Upgraded Points ( has recently unveiled the results of their latest data study — this one rating the degree of pet-friendliness for 50 of the most popular U.S. vacation destinations.

Analysis Methodology:

For this study, data was compiled on the following 8 criteria:

  1. Number of dog parks per 100K population
  2. Number of pet stores
  3. Number of pet-friendly hotels
  4. Number of vacation rentals that will accommodate pets
  5. Number/extent of pet-friendly restaurants
  6. Availability of veterinarians per 100K population
  7. Total miles of hiking trails available
  8. Total number of hiking trails per 100K persons

The 8 criteria, when summed, gave each location a possible maximum value of 50. Each city rated was then ranked numerically according to their calculated score.

For a fuller discussion of the weighting and details of the various ratings, as well as detailed graphics and interactive charts, please visit the full report HERE. Upgraded Points also provides useful tips for traveling with your pet and a list of pet-friendly airports.

Cities with the Highest Pet-Friendly Ratings

pet friendly
The 15 Most Pet-Friendly Vacation Spots in the US

The clear winner in this data study was the city of Asheville, North Carolina. It topped the list with a total score of 47.5 out of 50 points. In fact, Asheville received maximum positive ratings for 6 of the 8 total criteria. Critically, two of those maxed-out positive ratings were for the number of pet-friendly hotels and also the number of vacation rentals available that were considered pet-friendly. The city also has a large number of hiking trails, which would be important to any pet owner desiring to take their pet outside.

The number two city was determined to be Santa Fe, New Mexico. This city also had top-flight rankings for pet-friendly accommodations, pet-friendly vacation rental units and hotels.

Cities with the Lowest Ratings for Pet-Friendliness

The 15 Least Pet-Friendly Vacation Spots in the US

Unfortunately, this study uncovered a few cities that have room to improve their experience for travelers with pets. With the lowest score was Maui, Hawaii, which only scored a 2.3 rating out of 50 possible points. It did get some rating for their hiking opportunities, but failed to secure any points for accommodations that were pet-friendly, nor did they receive any points for pet-friendly activities (such as restaurants that were pet-friendly).

Alex Miller, founder of Upgraded Points, speaking about a major finding of this study, noted that “A big surprise to us was to find the shocking number of major metropolitan U. S. cities that did not score well at all. A number of these cities have very few pet-friendly hotels and vacation rentals for their population size, which is a big drawback for those traveling with pets, and most struggle to provide enough — or any — amenities like dog parks and hiking trails. Until this situation changes, we would strongly recommend that travelers avoid traveling to those cites with their pets.”

The major U. S. cities with poor pet-friendliness ratings were Los Angeles (ranked 14th out of 15), Chicago (ranked 11th), New York City (ranked 2nd poorest) and Philadelphia (ranked 8th out of 15).

About Upgraded Points LLC

Headquartered in Austin, Texas, Upgraded Points is a travel company that provides insider strategies on maximizing travel points and rewards. Launched in 2016 by Alex Miller, Upgraded Points uses targeted research efforts and in-depth studies to give travelers, as well as those looking to travel a real understanding of how to maximize their points and miles. Learn more at: