Puppy Love…Planning a Pet Friendly Road Trip


Puppy Love….Planning a Pet Friendly Road Trip

Every year, thousands of families hit the highways on epic road trips with their dogs. The great American road trip becomes even greater with your furry, best friend along for the ride. When traveling by car, the journey can be as much fun as the destination. There’s so much excitement thinking about your trip. You can almost see the miles of open road, feel the wind in your hair, and imagine all the new sights along the way. It’s going to be fantastic!  But it will take some preparation to make sure your pet friendly vacation comes off without a hitch.

Reserving pet friendly accommodations can be a tricky proposition. Every vacation situation is unique. The following questions will help you narrow down the place that best suits your family’s travel plans.

  • Does the hotel/rental accept pets?  Pet policies can sometimes change, so it’s a good idea to verify that the property you’re considering still welcomes pets.


  • Is there a weight or breed restriction? It’s common for places to impose weight restrictions. If you’ve found accommodations that are perfect in every way, except that your pup is a little too big, ask if an exception could be made.  Some places leave a little wiggle room in their size limitations, and may make accommodations if asked.


  • How many pets are allowed? When you travel with multiple pets, this is an important consideration.


  • Will you be charged additional pet fees? Some rentals welcome pets to stay for free, while most have an additional charge. Be sure you have a clear understanding of the cost before booking your reservation. Determine whether the fee is per night or for the entire stay, and whether it is per pet or is fixed, regardless of the number of pets. Also, ask if any portion of the fee is refundable, if there is no damage during your stay.

Once your accommodations are booked and your car is packed, it’s time to hit the road! Be sure to allow extra travel time for bathroom and walking/running/playing breaks for your dog. It’s generally recommended to stop every three hours. If Fido gets restless in the car, a long walk or a bit of playtime, can do wonders to let off some steam and aid in relaxation. when back in the car.

Since you are bringing your furry pet with you, we’re going to guess that you want to spend some quality time together on your trip. Whether it’s a morning walk, a trip down river in a kayak, or a sunset hike, you’ll have more fun with your dog in tow. When it’s time to refuel, stop for a bite to eat with your canine companion at one of our dog friendly restaurants, or visit a local dog friendly brewery or distillery. Just make sure to follow the posted rules and be courteous of others when you have your four legged friend with you.

Skyline Drive may be the most famous attraction at pet friendly Shenandoah National Park, and you’ll definitely want to stop the car and get out for a hike. Of the more than 500 miles of trails in the park, only 20 miles are off limits to dogs, because of rock climbs or difficult passages.  The stunning views, peaceful wilderness and cascading waterfalls are all accessible to your pup. Big Meadow’s Lodge in SNP welcomes pets and offers outdoor terrace seating, featuring pet friendly dining with a special “Yappy Menu.” Skyland Resort in SNP is also a pet friendly resort.

The award winning, pet friendly, Hawksbill Greenway features 2 miles of paved walking and biking trails in downtown Luray. Anglers can fly-fish in the creek for trout, smallmouth bass and bluegill. Cliffside Pocket Park is located along the Hawksbill Greenway Trail and features shaded picnic areas and a pet friendly drinking fountain. Ruffner Plaza, on the Greenway is the center of many music events.

Luray Caverns, an underground marvel, allows small pets in the caverns as long as they are carried for the duration of the tour. Leashed pets of all sizes are allowed on the Luray Caverns grounds.

Lake Arrowhead is pet friendly and features a 134 acre lake for fishing, boating and swimming, and a 1 mile hiking trail circling the lake. Facilities include picnic shelters, grills, and playground equipment. Pets are not allowed in the beach area.

Included below is a list of some local pet friendly businesses to help you plan your next getaway in the Shenandoah Valley!


Happy Tails Trails!


Pet Friendly Businesses

*(Please check pet policies with the property owners)

Arts & Culture

The Warehouse Art Gallery

Trackside Theatre



Bird Song Pleasure Garden

Downriver Canoe Company

Fort Valley Ranch

Shenandoah National Park

Shenandoah River Adventures, LLC

Shenandoah River Outfitters


Beer, Wine & Spirits

Copper Fox Distillery/Sperryville

Hawksbill Brewing Company


Cabins & Country Homes

#1 Rock Tavern River Kamp

1850’s Massanutten Springs Retreat

1947 Rock Tavern Retreat

A Buck’s Peak

A Buck’s View

A Mountain Mist

A Mountain Star

Absolute Perfect Escape

Adventures Await

Allstar Lodging

Appalachian Adventures

B & A Lake Cottage

Barn at Evermore

Blue Ridge GetAway Cabins

Brenwood Cabin Rentals

Buck’s Peak

Burner’s Mountain Lodge

Cabins at Deer Run

Cardinal Cottage

Christopher’s Riverside Cabins

Country Place, Inc.

Crestview Cottage

Edensview Cabin, LLC

Foggy River Cabins

Fort Valley Ranch

Gander Island Cabins, LLC


Jewell Hollow Mountain Homestead

JNV Properties

Lazy Bear Lodge, LLC

Lazy River Cabins

Lewis Mountain Cabins

Luray Country Cabins

Luray KOA

Old Mine Cottage

Pass Mountain Rentals

River- Cabins.com

Shenandoah River Outfitters, Inc.

Skyline Hideaway, LLC.

SmileInn Cabins

The Barn at Evermore

The Brubaker House

Virginia Vacation Rentals

Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Park Cabins



Camp Outback

Luray KOA

River Run Campground

Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Park Campground


Churches & Cemeteries

Luray Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)


Hotels, Motels and Bed & Breakfasts

Big Meadows Lodge

Days Inn at Shenandoah National Park

Hillside Motel

Quality Inn of Luray


Pet Care

Blue Mountain Animal Clinic (540) 743-7387. This is an important phone number to keep on hand. Pets tend to get sick or injured at the most inopportune times.


Restaurants, Cafes & Bakeries

Flotzie’s Soft Serve Ice Cream

Gathering Grounds and Patisserie & Cafe

Main Street Bakery

Moonshadows Restaurant

Triple Crown BBQ


Retail & Shops

Appalachian Trail Outfitters

Compass Tea Room

Hunt & Peck

River and Peak Outfitter


Wedding Services & Supplies

Barn at Evermore