Idaho has Gone to the Dogs - My Family Travels

Traveling with pets is not always easy; but in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, bringing your dog along for the vacation is a breeze. Recently named America’s most dog-friendly city by DOG FANCY, Coeur d’Alene is now the winner of the 2011 DogTown USA competition. What does that mean for families with pets? Bringing your dog along for a fun getaway just got a whole lot easier.

“What we discovered,” said Ernie Slone, DOG FANCY’s editor, “Is that whether a dog likes a place to run and hike, loves to mingle downtown, or needs a new home, dogs and their owners have it made in Coeur d’Alene, a little slice of dog heaven.”

Journalist Barbara Walters agrees. She too has high praises for Coeur d’Alene, according to Slone. In fact, Walters has named Coeur d’Alene as one of her favorite cities.

So, why did Coeur d’Alene win? Well, the city has plenty of dog-friendly open spaces and dog parks, making it easy to take your pet out for a stroll. Coeur d’Alene also has a number of events centered around dogs and their owners, including the town’s annual Dog d’Alene festival, giving families the perfect excuse to take a vacation with the whole family, pets too! 

The next Dog d’Alene festival will be held in May, 2012. While the schedule of events for this year’s festival have yet to be posted, festivals held in previous years have included a pet parade, demonstrations given by local rescue squads and their dogs, as well as a number of quirky competitions. Do you think your buddy has the cutest smile? The best tail wag? Then be sure to bring him along for the trip. Who knows, you could win a prize, and you’ll definitely return home with some great memories. 

The Doxie Dash was a favorite at the last Dog d’Alene festival. Here, any dachshund with flying feet and a heart of gold can participate in the run (a fee of $5 and preregistration is required). Even if your family doesn’t own one of these pint sized pets, the Doxie Dash will be something you won’t want to miss. 

Families who bring their pets to Dog d’Alene are asked to keep the four-legged members of their crew on a leash. Cleaning up after your pets is also important, the city of Coeur d’Alene reminds visitors, especially since last year’s Dog d’Alene festival had nearly 400 dogs in attendance. 


Staying the Night with Your Pet

True to its dog-friendly reputation, Coeur d’Alene has plenty of pet-friendly places to stay. The local Best Wester, Comfort Inn, and Days Inn are just three of options for families traveling with dogs. The Coeur d’Alene Casino Resort Hotel even allows pets, just in case Fido ever wants to try his luck at the slot machines. 

For families looking for a cozier experience, the Roosevelt Inn bed and breakfast also allows pets. This five-story red brick Victorian mansion includes 15 guest rooms and suites. Opting for cozy, however, does not mean that families have to give up luxury. With suites as large as three rooms, the Roosevelt Inn for families and their pets to escape. 

Here, breakfast is served daily, and massage treatments are also available, making the Roosevelt Inn the perfect escape for mom. Don’t worry kids, the inn also has a 24-hour hot tub for you, too. 

Families staying with pets at the Roosevelt Inn will have to book the Carpenter/Marsh Suite, the only pet-friendly room in the establishment. With two bedrooms, there’s plenty of space for your kids and your pet to romp around in. 

For more on what to see and do in Coeur d’Alene, read our story “Explore Coeur d’Alene, Idaho And The Silverwood Theme Park.” 

Photos courtesy of Downtown Coeur d'Alene.

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