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20 cities for pooch-friendly dates!

: Jamie Kirshner, for TAP

  1. Nashville

Welcome to my hometown. Here’s just a few of the things I am able to do with my dog when we come back to visit… Eat at Edley’s Bar-B-Que for some good ole southern bar-b-que. Two of my favorite coffee shops—Fido and Frothy Monkey—are both incredibly dog friendly. They’ll water your dog while you enjoy your coffee and meal. I dream about the Fido muffins when I’m out living in LA and my dog dreams about the patio where she can get all the pets and scratches and attention. If you want to shop, White’s Mercantile is known for being a dog friendly, Nashville-esque store. But honestly, 12th South and Hill Center are pretty dog friendly all around. The upscale H. Audrey boutique in Hill Center even offers dog treats upon entry. For some outdoor time, head to Centennial Park to walk around the lake and view Nashville’s very own Parthenon. I’ve seen that there’s a new dog park within the park with off-leash areas for large and small dogs, so I’m excited to check that out. The Hermitage Hotel and Hutton Hotel are both great accommodations that offer pup packages. The Hermitage Hotel offers—(wait for it)—“Pet welcome letters and check-in, nightly pet turndown service complete with turndown mat, pet treats, spring water, and rolled towels, in-room dining menu for pets, personal-size pack of organic pet food, optional pet-walking services, leashes and collars for use, and an optional pet chauffeur & pet excursions.” Wow. Oh—and Doug the Pug is from here. 

  1. Los Angeles

Next on this list is my current hometown. LA puts every other city to shame in terms of dog-friendliness. You can take your dog shopping around The Grove and then sit together by all of the food carts and enjoy some first-class people watching. The world-famous Rodeo Drive stores also allow well behaved dogs. Many will even bring a bottle of water for you and your dog. For some beachside shopping, try Malibu Country Mart. It’s a great place to walk around, grab some food, and just hang out on the green space. I recommend SunLife Organics for a smoothie. As a plus, I’ve also seen quite a few celebrities getting smoothies here as well. The Venice Beach boardwalk is a crazy fun world of it’s own, but I’d recommend booties for your dog if you take them walking around. There are dozens of dog parks to check out, but the hiking and dog park at Runyon Canyon is a favorite among LA natives, celebrities, and tourists alike. Theres are also doggie daycares, stores, and activity centers at every turn. I’ve even heard about doggie workout classes you can do together. As far as accommodations go, The Beverly Hills Hotel offers “bone-shaped doggie cookies with the doggie’s name handwritten on each cookie” among other services. Many other hotels offer dog packages for your stay. All this said, I’ve lived here for about four years now and I can tell you that there are rarely things you can’t do with your dog in LA. 

  1. Venice Beach

You could consider it part of LA or you could consider it a city of it’s own, but either way it’s a great place to spend time with the pup. The Venice Beach Boardwalk is a crazy fun world of it’s own, but I’d recommend booties for your dog if you take them walking around. Stop to watch some street performers while you peruse the shops. Just a short walk away is Abbot Kinney—a super dog-friendly area filled with shops and restaurants. If you need some caffeine, try Intelligentsia for some delicious coffee. If you’re hungry, you and puppers can enjoy lunch at Cafe Gratitude. Lastly, there’s Westminster dog beach so your dog can get some time in the ocean.

  1. Vail

If a beautiful mountain town is what you’re looking for, look no further. This Colorado mountain town has tons to offer you and your pup. Most shops in Vail are dog friendly—but if that’s not your speed, you guys can go hiking and snowshoeing. There are also restaurant patios galore. Check out Blue Moose Pizza or Alpenrose for some pup-friendly grub. Need a place to stay? The Four Seasons Vail gives your dog the works. You’ll get a special bed, water bowl, doggie bags, and a custom bandana. They’re also willing to hook you up with walking, grooming, and more. In the summer, walk around the local farmer’s market and pick up some local puppy treats. 

  1. Denver

If you have an active dog—Denver is the place to be. Nestled just east of the Rockies, the Mile High city has plenty of outdoor (and indoor) adventures for your dog. You’ll have your choice of hiking trails with plenty of incredible backdrops for an impromptu photoshoot of your beautiful pup. Don’t have time for a hike? Denver has excursions for your dog to ensure they get adequate outdoor time. Some will even bathe them before returning your sleepy dog. After a long day of activities, be sure to treat yourself and your dog to Little Man Ice Cream where pup cups are readily available. 

  1. Vegas

This might be the last place you’d expect, but Sin City is for the dogs too! Famous hotels along the Strip have special packages to ensure your pup has an amazing stay. The Cosmopolitan gives your dog a gift box with treats, toys, water bowls, and pee pads. Caesars Palace has special outdoor relief areas and provides guests with everything from potty pads to food to kennels. Also, it’s basically required that you take your dog to the Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas Nevada sign to get photos. Okay, it’s not required, but dogs need those Instagram likes too. You and your dog can walk along the Strip (during limited hours) and see all the hotels and shops along the way. If you want to enjoy a meal together, Lazy Dog is the place to go. They’ll even serve your dog complimentary unseasoned meat and grains while you enjoy your meal. If you’re looking to get away from the craziness of the Strip, try Town Square for some dog friendly shopping and grub. 

  1. Austin

Green outdoor space is plentiful in this urban Texas city. When your dog gets hungry and you get thirsty head on over to Hops and Grain Brewery. They’ll serve your dog some homemade treats comprised of used grains. Or if pizza is what you crave, try Cane Rosso. They host dog adoption events throughout the year if you’re looking to expand your furry family.

  1. Vancouver

Vancouver is a one-stop-shop for you and your dog. Hiking? Parks? Beaches? Pet-A-Palooza? Check, check, check, check. For a unique park experience with Instagram opportunities at every turn, try Capilano Suspension Bridge Park. If your pup is more of a beach dog, there’s Hadden Park or Spanish Banks Beach. Vancouver is also home to Pet-A-Palooza. If you need a boost of serotonin, go google images of this event with over 10,000 dogs in attendance. Please note that if you and your dog are visiting from the U.S. you’ll need to fill out some paperwork and read up on regulations.

  1. Scottsdale

Scottsdale has it all for you and your pup. If you’re looking for a cool getaway, start at Barlett Lake Marina and Boat Club where you can rent a dog friendly pontoon. If that’s not your scene, you can go shop till you drop at Kierland Commons and enjoy some food and coffee while you do it. You and fido have over 70 shops to choose from! Fill your belly at the highly recommended Sundial Garden Cafe’s outdoor patio and be sure to keep you furry friend hydrated in the Arizona heat.

  1. Orlando

Orlando may be known for it’s theme parks, but it should be known for being a dog paradise! If you’re looking for the traditional park experience, you’re in luck. Disney World has kennels during the day with huge indoor and outdoor parks for the dogs. If you enjoy shopping, Park Avenue Shopping Center in Winter Park has tons of stores and restaurants with outdoor seating. Lake Eola Park, Meadow Woods Dog Park, and Single Creek Regional Park are all great places for you and fido to get some outdoor time. Be sure and check out local favorite Bark Avenue Bakery for some gourmet dog treats before you leave.

  1. Tampa

Florida again? Yep. Tampa is consistently rated one of thee top dog friendly cities across the board. Hyde Park Village is a fun shopping area you and your pup can explore together before heading to the beach. You and your four-legged friend can choose from some of the best beaches, many of which have dog friendly parks and areas. Tampa can get pretty warm, so if you’re looking for a park in the shade there is Deputy Kotfila Memorial Dog Park. The options are truly endless. Scenic walks? Check. Dining options galore? Check. Just make sure you grab a specialty dog ice cream from Bo’s Ice Cream. 

  1. Atlanta

Shopping. Food. Parks and outdoors. Atlanta has you covered. Start with Piedmont Park where your dog can run and get all the zoomies out before perusing the fancy Shops at Buckhead. If you’re still feeling fancy you and your pup can opt to stay at the Four Seasons. Your options are endless in this city, so when you need a pick-me-up you and your dog can go to Dancing Goats Coffee Bar together. Enjoy dinner at Publico where your dog can order from the pup-specific menu. 

  1. Portland

If you’re looking for fun for you and your dog—head to Portland. Many Portland hotels offer “dog packages” which include fun extras like beds, treats, bowls, beds, and event matching robes. For some outdoor fun, check out some mountain hikes. Portland is known for being extremely pet friendly, so you shouldn’t have too many issues regardless.You absolutely should go to one of the many dog friendly restaurants and find a food cart “pod” that Portland is known for and eat outside with your doggo.

  1. Birmingham

This southern city has so many dog events to choose from. At Fido Fest, you can have a caricature of your dog done while you listen to some live music. Feel like getting tipsy? Sips for Strays has more than enough wine. Is a 5k on your bucket list? Grab your puppy pal and head to the Mutt Strut. This city also has outdoor restaurant seating at breweries, cafes, markets, and grills alike. 

  1. Colorado Springs

This city is a playground for your outdoor-loving dog. You can go for hikes together and check out the famous Pikes Peak. If you’re dog isn’t a big hiker (like mine), take them on a Jeep tour. Pub Dog Colorado is the place you’ll want to refuel after your adventure day. There’s a menu for you and one for your dog! Finish your perfect day with a stroll around Old Colorado City and be sure you’re giving your dog lots and lots of water to account for the altitude. 

  1. Cincinatti

If you like eating and drinking out, Cincinnati is for you and your dog. The list of dog friendly restaurants, bars, and breweries is endless! In the warmer months, head to a dog friendly event like Yappy Hour held at Washington Park. From shopping, to eating, to drinking, to coffee and parks, Cincinnati offers it all. 

  1. Augusta

Maine’s capital city provides dog friendly attractions galore. Downtown Augusta loves dogs so much that there’s even a dog park in the Downtown area. When you’re dog gets thirsty, many of the local businesses will happily provide your fur baby with water. Grab some food over at the Red Barn while your dog nibbles on some free treats.

  1. Oklahoma City

Does your dog enjoy the outdoors? Check out Oklahoma City! There are parks galore. Check out Paw OK Dog Park, the Myriad Botanical Gardens, or head to one of the many state parks that welcome dogs. For a mountain adventure, try Great Plains State Park. If a lake day is what you’re looking for, try Clayton Or Hugo Lake State Park. Be sure and grab a coffee from Elemental Coffee Roasters together before your big day of adventures.

  1. New Orleans

I can personally attest to the fact that the Big Easy is incredibly pup friendly. There are tons of outdoor dining options in the French Quarter and many allow dogs! One even fixed up a little dog friendly plate for my dog to enjoy while my friends and I enjoyed beignets. If you’re looking at taking a walking tour—just call ahead! Many walking tours allow your dog to tag along. Go for a walk around the cities various parks and attractions (Louis Armstrong Park, Audubon Park, & more) and you’re sure to find plenty of dog friendly photo ops.

  1. Chicago

Dogtoberfest. Dog friendly beaches. Shopping for both you and your dog. The Windy City has all of this and more. The dining options are plentiful with many of them happy to provide your pup with a water bowl. You can even bring your furry friend out for drinks! Many breweries are dog friendly as well. If you’re a sports fan, be sure and get tickets to the White Sox’s Dog Day. For a unique experience, try out a dog friendly boat tour!

  1. San Diego

We couldn’t go without mentioning the home of the Animal Pad—San Diego. San Diego is consistently rated among the top dog friendly places. This laid back California city has beaches, parks, restaurants, boats, shopping, and other water activities for your pup. For some time at the beach, try Fiesta Island or Ocean Dog Beach. You can also check out the Sunset Cliffs together for some incredible ocean views (as long as your dog has you on a leash). For dogs who love the water, Aqua Adventures is a company that will rent a variety of fun water sport equipment for you and your dog to enjoy. Walk around Balboa Park before digging in to some delicious Mexican food at Fred’s—which has it’s very own dog menu! Your options are endless.