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Is NYC Ideal for a Dog-Friendly Vacation?

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New York City has always been known as a city filled with dog-lovers. It’s a common sight to see city-dwellers out early in the morning or throughout the day walking with their beloved pooches. In fact, there are approximately 500,000 dogs in the city.

However, if you’re researching dog-friendly vacations and considering New York City, there may be some necessary preparation in order to navigate around the Big Apple with your canine companion, as some places remain “humans only.” But never fear, as there is a long list of fun and exciting places to see with your dog beside you, whether you are sightseeing, going out on the town, or looking to dine at one of many famous New York City eateries. All it takes is a little due diligence (and a little creativity) and your pup can enjoy the city as much as you.

Sightseeing in New York with Your Pup

If you want to plan a trip to NYC, the first order of business should be researching the hotel accommodations, although the temptation to imagine all the fun sights and excursions may take over. If that’s the case, you’ll have to rule out a few famous NYC staples, such as the Broadway theatre district, and give Times Square a second thought. Although pups are, obviously, allowed in these outdoors areas, those touristy spots are well-known for their foot traffic and high concentration of hundreds of people swarming around, day and night, making these iconic New York areas somewhat tricky for dog-friendly vacations. To put it simply, it may not be the safest place for your dog to be strolling, and many of the shops and restaurants do not necessarily cater to pets.


Don’t be disappointed just yet! New York City still has many locations that are not only dog-friendly, but could be particularly fun for your pet, as well. Try and think “outdoors” when you consider traveling with your canine companion and it won’t take long before you come across one of the most historic and beautiful spots that New York City has to offer: Central Park. As you might expect, the world-famous 843 acres of greenery, lakes and ponds, and fascinating street performances and merchants is very dog-friendly. In fact, most New Yorkers take their pups to Central Park daily for just that reason. Humans and dogs alike can enjoy such famous sights as Strawberry Fields (where John Lennon used to hang out), Bow Bridge, Bethesda Fountain, Conservatory Waters, the Alice in Wonderland sculpture, and Belvedere Castle.

If you’re up for a nice, brisk walk around New York City with your dog, you may find that some of the very best views of the famous city skyline are right at your disposal. Consider taking a long walk across the historic Brooklyn Bridge, which is both family-friendly and pet-friendly, and provides some of the most breathtaking views of Manhattan’s skyscrapers for perfect pictures of you and your pet! Keep in mind, however, that New York is a walking city, and you’ll want the proper footwear for excursion. Some great retailers like Barefoot Dreams can provide the perfect shoes for a lot of mileage with New York City style!

Although you can walk from Brooklyn to Manhattan, trekking in the reverse direction leads us into our next, most important topic for you to consider.

Finding Dog-Friendly Accommodations


Yep, New York may be the “city that never sleeps,” but you’ll still need to book a comfy place for you and your pooch to rest-up during your stay. Luckily, many hotels in New York City have become “dog-friendly” over the past few years, but you may have to pay some pretty high rates if you’re looking to stay in the heart of Manhattan. Instead, you may want to research Airbnbs that welcome pet-owners. These days, there are more Airbnb offerings than ever, and a good number of them are specifically geared towards families with pets.

If you’re looking to increase your chances of a good rate, either for hotels or Airbnbs, then look no further than Brooklyn. You’ll still be in walking distance from the sights and sounds of Manhattan (you can walk the bridge with your pooch, remember?) and in the trendier areas of Brooklyn, dogs are very welcome, indeed!

Just keep in mind, no matter where you are in New York City, your chances of finding restaurants that allow dogs are maybe 50-50, and you’ll want to prepare to eat outside where it is offered. And as far as inner-city travel, the NYC subways and buses also allow your canine companion to stay right by your side as long as they are small enough to fit in a bag.

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