All dog owners can agree that our furry friends are more than just playful companions. They truly become members of the family, so why leave them behind when it’s time to hit the road? Rules and regulations of hotels and attractions can pose obstacles, but no getaway is complete unless everyone gets to come. Luckily RV trips make the perfect dog-friendly vacations!
Bringing your dog on vacation doesn’t have to be a hassle, especially if you just do a little research ahead of time. If you’re looking for a Texas trip start your search by checking out these ten destinations that offer the best pet-friendly vacations in the state.
Top 10 RV Trip Destinations for You and Your Pet in Texas
- New Braunfels
- The Frio River
- Padre Island National Seashore
- Sam Houston National Forest
- El Paso
- Daingerfield State Park
Going on a pet-friendly vacation doesn’t mean having to go too far off the beaten path. You won’t find a more dog-friendly city than the state’s capital, Austin. Dog bowls filled with water are a common sight around town, and you can’t go far without stumbling across a park filled with playful dogs running around. You’ll find tons of pet-friendly eateries, bars, retail stores, and of course, RV parks in and around Austin. Be sure to check out outdoor activities like hiking the Barton Creek Greenbelt, kayaking Lady Bird Lake, or swimming downstream of Barton Springs Pool at an area known as Barking Springs.
Dust off your dog’s life jacket for a little river and lake fun in Central Texas. Dogs are permitted on the Comal and Guadalupe Rivers as long as they remain on a leash. They can even float the waters with you in their own tube, which can be rented from local shops. Canyon Lake, which has been dubbed the “Water Recreation Capital of Texas”, sits about twenty miles down the road. Take a stroll along the banks with your dog or relax on the shore. When you go back to town, eat a tasty meal at one of the many restaurants with pet-friendly outdoor patios.
The Frio River
Texas’s summer months are hot enough without adding a fur coat to the mix. Cool off with your pooch by jumping into the notoriously frigid Frio River. This Texas favorite is one of the best dog-friendly vacations for the hottest time of year. Stay in one of the many RV parks nestled along the banks of the river from Concan to Leakey. If the chilly waters aren’t for you, Garner State Park remains a must-see. Though dogs aren’t allowed in designated swimming areas, they can join you on one of the many hiking trails the park offers.
Traveling from North Texas? Try Amarillo. In town, take a stroll down the historic Route 66 Historic District or visit one of the city’s five dog parks. Snap some pictures at the Cadillac Ranch art installation and make the trek to the nearby town of Canyon, which is home to Palo Duro Canyon State Park. The park, which showcases the second largest canyon in the United States, has tons of great trails and views. Keep in mind that many trails lack shade, so bring plenty of water for both you and your dog.
Padre Island National Seashore
Let your pup feel the sand beneath their toe beans at Padre Island National Seashore located along the Gulf Coast, south of Corpus Christi. Nearly all areas of the park are pet-friendly, including the 60 miles of sandy shores. Though they must remain on a leash, you’ll have plenty of space to run and splash in the waters alongside them without worrying about automobile traffic. There are several campsites throughout the park, making it easy to find an area that satisfies you and your dog’s need for adventure and relaxation.
Explore the Texas Hill Country using Fredericksburg as your hub. Indulge in tasty German food at eateries like Altdorf Biergarten, Auslander, Farm Haus Bistro, and more. All welcome four-legged patrons and go out of their way to help dogs stay comfortable and hydrated. The area is also Texas wine country, so you’ll want to be sure to visit a dog-friendly winery like Becker Vineyards in nearby Stonewall.
Stay at or make a day trip out to Enchanted Rock State Natural Area. Dogs aren’t allowed on the main hike up to the top of the rock, but they are permitted in the campground, day-use areas, and the scenic loop trail.
Sam Houston National Forest
Explore the vast piney woods of East Texas in Sam Houston National Forest. There are several campgrounds located throughout the forest, including Double Lake Recreation Area. Here campers can fish, swim, picnic, and hike close to the campground. If you want to get out on the water, boat and canoe rentals are available seasonally.
Journey to Texas’s westernmost city of El Paso to experience beautiful desert mountain scenery, vibrant sunsets, and rich cultural history. The city is home to the largest urban wilderness park in the country, Franklin Mountains State Park. Your pup can join you on hiking trails and small dogs can even ride along on the Ranger Peak gondola. Other dog-friendly points of interest include nearby Hueco Tanks State Park, Zin Valle Vineyards, the Railroad and Transportation Museum, and more.
Tourists of the two-legged and four-legged variety all love Galveston. This coastal town located southeast of Houston prides itself on being a dog-friendly destination. You’ll see dogs all around its beaches and waterfront downtown district. You can even find some tour companies that will let you bring your pet on dolphin-watching excursions!
Daingerfield State Park
Texas is home to more than 80 fabulous state parks, which can make picking one a bit challenging. If you want to head to the northeast corner of the state, stop for a few days at Daingerfield State Park. Wind through the massive loblolly pines, oaks, and dogwoods on the park’s trails or paddle out on Little Pine Lake. This destination is perfect if you are looking for a peaceful and serene environment away from the hustle and bustle of life.
Hit the Road
Don’t leave Fido behind when planning your next vacation. These ten pet-friendly vacations in Texas will ensure that everyone, including the dog, gets to have an adventure-filled time on the road. Always be sure to call ahead of time to double check the rules, as regulations are always subject to change.