The Most Pet-Friendly Destinations in America


Hipmunk Releases Pet-Friendly Hotels Index

Traveling, in itself, can be stressful. But traveling with a pet adds an extra dimension of complexities and costs: Will your furry companion be able to join you on the airplane, or will he be relegated to the cargo hold? If you drive, will it be comfortable in the car on a long road trip? Heck, should you just get a pet-sitter, or check the animal into a pet hotel instead? Is it worth the hassle?

If you do decide to bring along a pet, and manage to navigate through these challenges, a whole new roadblock awaits at your destination: will your hotel allow the animal to stay in your room with you? Some hotels ban pets entirely, while others impose onerous restrictions, or tack on additional fees to check in a pet. Before planning your trip, it’s imperative to ensure that your hotel choice allows pets, otherwise you may be in for an unpleasant surprise when checking in.

At Hipmunk, we track the amenities offered by each hotel in our search engine. One of which is whether or not an accommodation is pet-friendly. According to our data, in the United States just 41% of hotels are designated pet-friendly. Globally, this number drops to 34%.

However, the pet-friendliness of hotels varies greatly in different cities across America, as well as in different parts of the world. So, let’s dive into the Hipmunk hotel data to explore which of these destinations are most amenable to housing pets.

The Hipmunk Pet-Friendly City Index

While only 41% of all hotels in America allow pets, this percentage widely fluctuates from city to city. To build our index of the most pet-friendly cities for travelers, we analyzed the percentage of each city’s hotels that were categorized as such in our database.

As it turns out, 39 U.S. cities beat out the national average percentage of pet-friendly hotels:

The Most Pet-Friendly Cities for Travelers in America
Cities with the highest % of hotels that are pet-friendly
Rank City % Pet-Friendly Hotels Rank City % Pet-Friendly Hotels
1 Scottsdale, AZ 64% 26 Memphis, TN 47%
2 Albuquerque, NM 60% 27 Tulsa, OK 47%
3 Lincoln, NE 60% 28 Fayetteville, AK 47%
4 El Paso, TX 58% 29 Rochester, NY 47%
5 Omaha, NE 57% 30 Jacksonville, FL 46%
6 Springfield, IL 55% 31 Chattanooga, TN 45%
7 Tucson, AZ 54% 32 Irving, TX 45%
8 Portland, OR 54% 33 Richmond, VA 44%
9 Madison, WI 53% 34 Columbus, OH 44%
10 Phoenix, AZ 53% 35 Palm Springs, CA 43%
11 Indianapolis, IN 52% 36 Bloomington, IN 43%
12 Lexington, KY 52% 37 Charlotte, NC 42%
13 Colorado Springs, CO 51% 38 Cincinnati, OH 42%
14 Fort Worth, TX 51% 39 Austin, TX 42%
15 Louisville, KY 50% 40 San Antonio, TX 41%
16 Knoxville, TN 50% 41 Nashville, TN 40%
17 Oklahoma City, OK 49% 42 Corpus Christi, TX 40%
18 Denver, CO 49% 43 Arlington, TX 40%
19 Greenville, SC 49% 44 Sacramento, CA 39%
20 Kansas City, KS 48% 45 Seattle, WA 38%
21 Dallas, TX 48% 46 Palm Coast, FL 38%
22 Birmingham, AL 48% 47 Atlanta, GA 38%
23 Tampa, FL 48% 48 Houston, TX 37%
24 Columbia, SC 48% 49 Chicago, IL 37%
25 Salt Lake City, UT 47% 50 Savannah, GA 37%

In Scottsdale, Arizona, where summer temperatures top 100°F, 64% of hotels are pet-friendly. Rounding out the top three are Albuquerque, New Mexico and Lincoln, Nebraska.

By contrast, some popular cities that didn’t make the list had much lower availability of pet-friendly hotels. In San Francisco, just 27% of hotels are pet-friendly. In Los Angeles that number is 21%, and in Honolulu, 18%.

The Hipmunk Pet-Friendly State Index

Even at the state level, pet-friendliness varies dramatically. Nebraska, which contains two of the top five most pet-friendly cities, and next-door neighbor Kansas tie for the top spot here in the state rankings. Apparently, Midwestern hospitality applies to puppies too!

The least pet-friendly states for travelers are New Jersey, Alaska, and Hawaii. California, New York, Massachusetts, and Florida–all very large states by population–are also toward the bottom end of the rankings.

Do More Expensive Hotels Mean More Friendly for Pets?

For most things in life, when you pay more, you get more. Though for hotels, this isn’t always the case. Higher end accommodations more commonly charge for wifi, sell room-service at high prices, and/or have extravagant mini-bar prices.

But if you’re a pet owner, there’s reason to splurge. Generally, high end hotels are more tolerant of animals: some 67% of five star hotels are pet-friendly–significantly higher than three star (36%) and four star (44%) hotels. However, on the other extreme, over 50% of one star and two star hotels are also pet-friendly:

Though the most expensive hotels are more likely to be pet-friendly, they may also charge additional fees or restrict which parts of the hotel a pet is allowed to be in. Before booking, make sure you fully understand what the hotel means by pet-friendly, and what the price you’re paying includes.

How Does the United States Compare to Other Countries?

This is all good and well, but how do U.S. hotels stack up to their international counterparts? Are they more or less pet-friendly?

The United States, where 41% of all hotels are pet-friendly, barely cracks into the top 25 countries in the world. In this arena, Europe dominates, picking up 23 of the top 25 spots of most pet-friendly countries.

Is this finally the year that Fido accompanies you on a grand European vacation? Or at the very least, on a trip to Scottsdale?


On behalf of Hipmunk, Priceonomics analyzed the percentage of pet-friendly hotels in Hipmunk’s hotel database at the city, state, and international level.

This post was posted by Elizabeth Santos on Hipmunk’s Tailwind blog on June 26, 2015




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