News & Politics

Let’s Bring the Dog

From tail-wagging contests to “yappy hour,” these getaways cater to Fido and family.

Between fetching your newspaper and guarding your house, being man’s best friend is a full-time job. Your dog deserves a vacation, too. Here are six canine-focused resorts, inns, and camps within a day’s drive of Washington.

Camp Gone to the Dogs, Stowe and Marlboro, Vt.; 888-364-3293. Featured in National Geographic and the New York Times, Jeanne Richter’s camp is one of the country’s most popular doggy vacation destinations. The larger weeklong camp in Marlboro—an eight-hour drive—offers 40 to 50 activities a day, such as swimming lessons and tail-wagging contests. Two smaller weeklong sessions are held at an inn in Stowe, two hours north, where rooms feature private decks and access to the indoor pools and hot tub. Activities include agility courses and tricks classes.

June 6 through 12, September 5 through 11, and September 12 through 18. Rates, with all-inclusive on-site lodging, are $1,100 to $1,250 for June, $1,275 to $1,450 for September.

Camp Unleashed, Becket, Mass.; 518-781-0446. Nestled in the Berkshire Mountains on a 1,300-acre YMCA property, seven hours from DC, this canine camp allows dogs to stay unleashed. You share wooded cabins with your pooch by night; during the day, you can trek through the forest, go canoeing in a lake, and participate in workshops such as “Telepathic Communication With Dogs.” Other activities include dock diving, dog yoga, and agility training.

June 10 through 13 and September 3 through 6. All-inclusive rates, with lodging, range from $799 to $899.

Canine Club Getaway, Lake George, NY; 888-592-5824. This five-day mountain vacation, which features a daily “yappy hour” at the Bow-Wow bar, tends to attract singles and their furry friends. Dogs can splash in the pool, take part in dancing classes, and more. Pets and owners stay on the 300-acre Roaring Brook Ranch, which features horseback riding and dog-friendly trails. The camp is 7½ hours away.

June 2 through 6. All-inclusive rates, with lodging: $999 to $1,099.

Nemacolin Woodlands Resort and Nemacolin Wooflands Pet Resort & Spa, Farmington, Pa.; 724-329-8555; 724-329-9663. A three-hour drive from DC, Nemacolin Woodlands is a 2,000-acre getaway in the Laurel Highlands where pets can accompany their owners on fly-fishing trips, tag along to spot zebras on a wildlife-safari tour, or loosen their leashes at the pet resort, Nemacolin Wooflands. Between Wooflands’ private pet condos, butler service, and plasma TVs—tuned to Animal Planet—we wouldn’t mind staying there, either.

Wooflands rates are $22 to $55 a night; rooms at the resort are $229 to $3,000.

Paw House Inn, West Rutland, Vt.; 866-729-4687. Rated one of the nation’s top dog-friendly inns by USA Today, this 18th-century farmhouse turned bed-and-breakfast caters to dogs and their owners. Dogs are allowed in each of the eight rooms and get to sprawl in their own beds. Outside is a heated 1,200-foot playhouse and agility course; ski resorts are a short drive away. The room-service pet menu features sautéed chicken liver with Yukon Gold potatoes. The inn is eight hours from DC.

Rates, $135 to $245 a night, include all amenities for dogs.

Ritz-Carlton Central Park Hotel, New York, NY; 212-308-9100.This luxury hotel across from Central Park rolls out the red carpet for four-legged companions. For a $125 fee, dogs can enroll in the Very Important Pooch program, which lets them sleep in a four-poster bed in their owners’ room and don Burberry raincoats; for an additional $30, they can go on long walks through Central Park with hotel staff. A concierge can arrange for massages at the nearby New York Dog Spa and Hotel.

Rates start at $615 a night; cats are welcome.