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9 magical pet-friendly Christmas vacations

pet friendly christmas vacations: dog in snow
(Image credit: Tenaya Lodge at Yosemite)

It’s almost time to deck the halls once again and these pet-friendly Christmas vacations are the ideal way to treat yourself and your furkid to a well-deserved break away to make this year's festive holiday one to remember.

While it’s lovely being able to unwrap a gift, the most memorable presents are often the experiences we share with those we love and what better way to make some memories than by spending a few days away with your fur baby.

All the breaks below have all been selected to help make this December a magical one for you and your feline or canine companion with a choice of sunny and snowy destinations to suit every preference.

Once you’ve picked your dream location, it’s time to dust off your cat carrier or dog travel crate and get ready to hit the road! Below you’ll find our pick of the best pet- friendly Christmas vacations with plenty of options to suit every budget.

Oh, and if you happen to have a furkid of the canine variety, why not count the days down with one of the best dog advent calendars? There’s nothing like a few tasty treats to ramp up the excitement and get you and your pup in the festive spirit.

Dog-friendly Christmas vacations

Dog holding Santa hat in his mouth with Christmas tree in behind

(Image credit: Getty Images)

If you’re a doggy pet parent, you’re in luck, because there are a ton of resorts that go all out for the holidays. Here’s our pick of the bunch:

1. Fairmont Scottsdale Princess Resort

Okay, so Arizona might not be quite what you think of when you think of Santa Claus, but we have a feeling this resort with its four million twinkling lights might just have you dreaming of a desert Christmas. With a huge Christmas tree, an ice-skating rink, a campfire where you can roast marshmallows, on-site restaurants where you can dine with your pup and rooms that feature super luxurious Posh Paws dog beds, this is one special place to celebrate the holidays.

2. Tenaya Lodge at Yosemite

Get away from it all and spend your days snowshoeing with your dog by your side in the forest or getting pet parent-doggy massages at the on-site spa. There’s a 35-foot sustainably harvested Christmas tree that will take your breath away and plenty of on-site activities to keep the two of you occupied. Oh, and did we mention they’re welcome at Christmas dinner?

3. The Cloister at Sea Island

Head to the Golden Isles of Georgia and your dog can don antlers and join in on all the fun of the annual Sea Island Reindog Parade. There’s plenty of fun to be had in the lead up to the big day with gingerbread house making classes and a huge family-style dinner on the 24th. There’s a doggy room service menu too that boasts a range of tasty treats, so your pooch will be able to enjoy their own delicious Christmas dinner.

4. Barkwells

The fact that this popular holiday spot is dog friendly is baked right on into its name with eight cabins nestled in the Western North Carolina Mountains that are luxuriously kitted out with hot tubs and fireplaces. Every cabin has a dog door that leads out to a private fenced yard and the entire 7-acre property is fenced so your dog can do zoomies until their heart's content. There’s plenty of great hiking spots too, so getting your daily exercise in will be a piece of cake.

Barkwells

(Image credit: Barkwells)

5. St. Regis Aspen Resort

If skiing’s your thing and Christmas on the slopes sounds like a dream, then Aspen’s the place to be and at the St. Regis Resort you can cross-country ski with your pup and even team up with a professional dog trainer who’ll teach you both to Skijor. Oh, and if you’re going with a friend who doesn’t have a pup, no worries, the resort even has adoptable dogs on loan specifically for Skijoring! 

pet-friendly christmas breaks: dog on hotel bed

(Image credit: Facebook / @stregisaspen)

6. Viceroy Palm Springs

For a spot of winter sunshine, why not head to Florida, which is well known for being a super dog-friendly state. The Viceroy offers a ton of amenities for dog owners, including a pet sitting and walking service for those times when you want to fly solo for a few hours. And your doggy will even get their own food bowl and special menu on arrival which features yummy dishes like steak with eggs.

Cat-friendly Christmas vacations

Cat lying on pillow playing with decoration hanging from Christmas tree

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Okay, so finding accommodation that will accept our feline friends isn’t quite as easy as searching for one that welcomes our canine companions, but there are still plenty of great options. Here are three amazing hotels that allow cats:

1. Affinia Hotel Chain

Head to one of the three Affinia hotels in New York this Christmas and your kitty will be spoiled rotten. Not only will you get to soak up all the festive atmosphere in one of the most magical cities in the world, but your cat will be pampered with their own food and water bowl, a luxuriously large cat bed, and a toy to play with. And the best part? While the fee to have your cat join you is $150, the hotel thoughtfully donates $10 of that to the Humane Society.

2. The Stanford Inn By The Sea

Head to gorgeous Mendocino in California and your kitty will have the red carpet rolled out for them at this stunning inn with special furniture cover sheets, kitty towels, treats, and bowls and with a low $45 fee per cat per stay, this is one affordable Christmas getaway.

The Stanford Inn By The Sea

(Image credit: The Stanford Inn By The Sea)

3. The James Hotel

If Christmas in the windy city sounds like the place for you then The James Hotel is the perfect spot to let you soak up Chicago’s Christmas atmosphere. One of the most luxurious hotels in the city, the James goes all out for the festive season with stunning decorations and a range of jaw-dropping trees. And your cat will love it too, with special treats, toys, grooming and spa services, plus a scrumptious room service menu.

Kathryn Rosenberg

Kathryn is a freelance writer with a passion for creating health and wellness, travel and wildlife content. Originally from New Zealand, her nomadic lifestyle has her currently fur baby-less. She scratches her pet parent itch by stealing frequent cuddles with any neighbourhood cat kind enough to indulge her.