Travels with Quigley began as a passion project dedicated to revisiting the classic John Steinbeck travelogue, “Travels with Charley” — but featuring Quigley, my rescue dog. In the nearly two years since our first day on the road together, this experience has developed into an ongoing, international adventure. We moved to Germany with my husband/dog-dad, James, and Quigley now enjoys life as a jetsetting terrier. We are passionate about dog-friendly travel, and look forward to sharing our experiences with like-minded travelers.
When I began traveling with Quigley, I was curious as to how the addition of a dog would change my travel experience. While there is plenty of “red tape” shaping the way you can travel with your furry friend, I’m happy to say that the benefits well outweigh the challenges. In addition to all of the comfort and cuddles, I find that Quigley helps me stay grounded — his nose twitches and ear perks have only heightened my acute awareness of our surroundings. As we walk the streets of New York City, we interact with locals and tourists alike and are greeted with inevitable coos and head scratches from many passersby. More often than not, we’re mistaken for residents, and lively conversation ensues whenever I reveal that we’re mere travelers.
People are often drawn to the idea of traveling with their beloved pets, and I’m always excited for the chance to encourage them, as it’s easier than most think! In fact, Quigley and I recently wrapped up three months on the road by celebrating Christmas in New York City. As this is also the home of Passion Passport’s offices, we thought this would be the perfect place to kick off our series focused on dog-friendly cities around the world! While the winter months were limiting in regards to the restaurants we could visit, I’ve pulled together a few recommendations that you and your pup can enjoy year-round to make pet travel in New York City a breeze.
Where to stay
Quigley spent the holidays at one of my favorite pet-friendly boutique chains, Ace Hotel. In addition to sharing ample snuggles with me in our comfortably stylish room, Quigley enjoyed flirting with other guests in the cushy lobby, and he obliged my ridiculous desire to pull him into the vintage black-and-white photo booth — a treat that can be found in every Ace location.
Kimpton Hotels in NYC are also pet-friendly, forgoing additional fees and offering “Pet Perks” that include pet beds, treats, and a list of nearby pet-friendly restaurants, boutiques, and parks. The Muse location even employs a shih tzu as its Director of Pet Relations. If you’re looking for a full-service experience, the Andaz Wall Street by Hyatt offers an extensive pet package that includes a pet bed, three pet toys (to keep!), food and water bowls, a jar of gourmet treats, and the option to treat your pet to a day at the Seaport Paw Doggie Groom Spa. Additionally, their Bull and Beer Garden hosts a weekly “Bark Hour” for dog owners every Wednesday.
Planning to travel with a dog in New York City on a budget? For price-conscious travelers with petite dogs, Pod 39 provides smaller rooms with common areas that are big on style. Relax with your pup at the rooftop bar, or join other guests on a free guided Pod Walk.
Where to Eat
NYC is very strict about dogs entering eateries, with the exception being Boris & Horton, the city’s very first Department of Health-approved dog-friendly café! This establishment also hosts adoption events, so if you’re looking for a new friend, you can come for a bite and leave with a wag.
Have no fear — there are other options for food-lovers planning to travel New York pet-in-tow. For a meal on the go, Quigley recommends the Poochini from Shake Shack. If you’re looking for a bit of ambiance, the glassed-in garden at The Park offers year-round comfort and easy access to the High Line. Similarly, i tre merli (formerly Revel) has a year-round garden featuring a retractable roof, exposed brick walls, and delicious pastas. The Upper West Side favorite Fred’s may not allow pets inside, but the owner will proudly display a photo of your dog if you bring one with you! Their motto is “Come! Sit! Stay!” and you and your dog are encouraged to do just that: stay, relax, and people-watch on the patio. Another classic sidewalk experience can be found at Barking Dog, which features a patio with a “dog bar” (a.k.a. water fountain) for all visiting dogs.
Where to drink
Bars and coffee shops have a bit more flexibility when it comes to pets, and many are happy to let your dog hang out as you enjoy whichever buzz you prefer. AKA travel with a dog in New York is especially fun come patio season.
Quigley curled up under our table at Strong Rope Brewery and caught up on sleep while James and I played board games.
Before 6 p.m., dogs can visit the Owl Farm, a cozy space ideally suited to both drink (craft beers) and play (pinball machines). Brooklyn Brewery may not allow pets on their tour, but Quigley recommends schmoozing in their Tasting Room instead. For something a little more upscale, order a cocktail at the Ludlow Hotel and head to their lush lounge or bright garden. The Ludlow staff will likely provide highly attentive service simply to cuddle your canine.
If you’re in need of caffeine with a side of puppy love, the Bean, Gasoline Alley Coffee, and Devoción all provide highly reviewed brew, outdoor seating, and handy jars of dog treats. Maman has patio space at certain locations as well, and their lavender hot chocolate is a must for all humans.
Where to Shop
What New York lacks in dog-friendly indoor eateries, it makes up for with shopping! Strut your mutt around Bloomingdale’s, Saks, Bergdorf’s, and Barneys (just don’t be surprised if you leave with a diva dog). Most boutique stores welcome dogs, too, and some Nordstrom locations even keep custom dog cookies on hand.
The Westfield shopping center located in the Oculus provides an opportunity for additional shopping, as well as an incredible photo op! The Oculus is the new World Trade Center Transportation hub. With its atmospheric, light-filled architecture, this location is quickly becoming the newest iconic backdrop for NYC photography.
Whether you’re window-shopping or eager to build upon your fine art collection, be sure to visit the William Secord Gallery, and admire the dog paintings… with your dog.
Where to Play
New York has a multitude of dog parks, including the rotating off-leash zones in Central Park. That said, if you’re looking to enjoy the sand and surf, dogs are also allowed on the beach and the boardwalk at Rockaway Beach, Coney Island, Brighton Beach, Manhattan Beach, Midland Beach, and South Beach between October 1 and May 1. Although Water 4 Dogs is primarily a canine rehab center in Tribeca, they also offer dog swims that provide great exercise during the winter months.
Where to Pose
In addition to NYC classics like Rockefeller Center, Grand Central, or DUMBO, the city provides many artful locations for you and your pooch to pose. Visit the OY/YO sculpture at North 5th Street Pier, or take advantage of the many murals scattered across the city. A few favorites include: Graffiti from the Bushwick Collective, I Feel You Baby outside Baby Brasa, and What Lifts You between Kenmare and Mott St.
Where to Escape
A perfect weekend away can be enjoyed in the Catskills, the beautiful mountain range north of the city. Book a stay at Scribner’s Lodge, eat as often as possible at Phoenecia diner, and treat your dog to a visit to the world’s largest kaleidoscope.
I also recommend a short getaway to Sag Harbor! Quigley and I stayed at Baron’s Cove, an inn frequented by author John Steinbeck. Their “Travels with Charley” package comes with a copy of said travelogue (penned by Steinbeck), a dog bed, dishes, and custom dog biscuits.
We hope you enjoyed the tips, inspiration, and of course, the fluff. As always, be sure to double check with venues’ pet travel requirements, New York City is an ever-changing place.