By William Basore
Surrounded by gorgeous public lands and national parks, Moab, Utah is an ideal place for outdoor enthusiasts to spend time with their favorite furry friends. And this summer, the visitors' bureau is busy promoting the news that many local businesses and community areas around town welcome canine guests with open paws... er, arms.
Bureau of Land Management public lands around Moab offer numerous dog-friendly hiking trails, including Corona Arch, Hunter Canyon, and Fisher Towers. Dogs are also allowed on all hiking trails at Dead Horse Point State Park.
Hikes that include water, such as Negro Bill Canyon on Scenic Byway 128, are especially popular with dogs and their owners. Mountain lakes dot the alpine range of the Manti-LaSal National Forest, which offers miles of dog-friendly hiking trails. The popular Warner Lake-Oohwah Lake Trail is a two-mile path connecting the bodies of water.
Speaking of water, the Moab Rafting and Canoe Company allows dogs on self-guided canoe trips.
While activities with pets are much more limited within Arches National Park and Canyonlands National Park, dogs may accompany visitors in the park campgrounds. Enjoy the national parks' "must-do" hikes and other not-so-dog-friendly activities by taking advantage of the services at Desert Doggie Daycare or Karen's Canine Campground.
In addition to many area campgrounds, dog-friendly accommodations are available in Moab to suit every taste and budget--from chains such as Motel 6 to the 3 Dogs and a Moose Cottages to the four-diamond Sorrel River Ranch Resort & Spa.
Hit the beach at one of Haven Holidays' dog-friendly and family-focused seaside vacation spots later this month, and the 35-location vacation chain will hand you a fuel voucher for exploring the area once you arrive.
Of course, with miles of sandy beaches and amenities that range from heated pools, rental bikes, and golf courses to climbing walls and kids clubs, you may not be tempted to venture too far afield. For those who do, however, the Haven website offers information and links of area attractions and destinations ranging from the historic city of Canterbury to countless wild moors and ancient castles.
If Chicago is your road-trip destination any time in the next six months, consider booking a room at the downtown JW Marriott and relax with the hotel's new "Unwine-d from the Drive" package. The luxury hotel is offering guests who drive in from surrounding states (Wisconsin, Michigan, Indiana, Kentucky, Missouri, and Iowa) a little extra pampering to help them unwind, including:
A neck, back, and shoulder massage as relief from white-knuckle driving
Foot reflexology to heal the pains of stop-and-go traffic
A glass of wine to be enjoyed at VALEO, the Marriott's in-house spa
A $50 Visa gift card for shopping, dining, or entertainment when out and about in Chicago
Described by the New York Times as "luxurious and magnificent...with a lobby that is a destination in itself," the hotel is near state Street, Millennium Park, Magnificent Mile, and the city's museums. The "Unwine-d from the Drive" package, which is available through February 2012, requires proof of residence.