Asheville ranked No. 1 pet-friendly vacation city in the US

Pet-friendly vacation spots

Study by Upgraded Points:

Numerous considerations go into selecting a location for a vacation. Depending on who is taking the trip — a family, a couple, or a solo traveler — the factors of what will make for a great vacation will vary considerably. This is especially true for pet owners looking to take a trip with their furry friends. A lack of pet-friendly accommodations and restaurants can really make or break a vacation for pet owners.

With this in mind, we evaluated 50 of the most popular vacation spots in the U.S. on their pet-friendliness to help guide pet owners in their search for the perfect pet-friendly getaway.

Read on to learn more about the details of our ranking and to see how locations you may be considering for your next vacation compare.

Analysis Methodology

To determine the most pet-friendly vacation spots for pet owners, we compared 50 of the most popular vacation spots in the U.S. across 8 key criteria.

Each of the 8 factors was graded on a 5-point scale, with a score of 5 representing the most favorable conditions for owners and pets. Each city’s total score was calculated from the total of its individual factor scores, which were weighted according to their importance to a pet-friendly vacation. The sum of these weights is 10, for a total possible score of 50. Each is listed below with its weight and data source.

  1. Dog Parks per 100k People  — Weight: 0.75
    1. Source: Trust for Public Land
  2. Pet Stores per 100k People — Weight: 0.50
    1. Source: Bring Fido
  3. Pet-Friendly Hotels per 100k People — Weight: 2.50
    1. Source: Bring Fido
  4. Pet-Friendly Vacation Rentals per 100k People — Weight: 2.50
    1. Source: Bring Fido
  5. Pet-Friendly Restaurants per 100k People — Weight: 2.00
    1. Source: Bring Fido
  6. Veterinarians per 100k People — Weight: 0.75
    1. Source: Bring Fido
  7. Hiking Trails per 100k People — Weight: 0.50
    1. Source: Hiking Project
  8. Miles of Hiking Trail — Weight: 0.50
    1. Source: Hiking Project

Top 15 Most Pet-Friendly Vacation Spots in the U.S.

Based on our ranking analysis, Asheville, NC topped the list of pet-friendly vacation spots in the U.S. with a total city score of 47.5 out of 50, more than 5 points higher than the next location on the list — Santa Fe, NM. Asheville received top scores for 6 out of the 8 factors, including the 2 factors carrying the most weight in the rankings — the number of pet-friendly hotels and vacation rentals relative to the population. Asheville’s large number of pet-friendly accommodations provide plenty of places for pet owners to stay and hang out with their furry pals. The city’s abundance of hiking trails is a great activity to unwind and enjoy the beautiful scenery.

The #2 city, Santa Fe, also received top marks for its pet-friendly accommodations and had the second-highest number of both pet-friendly hotels and vacation rentals relative to the population of any city. The #5 city, Key West, FL, is home to both the highest number of pet-friendly hotels and vacation rentals per 100k people, so if you’re looking for plenty of options for lodging, Key West may be the answer for you and your pet.

If dog parks are a must for you and your pet’s vacation, you should take a closer look at visiting Charleston, SC. Charleston has the highest number of dog parks per 100k people with 9.54.

Rounding out the top 15 most pet-friendly vacation spots were:

  1. Asheville, NC
  2. Santa Fe, NM
  3. Orlando, FL
  4. Savannah, GA
  5. Key West, FL
  6. Newport, RI
  7. Scottsdale, AZ
  8. Charleston, SC
  9. Portland, ME
  10. Greenville, SC
  11. New Orleans, LA
  12. Salt Lake City, UT
  13. Austin, TX
  14. Portland, OR
  15. Boise, ID

Full study results are available at this link.

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