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?