Dog Parks, Travel

Top 10 Pawsome Cities for The Traveling Dogs

1. Columbus, OH

Columbus offers tons of dog parks (many with swimming access), great pet stores like local Pet People and Mutts and Co., the Columbus Pet Expo in the spring, WagFest in the summer, and two indoor dog parks. Red Roof, our usual hotel destination is also based there, as are BarkBox and Three Dogs Bakery.  The Columbus All-Breed Training club is very active, and the suburb of Upper Arlington allows dogs to be off-leash at all public parks in the evenings. Columbus offers everything you could want as a dog lover, and is our top city!

2. Knoxville, TN

Knoxville has awesome dog parks, including our favorite dog park, Concord. The parks were built by PetSafe, which is based there, and 3 of them have nice ponds for swimming. There are also several cool on-leash places you can take your dog, including IJAMS nature center, World’s Fair Park, Market Square (an area downtown with a park, shops like Citifid-O, and restaurants like Soccer Taco that has a dog-friendly patio). We have also been to nearby Circle G Ranch twice, which is a drive-thru safari that allows dogs as long as they stay in the car.


3. Atlanta, GA

Atlanta is home to our favorite conference, BarkWorld. BarkWorld is a social media conference for dog lovers, and we have been almost every fall the past 7 years.  Atlanta also has Newtown Dream dog park (one of our favorites) and nice public parks like Piedmont and Centennial Olympic Park. Atlantic Station is a nice outside area with several shops and restaurants, and ParkGrounds is a cafe with an attached dog park.


4. St. Louis, MO

St. Louis is home to Purina Farms (technically in Gray Summit). Purina Farms is host to numerous dog events, including the Canine Games which we have participated in. There is also the AKC Museum, which of course is dog-friendly, as well as other on-leash destinations like City Garden, the Gateway Arch park, Laumeier Sculpture Park, and Forest Park. Broemmelsiek Dog Park (a top-10 park) is in nearby Defiance.


5. Cincinnati, OH

Cincinnati has several dog parks, including Wags Park (our #2 favorite park), Washington Park (a neat dog park in a cool city park), and Beagle Bay Water Bark at Kennel Resorts. Each September, The Beach Waterpark hosts a Dog Day at The Beach, with access to their wave pool. There are also lots of pet stores and Riverview Park, overlooking the Ohio River.


6. Alexandria, VA / Washington D.C.

Alexandria has a lot of dog parks and off-leash areas. Several of them have water access and woodsy areas that the dogs love to explore. In D.C., dogs are permitted on leash at the National Mall, and can see all of the historical buildings with you. While we were unable to do it (being that it was in March and too cold), Capitol River Cruises allow dogs on their boats.


7. Nashville, TN

Nashville has lots of dog parks, and continues to add more.  It is host to the Nashville Pet Expo, and there are cool picture ops at the Parthenon and Centennial Park.


8. Greenville, SC

Greenville has several dog parks, each with their own amenities (woods, a sand pit, etc.) The Pour Taproom just opened in Spring of 2016, and is dog-friendly! They were extra friendly and accomodating to our pups. BringFido’s headquarters are in Greenville, and two cool on-leash parks are Greer City Park and Falls on the Reedy downtown.


9. Charleston, SC

Charleston has lots of dog parks, where it’s hard to drive very far without seeing one. The Charleston Water Taxi is dog-friendly, and Waterfront Park is beautiful. James Island County Dog Park is a top 10 park with a nice pond. Also, Folly Beach allows dogs on leash in the evenings, and Pitt Street Bridge is a cool photo op overlooking the harbor.


10. Lexington, KY

Our home city had to make the list, but not just because we live here. There are 5 dog parks, the annual Canine Olympics in nearby Versailles, The Walk/Run club at the KY Horse Park each June-September, and several other dog events. Our dogs have been several times to the Lexington Legends Bark in the Park and  multiple Doggy Paddles at Woodland Park and the local YMCAs. Triangle Park downtown, Waveland State Historic Site, and the Arboretum are all great places for a walk. There are several local pet stores, Uptown Hounds which has a K-9 Pool, and our favorite place to board is Poochies Plus. Lexington is a great city that we call home and rounds out our 10 Pawsome Cities.


Do you agree with our list?

What’s your top Pawsome City?



41 thoughts on “Top 10 Pawsome Cities for The Traveling Dogs”

  1. Oh these sound terrific. Any dog owner will welcome this list and they make me want to travel to the US again. Here in Wellington dogs are not allowed in the central business district (and that’s mostly I think because people don’t scoop the poop!) and where we are there arelots of dog friendly places!


  2. What a great list! We have a great little dog-friendly market area within a village not too far from here that I only just discovered during a book signing. It is so friendly, has lots of great shops, folks are so warm and friendly, and the area is filled with beautiful and wonderful dogs and their families! For anyone visiting upstate New York, it’s called the Water Street Markets in New Paltz! There’s even a great pet boutique filled with yummy dog treats! A nearby dog park as well, and also one the next exit up on the Thruway in the city of Kingston. I love hearing of dog-friendly places. Bookmarking your list!


  3. What a great list and I would love to add that San Francisco is an amazing dog city too, you can even travel on the bus with your dog.
    Another great city – has just been chosen as one of the best in the world is Tel Aviv Israel, there is 1 dog for every 17 citizens – will be discussing it on my blog this week 🙂


  4. It is great that so many cities are becoming more pet-friendly. I hope that my local area (Metro Detroit) gets on board with that idea soon. I’ve only been to a couple of the cities on your list!


  5. What a great list. I have visited some of the places, but haven’t taken Simba along. I will have to save this list for future reference. Thanks for sharing!


  6. We live in Toronto at the moment. It has some great dog-friendly events (We love Woofstock, Canadian Pet Expo and Dog Lovers Days), places, beaches and parks, and dogs can ride the public transit. However, there is a law against dogs in places that serve food so only a few places in Ontario have special licenses and many malls and stores do not allow dogs except service dogs.


    1. Cool. Yes we are planning a trip to Toronto during Spring Break next year. I have heard lots about Woofstock so hopefully we can check that out sometime. I wanna check that Purina Dog Park place. I don’t remember the name but remember reading about it earlier this year. On public transit is that a weight limit or dogs that cant be carried allowed?


  7. We travel extensively with our dogs so this is great info, thanks! I’m glad to see that Washington D. C.’s mall is dog friendly, that’s great. You must get Phoenix Arizona on your list of best places for dogs, actually anywhere in Arizona is super dog friendly, including breathtaking Sedona!
    Love & Biscuits,
    Dogs Luv Us and We Luv Them


    1. Yes I wanted to go this year to Blogpaws just didn’t work out. Plus it was too hot so we need to make the trip in the winter months but Arizona and the West coast are on our to do list!!


  8. Hello from the Feline Tribe of Five. We thought we should give a shout out to the Northwest so here’s a dog friendly destination..with wine! Vintage Pleasures. Canine and Wine (Lake Chelan, Wash.)—there are no less than seven pet-friendly wineries dotting the hillsides of this summer playground. The patios at Balsamroot, Lake Chelan Winery, Tildio and Tunnel Hill welcome dogs. Tasting fees are minimal, and many have picnic food. The lawn at Vin du Lac and the tasting room at Nefarious Cellars are “must-sit” spots.” For a stroll, take to the Riverwalk, a one-mile path along the Chelan River through sleepy downtown. For serious miles, stay at Uncle Tim’s Cabins and walk out your door onto the 30-mile Echo Ridge Trail System.


  9. I am formerly from Ohio so nice to see 2 Ohio cities there..too bad Cleveland didn’t make the list. I am now in the Greater Detroit area and it is NO surprise to me that Detroit didn’t make the list. From my experience, it isn’t very dog-friendly here!


  10. Living in Knoxville, TN, I can promise you that we have a very dog friendly town!! Many restaurants with outside seating allow dogs, and more and more stores are allowing well behaved dogs inside. It’s hard to go anywhere in town without running into someone with a dog!! My kind of town!! 😀


  11. I would SO add Philadelphia to the list! So far on our travels to the US it’s the city we have found to be the best! For us it’s about how easy it is to include the pet in normal “tourist” activities like taking public transportation, going to a museum (the magic garden is pet friendly) and dining. 🙂 Philly had it all.


    1. We went to philly…and didn’t find a lot of dog friendly places except the Bottle Shop. But I will say it was super hot when we went and we were aggravated about not finding parking at some of the major sites like the bell! Were u able to ride the busses there?


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