Take your Dog to Erie, PA: Show Your Travelling Dog Some Love in February Getaway (Part I)

Victor a black dog at Red Roof Inn for Valentines Day

(Thank you to our sponsor Red Roof Inn for providing accommodations on this trip!)

Show your dog some love this month. Take him/her on a road trip, even for a weekend.

February, the month of hearts and flowers, is also ‘Love Your Pet Month’ (aren’t the all?). I’m all over it. Valentine’s Day can be annoying for single people and a high pressure for those who aren’t. So…

Take your dog away and shower him with love instead!

Great idea. That’s how I ended up in Erie Pennsylvania at the pet-friendly Red Roof Inn for the weekend in February. Erie’s within a three-hour drive of my home and near a dog-welcoming state park.

But isn’t it cold along Lake Erie this time of year?

Not as freezing as you’d think, actually, and everywhere but a three-hour flight from where I live is cold in February.

So my terrier-cross Victor willingly jumped into his backseat Solvit Car Cuddler (affiliate link) and we headed from the Great White North across the border to the great white slightly not as far North.

Day one became shop-for-dog-stuff at every dog-friendly outlet we could find (almost).

black dog at PetsMart

First stop: Petsmart. I wanted to check out the shelves and product/price compare. Shopping for pet stuff is my new shoe shopping (note: shoe shopping is obsessive). I also wanted to check out the weekend event. Noon to 3 pm every Saturday, Erie’s Petsmart hosts a different activity. February 11, 2017 is ‘Puppy Love’ day. Show up, make a paw print keepsake and take home a swag gift from Greenies (affiliate link).

Pets Stay Free! Travel With Your Pet and Save 15% Off with Code 605422

Second stop: Down the street, rival PetCo is hosting a ‘Find Your Soulmate’ adoption event on the same pre-Valentines weekend. If you haven’t found your true love and awesome travel buddy yet, rescue! It works. Trust me.

Two other dog-friendly stores near the Millcreek Mall on Peach Street are also two of my favourite: Marshalls and Target. Victor was allowed to walk around and we did – until he tired of it. He refuses to ride in carts. Fortunately, checking out was quick, and yes we bought more dog stuff.Dobbins Landing Erie PA

We had one more stop before bunking down for the night at one of the nicest Red Roof Inns Plus I’ve stayed at yet. I honestly love this U.S. brand, and it’s an affiliate on dogtrotting.net for that reason. The rooms were as nice as any boutique hotel I’ve experienced. Sure, there’s no fancy lobby, indoor pool or fitness centre, but I rarely use those anyway especially travelling with the dog.

Unlike the more expensive options, there’s no additional charge for WiFi, pets, coffee or in this case McDonald’s breakfast at this Red Roof Inn. Outside two poop stations with bags made bedtime walking easy and our neighbours were two unfixed Doberman, who fortunately, Victor didn’t meet. But I did.

Dobbins Landing Erie PALast stop of the day: Dobbins Landing, a lakeside pier and observation tower near the Bayfront Convention Center, Sheraton Hotel and Marine History Museum. Dobbins Landing marks a historic site – Captain Daniel Dobbins fought in the War of 1812 – but was built mainly so visitors can get a great view of Lake Erie. In February, the observation tower with elevator is closed. Other than a film crew of two here today, Victor and I are the only ones venturing out of their cars.

Victor happily checks out the second level ice-covered landing, then the snow-covered waterfront parkette and finally the beautiful view over a lake crusted by crystal-like ice chucks.

Across the water, directly in sight is Presque Isle State Park – tomorrow’s destination and the main reason we’ve headed to Erie by the lake. If Victor liked running around the pier, wait ‘til he sees that island park.

(Special thanks to Red Roof Inn Plus for providing accommodations for this trip.)

Next up on dogtrotting.net: Dog-friendly Presque Isle State Park in Erie, Pennsylvania.

Pets Stay Free! Travel With Your Pet and Save 15% Off with Code 605422

(There are affiliate links in this post, which means if you click on them dogtrotting.net receives a few cents at no cost to you. Thanks for your support!)


  1. […] in the U.S. to stay while road-tripping with my dog Victor. Every location is pet-friendly, making a multi-stop journey easy, and consistency of room design gives Victor reassuring […]

  2. Sandy Weinstein · · Reply

    i have never stayed at a Red Roof Inn. i won a contest for one nite’s stay with one dog, but i have 3, and could not use it. i tried to give it away. i have 3 gals and cant leave any of them at home. i would love to go to visit DC area with my 3 gals. i used to live there 15 yrs ago. would be nice to go back and visit. i saw they have one at NCSU, convention center. i bet many people that take their pets to the vet school stay there. i live very close to to this one.

    1. Thanks for commenting. All Red Roof Inns are pet friendly but all have different policies. Some allow only one dog but some have no limit in size or number.

  3. Pawesome Cats · · Reply

    This looks like a wonderful place to visit and I’d love to climb that tower at Dobbins Landing.

    1. Me too. But not covered in ice. We only got to the second level of the viewing platform.

  4. Sounds like a wonderful trip. I haven’t tried Red Roof Inns yet with Tippy, but a friend stayed in them all of the time.

    1. Thanks. I recommend them. I haven’t experienced an issue yet taking the dog there.

  5. What a great competition

  6. I wish I’d worked with the girls more to allow them to travel with me

    1. I’ve heard of people travelling with cats… usually in RVs.

  7. Sounds like a really fun trip, especially the state park day. I love dog friendly parks, I’m glad to see a lot of them have become dog friendly, not nearly enough but we’re getting there! It’s so unsettling when unfixed dogs show up at hotels, and I aren’t they so often off leash!? Dumb Owner syndrome! Glad Victor didn’t encounter them!
    Love & Biscuits,
    Dogs Luv Us and We Luv Them

    1. They had the unfixed dogs on leashes – but unfixed males set my dog off. He tends to challenge them which is never a good thing. Must be pheromones or something. He can usually tell they’re intact before I can. Preque Isle State Park – the next post – allows dogs and in February we essentially had the place to ourselves. There is a leash free beach there too.

  8. I would love to do a staycation and also explore Lake Erie. I live in PA and we love to visit different areas and always check out the PetSmart in each town.

    1. That’s an interesting idea – a road trip to PetSmarts in different towns…

  9. How ROofMANTIC! Unfortunately, we have no time to get away this month so it will have to be a ‘staycation.’ My husband doesn’t buy in to all the hype (sigh) but it’s Reese’s birthday (12 years) so they will all be spoiled during that very special celebration. We often travel through PA and will keep this in mind for next time! Thank you

    1. Roofmantic… classic.

  10. FiveSibesMom · · Reply

    How fun! Valentine’s Day is not always fun for some folks, and what a great idea to take off and embark on a road trip with your furry best friend(s)! I always wanted to get to Erie, it’s on my list of places to go! Thanks for sharing this post, and Happy Valentine’s Day to you and adorable Victor!

    1. Yes, Valentines Day isn’t all flowers and roses for everyone… unless you’re with your dog. He’s my favourite travel companion to date.

  11. We have family near Erie, but I’ve never heard of Dobbins Landing. I’ll have to see if we can visit it the next time we are in the area. I laughed when you said shopping for pet stuff is your new shoe shopping. My son and I were in PetSmart recently and he asked me “how long do you think you could walk around the store before you got bored?” My answer: “a long time!”

    1. I laughed out loud at your son’s question. I once had a boyfriend ask me, “well, how many shoes do you need?” I said I didn’t understand the question.

  12. We love that area – we grew up in the Great Lakes area and visited throughout, love the lakes and lighthouses and the feel of the area. It sounds like you had a great outing – and so glad to see that it’s dog friendly! We definitely will have to plan a return visit to the area!

    1. There are a lot of lighthouses… best part is there’s usually enough land around them for my dog to run around, and he’s a bit of a history buff too.

  13. Love this area and it sounds like you had a great outing! We grew up in the midwest and traveled throughout the Great Lakes region – so beautiful and delightful! I’m so glad that it’s also dog friendly – we must come back for a visit!

    1. I’m actually liking PA – I used to drive through it on my way to somewhere else but I think I’ll be stopping more often.

  14. Very nice! I just wish North America was more … well European in some ways. In Europe we can go dining – indoors even! Last time I went on a date with my man and pup … we did dinner, the Ballet (gorgeous swan lake) and then a long stroll by the pier … I tell you it was perfect.

    1. I am very jealous of Europe. Was eating a crepe in Paris (inside the restaurant) and looked down and there was some fury company – the restaurant owner’s dog. He’s there everyday. I guess anyone who don’t like it could eat crepes somewhere else. How civilized.

  15. Wow – I know what you mean about shoes, and cat toys and collars and cat stuff…….

    This looks one amazing place and how lucky you are to visit. The accommdation looks totally awesome too. Well done Red Roof Inn!

    1. I’ve had good experiences with Red Roof long before I started blogging. The newly reno’d properties (red and gold interior) are the best.

  16. It sounds like Victor is getting a lot of loot for Valentine’s Day! I love traveling with Mr. N but I find winter harder as food options are not as easy.

    1. Yes, that’s the one issue. We ate take out pizza in our room. Good thing I liked the room because we spent more time in it than I would in the summer.

  17. A pet getaway is a great idea! My husband and I have trying to brain storm ideas for weekend activities. Checking out pet-friendly places sounds fun to me.

    1. I love my pets more than anyone else and they never expect flowers so they make Valentines Day easy. Once travelling a tired woman sitting with her husband and three rambunctious kids turned to me and said, “You travel with just your dog? That looks good.”

  18. How wonderful to plan a trip that you and your dog can enjoy together. Victor made out pretty darn good at all the stores and sights you took him to.

    1. Thank you. Yes, he shops a lot. He’s got more coats than me (and I have too many coats).

  19. Thanks for sharing information about the Red Roof Inn contest on Instagram! We LOVE them and hadn’t heard about the contest yet. I’m so glad to hear you were able to have an adventure together while visiting so many dog friendly locations (and having some retail therapy).

    If we won nights to Red Roof Inn, we’d probably head to the Connecticut shore for some rest and relaxation!

    1. Yes, enter the instagram contest – it just launched a few days ago. Connecticut has shores? I’ll have to look at a map… sounds good.

  20. We LOVE Red Roof Inn! Thanks for sharing information about their contest on Instagram, I didn’t know about it until now. I’m so glad you were able to have a fun trip together and do some retail therapy at such a large number of dog friendly locations.

    If we won, we’d head to the Connecticut shore for some rest and relaxation 🙂

  21. Sounds like the best way to celebrate Valentine’s Day. I love how many dog friendly places you have in your area.

    1. There are more and more dog-friendly places popping up – there’s a demand. I live in Canada but not far from the US border so I travel there frequently (for now, anyway) because I find the US generally more dog-friendly than home. For example, Red Roof Inn is only in the US.

  22. What a fun trip, shopping and exploring, awesome, and thanks for the give away 🙂

    1. Yes, the next day we headed to Presque State Park, which Victor loved. That post is up on Friday. I recommend state parks in the winter – you literally have the run of the place.

  23. Thanks for this. We are in Ohio, not too far away. I’ll have to look into it. 🙂 We are always looking for fun dog adventures.

    1. If you know of Dog-friendly parks and places in Ohio, please let me know. I’ll be heading there soon. (I think. Depends on border laws).

  24. Sounds like you had a wonderful trip with many adventures! Many travel during the summer months, but I think this is a great time to get away and rejuvenate even if it is cold and snowy out.

    1. Next post is about the state park. One great thing about travelling in Feb., especially outdoors. No crowds. We had some spots to ourselves.

  25. Great post! I think that’s awesome that Erie’s PetSmart location does an event every Saturday. Looks like it was a successful and fun trip!

    1. Thanks. I liked that about Erie Petsmart too. The day I was there they were talking about ‘glow fish.’ I hadn’t heard of them.

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