25 February, 2024, 05:03

4 Unique Vacations for Animal Lovers

From surfing with a four-legged companion to catching dolphins riding their own waves, animal enthusiasts will find plenty to fawn over during a stay with Benchmark Resorts & Hotels. Pack your camera and your love of animals for these four beach and mountain vacation ideas:

Hang 10 With a Pup in Hawaii

The experience of feeling the board beneath your feet and seeing a dog on the deck is pure aloha. At Turtle Bay Resort in O’ahu, pro surfer Rocky Canon has a canine crew ready to hit the waves with guests. Surf-loving furry friends will join you for the truly one-of-a-kind Surf With A Pup program, whether you’re a grom or a seasoned wave rider. Wrap up a day on the water with a dinner show overlooking the ocean. Turtle Bay Resort’s weekly Paniolo dinners pay homage to the Hawaiian cowboy heritage and include entertainment, a pig roast and more.

Fins Up for Dolphin Spotting in the OBX

The resort may be branded after the adorably named “peep” sandpiper bird, but you’ll peep so much more during a visit to Sanderling Resort in the Outer Banks of North Carolina. During a summertime visit, join biologists from the Outer Banks Center for Dolphin Research for a pontoon boat eco-tour of the Roanoke Sound to find and learn about wild Atlantic bottlenose dolphins. Over the course of two hours, you’ll discover how these specialists conduct their research all while spotting dolphins playing in their natural habitat. Keep an eye out for area regulars like “Rake,” “Scarlet,” and “Onion” – the Nags Head area is their summer home! Back at the property, cap off a day on the water with The Sea Splendor signature treatment at Sanderling Spa. The therapy includes a curated Salt Scrub blended with hand-harvested Hatteras sea salt, jojoba oil and honey, followed by a cocooning seaweed wrap and finally a body oil of berry extracts and marine algae.

Take Flight at the Falconry Academy

A “sport of kings” dating back 4,000 years, falconry is an ancient tradition with modern appeal at Garden of the Gods Resort and Club in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Join a falconer to learn about birds of prey and experience the thrill of learning how to fly a bird. You’ll be taught the behind-the-scenes workings of handling the birds like a real falconer, and even command a trained hawk to your gloved hand. Open to kids as young as five, it will be a highlight of your visit, with plenty of other experiences to round out the trip, like a meal at Grand View, which is soon to reopen following a beautiful renovation.

Golden Hikes with Cooper the Golden Retriever

At The Equinox Golf Resort and Spa in Manchester, Vermont, the staff takes your happiness very seriously. So much so, they’ve appointed a Chief Happiness Officer – none other than Cooper, resident golden retriever and pal of the resort’s general manager. A local celebrity with almost 1.5K followers on Instagram, Cooper is happy to join you for a casual Saturday hike through the 914-acre Equinox preserve. A walk with Cooper is complimentary, but reservations are encouraged as he’s an in-demand pup with a busy schedule of naps, snacks and greeting guests. Following a day exploring Vermont’s natural beauty, plan a final stop at the Spa for a Spirit of Vermont service, designed to reflect the calming energy of the region with a combination of massage, reflexology and Reiki. Cooper would almost certainly approve.