Dog Paddle at These Pet-Friendly Swimming Holes

When the temperatures rise, there’s nothing better than cooling off with a refreshing swim. We’ve rounded up some of the best parks and beaches where your four-legged doggy paddler can join you for a dip. Beat the heat and get some exercise at these pet-friendly swimming holes across the U.S.!

James Island County Park

Charleston, SC

a dog playing at James Island County Park Pet-Friendly Swimming Holes

Don’t stop retrievin’, hold on to that feeling… – Photo by @Maddieethegolden

A visit to James Island County Park is a great way to spend a hot and humid Charleston day with your pup. Fido can cool off with a swim at the park’s manmade dog beach by the lake, or run and play with new friends on 4 acres of open grassy space. Once your canine is dog-tired, clean him up at the dog wash station.

Stay with your pooch nearby at a Lowcountry ranch home on the marsh. The 3-bedroom rental has a view of Morris Island Lighthouse and a backyard perfect for pets. Best of all, it’s located just 3 miles from dog-friendly Folly Beach (and 8 miles from historic downtown Charleston)!

Tanner Park

Salt Lake City, UT

a dog taking a swim at Tanner Park

Learning how to doggie “poodle.” – Photo by @Mochi_banks

Lauded by locals as one of Salt Lake City’s best parks for dogs, Tanner Park offers a couple of cool swimming holes where pups can take a dip. The 10-acre park near Parley’s Canyon has a river and several nature trails where furry friends can run and splash off-leash. Be sure to hike Parley’s Historic Nature Park Trail Loop, a dog-friendly, 1.9-mile trail that cuts through Tanner Park and is suitable for all skill levels.

Plant your paws at this garden cottage located near downtown Salt Lake City and Liberty Park. The 1-bedroom rental features a lovely and private back deck with a gurgling fountain where you can enjoy your morning coffee or read a book.

Timber Creek Pooch Park

Blackwood, NJ

a dog playing at the Timber Creek Pooch Park

Fetch in the water > fetch on dry land. – Photo by @Rob.rawls

Timber Creek Pooch Park is a 9-acre fenced dog park for off-leash play and swimming located in a 128-acre wooded park in the Garden State. Your pooch can practice his doggy paddle in Big Timber Creek before strapping on her leash for a walk on one of the park’s many trails.

Stay nearby in the City of Brotherly Love. Kimpton Hotel Palomar Philadelphia’s 19 pet-friendly spa rooms or suites offer large jetted tubs for a pampered stay with your pooch. Located in Downtown Philadelphia’s Rittenhouse Square, you’ll be close to all the action when you feel like stepping out.

Norman F. Kruse Park

Muskegon, MI

A dog splashing at the  Norman F. Kruse Park a Pet-Friendly Swimming Holes

Splash zone. – Photo by @Sexologistmegan

Let Fido off his leash in the cool waters of Lake Michigan. Dogs need to be leashed while on the sand, but can swim free at Norman F. Kruse Park. The park can get crowded on the weekends, but luckily there’s over 1 mile of beach to explore and find your spot!

Nearby accommodations include Savannah Sands Beach Cottage, a pet-friendly, vintage waterfront 2-bedroom cottage on Lake Michigan. Laze on one of the decks with your dog after a fun day of swimming.

Downs Memorial Park Dog Beach

Pasadena, MD

A dog swims at Downs Memorial Park Dog Beach

“Come on in, the water’s fine.” – Photo by @Aura_pup

Located off the perimeter trail in Downs Park, Downs Memorial Park Dog Beach is a great spot for new doggy paddlers to learn to swim or veteran canine swimmers to enjoy some time in the waters of Chesapeake Bay. Once she’s done with her water fun, leash your pup up for a walk on more than 5 miles of paved and natural trails in the park.

The quaint Admiral Fell Inn in Baltimore is a charming spot to rest your head after hiking and splashing around the park. The bed-and-breakfast welcomes pets with no fees and is close to dining and attractions.

Stodder’s Neck Dog Park

Weymouth, MA

two dogs playing at the Stodder’s Neck Dog Park  a Pet-Friendly Swimming Holes

Best. Day. Ever. – Photo by @Piperthenotshepherdmix

Located on a peninsula at the mouth of Weymouth Back River, Stodder’s Neck Dog Park is a “pawfect” swimming hole for your pup. Canines can splash and play in the crisp waters of the river, and then hike the harborside walking trails to be rewarded with amazing hilltop views. Dogs are allowed off-leash in designated areas of the park.

This oceanfront home in Nahant is a luxurious place to stay with Fido for a few nights. You’ll have panoramic views of the ocean and coastline from every room’s large windows. The pet-friendly rental even offers a large, grassy yard where you can play fetch with your furry friend.

Tubbs Hill

Coeur d’Alene, ID

a dog playing at Tubbs Hill a  Park Pet-Friendly Swimming Holes

Sh- sh- shake it off! – Photo by @Adventureswitholidog

Enjoy Lake Coeur d’Alene by visiting Tubbs Hill for an afternoon swim. The park encompasses over 120 acres of trails, overlooks, caves and beaches along the lake. Let Fido take a dip before or after you explore the 2-mile interpretive loop trail that outlines the perimeter of Tubbs Hill. The walk takes you past historic points of interest and breathtaking scenery.

Book a dog-friendly room at The Roosevelt Inn and you’ll be treated to a delicious breakfast in the morning. The inn also boasts an impressive antique collection and a nice lawn where Fido can play.

The Getaway at Glen Highland Farm

Morris, NY

a dog Diving into the Getaway at Glen Highland Farm

Dive into fun. – Photo by @Meb1203

The Getaway at Glen Highland Farm in Upstate New York is home to more than two dozen rescued Border Collies. Dogs are always welcome to play off-leash on the property’s 175 acres of meadows, trails, forests, dog beaches and, of course, ponds and creeks.

After a full day of fun, retire in pet-friendly accommodations on the farm, which range from creekside tents to well-equipped cottages and cabins.

Beavers Bend State Park

Broken Bow, OK

a dog at Beavers Bend State Park

Aquaholic. – Photo by @Niathegoldenretriever

Water-loving hounds will want to visit Beavers Bend State Park because of its pristine lakes and rivers surrounded by towering pine trees. Pups can take a refreshing dip in Broken Bow Lake after hiking along one of the pet-friendly trails. For those looking to spend the night in the park, there are several dog-friendly cabin rentals.

For a unique stay, book the Redwood Cabin, a cozy, pet-friendly Airbnb located in Tiny Town RV Park. The 500-square-foot cabin packs in a full kitchen, king-size bed and queen-size pullout couch. Plus, you can roast marshmallows by the fire pit in the evening.

South Llano River State Park

Junction, TX

a woman and her dog at South Llano River State Park

Just keep swimming. – Photo by @Camilla.gk

Bring Fido to the heart of Texas Hill Country at South Llano River State Park, where in addition to swimming, he can join you on the river in a kayak, canoe or on a tubing excursion. The state park also boasts 18 miles of multi-use trails to explore with your leashed pup.

Located on 6 acres just outside of Kerrville, White Chapel Cottage sleeps 4 to 6 and is perfect for weekend getaways. Your pup will love frolicking underneath the large oak trees on this picturesque property.

Smugglers’ Notch State Park

Stowe, VT

a dog swims at Smugglers’ Notch State Park

Skinny-dipping dog. – Photo by @Retriever_cali

Smugglers’ Notch State Park is THE place to enjoy cool air on a hot summer day in Vermont’s Green Mountains. After a quick 20-minute hike to Bingham Falls, Fido can wade in the swimming hole at the base of a 25-foot waterfall. The park also has ponds and streams where your pooch can practice his “beast” stroke.

Book a dog-friendly room at The Stowehof Hotel, which is surrounded by 26 acres and features mountain vistas. Explore the property with your pup and allow him to go for a swim in the on-site pond.

This post from BringFido originally appeared as Dog Paddle at These Pet-Friendly Swimming Holes.

Christmas in July? Pet-Friendly Holiday Stays to Book Now For Winter Break

Santa’s writing his list early this year, Fido. If you promise to be on your best behavior for the next five months, an unforgettable vacation to one of America’s winter wonderlands is in the Christmas cards. These cool properties deck the halls and transport guests to the North Pole (literally, in one case), which is why they are booked so far in advance. Don’t be left with a lump of coal in your stocking and the taste of sour eggnog this year. Plan your Christmas in July and reserve a pet-friendly hotel or rental for Fido’s dream yuletide vacation!

Wilburton Inn

Manchester, VT

A family and their dogs having fun on Christmas

“I think these people might have a type.” – Photo by Facebook.com/WilburtonInn

Guaranteed annual snowfall in Vermont makes it a desirable destination for log-fire lovers and Santa Claus chasers. Nowhere encapsulates the Christmas spirit of The Green Mountain State better than Wilburton Inn. Jetson, the hotel’s very own canine concierge, loves welcoming fellow four-legged friends to his 30-acre “paw-radise,” especially during December when the hotel is decorated with a tree and twinkling lights. Explore the grounds together and discover new and unique sculptures every day on your walks. Every pooch receives a special organic doggie treat at check-in, and pups are even welcome for breakfast. Furry elves stay for free  during “Canine Christmas” and, thanks to Jetson, Cavalier King Charles Spaniels never have to pay.

Nightly rates during the season start at $206.

Eskimo Kisses Cabin

Fairbanks, AK

Cozy Christmas room at Eskimo Kisses Cabin

Snuggle up near Santa. – Photo by Airbnb

There’s nothing better than eskimo kisses with your best friend. Eskimo Kisses Cabin is a well-loved log cabin in the woods with a roaring fire and sauna to warm those weary bones on winter nights. The cabin is located just 20 minutes from the holiday-themed town of North Pole, home of the World’s Largest Santa.

Nightly rates during Christmas start at $68.

Lansdowne Resort

Leesburg, VA

A woman and her dog chilling out at Lansdowne Resort

“Where’s my milkshake?” – Photo by Facebook.com/LansdowneResortandSpa

Located half an hour away from annual Xmas celebrations in Middleburg, Lansdowne Resort is the ideal warmup act (literally, you and your pooch can warm your paws by the roaring log fire together). From the holiday train that makes its way around the track above the lobby to the twinkling trees, “rein-dogs” will love this cozy hotel in Leesburg. As an added bonus, there’s a private dog park on the premises.

Nightly rates over the holidays start at $141.

The Edgewater Madison

Madison, WI

A dog being spoiled

“On the Edgewater of glory.” – Photo by @Theedgeh2o

Spend the holidays on Lake Mendota in Wisconsin this year, where The Edgewater Madison goes all out to spread Christmas cheer. “Santa Paws” is coming to town and he’s bringing an enchanting ice rink along with him. Join him and the elves for festive music and fun at the official lighting ceremony before taking a stroll to nearby Quann Dog Park for off-leash fun. In the evening, drink and be merry at BarleyPop Tap and Shop.

Nightly rates over the holidays start at $122.

Wishing Tree Cabin

Asheville, NC

A beautiful cabin at Wishing Tree Cabin

This is one sweet retreat. – Photo by VRBO

Asheville has carved out its spot as one of the best destinations in the nation to celebrate Christmas. Visitors can enjoy the show at Biltmore Estate, which is decorated for the holidays with 55 twinkling trees and thousands of feet of garland. For more merrymaking, bring Fido to the light show at North Carolina Arboretum. Your pup can count down the sleeps until the big day at Wishing Tree Cabin. This historic home is 10 minutes from downtown and 15 minutes from the Biltmore.

Nightly rates during the season start at $135.

Barnsley Resort

Adairsville, GA

A dog at Barnsley Resort

“Classy, sophisticated and stylish, much like me!” – Photo by BringFido

Hosts of one of our favorite festive light displays, the Manor House Ruins, gardens and buildings at Barnsley Resort transform into a sparkling fairyland every year. When the lights are off during the day, work off unwanted stuffing on more than 10 miles of pet-friendly hiking trails and manicured gardens throughout the property. At night, cuddle up by the fire together in your own cottage and soak in the gleaming display outside.

Nightly rates over the holidays start at $220.

The Broadmoor

Colorado Springs, CO

A dog in Christmas clothes at the Broadmoor

“Christmas? Yeah, I guess it’s okay.” – Photo by Facebook.com/TheBroadmoor

When you see the big tree at The Broadmoor going up, you’ll know it’s nearly time for Santa’s arrival. As well as dazzling lights outside, the interior of the hotel is decked out just like the jolly man’s very own toy factory. Located in Colorado Springs, one of the 12 most pet-friendly cities in the U.S., there’s a world of activities and amenities to explore during your stay. Give Fido an early Christmas gift with a trip to nearby Pub Dog Colorado. If you don’t feel like venturing out,

four-legged guests receive treats, bowls and a pet bed at check-in.

Nightly rates during Christmas start at $310.

The Plaza

New York, NY

A husky dog at the Plaza Hotel

“I’m bowled away by this place!” – Photo by @Oceanofcompassion

Are there any movies that get you in the Christmas spirit more than “Home Alone?” Retrace the steps of Kevin McCallister at The Plaza, the setting for a classic scene in the sequel between Culkin’s character and Donald Trump. Speaking of presidential treatment, sign Fido up for the Canine Companions package during his stay, which includes a branded bowl and bed. New York’s breathtaking display of lights are on The Plaza’s doorstep. Wrap up warm and walk through Central Park or check out the world-famous festive shop windows on 5th Avenue.

Nightly rates at Christmas start at $717.

Charming Orlando Home

Orlando, FL

A Charming Orlando Home for a Pet-Friendly Holiday

Release the hound in the spacious backyard. – Photo by VRBO

Orlando’s warm climate, stretches of beach and fun-filled parks keep it buzzing year-round, and December is no different. Snowbirds and holidaymakers everywhere flock to the city to celebrate a magical Christmas, and Fido can join in the revelry with a stay at this charming Orlando home. He can play off-leash in the backyard or run free at Dr. Phillips Dog Park down the road. You can also take a walk around downtown Celebration together. It “snows” every year in this charming town, and Santa makes frequent appearances.

Nightly rates in December start at $179.

Harraseeket Inn

Freeport, ME

A grandmother alongside her dogs at the Harraseeket Inn

“We’re the perfect antidote for a cold winter day.” – Photo by Facebook.com/harraseeketinn

Make your way to magnificent Maine for “howl-idays” at Harraseeket Inn. The historic hotel’s huge tree is known across the city of Freeport, almost as much as their prime shopping opportunities. Although dogs aren’t allowed to enter the flagship L.L. Bean Store, your pooch can join you for last-minute Christmas shopping at the outlet store. After picking out Dad’s ugly Christmas sweater, invite your furry friend to join the regulars for a feast of hearty seasonal dishes at the inn’s on-site eatery, Broad Arrow Tavern.

Nightly rates for the holidays start at $257.

Cabin on the River

Leavenworth, WA

A fireplace at the Cabin on the River on a Pet-Friendly Holiday

Slippers are not for chewing, Fido! – Photo by Airbnb

Curl up by the log fire at this cozy cabin on the river, the perfect place to enjoy snowshoeing, “Monopaw-ly” in your pajamas and reminding yourselves what Christmas is really all about – family. While you’re in the area, take a trip to nearby Leavenworth. This Bavarian-styled village in the Cascade Mountains goes all out for Christmas, delivering a delightful downtown and a spellbinding selection of shimmering lights.

Nightly rates during the season start at $86.

This post from BringFido originally appeared as Christmas in July? Pet-Friendly Holiday Stays to Book Now For Winter Break.

The Great River Road: A Pet-Friendly Road Trip

The Great River Road runs shoulder-to-shoulder with America’s second-longest river, The Mississippi. Spanning 3,000 miles through 10 states, this historic route gives visitors on two legs and four the chance to follow “Old Man River” as it traces its way down the Midwest. Take your time meandering through quaint river towns and exciting cities, stopping along the way to discover the best attractions the Central States have to offer you and your dog. Just follow the green wheel signs for the pet-friendly road trip of a lifetime!

Minnesota

two dogs enjoying at Paul Bunyan and Babe the Blue Ox in Bemidji,

Ace and Roxy, meet Babe. – Photo by Melissa

Fido’s epic journey begins in Itasca State Park, where he can visit the headwaters of the mighty Mississippi. Minnesota’s oldest state park is home to more than 30 miles of pet-friendly trails. After an invigorating trek, make your way to the first city on the Mississippi, Bemidji. Stop by and meet this charming little city’s most famous residents, Paul Bunyan and Babe the Blue Ox. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the statues were built in 1937 and make for a great photo op. Finish your first day on the road with dinner between two of the area’s prettiest lakes on the patio at Sparkling Waters. This affordable health and wellness retreat invites you to discover the best version of yourself before continuing your journey.

A dog walking at the Grand Rapids in Minnesota

“Did somebody say hike?”Photo by @Ecoblondewithadog

Wake up and follow the Great River Road from Bemidji past Cass, Winnibigoshish and Pokegama lakes to Grand Rapids, where you and Fido can “paws” for a pint at Klockow Brewing Company. Then, rejoin the National Scenic Byway and continue to Little Falls, which offers fantastic hiking opportunities at Charles A. Lindbergh State Park.

From here, bring the Minnesota leg of the trip to a close in the Twin Cities of Minneapolis and Saint Paul, a three-hour drive south from Grand Rapids. One spot that can’t be missed is Fort Snelling State Park. Dogs are welcome to walk by your side as you learn about the fascinating history of this land. Fido can also watch out for wildlife including white-tailed deer, fox, turkeys and coyotes. Afterwards, head to downtown Saint Paul for dinner on the patio at Eagle Street Grill. Spend the night in a unique historic carriage house within walking distance of downtown.

Wisconsin

A woman and her dog visit La Crosse, Wisconsin.

“Felt hot, might delete later.” – Photo by @karissapeterson7

US-10 will take you out of Saint Paul and across the Wisconsin border in just 25 minutes. With 33 quaint river towns along its 250-mile stretch of the Mississippi River, it would be easy to spend the rest of Fido’s vacation dipping in and out of antique shops, cozy cafes and independent stores in The Badger State. Enjoy the first few towns from the comfort of your car, before stopping for a bite next to the river in the gorgeous grounds of Harbor Bar in Hager City.

A half-hour drive from Hager City is Stockholm. Founded by Swedish immigrants in 1854 who named the new settlement after their homeland’s capital, this cute village is full of character. Take a leisurely stroll downtown and check out the artsy items on display at Hugga Bugga and homegoods at StockHOME. Fido can get the scoop on pet-friendly amenities from Hugga Bugga’s yellow Lab, Josie, and StockHOME’s store dog, Tully. Before you make haste to your next place, grab a sweet treat for the road at Stockholm Pie & General Store.

A woman and her dog at Houska Dog Park on a Pet-Friendly Road Trip

“Zoom with a view!”Photo by @Blynne7

Leave the little towns behind and join US-61 S for a pretty 90-minute journey to your next destination, La Crosse. From here, you can hike or ride with your leashed pup along the road’s little brother, Great River State Park Trail. This paved trail is 24 miles long and leads through backwaters, bluffs, hardwood forests, sand prairies and oak savannas. Afterwards, unleash Fido and play fetch next to the river at Houska Park Dog Park. Refuel like road trippers have for generations at Rudy’s Drive In, which offers classic car-hop service and sweet treats for four-legged diners. Then, settle in for the night at this pet-friendly log cabin, which invites you to soak in the sunsets, hike through the woods and observe the local wildlife during your stay.

Iowa

A woman and her dog at Pikes Peak State Park on a Pet-Friendly Road Trip

“This view is almost as good as a bag of treats!” – Photo by @Einsteinandlori

The state of Iowa borders the Mississippi River on the opposite side of Wisconsin. The scenic overlooks and topography give The Hawkeye State unrivalled snapshots of the waterway for its 328-mile stretch. Start chapter three of the road trip by crossing the river before Rush Creek State Natural Area. From here, continue south until you reach Pikes Peak State Park in McGregor. The park is home to a variety of trails, one of which leads to a 500-foot bluff and a memorable view.

When Fido is finished posing for the gram, rejoin Great River Road. The next time you pull up with your pup, do it in Dubuque, Iowa’s oldest city and one of the oldest settlements west of the Mississippi. Walk by the river and wave to the passing paddle boats on Mississippi River Walk. If you’d like to get a different perspective of the water and the surrounding area, climb aboard one of Fenelon Place Elevator Company’s dog-friendly cars. Described as the world’s shortest, steepest elevator ride, the view from the top is worth it. After Fido’s ride of a lifetime, chill out with a beer and a bite at 7 Hills Brewing Company before calling it a day at this historic home. The fenced outdoor space will keep Fido happy while you enjoy the fire pit.

Illinois

A girl and her dog on an Illinois Pet-Friendly Road Trip

“This bird-dragon is my spirit animal.” – Photo by @Herbariasoap

For 550 miles, Illinois will keep you entertained with stunning views and plenty to do. Hop back over the river on US-20 to Galena, a picturesque town known for its exquisite 19th-century architecture, including the home of Ulysses S. Grant. Stroll down Helluva Half Mile, a stretch of Main Street that’s home to 125 independently owned stores. Serendipity of Galena and At Home in Galena are just a couple of the pet-friendly ones. Miss Kitty’s The Grape Escape is also located on Main Street, one of those rare and beautiful establishments that welcome dogs to eat inside.

Make your way from Galena to Alton, another small town with a lot to offer. It’s a five-hour drive, so you’ll arrive just in time to enjoy the unique evening entertainment provided by drag cabaret acts at Bubby and Sissy’s. All are welcome, including leashed pups. After the show, relax at this cozy home nearby. Wake up refreshed and ready to fly by the Piasa Bird. This Native American dragon is depicted in murals painted by Native Americans on bluffs above the Mississippi River. Before leaving Alton, explore interesting pet-friendly shops like It’s Raining Zen and Party on Broadway, and pick up a souvenir from Illinois.

Missouri

a dog enjoying at the Gateway Arch National Park

“I’m not jumping over that!” – Photo by @Thegoldenretrieverotis

Seasoned road trippers will remember St. Louis from our Route 66 pet-friendly road trip. The impressive Gateway Arch National Park is always worth a visit, whichever famous road you’re traveling on. After a walk on the St. Louis Riverfront Trail, pig out at Bogart’s Smokehouse, one of the best dog-friendly BBQ joints in the U.S. Sleep off the meal in a Little House which has everything you need, from a fenced yard to seriously unusual curb appeal.

The next day, drive south for two hours to reach your next destination, one of the most significant and somber of the trip. Trail of Tears State Park in Jackson reflects on a tragic chapter in American history, when nine Cherokee Indian groups were relocated to Oklahoma in 1838-1839. The park is also home to shaded picnic sites, dog-friendly hiking trails, and sweeping views of the Mississippi. It’s one of the best places in the state for viewing migratory waterfowl. From here, continue for 20 minutes to reach Cape Girardeau, where you can break for lunch. Your hungry hound can join you on the patio of Smokehouse 61 and plead for scraps of pulled pork, ribs or brisket. On your way out of town, enjoy the view from Bill Emerson Memorial Bridge, one of the most picturesque crossings over “Old Blue.”

Kentucky

A dog resting at the Columbus-Belmont State Park

“I can see why they call it ‘The Big Muddy.’” – Photo by @Taylorcrider18

It’s time for you and your puppy to enter Kentucky, where the shortest section of the scenic road can be found. Enjoy a breath of fresh air at Columbus-Belmont State Park on The Civil War Trail, which is home to a Confederate fortification built during the Civil War. Rest up and recuperate at this nearby quiet country cottage.

Tennessee

A dog waiting for the sunset at Memphis, Tennessee

“Staying and waiting for the sunset!” – Photo by @Lionel_the_ridgeback

After your short sojourn into Kentucky, you’ll find yourself in Tennessee. Reelfoot Lake State Park is located around an hour from Columbus in Tiptonville, and provides exceptional views across its eponymous 15,000-acre lake. Unlike other lakes on the Great River Road, this one is actually a flooded forest, which is why you’ll see Cyprus Trees reaching out of the water.

From here, it’s a two-hour drive to Memphis, the birthplace of rock ‘n’ roll. Fido can stretch his legs at one of the many dog parks in the city, including Mud Island, Memphis Dog Park and Overton Bark. Enjoy a leashed stroll with your Beagle down world-famous Beale Street. Then, head for a refreshing brew at Memphis Made Brewing Company. After sampling a flight of local craft beer, why not cruise into a drive-in theater! Dogs are welcome at Malco Summer Drive-In, where they show double bills every night throughout the season. After the credits roll, roll up to this artsy raised cabin, which offers two- and four-legged guests a memorable Memphis stay.

Arkansas

A woman and her dog at Mississippi River State Park

“Who’s feeling blue?” – Photo by @wlewey

The Great River Road takes you from the home of rock ‘n’ roll to the land of the Delta Blues, West Helena. King Biscuit Time, the longest-running blues radio show in the country, has been recorded here since 1941. If Fido isn’t impressed by the town’s musical heritage, he’ll still find enjoyment in the natural beauty of this area. Go for a trek together on the boardwalk of Mississippi River Park and enjoy views of the waterway.

Mississippi

A dog enjoying at Mississippi

“Is there anything quite as satisfying as a shady spot?” – Photo by @Theloveshackpack

By the time you finish the three-hour journey from West Helena to Vicksburg, you’ll be in Mississippi and ready for a hearty meal. Martins at Midtown is a local gem that serves made-from-scratch food. Sit out on the porch with your pooch and enjoy a cold beer with your fish tacos. With full bellies, you’ll be able to appreciate the historical importance of this little town on the water. It’s actually the site of the 1863 siege that helped give the Union control of the Mississippi River. Hang out at Riverfront Park with your pooch and check out the 32 pictorial murals on Levee Street.

Fido’s last stop in Mississippi is Natchez, named after the tribe of Native Americans who inhabited this area from the 8th century. The current settlement is one of the oldest along the river, dating all the way back to 1716. With 13 National Historic Landmarks and over 1,000 buildings on the National Register of Historic Places, furry history buffs will love walking around downtown. Grab a bite on the porch at The Camp Restaurant before heading to Natchez State Park, where the largest bass in Mississippi history was caught. This “paw-triotic” 1885 cottage is just the place for your pooch to put his paws up before the last leg of the journey.

Louisiana

A dog on New Orleans Parade

“It’s like this place was made for me!” – Photo by @Petsofnola

It takes just over 90 minutes to reach Baton Rouge from Natchez. Louisiana’s colorful capital is a must-visit on your way toward the Gulf Coast finale. Visit LSU AgCenter Botanic Gardens for 3 miles of walking trails through pretty gardens and an arboretum. For off-leash fun, pay a visit to the recently remodeled Forest Dog Park. By the time dinner time rolls around, where better to enjoy a feast with your beast than The Bulldog? The downtown patio is loved by four-legged tourists and locals alike. Spend the evening watching the world go by from the porch of this downtown home.

The last stop on your epic adventure is one of the funkiest pet-friendly cities in the country, New Orleans. Even if you’re not in town for Mardi Gras or a reindog parade, you can still live it up and enjoy plenty of dog-friendly activities year-round. Introduce your pooch to the city with a walk through the historic French Quarter. For lunch, dine indoors with your canine at Lucy’s Retired Surfers Bar before joining a Ghost City Tour of one of the most haunted destinations Fido will ever know. When you’re ready to leave NOLA, drive south on the last stretch of Great River Road to Venice, and raise a glass at CrawGator Bar and Grill to a mission accomplished and another “paw-some” road trip together.

It’s no easy feat to leave the Big Easy. Retrace your steps and recount your marvelous adventures in the Central States at this oasis in New Orleans.

This post from BringFido originally appeared as The Great River Road: A Pet-Friendly Road Trip.

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