I-95, the nation’s longest North-South interstate, connects fifteen states along the East Coast, beginning in Maine and ending in Florida (or vice-versa, depending on how you look at it.) This massive interstate serves over 100 million people, connecting businesses, families, and more. With scenic drives not far from the coasts of the Atlantic Ocean, this interstate makes for a beautiful trip no matter where you’re headed. And even better, there are hundreds of dog-friendly locations along this 1,900 mile stretch! Below is a travel guide on traveling the entirety of I-95 from Maine to Florida with your precious pooch.
However, please note that this guide is not the only way to travel I-95. DogFriendly has information on hundreds more hotels, parks, tourist attractions, restaurants, stores, and more, so you’re able to easily customize your travel plans. We’re just here to give you a few ideas.
Beginning at the Houlton-Woodstock Border Crossing just east of Houlton, Maine, I-95 offers no shortage of things to do, places to stay, and attractions to explore all with your furry friend(s). Maine’s picturesque landscapes makes for stunning lodging ranging from hotels and motels to cabins and inns.
Bar Harbor, approximately three hours from the start of 1-95, offers both luxury and simplicity for every type of traveler. Looking for a charming cottage near the heart of Bar Harbor? Bar Harbor/Acadia Cottage Rentals offers dozens of locations ranging from cozy to opulent fit for you and your pooch. Atlantic Eyrie Lodge, just off of Frenchman Bay and the Porcupine Islands, offers ocean-view rooms, a pool, shuttle service, laundry, and access to local tour discounts for those looking to explore. Bar Harbor Downtown Shopping District – just a few minutes drive away – features pet-friendly stores along its 8-block-length. Be sure to visit one (or more) of the many food and grocery stores to enjoy some of Maine’s finest seafood.
Further south along I-95 lies Maine’s largest city, Portland. Home of the Maine Narrow Gauge, a two-foot narrow gauge railway, Maine Narrow Gauge Railroad Co. and Museum offers scenic train rides fit for any dog and any owner.
Known colloquially as the “Granite State”, New Hampshire is known for its massive amounts of lush wilderness and rich history. Though New Hampshire hosts the smallest amount of I-95 of all the states, there’s still plenty to do along the way.
If you’re starting from the beginning of I-95 in Maine, you and Fido will have been in the car for over four hours now. Luckily, I-95 passes right through the city of Portsmouth, a historic, oceanside town with lots to offer. Just a few minutes from downtown lies the South Mill Pond Portsmouth Dog Park; an off-leash, fenced dog park that offers the perfect opportunity for dogs to burn off some steam, use the bathroom, and enjoy the beautiful sights. Who knows, maybe afterwards you and your dog could grab a scoop at Annabelle’s Natural Ice Cream, which is just a ten-minute drive away.
In terms of housing, many hotels in the Portsmouth area offer dog-friendly accommodations. If you’re looking to embrace New Hampshire’s elaborate history, The Hotel Portsmouth offers dog-friendly accommodations in the heart of downtown.
Containing 91 miles of I-95, Massachusetts offers more than just scenic drives. Being the first place Pilgrims came to the United States, Massachusetts’s large history is almost overwhelming… in a good way! From the Salem Witch Trials to the life of Emily Dickinson, The Codfish State offers much to learn about.
I-95 cuts directly through Boston (the state’s capitol), and this scenic city offers hundreds of dog-friendly locations within the area. Boston Park Plaza, offers pet-friendly rooms in the heart of the city just a few minutes away from iconic attractions such as Faneuil Hall, a large, dog-friendly outdoor shopping center with horses and carriages in the evenings. And for particularly curious dogs, the Secret Tour of Boston’s North End presents the perfect opportunity to explore some of the secrets of Boston.
Don’t let its size fool you! While Rhode Island may be the smallest state on I-95’s route, it’s bursting with opportunity for you and your pet(s). Six hours away from Houlton, Maine, Rhode Island is a great stopping point for those on long trips. Looking to stay a bit longer? Check out the City of Providence.
Directly intersected by I-95, Providence offers dozens of hotels of varying prices. For a unique, historic stay in downtown Providence, consider looking into Hotel Providence,a AAA Four Diamond Award Winner. Its pet-friendly experience offers gorgeous rooms and suites, a fitness studio, a restaurant bar, and so much more. Graduate Providence also offers similar, pet-friendly experiences for those hoping to explore the city.
“What is there to explore?” you ask? How about a Providence Preservation Society Walking Tour? Admire Providence’s architecture, history, and transformation through time with your pooch right by your side. Or, if you’re wanting a more relaxed experience, Roger Williams Park offers miles of trails, picnic areas, and shady spots for your dog to enjoy.
Connecticut – home of the sewing machine, hamburger, helicopter, and 111 miles of I-95, this state boasts gorgeous coastlines and bustling cities, making it the best of both worlds for all types of dogs and owners.
One of the first cities close to I-95 is New Haven, home of Yale University. For those looking to let their dogs out for a bit of exercise, New Haven Green offers a relaxing walk in the middle of the city. New Haven Hotel, which is just a four-minute drive from New Haven Green, offers both standard rooms and suites for owners with one pet. Their accommodations also include complimentary WiFi, a fitness center, continental breakfast and more.
Another notable city in Connecticut is Bridgeport. Also known as “Park City” due to the 1,300+ acres of parkland scattered throughout. Got a dog suffering from the Zoomies? Eisenhower Park Dog Run offers a safe, fenced, off-leash park for your dog to let off some energy.
The sixth state on this journey is the one, the only, New York. While many may think the Big Apple isn’t a good spot for dogs (especially large ones), the reality is there are hundreds of great locations not far from I-95. Manhattan, with a population of over 1.5 million, hosts hundreds of hotels, and even more places to see and things to do. Some world-famous tourist attractions, such as Time’s Square, the New York City Boardwalks, and the Brooklyn Bridge all offer walking tours or dog-friendly accommodations to help Fido feel like a seasoned traveler.
And why not grab a bite… and maybe even a new furry friend! Fetch, a dog-themed bar and grill on Third Avenue that features dog-friendly patio seating and an Adopt-A-Dog wall with adoption applications on-site.
New York also houses an abundance of hotels, apartments, Airbnb’s, and other options for every traveler and every price point. For a luxurious experience, consider the Crosby Street Hotel which comes fully equipped with a gym, screening room, private garden, and more. Fair warning, this hotel does not accept more than one dog or dogs over 40 pounds. For a more cozy experience, Blue Moon Boutique Hotel offers a historic New York experience complete with free WiFi, kitchenettes, and large screen TV’s with multiple streaming services.
By the time you reach New Jersey from Houlton, Maine, you’ll have been driving for nine hours, so New Jersey is an excellent place to stop and rest on your journey south. New Jersey boasts iconic destinations like Asbury Park, and Cape May. In the heart of Jersey City is the Hyatt House, a sleek hotel complete with spacious accommodations and contemporary décor. This hotel allows up to two dogs whose combined weight is not more than 75 pounds (no dogs exceeding 50 pounds are allowed). The Westin Jersey City Newport, in the heart of the waterfront financial district offers dog-friendly rooms, an indoor pool and fitness center, and is only a nine-minute train ride from Manhattan.
Newark, which is less than 30 minutes away from Jersey City, also boasts dozens of hotels and attractions. New Jersey Transit allows friendly and secured dogs aboard buses, trains, and light rail to make intercity travel a breeze. For those looking to spend a few days, the Renaissance Newark Airport Hotel allows dogs and is only a few minutes away from Newark Symphony Hall.
Approximately ten hours south from Houlton, Maine, lies Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Pennsylvania is unique in that it was the birthplace of iconic American monuments and events such as the signing of the Declaration of Independence, Punxsutawney Phil, and the Liberty Bell. Its rich history and preservation of the past offers an amazing experience for American history buffs… and their dogs, too!
For those extra special VIPs (very important pets), you absolutely can’t miss the Loews Philadelphia Hotel. This luxury experience includes pet room-service, a local list of pet services, pet toys, bedding, and more. They’re also conveniently located across from the Pennsylvania Convention Center.
Looking for a more historic experience? The Chesnutt Hill Hotel, formerly a speakeasy during prohibition, offers a unique perspective of scenic Chestnut Hill. Even the Chestnut Hill Farmers Market is located on-site.
And Philadelphia offers the opportunity for your dog to meet some new friends with the Horse and Carriage Rides at Independence Mall. Most drivers will allow well-behaved dogs on the 20-minute tour of historical Philadelphia. This quick and fun experience is perfect for overnight guests or two just passing through.
The ninth out of fifteen states along the way to Miami is Delaware. Known for its scenic beaches, Delaware makes for a beautiful destination to drive through or stay in. Being one of the original 13 colonies, Delaware embraces its historical identity with pride. After all, they were the first state to ratify the U.S. Constitution!
I-95 fortunately travels right through Wilmington, Delaware, the largest city in the state. From there, travelers can explore the legacy of the du Pont family by staying at Hotel du Pont – a dog-friendly twelve-story Italian Renaissance building equipped with a business center, fitness center, a bar, nail salon, and so much more. You and your pooch can enjoy a relaxing stay after a ten-and-a-half hour drive from Houlton, Maine. For a less-expensive option in downtown Wilmington, Sheraton Suites Wilmington Downtown with many of the same accommodations.
Carousel Park Off-Leash Area has nearly fifty acres of running and swimming areas to traverse, and Christina River Boat Company Inc. offers both public and private tours of the historical Brandywine and Christina Rivers.
Maryland, another state riddled with history, is the tenth stop on our list. Baltimore, a coastal city known for its seaports and business and commerce center, hosts a variety of entertainment and adventure for humans and animals alike.
For the most extravagant and dog-friendly accommodations, the Monaco Baltimore, A Kimpton Hotel offers top-of-the-line architecture, mini-bars, exercise equipment, and spa services. For the dogs, the hotel welcomes them with open arms, and accommodates Fido with a special pet bed. Even for solo visitors, they provide a goldfish for the duration of your stay! For a more casual experience, the Baltimore area is surrounded by Days Inns, Comfort Inns, and Best Westerns – all of which accommodate dogs. Just make sure to read each pet policy – some larger dogs may not be allowed to enter certain hotels. Better to be safe than sorry!
For those visiting in the summer and fall months, the Farmers Market at the Avenue is open for dogs to explore from July to October so long as they remain on a leash no more than four feet long. For a dog that likes a challenge, though, Maryland Sled Dog Adventures LLC provides the perfect opportunity for them to learn what it takes to become a seasoned sled dog. But fair warning, these tours and programs are by reservation only, so make sure to sign up in advance if you want your pooch to get a chance to run with the big dogs!
One of the most popular spots to stop on a nationwide trek on I-95 is Virginia, and it’s easy to see why. From iconic monuments like the Washington Monument to sun-soaked ocean shores, Virginia makes a fantastic vacation spot for the whole family – including the dog!
Most commonly visited not far from I-95 are Washington D.C. and Richmond. Washington D.C., the capital of the United States, is not surprisingly filled with history and monuments to explore, such as the FDR Memorial, Lincoln Memorial, and the Jefferson Memorial. Plus much of the land within D.C.’s borders contains wide-open, green spaces for your dog to sprawl out on and enjoy.
Richmond has history, too, especially with the Hollywood Cemetery where multiple presidents and pioneers have been laid to rest (sparking many rumors and legends from visitors and locals alike). But from May to December, each Saturday the Market Umbrella Markets open and offer a wide variety of produce, apparel, jewelry, and more from 8am to noon.
In terms of room and board, Richmond boasts many dog-friendly hotels, such as Aloft Richmond West. A five-story, 135-room hotel surrounded by bars and nightlife of West Broad Village, this dog-friendly stay is sure to be a hit for you and your pup. Whether you want to stay in and relax or head out on the town, Aloft Richmond West offers you the ability to have the best of both worlds.
Next up is North Carolina, also known as the Tar Heel State. I-95 lies close to Fayetteville, one of the largest and most historic locations in the state, most notably it’s known as the home of Fort Bragg. While there aren’t many specific attractions that allow dogs, North Carolina boasts miles of beautiful scenery, city walkways, and stunning architecture for you and your dog to explore on foot. The Fayetteville Technical Community College Campus is a perfect place to take your pet for strolls in green, grassy lanes.
Dog Friendly hotels and motels are in abundance in Fayetteville. Just a short distance away from Fort Bragg and Fayetteville Technical Community college is Knights Inn Fayetteville/Fort Bragg, a budget and dog-friendly hotel close to downtown Fayetteville. There are also many Quality Inns and Comfort Inns nearby.
Next on our itinerary is South Carolina, which has scenic coastlines, massive golf courses, and rich history. Off of I-95, approximately eighteen hours from your starting point in Houlton, Maine, lies Florence. Florence is known for its bustling arts and music scene as well as its dining. Like its northern companion, South Carolina offers hotels and housing from the high-end to budget-friendly. Baymont Inn & Suites by Wyndham Florence offers breakfast, a fitness center, and more all within a few minutes drive from local landmarks.
Similarly to North Carolina, South Carolina doesn’t offer as many dog-friendly attractions as other states along I-95, but there are plenty of places to walk. Downtown Florence offers beautiful views of the city and local businesses as well as an opportunity for your dog to get some exercise in.
Georgia, otherwise known as the Peach State, is the second-to-last state before the end of the 1,900 mile road. Known for its coastal beaches and farmland, it’s become a popular destination spot for those looking to enjoy some southern hospitality. I-95 fortunately travels just West of the bustling city, so it makes for an easy and gorgeous place to stop and take in the sights.
Georgia has no shortage of places to stay, and beautiful ones at that! In Savannah lies the Andaz Savannah, a beautiful and luxurious dog-friendly hotel with spa service, flat screen TVs, and neighboring bar. If you bring your pet, though, make sure to notify hotel staff at least three days prior to arrival.
If you’re looking for the pinnacle of Southern charm, stop by the Foley Inn. The Best Inn in the South according to Southern Living Magazine, the Foley Inn describes themselves as a “boutique hotel” with uniquely decorated rooms and balconies. Guests can enjoy lounging in the parlor before dinner or walking to many of the local sights and restaurants nearby.
For dogs who love the supernatural, Savannah’s Ghost Talk Ghost Walk boasts a detailed tour of the many ghostly stories and legends of the city
At long last – we’ve arrived at the last state and final stop of the long ride across the East Coast. Florida is one of the most popular tourist locations with vibrant nightlife, gorgeous coastlines, and sunshine galore.
I-95 travels along 382 miles of Florida, so there are plenty of places to pull off and stop for the night. Jacksonville – a massive city on the northeast corner of Florida offers hundreds of activities for you and your dog. Hotels are plentiful for every type of budget, with lots of La Quintas, Quality Inns, and Holiday Inns. But for those looking for different accommodation options, One Ocean Resort and Spa on the shores of Atlantic Beach. With a fitness center, restaurant and spa on-site, it will be easy for you and your dog to get quite comfortable. And to keep your dog busy, consider taking them for a run and a splash at Dogwood Park Lake Bow Wow – a massive dog park complete with doggie ponds, baths, toys and trails, it’s the perfect slice of paradise for your pooch.
The final city on the journey along I-95 is Miami, a city filled with incredible sights, sounds, and experiences. However, before listing all the attractions, it’s important to note that Miami bans “pit bull breeds.” Unfortunately, dogs like Staffordshire Bull Terriers or American Bulldogs are not allowed within Miami-Dade County.
Housing, on the other hand, is all-inclusive in Miami, with gorgeous resorts like 1 Hotel South Beach, Acqualina Resort & Residences On The Beach, and Epic Hotel Miami, all of which offer top-of-the-line amenities. And after a relaxing stay, you and your pup can take a trip to Coral Castle, an oolite limestone structure with many rumors following its mystery. Or, if you’re of the nautical type, you and your dog can rent a boat at Monty’s Marina.
I-95 makes for a roaring good time no matter what direction you’re headed. With thousands of sights to see and places to stay along the way, you’re guaranteed to make some memories with your furry friend by your side. If you’re interested in seeing more of what’s along the journey, be sure to check out our city guides for more information on wherever you end up going.