I’ve always believed in the saying, no one should be left behind, and I don’t mean humans being left alone at home, or completely being abandoned.
When I say ‘no one should be left behind’, I mean the furry babies that patiently wait for us to come home after a vacation. I don’t know about you, but back in the day when traveling with dogs is a real tough job, I would always feel that weird wrench in my gut when I leave my sweet, little pet at home while I set for another vacation in another country.
I swore one day that I’ll find a way to never ever leave my pet behind ever again. And it got real when I found out about the emergence of pet-friendly hotels and places across the globe. It was a celebration— a complete triumph after so long of wanting to bring my furry baby with me every time I go on an adventure.
And guess what? It’s been a real treat ever since. I never thought I could walk that far if not for my stride partner who has all the advantage in the world because he’s four-legged.
Anyway, we’re lucky to live in a country where establishments are inclusive, allowing pets to enjoy the same benefits as humans, only that they’re on a leash and sometimes, on diapers too.
Well, if I were to choose one favorite place among many other pet-friendly places in the country, I’d proudly say Hawaii as it is very welcoming of pets, dogs most especially.
If you’re one like me, here are some of the best places in this tropical country where you can endlessly bond with your dog.
Waikiki Beach, Honolulu, Oahu
Ah, this famous Hawaiian coast is stunning enough when we talk about the overall vibe and appearance. But because it’s a place where dogs can openly play around with their hoomans, Waikiki Beach gained more plus points for pet lovers all around the world.
This shoreline in Honolulu, Oahu is a popular surf spot as well as a famous playground for goldies, bullies, and well, basically all types of dog breed. The Ala Wai K9 Playground within the Ala Wai Community Park that’s walking distance from the beach is a haven for dogs— it’s the perfect spot to make new buddies to horse around with.
You can also bring your four-legged friend to the Ualakaa Trail where you can conquer the hike together. It’s a short loop of greens and a bit of the jungle with a magnificent view of Pearl Harbor as a glorious conclusion to the hike.
While your dog may not appreciate the view, all the sniffing and the discovery of new textures while walking beside you would definitely be enjoyable enough for him.
If you want a bit of a challenge, you can always bring your able dog to the Kuliouou Ridge Hiking Trail for a slightly more rugged path.
Another reason to love the vicinity of Waikiki in Honolulu is the Aloha Tower Marketplace— a shopping center where you can bring your dogs with you while you shop for souvenirs and other necessities.
Kalapaki Beach, Lihue, Kauai
And since we’re talking about Hawaii where there is a seemingly endless stretch of beaches and shorelines, next on the list is yet another dog-friendly beach where you can take your water-addict furball.
Kalapaki Beach in the city of Lihue is an ideal spot for your dog’s off-leash time— but of course, with close supervision. You can let him chase you around the shore and then go straight to an hour of relaxation and sunbathing after.
For a more relaxed off-leash activity, you can take him to Freddie’s Dog Park run by the Kauai Humane Society, where you can meet with like-minded people who love to set their pets free without worry. This dog park has access to picnic tables, gazebos and a vast area of grass that’s fairly divided for large dogs and the tiny ones.
The Nook Neighborhood Bistro, Honolulu, HI
Restaurants are sometimes picky about their ‘guests’. But in the case of this lovely bistro in Honolulu, they welcome pooches with open arms.
The outdoor patio is made especially for their patrons who love to bring their furry friends with them. Moreover, their menu is utterly impressive that you won’t find anything like it anywhere.
Serving popular American dishes with a unique twist on it like their polenta fries served with blue cheese and their spiced espresso made with RumChata, the Nook Neighborhood Bistro will easily become your favorite restaurant in the whole of Hawaii.
Hawaii Kai Dog Park, Honolulu, HI
Dog parks are bountiful in Hawaii. They’re everywhere. So if you happen to be strolling around Honolulu with your dog, you can stop by the Hawaii Kai Dog Park.
It’s a one-stop shop for all your dog needs. It has a play park where your dog can run around without a leash, a cleanup station and even a mobile dog grooming van in case your dog needs it.
Moanalua Dog Park, Honolulu, HI
Another favorite dog park in Honolulu is the Moanalua Dog Park. In fact, it’s the first off-leash park in the City and County of Honolulu.
A heartwarming side story that people need to hear is that this dog park was named by a Moanalua Elementary School student who won the Name the Dog Park contest. And guess what she named it? Ilio Hau’oli Pakawhich means ‘happy dog park’ in Hawaiian. It has been considered to be the official nickname of the park, thanks to Jeanine Shimomura, the student who won the award.
Over to You
Now that we’ve covered some of the best spots where you and your dog can bond, there are also pet-friendly homestays that you can check out in Hawaii. Now, in case your crazy furry companion forgot to behave well and accidentally pooped on a restricted area, or if he decides to run amok and wreak havoc, an Airbnb cleaning service is just one call away.
You can trust them to turn the place back to a decent state, pre-dog scenario. But to avoid incurring damages to your vacation home rental, pay close attention to your doggies. They might be telling you something. Some dogs won’t feel comfortable in an unfamiliar place right away. But other than that, having your pet with you on vacation is the most precious thing in the world and I say that with full conviction. For a jetsetter slash pet lover, nothing can ever top that feeling.