Why Iowa? you might ask. Here at Petswelcome, we think the most fun destinations are those you might not know much about. And when we’re looking for pet-friendly places to take our pets, we like to head to destinations that might not be on everyone’s shortlist. But here are a few things you might not have known about Iowa. The National Hobo Convention takes place in Iowa. And if anyone knows great destinations, my guess it would be hobos. Also, hogs outnumber people four to one. To my mind, that means they love animals, which is always a good thing. Ames also has the highest literacy rate in the country (awesome!). And the Eskimo Pie was invented there. What’s not to like? Ames, in particular, has some great things going for it, namely Iowa State University, which is home to the College of Veterinary Medicine, one of the premier vet schools in the country. A college town with a mission to keep animals healthy? It’s time to head to pet-friendly Ames, Iowa!
Whenever we arrive in a town, we look for some pet-friendly bars and restaurants to chill out with our pooches. Ames doesn’t disappoint. Check out the Mucky Duck Pub. It’s decorated like an old English pub and has a dog-friendly patio. And we recommend trying their Odd Duck Ale. Very tasty. Also, check out The Café for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Of course, we’re always looking for food trucks because they often serve up fantastic specialty or ethnic foods and pets are usually welcome at the nearby tables. If you’re into Mexican food, Tacos La Michoacana should be on your list of trucks to track down.
As far as activities with your favorite animal, head over to the Ames Dog Park. It’s a 10-acre park divided into two sections—a fenced-in area for small dogs and an 8-acre section for larger dogs (you will need a rabies vaccination certificate to use the park). Also stop by pet-friendly Iowa Arboretum, located on 415 acres in nearby Madrid (28 miles away). It contains hundreds of species of trees, plants and shrubs in a lovely setting and has plenty of trails for you and your dog to enjoy.
We love rail trails—they’re a great way to get some exercise with your best buddy and they usually run through beautiful natural areas as well as historic towns. To that end you might want to take a half hour drive from Ames to Ankeny, IA, to visit the High Trestle Trail. It’s worth the drive. The trail is 25 miles long and runs through five towns and four counties. Part of the trail includes a 13-story high bridge that crosses the Des Moines River Valley. It is one of the longest trestle bridges in the world.
Finally, you’re going to need a pet friendly hotel. Ames has plenty. There is Radisson Hotel Ames Conference Center, Quality Inn & Suites Starlite Village Conference Center, Econo Lodge, and Microtel In & Suites, as well as many others.
So pack your bags, book your room, grab your pooch and head to pet-friendly Ames, Iowa. We think you’ll be surprised, pleased and very glad you took a road less traveled to discover a wonderful city.