Friday, August 19, 2011

How to Be a Tourist with Your Dog Series: Chicago Sidetripping to Harbor Country, Michigan

While there is so much we love about living in the city, sometimes we long to get away from the concrete, sirens, and blaring lights.I think fellow Chicago dogs Lola and Franklin were feeling the same way when they shared this dog-friendly retreat a mere side-trip away from Chicago. With doggy doors, spaces to run, beaches, and soothing pet-spa music to help the pooches feel at home, this sounds like every city dog's dream.

We just returned from a week in Harbor Country, Michigan with our two dogs, Lola (big pitty girl) and Franklin (little shaggy guy). Lola and Franklin are fellow Chicago city dogs (in fact, Lola is a NLOL alum like Ms. M!) and don't often get to run in wide open spaces or go swimming, so we decided to find a not-to-far away retreat for our summer vacation this year and take them with us.
We found the perfect rental house on homeaway.com, called "It's A Dog's Life" boasting a large fenced in yard with doggy door and lots to do with the pups. Worried that it might not be as great in reality as it looked online, we loaded up the car, and drove the 80 miles to our temporary home.
As soon as we saw the "Have Fun Lola and Franklin" message on the chalkboard in the entryway, we knew it was going to be as good as we hoped. The back yard was beautiful, and the dogs loved being able to let themselves in and out of the house. They relaxed on the deck
and explored the yard
and chased rabbits.
Not only was the house dog-friendly, but the owner provided a list of places to go with your dog. We took them to Weko Beach where they cooled off in Lake Michigan and hung out on the beach.
We did the tourist thing in New Buffalo.
We tried going for a hike but the bugs were too bad to even stop to take a picture. There was even CDs of pet spa music to soothe the dogs in an unfamiliar environment when the humans went to the nearby brewpub.
And the dogs enjoyed napping on new beds and couches
(sorry mom! I don't always make the bed on vacation). We're planning a return visit with the pups in the fall, when we can get that hike in and see the fall color.

We love exploring new cities and getting ideas about things to do with our dogs, and as one reader pointed out, pitbull owners should always doublecheck the BSL laws to make sure your route is pit bull friendly. In case you missed them, you can also read about things to do with dogs in Austin, Florida, Portland, Richmond, Seattle,  Kansas City, Nashville, Alaska, and Chicago. And you can read about roadtripping with 4 large dogs, boating to the Bahamas with a pit bull, and specific tips for roadtripping with a large dog (NYC to rural Tennessee). We are still accepting posts, but we would like to receive everything in the next few weeks.If you would like to share your hometown, please click here for more information or contact us through our Facebook page.  

17 comments:

Two Crazy Coaches said...

I'm going to be sad when this series ends!

Harbor Country is so close to me! That house they stayed in sounds great...how fun!

Froggy said...

This is great! I grew up spending my summers in Harbor County and it is such a peaceful area.

Tucker The Crestie said...

Like Two Crazy Coaches, I will be sorry to see this series end ... I've so enjoyed it! Armchair traveling at its finest! With dogs, which is even better!

Shayna said...

Sounds like a blast, I love Michigan!

The Neswoods said...

We always look for dog-friendly houses in Michiana so we can bring our pup with us on mini-vacas. We'll have to check out this house - sounds like nirvana for dogs and people alike!

Kari in Vegas said...

I dont think I ever went there after growing up in MI. Someday I will get the extra time to reply to your email!

Kari
http://dogisgodinreverse.com

Barbara said...

Boy, that sounds like a very dog-friendly place! Kudo's to the owners!

Kate@TwentySixToLife said...

They are so cute together!

Benny and Lily said...

Great post and we agree, we will miss this series. You guys always open our eyes to new adventures
Benny & Lily

Tucker The Crestie said...

Just saw this:

http://winniethegreyhound.blogspot.com/2011/08/pleasant-walk-spoiled-sometimes.html

and thought you! Might give you some inspiration should you decide to undertake a letter-writing campaign to your neighbor with the wayward canine! :)

houndstooth said...

Harbor Country actually sounds close enough for us to be able to go there! What a cool idea!

poodleandpitbull said...

Hey guys!

We're back in blogland and making our rounds.

I LOVE this whole series of posts you're doing on traveling with pups, it's really amazing and so practical! Let me know if you want one for NYC, the monsters would be happy to oblige.

Two Pitties in the City said...

This is the type of trip I wish we had planned with the pooches. Now I just have to keep Miss M away from the computer so she doesn't realize what she's missing.

mrajcox said...

I love seeing places that are close to me in Chi-town. I am definitely looking this place up the next time we want to get out of the city. Vacas are so much more fun when we can bring our favorite troublemaker!

Roo said...

What a terrific local get-away! Thinkin we need more like it all over! :D

Waggin at ya,
Roo

It's A Dog's Life (Vacation Rental) said...

Dog's Life Innkeeper: I have the best guests at my cottage and loved having Lola and Franklin! If you have interest in my home or others in the Michigan area, visit www.vrbo.com. My link is http://www.vrbo.com/237347

Kirsten said...

Whoa--that's just so cool! A resort that is so dog-friendly seems like it must be hard to come by.

We generally camp when we go away so we don't have to worry about finding accommodations--but it is always great to find towns that are welcoming to our canine companions. A surprising number of the places we've visited in MD, VA, and the surrounding area are super dog-friendly, with many of the businesses having dog water buckets always filled outside.
http://peacefuldog.blogspot.com/2011/07/bliss-on-potomac.html

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