On a recent road trip, I stopped in Asheville, North Carolina for three nights. Asheville may be famous for its craft beer, the Blue Ridge Mountains, and an emerging art scene, but I’ll always know it as one of the most pet-friendly destinations in America. Asheville simply checks all the boxes when I travel with Ruby: pet-friendly hotels, pet-friendly restaurants, plenty of parks (and of course, the surrounding national forests), and numerous pet boutiques, including The Dog Door (www.dogdoorcanineservices.com), a popular dog shop and welcome center where guests and their pets can get a treat and information on dog adventures in the area.
The Dog Door offers dog tours designed for your pet to explore Asheville, including dog-friendly places like boutiques, breweries, and cafes with patios that love pets.
In Asheville, many restaurants offer dog menus, like Sunny Point Café (www.sunnypointcafe.com), a popular and busy cafe with sunlit patio serving hearty Southern comfort food using ingredients from its back garden; Daphne at Twisted Laurel (www.twistedlaurel.com), a casual outdoor patio serving Mediterranean fare; and Posana (www.posanarestaurant.com), an upscale American restaurant with patio serving local, farm-to-table American food. Dog menus are usually common at hotels, and not at local restaurants, so it was a nice surprise and perk for Ruby.
Ruby is always up for new adventures, which is why we visited Lewisa, a psychic and spiritual counselor who offers pet companion readings at Heart Alchemy (www.heartalchemy.us). For Ruby’s first psychic reading, Lewisa, a kind-eyed and lighthearted spiritualist, communicated Ruby’s thoughts to me, personal matters one wouldn’t know outside my relationship with her. It was an enlightening and interesting reading Ruby will never forget, and the first time she’s had a reading with a pet psychic.
We stayed at Kimpton Hotel Arras (www.kimpton.com), opened in October 2019. Kimpton Hotel Arras is a great example of the newer, modern hotels Kimpton has been introducing globally. The hotel has clean and minimalist design, high ceilings, columns, ceiling art, and my executive suite featured floor-to-ceiling windows with views of the mountains.
Another destination that’s been making huge waves for pet travelers is Mexico. Due to Covid-19, more travelers now seek space when they travel, and the luxury resorts, beautiful beaches, and rainforests in Mexico truly amp the vacation experience for travelers and their pets.
Mexico is one of the easiest and most convenient international destinations to take a dog. You can book direct flights to beach towns like Cancun, Los Cabos, Puerto Vallarta, and Riviera Maya. In 2019. Mexico eliminated the requirement for a mandatory pet health certificate, which saves pet owners not only a visit to the vet, but also hundreds of dollars.
Ruby and I visit Mexico at least twice a year, and we’re particularly drawn to Riviera Maya. Newer luxury resorts spearheaded pet travel in the destination, like Nizuc (www.nizuc.com) in Cancun. The five-star resort sprawling 29 private acres offers one of the best pet programs with overstuffed bed, dog menus, and dedicated dog dishes, though the most attractive feature for a dog is the sheer size of the self-contained resort oasis that serves as a pup playground. There’s a private beach where Ruby frolicked away from crowds.