You and your dog will fall in puppy love with these parks.
When we travel, we want to surround ourselves with the best a place has to offer. We look up the best things to do, the best restaurants, the best bars. But if you’re going to a new place with a certain loyal canine companion along for the ride, don’t they deserve the best as well? Here are some of the coolest, some of the most beautiful, and—of course—some of the best dog parks in the United States (that humans will love too).
Rosie’s Dog Beach
WHERE: Long Beach, California
Los Angeles is famous for its beaches. But if you were hoping to stroll along the sands as your dog splashes and plays in the surf, you won’t be able to in Malibu, Venice, or Santa Monica (not legally anyway). However, if you spend a little time (or a lot of time, depending on traffic) on the 405, you’ll find your way to Rosie’s Dog Beach in Long Beach. This spot is the only place in Los Angeles County where dogs are allowed to be off-leash on the beach.
Hugh Rogers WAG Park
WHERE: Whitefish, Montana
The Hugh Rogers WAG Park truly has everything you could want in a dog park. Five acres of space for pups to run around, a small dog area, an agility course, a dog wash, and a pond that’s safe for dogs to swim in. All of this is set against an absolutely stunning backdrop of trees and mountains.
Pilgrim Bark Park
WHERE: Provincetown, Massachusetts
Pilgrim Bark Park offers a place for dogs big and small to run around off-leash and play. But the thing that makes this park a stand out is that it’s also a place to see art. The park is populated by a number of pieces of art that have been created by local artists. Some are even structures that dogs can play on. By the time you head back home, all of your dog’s buddies will be impressed with how cultured they’ve become.
Tompkins Square Dog Run
WHERE: New York City, New York
Tompkins Square Dog Run (located in the Alphabet City neighborhood of Manhatten) isn’t just a wonderful place to take your dog to play, it also occupies a vaunted space in the history of dog parks. In 1990, this park became the first dog run in New York City history. In 2008, the park underwent a renovation that kitted it out with amenities including space for large and small dogs, swimming pools, and picnic tables. It’s a spot where you can enjoy being in the heart of the city, while your dog can run free.
WHERE: St. Johnsbury, Vermont
Imagine a place where dogs are allowed to run and play, not in a fenced-off area but an entire mountain. Then you might be imagining something like Dog Mountain. This is a completely unique spot with 150 acres of space for dogs to run, play, and hike off-leash. But its most unique feature is the Dog Chapel. Created by artist Stephen Huneck, is a charming white chapel where visitors can go to celebrate the bond between human and dog. The interior walls are covered with notes, drawings, and keepsakes left by visitors paying tribute to their loyal companions.
Elm Creek Reserve Dog Park
WHERE: Maple Grove, Minnesota
Not far from the heart of Minneapolis is the Elm Park Reserve, a nearly 5,000-acre park. And within that park is the Elm Creek Reserve Dog Park. It’s a beautiful, lush spot where dogs are able to run off-leash and follow spacious trails—and even enjoy a pond for cooling off during the hotter days.
Fiesta Island Dog Park
WHERE: San Diego, California
Just about any pet-lover has fantasized about leaving the grind of human society behind in favor of an island paradise where your only concern is finding the next tennis ball to throw. OK, you may not be able to live out that exact scenario on San Diego’s Fiesta Island, but you can get a taste. The majority of this spot’s perimeter is made up of idyllic sandy beaches, perfect for frolicking pups to enjoy in between swims in the bay.
Jack Ass Acres K-9 Korral
WHERE: New River, Arizona
In lieu of the lawns and greenery we associate with parks, this Arizonan spot utilizes material and practices that are sustainable, focused on saving water, and reflective of its desert locale. The structures that populate this members-only park are made from recycled materials, including metal sculptures and benches made from fallen tree limbs. All of which not only makes the park an admirably green endeavor, it also gives it a unique look you won’t find anywhere else.
Bear Creek Dog Park
WHERE: Colorado Springs, Colorado
If you could give a dog the talking collar from Up and ask them to list off what they’d want in a dog park, Bear Creek Dog Park in Colorado Springs would tick every box. Space to run, a picturesque creek to splash around in, trees, trails, hills, prairie—all spread out over 25 gloriously leash-free acres. And not that your dog isn’t already cute, but your Insta stories will be even more gorgeous with the stunning view of the mountains in the background.
Congressman Bill Archer Bark Park
WHERE: Houston, Texas
This dog park is the largest of its kind in Houston, with 14 acres of off-leash space for large dogs and three acres for small dogs to enjoy. Besides being a beautifully-maintained park, there are a plethora of amenities for dog and human visitors alike. This park also has plenty of shade for people to enjoy while dogs can enjoy the trails, grass, and drinking fountains. There’s a pond here that’s great for dogs that love to play in the water and/or mud. But don’t worry, there’s also a dog wash station for owners that don’t love loading a mud-caked lab into their car when it’s time to go home.