The Best Of The Pet-Friendly Midwest


When you live in a bustling city like Chicago it’s easy to get caught up in activities close to home. But sometimes escaping the monotony of the daily grind is exactly what you and your dog need. So grab Fido’s travel bowls, hop in the car, and spend a weekend (or longer!) discovering the best of the Midwest at one of these great nearby pet-friendly hot spots.



Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness
Occupying over a million acres in northeastern Minnesota and featuring over 1,500 miles of canoe routes and 2,000 camp sites, the BWCA is full of almost limitless places to explore with your dog. Spend your day canoeing, fishing, or hiking, and relax in the pristine beauty of this gorgeous park. // Website

Gunflint Lodge, Marais
Twice a year (once in September and once in October) Gunflint Lodge hosts the Dog Lover’s Weekend, a 3-night experience for you and your four- legged friend to enjoy together. Hike the woods, explore the waterfalls, and participate in the K-9 Olympics and dog socials. // Website



Des Moines
On-leash dogs are welcome at many of the best places Des Moines has to offer, such as the grounds of the Des Moines Botanical Center, the historical Fort Des Moines, and Salisbury House and Gardens, the Historical Valley Junction shopping district, and the 17-mile Great Western Trail. // Website




Somerset Ridge Vineyard, Somerset
We know your dog can’t drink wine, but at Somerset Ridge she’s welcome to join you while you indulge! Enjoy wine tastings and seminars, relax on the patio, and pack a picnic to enjoy on the vineyard. Well-behaved, on-leash dogs are welcome to accompany you. // Website

Kansas City
Enjoy some culture and Frisbee-playing at the 22-acre Interactive Sculpture Garden at the Nelson- Atkins Museum of Art or romp around at Loose Park, one of Kansas City’s most popular spots for people and pets to relax and play. // Website



Kansas City It’s easy to find a pet-welcoming hotel in this dog-loving city (not to be confused with Kansas City, Kansas). Walk around downtown and learn why it’s called the City of Fountains, hike the Trolley Track Trails—which feature five off-leash dog parks—and stop by the Three Dog Bakery for a sweet treat. // Website

Branson A long-time favorite Midwestern travel spot, Branson has plenty of attractions that dogs can enjoy too. Enjoy dinner on the dock at Shorty Small’s, or dress your pet in Old West props and get his picture taken at Busters Old Time Photos. // Website


Camp Dogwood, Lake Delton
Summer camp for dogs? Sign us up! Join Fido at Camp Dogwood, an overnight camp that offers 30 dog-centric activities a day for you to choose from, ensuring a fun and relaxing bonding experience like no other. Sessions are available in the summer and fall. // Website

Country House Resort, Sister Bay
This waterfront resort not only welcomes pets, it treats them like royalty. Upon check-in you’ll receive dog towels, furniture covers, treats, and coupons to local dog-friendly locations. Enjoy 1,100 feet of private shoreline, with plenty of nature trails to tire your furry friend out. // Website



Sweethaven Resort, Union Pier
Located in Michigan’s scenic Harbor Country, Sweethaven offers cozy, pet-friendly cabins that are the perfect place to rest after spending your day hiking and exploring with your furry friend. Head to nearby Warren Dunes State Park, which has plenty of trails plus a dog-friendly beach. // Website

Candelite Inn Bed & Breakfast, Ludington
We don’t know what’s best about the Candlelite Inn: its proximity to sandy beaches and scenic lighthouses, or its complimentary evening desserts (warm homemade double chocolate brownies anyone?). Call ahead to book one of the B&B’s pet-friendly rooms so Fluffy can enjoy too (minus the brownies, sorry Fluffy). // Website


Adventures Unleashed, Central Ohio
Experienced leaders, including a veterinarian, accompany you and your pet on a camping adventure in the backcountry of Ohio. Adventures Unleashed does all the planning, all you have to do is show up (and carry your pack). // Website

North Chagrin Reservation, Willoughby Hills
Part of Cleveland’s large Metroparks network, North Chagrin Reservation offers 1,700 acres of gorgeous nature to explore with your dog, plus you can take the trail to the state-owned Squire’s Castle where your pooch can pretend to be king or queen for the day! // Website



Indiana Dunes Country
Though not all of the Dunes area is dog-friendly there’s still plenty for you and your pup to do in the expansive Indiana Dunes Country. Swim at Kemil Beach, run off some energy at the Coffee Creek nature preserve, and savor the sunshine at the outdoor European Market in Chesterton. // Website


Rim Rocks Dogwood Cabins, Karbers Ridge
Some of the most breathtaking parts of the Ozarks are located right here in Illinois. Rent a dog-friendly cabin at Rim Rocks and spend your days viewing the rock formations in the Garden of the Gods, hiking the trails in the Shawnee Forest, or dipping your toes in at Pound Hollows Lake. // Website

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