Dog Friendly

Dog Friendly Guide to Missoula, Montana

Rolling hills, a glistening lake, plenty of shaded patios and friendly folk… Missoula, Montana is just as much of a dream for pups as it is for humans! Our Bernedoodle Sally swam, hiked, dined, and played with us all over this picturesque mountain town, and it’s safe to say that she loved every minute of it! 

If you’re planning a trip to Missoula and are contemplating bringing your dog - DO IT! This blog is for you!

WHERE TO STAY

Comfort Inn Missoula :: Set along the Clark Fork River, the Comfort Inn Missoula is cozy, affordable, and incredibly dog friendly. There’s a big grassy field right outside the hotel that’s perfect for playful pups, and it’s walking distance to the best dog park in town (more on that later). They also have a free hot breakfast, free bike rentals, and a picturesque fire pit overlooking the Clark Fork River… it’s fun for the whole family!

Incredible sunset views of the Clark Fork River from the Comfort Inn

WHAT TO DO

Jacobs Island Bark Park :: We’ve been to a lot of dog parks during our road trips, and this one is definitely in our top 5. Jacobs Island Bark Park has over 6 acres of land for pups to explore unleashed, but the best part is - it’s right on the Clark Fork River! Our Bernedoodle Sally had the time of her life swimming in the river and chasing balls and other furry friends. She had so much fun, she was wiped out for the next two days!

Waterworks Hill :: Located on the north side of Missoula, Waterworks Hill is a 3.5 mile trail that not only has stunning views of Missoula - but is puppy approved too! We suggest hiking with your dog in the early morning or late afternoon, as there is little to no shade. And don’t forget to bring your camera!

“M” Trail :: The ‘M’ on Mount Sentinel has been a Missoula landmark since 1908, and the “M” Trail hike is now a favorite outing for people (and dogs) of all ages! It may only be less than a mile long, it’s a strenuous and steep climb to the top, so be forewarned. Make sure you bring plenty of water (For you AND your pup!), and again, we suggest going in the early morning or late afternoon. You won’t believe the views from the top!

Riverfront Trail :: Take your leashed pup on an early evening stroll along the scenic Riverfront Trail, where the Clark Fork River and Downtown Missoula come together. It’s a great place for you and your dog to catch the sunset AND get some exercise. Make sure you stop for a picture on one of the pedestrian bridges (and if you’re feeling hungry, grab a slice of pizza to-go from Bridge Pizza)!

Hard to get Sally out of the water…

She could do this all day…

Sally’s wishing she was by the water…

Sally a little tired after a hike on Waterworks Hill

Sally made it to the “M”

Hiking down from the “M”

Sally ready for some time on the Riverfront trail

DOG FRIENDLY PATIOS

Market on Front :: This restaurant/grocery store/coffee shop/deli has everything one would want (and more), including a dog-friendly patio! Whether you’re in the mood for breakfast, lunch, dinner, or just a cup of coffee, Market on Front has you covered. Their food is locally sourced and made to order, and their breakfast burritos may be the best in town. Need we say more?

Biga Pizza :: We’ve talked about Biga Pizza before (see our Missoula foodie guide here), and we’ll happily talk about it again. Beyond their mouth-watering wood fired pizzas, Biga has friendly service, a cozy, homey ambiance, and a quaint dog-friendly patio! If you’re anything like us, you’ll be tempted to sneak a piece of their homemade sourdough crust to your pup, and we won’t judge you if you do. ;)

Plonk Missoula :: Our food was so good at Plonk Missoula, we almost shed a tear (if they have Cashew Raclette on the menu, ORDER IT). And then, as we were leaving, we found out that their front entrance patio is indeed, dog friendly... We almost shed a tear again! Next time we’re in Missoula, we’ll be heading straight to Plonk - with Sally in tow!

Market on Front has a dog-friendly perfect patio!

We LOVED the pizza at Big, and next time we’ll bring Sally!

We left Sally in favor of a date night this time, but she’ll definitely come with us to Plonk next time we’re in Missoula!

We left Sally in favor of a date night this time, but she’ll definitely come with us to Plonk next time we’re in Missoula!

When it comes to dog friendly activities in Missoula, this blog is just the tip of the iceberg. We can’t wait to come back with Sally and explore more of this beautiful town. If we’re missing any of your favorite puppy-approved spots, leave a comment and let us know!

Sally loved Missoula!

Dog Friendly Guide to Kalamazoo

Being the embarrassingly proud dog “pawrents” that we are, we get overly excited when we discover a truly dog-friendly town. It’s probably the same kind of feeling (we imagine) as winning the lottery. 

“Sally (our bernedoodle) can come WITH US?!” 

“There’s MULTIPLE dog parks?!” 

“We can bring Sally to a BASEBALL GAME?!” 

There were multiple times a day that we were overcome with glee - not just because we were falling in love with Kalamazoo (it’s the coolest), but we just couldn’t get over how accommodating and welcoming this city is for dogs. Below is where we stayed, ate, drank, and played with Sally in-tow… and as you’ll see by Sally’s ever-smiling face and droopy pink tongue, she had just as much fun as we did. If not more!

STAY

Kara’s Kottages :: 95% of the time when we travel with Sally, we stay in traditional hotels. Sure, it’s tight and not always the most convenient, but we can always make it work. It’s a rare and beautiful thing when we find a bed and breakfast that’s not only cool, but dog friendly too. We were ECSTATIC to find out about Kara’s Kottages - a cozy, modern, and homey alternative to a standard hotel room. 

We stayed in the Redwood Kottage, on Kalamazoo Avenue, and we loved having so many “at home” amenities at our disposal. It had a full size kitchen (stocked with complimentary breakfast items), a living room, a washer and dryer, and even a quaint covered patio! Sally loved having so much space to roam, and with the pet fee being only $15/night, it’s an incredibly easy and affordable pet-friendly option!

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EAT & DRINK

Walnut & Park :: Summertime in Kalamazoo is magical - the weather was perfect (75 degrees and sunny) the entire time we were there, so we found ourselves sitting outside as much as we could! We loved Walnut & Park because of their relaxed and picturesque outdoor patio - and their specialty coffee and made-to-order breakfast sandwiches weren’t bad either! Plus, Sally was welcome to sit with us outside!

Factory Coffee :: We were anxious to try Factory Coffee, as there was a lot of hype surrounding this hip coffee shop, and it definitely suprassed our expectations. The coffee is strong, the ambiance is cool (it’s located in an old factory), the baristas are friendly, and the puppy-friendly outdoor patio is a great place to relax… for both humans, and pets!

Arcadia Ales :: It’s probably a good thing we didn’t discover Arcadia Ales until our last night in Kalamazoo or we’d have been tempted to come to this waterfront brewery every day! Their pet-friendly beer garden has shuffleboard, cornhole, direct access to the Kalamazoo River, and their extensive beer and food menus are some of the best in town! We highly recommend their famous wood-fired pizza - the crust is incredible. (Even Sally got to try it!)

Wax Wings Brewing :: Have you ever been to a brewery where you walk in and immediately feel like family? That’s how we felt at Wax Wings Brewing, the ambiance is relaxed, the people are friendly, and they serve some amazing beer on tap. Best part is? Dogs are welcome!! We’ll cheers to that! 

Mornings at Walnut & Park

Nice little afternoon at Factory Coffee

Sally wanted her own pizza at Arcadia Ales

PLAY

Fairmont Dog Park :: We know a dog park is a hit when Sally immediately collapses in the back of our car - exhausted, out of breath, and joyously panting for air. After a solid hour of playtime at Fairmont Dog Park, Sally did just that! It’s free to the public from 8am to sunset, and if we were Kalamazoo locals, we’d be there everyday!

Prairie View County Park :: This 210-acre lakeside park has everything from a swimming beach to picnic areas, to a super extensive, lush, and beautiful dog park! The fenced-in dog park spans over 7 acres, with plenty of room for pups to run free - and there’s even a shaded walking trail to enjoy! 

Kalamazoo Growlers Game :: Call us weird, but we’ve always thought it would be fun to bring Sally to a baseball game… and this dream came true at the Kalamazoo Growlers “Bark in the Park” night! Leashed pups of all sizes came out to watch the game with their owners, and Sally had a blast making new friends and trying a bite of Bobby’s hot dog. Check their schedule for Bark in the Park nights, it was a night we’ll never forget!

Beer and a dog. And another dog.

Don’t see your favorite dog-friendly Kalamazoo spot on our list? Leave a comment and let us know! We can’t wait to return with Sally and visit more puppy-approved places!

Our Dog-Friendly Guide to Des Moines

If you read our previous post, you’ll know that we’re newly obsessed with Des Moines, Iowa. (And if you haven’t read our previous post, read it, and then you’ll know why.) This city is a dream for so many reasons - for humans, and for pups! We’re realizing that the Midwest in general is extremely dog friendly, and Des Moines is no exception.

If you’re headed this way with your fur baby in tow (and you should be), here’s our Dog Friendly Guide to Des Moines!

WHERE TO GO WITH YOUR PUP

Downtown Farmers Market: Every Saturday from May to October, one of the biggest (and best) farmers markets takes place in downtown Des Moines… and it’s dog friendly! There’s multiple vendors selling dog treats, leashes, homemade food, and more!

Pappajohn Sculpture Park: One of our favorite parks to explore in Des Moines is not only fun for humans - but fun for pups! There’s 22 iconic sculptures to admire, and an unlimited amount of absolutely adorable photo opportunities. Just make sure you keep your dog on a leash!

Ankeny Dog Park: This 7.5-acre park is a dream for dogs of all sizes - with fenced in areas for small and large pups, a picturesque pond, and plenty of open space to run free!

Racoon River Dog Park: Another epic option when it comes to getting your pup’s “wiggles out”, this sprawling dog park is over 10 acres - bring a ball (and some water), and your dog is sure to leave exhausted, and oh-so-happy!

Walk the downtown:  It may be obvious, but we just have to include a walk around Des Moines beautiful and bustling downtown! We took our Bernedoodle Sally with us all over the city - whether we were walking to coffee or admiring the sights, it’s such a fun place to explore with your four-legged friend!

We loved exploring Pappajohn Sculpture Park

Sally chasing sticks at Raccoon River Dog Park

WHERE TO EAT WITH YOUR PUP

Gazali’s (patio):  Looking for healthy, fresh, and authentic Mediterranean cuisine that you can enjoy with your dog in tow? Head straight to Gazali’s! Their outdoor patio is dog-friendly and their lunch and dinner options are affordable and really delicious.

Smokey D’s BBQ (patio):  If you love BBQ, you’ll love Smokey D’s BBQ. (I mean, anything that’s been featured on the Food Network’s Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives has to be epic, right?!) Best part is, they have a dog friendly patio!

Snookie’s Malt Shop (patio): We’ll take any excuse to get an ice cream cone, and the adorable Snookie’s Malt Shop is not to be missed… whether you’re a human or a dog! They serve free “pup cones” - little puppy size ice cream cones with any purchase. Win/win!

WHERE TO DRINK WITH YOUR PUP

Confluence Brewing Company (patio): We can’t think of a better way to spend a Summer day then at Confluence Brewing! Their dog friendly deck and beer garden sits right along the Gray’s Lake Bike Trail - order a few brews, pack a bully stick for your pup and a deck of cards for you and your friends, and you’ve got the makings for a perfect afternoon!

515 Brewing (patio):  Another great brewery that allows pets on their patio is 515 Brewing. This friendly and innovative craft brewery is a favorite among Des Moines locals, and it’s sure to be your pup’s new favorite, too!

Tipsy Crow Tavern (patio):  Cornhole, live music, games, strong drinks, and they welcome dogs… you can’t beat the patio at Tipsy Crow Tavern! Stop by on a Saturday afternoon for a drink and some appetizers after you’ve enjoyed the downtown Farmers Market!

Sally likes brewery hopping too :)

WHERE TO STAY WITH YOUR PUP

Embassy Suites:  We recently stayed at the Embassy Suites in downtown Des Moines and absolutely loved it. Not only is the location ideal, but the rooms are spacious, the included breakfasts are amazing, and Sally was ushered right in without a problem!

Our Dog-Friendly Guide to Williamsburg, Virginia

The following post is from a sponsored trip with Visit Williamsburg

We travel with our pup as much as we can. We love it. We joke that’s preparing us for traveling with a kid someday. Frequent stops, naps, park time, potty breaks… good golly,  there’s some truth to that!

Our Bernedoodle Sally has been to more states than most of our friends. 25? To be exact! And if we’ve learned anything about dog-friendly travel, many destinations claim to be “puppy-approved”, but that’s really not always the case. Many have very limited options when it comes to dog-friendly hotels, eating out, activities, etc… but that’s not the case in Greater Williamsburg, Virginia! We’ll even go out on a limb and say that Williamsburg is JUST as much fun for pups as it is for humans (if Sally could talk she’d agree)!

If you’re heading to Williamsburg with your pup in tow, here’s where you should go (we rhyme!):

COLONIAL WILLIAMSBURG

You may not be able to venture inside the buildings and museums, but you are free to stroll with your dog all around Colonial Williamsburg (on leash, of course)! If you’re lucky, you might even spot Liberty, their own doggy mascot!

While we didn’t make it to Busch Gardens on this trip, we found out that they have doggie daycare - so we could have! We’ll be sure to take advantage of this next time we’re in town with Sally!

Sally loved exploring Colonial Williamsburg!

Sally found some 4 legged friends :)

HISTORIC JAMESTOWNE

While your pup might not actually understand the significance, we still think it’s pretty cool that they’re allowed to visit the first permanent English settlement in America! Pets aren’t allowed in the buildings, but leashed animals are allowed anywhere on the grounds!

*While you’re in the area, we highly recommend going kayaking at the James City County Marina! (Just be sure you bring a doggy life jacket!)

Stunning grounds at Historic Jamestowne!

Kayaking with your pup is quite the experience! Ha!

DOG-FRIENDLY RESTAURANTS:   

AROMAS WORLD SPECIALTY COFFEE: This quickly became our go-to breakfast spot - not just because we loved the food (and the coffee!), but because they welcome dogs on their front patio!

MOBJACK BAY COFFEE ROASTERS: While dogs aren’t allowed inside the building, grab a cup of coffee to go and explore Historic Yorktown with your pup! Leashed dogs are welcome at the Yorktown Battlefield, too!

CASA PEARL: We fell in love with Casa Pearl’s creative Latin-inspired southern seafood focused menu, but we fell even harder when we found out their summer patio is dog-friendly. If you’re heading to Williamsburg this summer, this is the spot to be!

THE TRELLIS BAR & GRILL:  Located in Colonial Williamsburg, The Trellis Bar & Grill serves sophisticated (and local) American bar fare - and they have ten pet-friendly outdoor tables! We always appreciate it when restaurants go out of their way to accommodate their four-legged guests… and they definitely do here!

DOG-FRIENDLY BREWERIES:  

ALEWERKS BREWING COMPANY: Not only does Alewerks Brewing Company brew tasty craft beers and homemade pretzels, but they have a pet-friendly picnic area, too!

VIRGINIA BEER CO: We’re sure glad that they allow well-behaved (and leashed) dogs in Virginia Beer Co’s on-site beer garden, because it’s one of our favorite spots to sit when the weather is warm!

BRASS CANNON BREWING: We love the small-batch beers and the laid-back, community atmosphere at Brass Cannon Brewing (often referred to as “The Cannon”) and their outdoor area is as pet-friendly as it gets!

BILLSBURG BREWERY: Located at the James City County Marina, you can’t beat the views (and the friendly service) at Billsburg Brewery! They welcome dogs on their outdoor patio, and if you’re luck you might even catch some live music! (Take a look at the schedule here.)

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Brass Cannon Brewery had some amazing beers!

Such beautiful views at Billsburg!

DOG-FRIENDLY HOTELS:   

We stayed at the Williamsburg Woodlands Hotel and Suites, and loved the convenient location and the lush grounds for Sally to play in and explore. Plus, they only charge an added pet fee of $25/day! Other pet-friendly options nearby are the Williamsburg Inn and the La Quinta Inn & Suites (which doesn’t charge an added pet fee - always a plus in our books!)

Sally LOVES hotel beds. The Woodlands was no exception :)

Sally LOVES hotel beds. The Woodlands was no exception :)

The Woodlands is right by the shuttle that will take you into Colonial Williamsburg. And dogs are welcome!

Our Dog Friendly Guide to Lubbock, Texas

Road tripping through the US with Sally, our lovable little bernedoodle has been quite the adventure. It’s what we would imagine traveling with a toddler would be like - lots of “potty breaks”, frequent nap times, the occasional stop to “get the wiggles out”... you get the picture. We’ve also learned that some towns are more dog friendly than others. One place that has really impressed us with their dog-friendly options is Lubbock, Texas. Honestly, if Sally could talk she’d already be begging us to take her back!

Here’s our Dog Friendly Guide to Lubbock, Texas. You can rest assured that all of these places have been Sally approved!

ACTIVITIES:

Bruno Steel House: If you’ve read our previous blog about Lubbock, you’re already aware of how cool this home is. What we failed to mention is that it’s also a great place to bring your pup! Located above a sparkling lake in Ransom Canyon, there are nature trails nearby and plenty of areas for you and your dog to explore!

Wagner Park: One thing we LOVE about Lubbock (and Texas in general) is their abundance of spacious green parks. Wagner Park was one of our favorites, and we’re pretty sure it was Sally’s favorite too! Pack a picnic, bring a book (and maybe a squeaky ball), and you’ve got the makings for a perfect afternoon!

Texas Tech University: Texas Tech University is the nation’s second largest campus, which means there is a lot of space to walk and explore with your pup! There’s even an app (called Art Trek) that acts as your tour guide as you wander past the various artwork around campus. It tracks your location and can share about the 100+ pieces of art throughout the four campuses of the Texas Tech system. It’s a fun way to see the school, and exercise your fur baby!

Sally wishes our home had a view like this!

Such a huge park to explore!

Love exploring Texas Tech with Sally

RESTAURANTS:

J’s Creamery: Does an all-natural frozen custard shop count as a restaurant? We sure think so! J’s Creamery is not only mouth-wateringly good cones, sundaes, splits and more, they also offer “Puppy Cones” for dogs! Better yet, they’re free with a purchase!

The Range: A driving range/restaurant/bar/outdoor games concept that’s dog friendly… does it get any better than that? The Range is really something special, and is truly fun for the whole family. Sally was so mesmerized by our golf strokes,  that we almost forgot she was there!

Fuzzy’s Taco Shop: While we didn’t get a chance to go to Fuzzy’s (there was just too many restaurants to try!), Lubbock locals swear by this place. Praised for their chips and queso and crunchy tacos, Fuzzy’s outdoor patio is also a great dog-friendly option!

DRINKS:

The Brewery LBK: This modern, downtown brewery has a big wrap-around covered patio that’s perfect for warm, summer afternoons. You may even spot Mayor Dan Pope, who loves pups just as much as he loves a cold beer! Make sure you snap a pic if you do! ;)

Two Docs Brewery: At Two Docs Brewery, the atmosphere is just as amazing as their beer! Our favorite place to sit with Sally is on their outdoor patio - where you’ll find plenty of picnic benches and an area for cornhole!

The Garden: This lively craft beer garden has games, live music, and some of the best weekly specials in town. Not only that, but they love dogs! We spent an entire evening there, playing games, making friends, and relaxing with with Sally. It was fun for the whole family!

Mayor Dan Pope and Sally!

Sally had to read all the rules first :)

The Garden is a great spot to hang out for a drink!

This is just tapping the surface on all of the dog friendly places and activities in Lubbock. We’re sure to be roadtripping through again soon, and when we do, we’ll be sure to add to this list. In the meantime, we’d love to know what it’s missing! Feel free to leave a comment and let us know where we need to bring Sally next time we’re in town - and check out our Guide to Lubbock for more not-to-miss spots!