Every now and then, we need to get away from it all. Well, almost all. As any animal guardian will tell you, it’s always hard to go on vacation and leave Bingo and FruFru behind. So why not pick a place to stay where there is a Bingo or a FruFru hanging out on an outdoor deck? Many vacation destinations across the country have resident dogs or cats on premises so you can get your daily fix of kitty or puppy love–without scooping poop or cleaning out a litter box. A number of these animal-loving inns will also allow you to bring your own pet to stay. Here are just a few places we found throughout the country that offer heavy petting as part of their vacation packages.
Inn at Maplemont Farm, Barnett, VT
About two hours away from Burlington, VT, rolling countryside and pastoral farmland lead to the little town of St. Johnsbury, home to the late great animal artist Stephen Huneck. Huneck is also known as the creator of the Dog Chapel, an 18th century-inspired one-room worship dwelling. Built from scratch and of Huneck’s own design, the chapel features his original hand-carved dog pews, stained-glass images of dogs, and other animal-related artwork. People have flocked to this unassuming town from all over the world to pay homage to their own animals, posting their sentiments to current and past pets on the walls of this lovely, spiritual place.
Animal lovers visiting the area know there’s a good dose of doggie love to be had only 10 miles away at the Inn at Maplemont Farm, a cozy four-room bed and breakfast. In addition to innkeeper Sherry Tolle’s delicious breakfasts and pleasant hospitality, visitors will also enjoy the company of Quincy, her latest in a long line of resident Bernese Mountain dogs. Quincy loves to greet guests, both human and canine alike. He enjoys a spirited game of catch, running in circles with other dogs, and receiving gentle strokes on the back from his new best friends. (Note to Nevena: All these listings are pet friendly with the exception of Tree Top. Janice has requested some kind of cute pet friendly insignia for the listings for Maplemont, Apple Blossom Elden House, and Paws Up.
Tree Top Bed and Breakfast, Ephrata, PA
Lancaster County in Pennsylvania draws harried city folks to the area, offering no alternative but to relax and unwind. Sitting pretty atop Ephrata Mountain and surrounded by 300 acres of mature forest is the Tree Top Bed and Breakfast, a warm, welcoming five-room guesthouse with a separate furnished apartment. When you drop your bags at the front desk to check in, you’ll be greeted by the two Tree Top cats, Casper and Sammy. According to inn owner Bonnie Martin, the cats “feel it’s their duty to greet the guests as soon as they arrive.”
Casper and Sammy insist on getting up close and personal with all newcomers, presenting a welcoming sniff followed by a roll-over for belly rubs. After a long hard day of hiking, antiquing, or challenging a tree to an extreme staring contest, you can relax on the porch or living room with Casper and Sammy and pet them to your heart’s content. The two furry ambassadors respectfully request that you leave your own animal companions at home. In return, they promise to give you plenty of attention.
Apple Blossom Inn, Ahwahnee, CA
“Candy Apple” Arthur runs the Apple Blossom Inn, a bed and breakfast four miles outside of Yosemite Park in California. The quaintly appointed three-guestroom farmhouse sits on five and a half acres, complete with an organic apple orchard, an outdoor deck with views that would make postcards jealous, and a welcoming spa to relax in after wrestling in the wilds of the national park.
Helping Arthur run this sweet retreat is Ruby, the Australian Shepherd. Candy found Ruby starving and cold along the side of the road, after which she coaxed her into her garage, fed her, and gave her a little love. “At that point, Ruby was determined I was going to be her human,” says Arthur.
But Ruby lived with another family. On several different occasions, however, Ruby jumped over a six-foot fence and trotted two miles uphill to be with Candy. Finally everyone agreed that Ruby would be better off with Candy.
And by all accounts Ruby loves the life of a B&B dog. She greets people when they arrive at the inn, and she’s up for walks or just hanging out on the sundeck with guests at any time,
Elden House, Flagstaff AZ
Shop-a-holics are drawn to Flagstaff’s quaint downtown and little boutique stores. Some folks gravitate to the Planes of Fame Air Museum, a tourist attraction housing historical aircraft that make you wonder how anyone ever set foot in an airplane 50 years ago. Some people want to cross off seeing the world’s best preserved meteorite crater from their life’s to-do list, and others enjoy Flagstaff’s proximity to a little place known as the Grand Canyon.
While you’re there, you’ll enjoy some attention of the canine kind at Elden House Bed and Breakfast. Your hosts are Alison and Anthony Muir, although they’ll probably tell you the real hosts are their dogs, Sugar and Mandy. Sugar often leads the guests to their rooms and makes it perfectly clear that if you want the bed, you’re going to have to pet her for it.
The Resort at Paws Up, Greenough, MT
Thirty miles northeast of Missoula, overachievers on the verge of burnout may want to recharge at the Resort at Paws Up, a luxury 10,000-acre ranch accommodation nestled in Blackfoot Valley. Concentrate on excessive pampering with a stay in one of the vacation homes appointed with spacious suites, a game room, and jetted spa tub. Or engage in “glamping,” glamorous camping in Paws Up Tent City.
According to owners Dave and Nadine Lipson, the Paws Up name “was originally inspired by those overly friendly, wriggling dogs who greet visitors by putting their paws up in the air while their tails thump the floor a mile a minute.” You can find such a dog, Emma, at the Paws Up General Store (P.U.G.S.) who just happens to be a Pug herself. Customers have been known to drop their shopping carts mid-aisle to take Emma for a walk and occasionally invite Emma to stay with them overnight.