3 Pet-Friendly Getaways Within Driving Distance of DC

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Treat your dog to a vacation, whether they’re a pampered pooch or love to swim.

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Dog days Lots of hotels welcome furry guests these days, but some—such as Nemacolin in Pennsylvania—go all out. Photograph by Jordan Millington Liquorice.

Dog-and-Pony Show

1. Salamander Resort & Spa | Middleburg, VA

Photograph courtesy of Salamander Resort & Spa.

On the bucolic outskirts of Middleburg, Salamander Resort & Spa is known for its well-appointed luxury spa. In between relaxing treatments, you can stay busy at the equestrian center, zipline course, and culinary studio.

For pets: No need to lug your dog’s necessities—the resort provides Harry Barker beds for canine guests of all sizes, plus food and water bowls, waste bags, and organic treats baked daily by the pastry team. Pets and their owners stay in Terrace rooms that open onto the lawn for easy access. Leashed dogs are invited to explore certain areas on the 340-acre property, including the pond, hiking trails, and even the stables, where they can greet the horses. Once your dog tires, she can snooze in the room unattended (a door sign is provided to alert staff) while you sneak out for a massage.

Pet fee: $150 per stay.

Size limit: None.

Distance from DC: 46 miles.

Pampered Pooch

2. Nemacolin | Farmington, PA

Photograph courtesy of Nemacolin.

Nemacolin in Farmington, Pennsylvania, offers four types of accommodations across 2,000 acres. The resort has a list of activities for an action-­packed visit, whether you opt to scale a climbing wall or swing a putter.

For pets: Give your dog a vacation of his own at Nemacolin’s Wooflands Pet Resort & Spa, a “luxury boarding” facility where pups big and small can stay during the day or overnight. (The human resort allows only dogs under 35 pounds, and they can’t be left in rooms by themselves for extended periods.) Dogs can swim in a pool, play in the yard, and interact with other pets, all guided by trained caretakers who send picture updates throughout the day. The pet resort also offers professional grooming such as paw conditioning, brush-outs, and, yes, even facials. A sojourn at Wooflands starts at $21 for a half day.

Pet fee: $250 per stay.

Size limit: 35 pounds at the main resort; none at the pet resort.

Distance from DC: 186 miles.

Bark on the Beach

3. Wylder Hotel | Tilghman, MD

Dogs can romp near the Chesapeake Bay at Wylder Hotel. Photograph by Michael Carnevale.

Wylder Hotel on Maryland’s sleepy Tilghman Island offers a getaway abutting the Chesapeake Bay. The charming 50-room hotel is a quiet escape with a private beach and marina for fun on the water.

For pets: Dogs are greeted with complimentary treats and waste bags and are welcome almost everywhere at the resort except indoor restaurants and the pool area. The private beach is open to them, so they can go for a paddle in the bay or lounge in the sand. You can crack crabs on the dog-friendly patio at the hotel restaurant, Tickler’s Crab Shack, and for summer visitors, the waterfront spot offers a special menu with canine charcuterie boards.

Pet fee: $55 per dog per night.

Size limit: None.

Distance from DC: 95 miles.

This article appears in the March 2023 issue of Washingtonian.

Jessica Ruf

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