The darkest days of winter are upon us, but snowbird RVing dogs and their humans still have plenty of dog-friendly places to go RVing. From resorts with dog agility parks to laid-back cities that allow dogs to dine al fresco in restaurants, I love this new era of RVing with dogs any time of year.
How to Find Great Places to Go with Snowbird RVing Dogs
Not too long ago, RVing with dogs was filled with challenges. If you wanted to see the sights, you often had to make arrangements for someone to look after your dog. That’s not the case anymore. A quick internet search for the phrase “best places to visit with dogs” turns up endless search results. Pet parents like me have more options than ever to enjoy new places with dogs. To choose a place to park the RV, just zoom in on a given destination and scan for features like:
- Is my dog’s breed type unwelcome at the RV park?
- Does the RV park or campground have good dog amenities? Will my dog have a grassy dog park to sniff around in or a boring, thorny gravel lot?
- How accessible are the RV park dog amenities? Will I need to drive my senior dog to his elimination spot? Or can I book a site within easy walking distance for him?
- Are local attractions dog-friendly? Do beaches have dog restrictions? Where can we dine together? Will I need to book a dog boarding kennel if I want to explore the town?
- Is the weather good for RVing with dogs? Will it be too hot or too cold for my pooch?
Searching for the ultimate dog-friendly RVing destinations can seem like a ton of work. I agree that it can be, but getting questions answered ahead of time is always worth the effort. Check the Good Sam’s listings to determine whether an RV park can accommodate your furry passenger. RVing to dog-friendly destinations puts my mind at ease when I arrive. During winter, these cities and RV parks are some of the most dog-friendly destinations in the U.S.
Palm Desert, California
Winter weather doesn’t get any better than Southern California. I’m biased, though, because the region in and around Palm Desert has been my destination of choice for several years. I’ve looked everywhere and discovered that you simply can’t beat the weather in the southern deserts. With average winter temperatures that hover in the low 70s all season long and low humidity, Palm Desert is one of the best dog-friendly snowbird destinations in the U.S. Explore gorgeous places together, like Anza Borrego State Park or Joshua Tree National Park. Or pop the pooch into the OHV for an off-road ride in the desert. Wherever you go, you’ll rest easy knowing it won’t be too hot for your dog to enjoy the outdoors with you.
Dozens of popular, dog-friendly Palm Desert RV resorts are waiting to book your stay. My favorites are the ones with hot tubs and spas, like Sam’s Family Spa. In addition to multiple pools and spas, Sam’s wide-open property includes grassy dog runs and plenty of open space to romp with Rover.
San Diego, California
A snowbird RVing dog adventure is incomplete without some leash-free playtime. Point your RV to the Pacific, because San Diego beaches are a spectacular place to let your dog run free. Any season is the right time to visit one of the most popular dog destinations, Fiesta Island Dog Beach. But if you’re lucky enough to visit in winter, you’ll find fewer crowds, easier parking, and equally spectacular weather that welcomes you both for a day in the sun. When your pup is done for the day, dozens of outdoor dog-friendly San Diego restaurants are waiting with water bowls and menus for people and pooches.
Make the most of your coastal fun at Campland on the Bay. Live on beachfront property and enjoy the park’s up-close beach access. Enjoy amenities like pools, spas, a skate park, an on-site cantina with a full bar, a market, a coffee house, and of course, a dog park. Ask for a campsite that backs up to open space for easy access to your own dog walk area
Las Cruces, New Mexico
Does Las Cruces seem like an unlikely destination for snowbird RVing dogs? I thought so, too, until I did my research. This is a cute, small college town with four dog-friendly parks, gorgeous hiking trails into surrounding BLM land, and dozens of dog-friendly retail and restaurant locations. It all adds up to an enjoyable winter destination for RVing dogs. Temperatures between December and February hover in the high 50s and low 60s, giving it just enough chill to remind you it’s winter but not enough to freeze RV plumbing. The crisp, clear and sunny days also beckon you to explore the nearby dog-friendly White Sands National Monument. It’s one of the only national parks that welcomes on-leash dogs to explore the entire monument alongside their humans. The National Park Service even built two dog-walking stations near the visitor center (the only place where dogs can’t visit).
Nearby, Shady Acres RV Resort is a perfect big-rig-friendly Las Cruces winter destination. Enjoy easy access to ATV desert trails. At your campsite, enjoy large, grassy sites, a busy clubhouse, planned activities and an on-site dog park with a shade canopy for those extra sunny New Mexico afternoons.
Corpus Christi, Texas
When you want options for RVing with snowbird dogs in Texas, head to the Gulf Coast. The sandy shoreline along Corpus Christi is the perfect dog-friendly beach destination in winter. Cooler temperatures, less humidity, and dozens of pet-friendly RV parks will keep you coming back every season. The best dog-friendly adventures begin at Padre Island National Seashore. Get the leash out and stroll along this scenic rugged barrier island. Leashed pets are welcome on over 60 miles of beach in the park. You can even drive right on the beach, giving you easy access for senior dogs and those with special needs. Other great Corpus Christi dog-friendly activities include boat rides, paddleboarding, and dining at dozens of dog-friendly eateries.
Most Corpus Christi RV parks welcome dogs, including Colonia del Rey RV Park. It’s big-rig friendly and features a pool, fish-cleaning station, recreation hall, and a small dog park if your pooch can’t get enough beach time.
Fort Myers Beach, Florida
Many years ago, when we took our first snowbird trip to Florida, I didn’t feel a dog-friendly vibe. Too many beaches didn’t welcome dogs. Those that did imposed tight restrictions, like dogs could only take beach walks early in the morning or late at night. If only we had gone RVing in Southwest Florida. Specifically, the dog-friendly Florida destinations of Fort Myers Beach and Sanibel Island. These two exceptionally welcoming communities are doggie paradise. Run along long stretches of dog-friendly Fort Myers Beach or go paddleboarding along Sanibel Island. Rent a dog-friendly kayak and cap the day off at a dog-friendly restaurant.
This is the Florida that dogs love. I can’t wait to go back. When I do, you’ll find my RV parked at Blueway RV Village. Situated along the Great Calusa Blueway, a well-known kayak trail in the Fort Myers area, this dog-friendly destination is one of the best places to escape winter in Florida. The resort has dozens of amenities for human guests, like swimming pools, hot tub, outdoor games, fitness center and recreation building. The on-site dog park and pet laundry are a bonus for pet parents.
Winter RVing with dogs is an underrated RVing experience, especially in these great snowbird RVing dog destinations. With a long list of dog-friendly activities, reasonable weather and fewer crowds, you have everything you need for a great time during the off-season.