The bayous of the southern United States offer an outstanding array of outdoor excursions for adventure-seekers and nature lovers.
Of course, having a furry family member can present some logistical obstacles when planning a trip. Does the hotel allow dogs? Where will you take walks?
If the bayou is your preferred destination, worry not. Here are three locations that celebrate vacations with the furry family.
Buffalo Bayou Park – Houston, Texas
No, it’s no relation to Blue Buffalo, but we had to mention Buffalo Bayou Park, because it’s ideal for anyone traveling with four-legged friends to Houston.
Houston is basically dog park central, boasting several miles of walk and bike paths, over half a dozen smaller parks and the Johnny Steele Dog Park.
The Buffalo Bayou Park is a two-acre puppy paradise along the bayou featuring two ponds (one for big breeds, one for small), dog washing areas and plenty of benches for breathtaking views of Houston.
After a long walk, rest your haunches and wet your whistle at the Kitchen at the Dunlavy, a short jaunt west of the Johnny Steele Dog Park. It’s the perfect respite after a day’s adventure because the patio is furry-pal friendly.
The New Orleans City Park – New Orleans, Louisiana
The New Orleans City Park has gone to the dogs. It’s a veritable canine vacation inside a vacation. This 1,300-acre oasis (almost twice as big as Manhattan’s Central Park for those keeping score) sits perfectly between downtown New Orleans and the southern shore of Lake Pontchartrain.
Home to several stunning bridges, lots of lakes and lagoons (and their accompanying wildlife) plus miles of scenic walkways, there’s a lot for you and your favorite pooch to explore.
In the southern half of the park you’ll find NOLA City Bark, four-and-a-half acres of off-leash luxury featuring several water-play areas, fountains (for dogs and pet parents) and shaded pavilions for you and your furry pal.
Watch out for Parker’s 2 Geaux, City Park’s resident food truck. Though it moves around throughout the day, it parks right outside the dog park’s double gates between 2 and 2:30 p.m. so you can grab a po-boy, a wrap or even an adult libation. You may want to pack your own tasty treats so your pooch doesn’t scrounge for delicious scraps.
Flamingo Campground – Everglades National Park, Florida
A truly unique landscape, the Everglades National Park is the easternmost and southernmost bayou in the United States. It may not be the most pet-friendly place, but there are some places you can pack your pooch along.
Flamingo Campground sits along the Everglades’ southernmost tip and provides you with a dog-friendly campground right at the edge of Florida Bay.
If you like remote spots and want to camp at the brink of the Gulf Coast, there are lots of places to explore within the campground. It even offers an amphitheater for live performances during peak travel months (mid-November through mid-April).
You can take your pup on a pleasure cruise with the Everglades National Park Boat Tours, located right up the road from the campground. He’ll enjoy this leisurely tour of the Florida Bay by your side, where you can sit back and take in the beautiful scenery and wildlife.
Now you can have a bayou blast without leaving your favorite canine behind.