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Readers’ tips for in-town stuff to do with your dog

This post is distilled from a bunch of wonderful comments that Dog Jaunt readers left as entries in a recent giveaway — you can find them there, of course, but I feared they’d get lost as the memory of the giveaway dims. So here they are, clumped geographically for your convenience:

West Coast

Albany, CA: “We are regulars at Albany Bulb just north of Berkeley — there’s amazing ever-changing art and at one point you’re surrounded by water on three sides, it’s incredible and so relaxing.” (Bruin & pup)

Benicia, CA: ” I personally love walking through our local state park/wildlife preserve on warm spring mornings to catch glimpses of wild quail and pheasant and their young bustling about, while my pup and I take advantage of their endless and challenging hiking trails. My other favorite activity is to take a leisurely stroll down the historic main street in Benicia’s downtown area that is full of dog friendly restaurants and boutiques. Perhaps the dog gems of Benicia are the two off-leash dog beaches at the end of the main street (First Street) where you can play fetch with your dog while watching boats sail by as you watch the sun set under the Carquinez Bridge.” (Alex & pup)

Malibu, CA: “I love taking Wrigley to Malibu Bluffs Park, in Malibu. There’s a great loop for walking, lots of grass for him to sniff and play on, and gorgeous views of the ocean and of Pepperdine University. I also like taking him to Mayor’s Park, in La Canada. Though it’s not technically an off-leash park, it’s fully fenced in, often completely empty on weekdays, and the perfect size to give a small dog a good run.” (Amanda & Wrigley)

Mill Creek, WA: “Alfie (Rat-terrier mix) and I love going into Mill Creek (a small community north of Seattle), where after walking the trail, a mandatory stop at the Paddywack Pet Shop, and a little bit of window shopping, we usually settle down for either a coffee (for me) and a pastry or ice-cream (to share) at the Spotted Cow, or if it’s happy hour, we settle on the patio of McMenamins for a beer (for me) and a burger (to share). Did I mention that both Alfie and I are under strict orders from our respective doctors to lose weight :-)” (Gery & Alfie)

Portland, OR: “Off the top of my head, my favorite things are any sort of ‘festival’ time things that I find on – Doggie Dash (OHS fundraiser), Bark for Life (dog version of Relay for Life), Canines Uncorked (wine tasting with activities for your dog), etc! They love it!” (Kelly & pups)

San Diego, CA: “[O]utdoors is his favorite event especially when joining us for brunch at one of the several pet friendly places in San Diego like Empirehouse Urban Palate in Hillcrest. He has never been fed any human food so he behaves himself while we eat. He only barks to greet other dogs.” (Melanio & Apricot)

San Francisco, CA: “Just yesterday, we were shopping downtown in Union Square & all the stores welcome leashed, well-behaved dogs. Biscuit did tricks for the treats the store folks offered. We also love taking the ferry from SF to beautiful Sausalito for a lovely day trip.” (Ivy & Biscuit)

Seattle, WA: “No matter how Seattle cliche it is, walking around Greenlake is still my favorite to do with my dog – and we always end at the dog friendly coffee house whose name I’m forgetting that sells me a cup of tea (iced or hot) and gives Ceri a biscuit.” (Yvette & Ceri)

Western U.S.

Manitou Springs, CO: “My dog Scout – a Lhasa Apso – and I enjoy strolling the streets of Manitou Springs CO. There is plenty of dog friendly shops and dog friendly restaurants to walk to! Scout really enjoys meeting the locals and sitting outside in a cafe. There is always music playing and it is so nice to get outside for the day!” (Jennie & Scout)

Central U.S.

Houston, TX: “The Mercer Arboretum and Botanic Gardens (in Houston) allows dogs as long as they are kept on leash. Owners are expected to clean up after their dogs. It’s a beautiful place, a real haven within the city. My husband does photography as a side business and as a hobby, and it’s always fun to make an outing of it with a picnic afterward. (Not this time of year when the days are 100+ degrees, of course.)” (Catie & pup)

Minneapolis, MN: “Get a burger with the family including Quogue at The Galaxy Drive-In. Where they love pets!” (Pam & Quogue)

Waukesha, WI: “I love to take my dog to Friday Night Live. It’s in downtown Waukesha, Wisconsin. There is live music, lots of dog-friendly people and there are always doggie treats and bowls of water!” (Liz & pup)

Northeastern U.S.

Cambridge, MA: “I love to take my dog browsing at the Harvard Bookstore. The employees there are super friendly and love to give him treats.” (M & pup)

Cambridge, MA: “We like to take our Cavalier to the Fresh Pond Reservoir in Cambridge. The path is partly shaded, chipmunks will scamper past you, and there’s a small dog beach for dogs to swim in!” (Vivian & pup)

New York, NY: “Riverside Park in NYC with a stop at the Pier Cafe at 72nd — SUPER dog friendly dining.” (Kristina & pup)

New York, NY: “We usually start our adventure with shopping in SoHo (for me) then we hit up Petsmart on Broadway & Houston St (for the pup), we make our way up to Union Square and visit the dog park there, followed by a walk & shop thru the Farmer’s Market and we make a stop at Petco on 17 Street. There’s plenty of restaurants around Union Square with outdoor seating, so we have some dinner before walking thru Washington Square park before heading home. By the end of the day, we’re all tired and happy! =)” (Susan & pup)

Rochester, NY: “I love to walk the trails of Tryon Park with my dogs. I usually take one of them with me when I run errands (not so much now that the weather is getting warmer) and we walk the loop around our small downtown area.” (Twylla & pups)

Southeastern U.S.

Bethesda, MD: ” We like to go to Mia’s Pizza in Bethesda. We sit at the outdoor tables, and Bo and Tip each get a chair. They sit happily on their chairs (a nice fine wire mesh) while we eat dinner, drink wine, and watch the world go by. The staff bring over water bowls and dog treats and coo over them. Including Mia, the chef.” (Jennie & Tip & Bo)

Durham, NC:  “Piper enjoys going downtown to catch the Durham Bulls games and for burgers with us at Bull City where she is welcome on the outdoor patio!” (Lizabeth & Piper)

Louisville, KY: “We enjoy taking our dog to the local minor league baseball games. We live in Louisville and 2-3 times a season they have dog days where everyone is welcome to bring their dogs no matter the size. Our dog loves being out with her parents and getting to puppy watch!” (Andrea & pup)

Nashville, TN: “I would take my beagle mix, Oscar, to the dog bakery here in Nashville TN [perhaps this one?]! There are many of these bakeries and they are just so cute!” (Lisa & Oscar)

St. Augustine, FL: “We haven’t had our mini schnauzer puppy long, but we love to take him to any of the outdoor restaurants in downtown St. Augustine. There are a lot of pet friendly patios with water bowls and treats for all the pups.” (Christin & pup)

Washington, D.C.: “I love to bike around the monuments in DC with my dog in my Muttmover (which I bought after reading a review on Dog Jaunt, by the way), and then take pictures of him as a ‘Flat Stanley’ in front of them.” (Betsy & pup)

Washington, D.C.: “On weekend mornings, my husband and I like to walk our dog to Georgetown and visit one of big dog-friendly parks. Afterwards, we would find breakfast/coffee somewhere with an outdoor patio on Wisconsin Ave. Our outings typically end with all of us hopping into a bus, with the dog in the OllyDog Tote (which works well but the straps are too short for my husband’s shoulders), to take us home!” (Jennifer & pup)

General U.S.

“Home Depot seems to be one of his favorites, a very close second to PetSmart. He loves to smell all the plants and flowers at Home Depot and all the attention he gets from everyone!” (Diane & Pico)


Belgium: “[W]e love to take our dogs to local canal walking paths where they can ‘chase’ the birds and bark at everything that moves.” (Kate & pups)

Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada: “A nice walk along the Harbour Passage is our favourite in town thing to do. A 3.5 lb Papillon gets lots of attention along the way:)” (Patty & pup)

Edinburgh, Scotland: “[M]y favorite in-town thing in Edinburgh is to walk stretches of the Water of Leith walk. It’s in the middle of the city, but it’s surrounded by greenery and nature. Totally wonderful.” (Gigi & Luna)

Stockholm, Sweden: “Me and my darling Yoko, a 10 lb mixed breed from Spain, usually just stroll around town looking at people or play in one of the many dog-friendly parks.” (Cecilia & Yoko)