Don’t want to leave Spot at home? No problem at these dog-friendly Michigan destinations

When it comes to road trips, Michigan is a dog owner’s best friend. Bring the pooch to an array of pet-friendly hotels, restaurants and hiking trails. Below are some dog-friendly things to do and see in Michigan.

On the ferry to Mackinac  Island!

On the ferry to Mackinac Island! Photo by Sarah Cunning.

Upper Peninsula

Mackinac Island State Park – a landscape characterized by high limestone bluffs, beautiful vistas of sparkling water and vibrant forests – is a family friendly destination (Spot included). Visit Fort Mackinac and visit the state historic parks with your dog by your side. Pet-friendly lodging is available on the island at Mission Point Resort.

Marquette's North Beach is Bella Mae's favorite dog friendly spot!

Marquette’s North Beach is Bella Mae’s favorite dog friendly spot! Photo by Sharon Matulewicz.

With trails all throughout the Upper Peninsula, there are plenty of places to walk or run with your dog. There’s plenty of room to walk on the 24 miles of Lake Superior shore at Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park. The park near Ontonagon contains more than 25 trails, from flat and smooth to hilly and rugged. Westmore Landing in Marquette offers scenic hiking trails for you and your pup to adventure. The Upper Peninsula has numerous pet-friendly motels, cabins, cottages and resorts.

Lake-loving owners and their canines are welcome aboard the Isle Royal Queen IV ferry for sunset cruises in Copper Harbor. Motor past Great Lakes freighters and lighthouses while listening to stories about the Keweenaw as the sun dips below the Lake Superior horizon.

Northern Michigan

On your way to the U.P., stop at Ruff Life Pet Outfitters in Petoskey to find your dog gear for the outdoor lifestyle in Northern Michigan. If you’re heading to Charlevoix, visit Mt. McSauba beach which includes a short wooded trail that leads to the sand dunes and is a locals favorite.

The same natural attractions that make Traverse City such a popular place for outdoor recreation – miles of forest trails, wide open spaces and long beaches, make it a popular destination for dogs and the people who love them. Many local hotels and resorts (and even a few restaurants) are dog-friendly, although it’s always smart to check ahead and understand the rules and conditions that can sometimes apply. Other pets may require special consideration and stronger restriction. But if you’re a dog owner, you’ll find Traverse City a very welcoming place. Here is a list of more than fourteen friendly places in Traverse City.

West Michigan

Take a trip to Grand Rapids – fur-babies welcomed! With plenty of pet-friendly places to stay, there are no worries finding the perfect one for your needs. Stop by Hillcrest Dog Park , an off-leash park, to let loose. With two fenced in areas for large and small dogs, the park is perfect for everyone. When it’s time to grab some chow, you and your dog are both welcome at One Trick Pony. While you enjoy your meal, your dog can relax with a water bowl and a special marrow bone to snack on.

Norman F. Kruse Park in Muskegon is a win-win when traveling with your pooch. With a section of beach designated to man’s best friend, it is a great spot to soak in the sun at Lake Michigan – including picnic areas for the family and space for your pup to swim.


Teddy on the Kruse Park dog beach in Muskegon

Teddy on the Kruse Park dog beach in Muskegon. Photo by Stephanie Branam.

Another option is one of the many pet-friendly parks in Grand Haven. Pups are welcome to run freely on the southern beach area at Kirk Park. The park features acres of dunes, woods and hiking trails with scenic dune overlooks. Dogs are also welcome at East Grand River Park and Mulligan’s Hollow. Venture just outside Grand Haven to Coast Guard Park in Ferrysburg for off leash fun. On leash options abound, with bike paths, the boardwalk and North Ottawa Dunes. Grand Haven offers many pet-friendly lodging options for the family as well.

East Michigan

Head to Frankenmuth, Michigan’s little Bavaria, for a welcoming vacation. Visit Hund Platz Dog Park, designed for dogs, includes dog agility equipment your furry friend is sure to love! You’ll find great toys for your pet at Hello Cats and Dogs, complete with a “Barkery.” Frankenmuth has a variety of dog-friendly lodging options available.

From the Riverfront and pet-friendly shops, to welcoming lodging, Metro Detroit is an ideal destination. You’ll find everything you need to have a successful trip with the pup. Your canine pal can loll at your feet while you dive into seared salmon or a hanger steak sandwich on the patio of Detroit’s Fountain Bistro in Campus Martius Park. During warm months, the south lawn of the downtown park gets covered with sand, so pups can roll around while masters sip cocktails at the adjacent Beach Bar and Grille.

These are just a few of the many places to bring man’s best friend on your trip to Michigan. Click here to find more dog-friendly destinations in Michigan. Check out our past pet-friendly blogs for more travel ideas. Where is your favorite place in Michigan to take your dog?

6 thoughts on “Don’t want to leave Spot at home? No problem at these dog-friendly Michigan destinations

  1. We have found a large number of resources on as well. Found our newest GR dog park on it.

  2. Tawas Point State Park has a dog only beach, complete with a water fountain for your four-legged pal.

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