A COLD, WET NOSE NUDGES YOU AWAKE first thing in the morning and a wagging tail welcomes you home after a long day at work. Your quality time entails long walks together and ventures to local parks for playtime. Furry snuggles offer comfort and companionship, wanting only food, shelter and love in return. There is no denying that with their unique personalities and happy dispositions, our pets are a special part of the family. But what do you do when you want to get away for a last-minute road trip or long-awaited vacation and those big, soulful eyes beg to come along?
Unlike searching for family-friendly venues, it can be challenging to find dog-friendly places to enjoy together. Rather than stay at home, drop them off for boarding or pay for a pet sitter, bring Fido along on your next adventure in North Georgia! Countless memories await you and your four-legged family members, whether you’re exploring the great outdoors, participating in a local event or just chilling on a mountain-view patio with a refreshing beverage in hand.
Grab the leashes and come along to these top pet-friendly spots.
If your dog loves to stop and smell the roses, take your best friend to Barnsley Resort for a walk among the beautiful blooms. Hoof it on a hike in the 10 miles of woods located on the grounds. The resort is open to dogs of all sizes and your pooch can explore most of the public areas in style (a wide selection of pet bowties are available in the gift shop.) Pet sitting services are available with advanced notice. A portion of pet fees goes to PAWS Atlanta, helping care for other dogs and cats looking for their fur-ever home.
Shop local food and mercantile vendors on Tuesdays through November at the Halcyon Farmer’s Market, where dogs are always welcome to tag along. Keep your canine fashion ready after heading across the Village Green to The Unexpected Pooch for the latest pet styles. Afterward, your pup will strike a pose and make new friends at the Halcyon Yappy Hour every Tuesday through October. Visiting pups score Halycon dog swag from the local event sponsor and animal rescue organization, Furkids.
How ‘bout them dawgs? Football season is upon us and you might spot red and black UGA signs displayed in yards across homes in North Georgia. Get in on the tailgating action with your pup at one of the fall home games. When the game goes into overtime, stay over at the hip and modern pet-friendly The Graduate Athens hotel. Pups of all sizes receive a complimentary BarkBox at check-in. Does your best friend have an artistic flair? Bring them along on Thursday mornings with the Athens Plein Air Art Group, where well-behaved pets are always appreciated. Join the art group for an outdoor excursion to paint a beautiful backdrop while bonding with your pup. If inspiration hits, paint your dog on canvas! Just make sure you get his best side. Go dawgs!
Escape to paradise at dog-friendly Paradise Hills Resort and Winery. You will toast to the reasonable rates per dog with a two-pet max. Roam outdoors at the Union County Dog Park trail system that spans just over a mile while exploring the best of nature abundant with trees, open fields and views of Nottely River. If your pup prefers a view from the top, head to Georgia’s highest elevation point with your best friend at Brasstown Bald Recreation Area.
Blue Ridge isn’t known only for its historic Scenic Railroad, quaint shops on Main Street and popular mountain getaways. Pets are a welcome part of your family with several dog-friendly patios. Whether you’re visiting for the weekend or just passing through town, treat your pup to a romp in Blue Ridge Haven Dog Park located next door to the Blue Ridge Humane Society. Show your support for orphaned pets by attending one of their popular fundraising events. In October, the humane society hosts the Barktober Fest at Grumpy Old Men Brewery and Paws In the Park & Dock Diving at Downtown Blue Ridge Park. Most Blue Ridge cabin rental companies have pet-friendly options. If you don’t need an entire cabin, check in at the Comfort Inn and Suites Blue Ridge, where both dogs and cats can spend the night.
In Bartow County, life is better at Lake Allatoona with your dog. After a fun-filled day on the open water, head to downtown Cartersville for pet-friendly outdoor dining options. Grab a bite at Allatoona Grill at Holiday Harbor in nearby Acworth or Ate Track Bar & Grill in downtown Cartersville. Cool off with a sweet treat at Coconuts Ice Cream & Shave Ice or recharge at Noble & Main Coffee Co. Too tuckered out to drive back home? Book a room at MainStay Suites Cartersville, where up to three dogs of any size are welcome with a small fee.
Share bonfire stories about dog camp with a weekend getaway exclusively designed for bonding time with your pup. Camp Unleashed is an all-inclusive retreat program located in three areas of the country, including Camp Coleman in Cleveland. When the camp returns in October 2022, enjoy four days of land and water activities with your furry friend. After an afternoon of agility training, treat your best friend to a canine massage by learning how to help ease your pup’s hard-worked joints and muscles with one of the dog trainers.
Wine with your dog in Dahlonega. Home to many notable wineries in North Georgia, several locations including Kaya and Wolf Mountain Vineyards have pet-friendly patios with scenic mountain views. Be sure to call ahead. Some wineries prohibit visiting dogs or only allow service animals. Don’t forget a trip to historic downtown. Amble over to Hancock Park off the square and get into a musical groove with your dog at the First Friday Night Concert Series that runs through October.
Heading to the apple capital of Georgia? Go apple picking with your pup at BJ Reece Orchards. Fido doesn’t have to miss the fun while you stroll the orchards selecting the choicest picks for your autumn goodies. Coming this fall, Reece Cidery will open its doors where leashed pets are invited to chill with you on the patio. When you need a pet-friendly place to stay the night, check out Sliding Rock Cabins. Even the cats are welcome to keep their fur friend company in select cabins.
Unleash the adventures of Lake Lanier with your best friend by your side. Let your pup run free and play fetch inside Laurel Bark Park. Worked up an appetite from the park?
Head to Pelican Pete’s, Lake Lanier’s floating dock restaurant. Be lulled to relaxation in one of their dog-friendly dining zones. Lanier Islands has several pet-friendly places to call it a night at Legacy Lodge, the LakeHouses at Legacy, Shoal Creek Campgrounds, and the Margaritaville RV Resort. Don’t forget to stick your tails in the water and paws in the sand at Landshark Beach.
Looking for more lake fun with your fur baby? Paynes Creek Campground on Lake Hartwell allows dogs on a leash for a fun camping adventure. Also, be sure to check out the Hart County Botanical Gardens, which is adjacent to the Hartwell Dog Park for some off-the-leash playtime. The space includes pavilions, bags and picnic benches.
For a pet-friendly restaurant in downtown Hartwell visit Market 50, which gladly welcomes dogs at its outdoor tables.
Helen rolls out the welcome mat for you and your canine. Book a room at the Biscuit Inn with four dog-themed rooms to choose from and no added pet fees. Strut your mutt down Main Street, full of Alpine architecture and lively dog-friendly outdoor patios celebrating Oktoberfest. For a relaxed pace, meander along the Hardman Farm Trail for a picturesque view and soothing sounds of the Chattahoochee River. Top off your visit with the million-dollar view of Yonah Mountain at JumpinGoat Coffee Roasters. Cozy up with a steaming mug of java or glass of local mead on the pavilion while your pup kicks up the leaves in the cafe’s own dog park.
Whether your sidekick enjoys outdoor adventures by land or by water, Rome has fun events for every canine. Make a splash at Riverdog Outpost and Paddle Co., where you can rent a paddleboard and let your dog show off his balancing skills. Paws up for the Schnauzer Fest in October at the Forum River Center. Participating pups showcase their best talents including an agility contest, best in show and idol singing competition.
Are you and your pooch in need of retail therapy? Head to downtown Roswell for dog-friendly boutique shopping, where water bowls are aplenty. Go antiquing with your pup at 425 Market Place or pick up more pet supplies at The Downtown Pooch. If your canine has an eye for fine art, stop in at the Ann Jackson or Vinings Art Galleries, where leashed pups are encouraged to boost their art appreciation skills.
As this dog owner knows, it’s more fun when our four-legged friends get to come along and share the best adventures of North Georgia.
BARKING FOR MORE?
Is your pup panting for more outdoor escapades? Join the Tails on Trails Club hosted by Georgia State Parks. Register to receive a t-shirt and bandana to sport on your hiking adventures. Membership comes with a checklist of all pet-friendly parks in Georgia. When you complete your fitness outing, check off the location and plan the next road trip that your dog is sure to bark about. gastateparks.org/ TailsOnTrailsClub