We all know that our beloved dogs are an important part of the family. No more so than at the holidays. But while some cities may make it inconvenient at best—and impossible at worst—to travel with your terrier or teacup poodle in tow (to name but two breeds), Rancho Mirage is one of the dog-friendliest cities in the Palm Springs Valley.

Of course, our deluxe resorts Omni Rancho Las Palmas Resort & Spa (www.rancholaspalmas.com), The Ritz-Carlton Rancho Mirage (www.ritzcarlton.com/ranchomirage), and The Westin Mission Hills Golf Resort & Spa (www.westinmissionhills.com) are all pet-friendly. And while the first two charge a per-pet fee of $100 and $150, respectively, The Westin has no such charge, and your pooch can sleep in his or her own branded Westin Heavenly Dog Bed! All three hotels have patio dining where your dog is free to join you on-leash.

Outdoor mega shopping-entertainment-dining complex The River on Highway 111 is also a great place for you to bring man’s (and woman’s) best friend for a walk. In fact, so many owners take a stroll with their dogs daily that yours is sure to make a friend—or two.

Then there’s the newly unveiled, $1.7 million Rancho Mirage Dog Park on 4.5 acres at 34-100 Key Largo Avenue. A vision of former Rancho Mirage Mayor (and current City Council member) Dana Hobart, the facility has separate enclosures for small and large dogs, each of which is adorned with decorative wrought-iron fencing with double-locking gates. The park comes replete with water fountains, 24 illuminated parking spaces, and seating shaded from the sun. Dogs and humans may even enjoy mountain views visible from the lighted walking trail that encircles the park, which is accessible from 6:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. every day of the week.

So this season, don’t leave any member of the family home alone at the holidays. Grab your four-legged, furry babies and head on out to Rancho Mirage for some quality time with the pack.

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