the place to stay, with a pet bed, water bowl and tons of pet assistance provided. Restaurants with outdoor eating areas, like Sabrina’s Cafe, allow leashed dogs.

Samantha Sinclair is a freelance writer who lives in South Jersey. She has two boys who love “adventuring.” Her work can be found at