Dog Friendly

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!

Forever Honeymooning - Even With a Dog in Tow!

Every once and awhile we get some slack about being the “Traveling Newlyweds” when we’ve been married for over four years. “You’re not newlyweds!”, they say — and to that we reply, “It’s a mentality, not a time frame!”

And that’s become our motto. We believe that no matter how long you’ve been married, you can forever cling to that “newlywed mentality”. Traveling is bonding - and why not spread out the fun with more than one honeymoon?! Keep the party going!!

We’re seeing more and more actual newlyweds do this too. Sometimes it’s hard to take off work for an extended period of time, so they take multiple weekend trips instead of a traditional honeymoon. You don’t have to use up all of your vacation time, and you’re able to explore more than one destination. It’s genius! 

It’s time for y'all to enjoy “MANYMOONS”.

One of our favorite hotel brands, Kimpton, just launched a Manymoon” campaign targeting these kinds of travelers. Millennial couples (like us!) that are more interested in the long weekend trips to hip, urban cities. Several of their properties in Portland, Austin, Pittsburgh, and Nashville have what’s called a “Manymoons Rising” offer, where couples get hooked up with all of the honeymoon perks and a free night stay at their fourth stop! And let’s be real, who wouldn't want to honeymoon in all four of those cities?!

We recently stayed at a couple of the Kimpton properties, the Hotel Monaco Portland (included in the Manymoon campaign), and the Palladian in Seattle. We absolutely loved both properties - they’re stylish, conveniently located in their respective cities, and instantly became our home-away-from-home. We’ve said it before, and this trip solidified it - Kimpton absolutely has the best customer service. Their attentiveness and attention to detail makes you feel not only like a valued guest, but like an A list celebrity! (Which is exactly how you want to feel when you’re honeymooning!!)

DON’T FORGET THE PUP!

Having a hard time leaving your “fur baby” behind on your Manymoon adventure? Don’t!

All Kimpton properties are extremely dog friendly, and the pups get the same royal service we do (if not more)! From dog-friendly wine hour, to treats and toys in the room, to the fact that there is no additional pet fee (let that one sink in), it’s a win/win for dogs and owners alike. Our pup Sally lived like a queen during her stay at both Kimpton hotels, and we joke that it’s spoiled her for life!

Whether you’re actual Newlyweds, or just taking on that “newlywed mentality” like us, we highly suggest that you consider a Manymoon weekend adventure with Kimpton. You’ll have the time of your life, you won’t miss too much work (if you make it a true “Weekender”), and you don’t need to find a pet sitter!

Let us know when you plan your weekend getaways… we’ll come meet you in Nashville. ;)

Stoked on Revelstoke! We'll Be Back!

Revelstoke definitely took us by surprise. We didn’t know much about this little mountain town in British Columbia, but when the word “stoke” is in the name, you know it just might be cool. And it definitely was.

 

Just a couple hours north of Kelowna, Revelstoke sits in the heart of the Canadian Rockies, and attracts ski, snowboard, and ski-jumping enthusiasts. You may not have heard of it, because their runs are not for the faint of heart. Steep, challenging, and advanced level are all words that locals use to describe Revelstoke’s ski runs. In short, this is where the pro’s go. And in the summertime, it’s a nature-lovers dream! There’s stunning scenery, epic trails, and even a “Pipe Mountain Coaster”! (More on that below) Here’s where we stayed, where we ate, and what we did (you know, the most important things) during our time in Revelstoke… Enjoy!

 

WHERE TO STAY

We stayed at the quaint Regent Hotel, right in the middle of downtown Revelstoke, for two nights. Not only did we love this hotel’s location, we loved how attentive they were to their guests. The staff was incredibly friendly and accomodating - and in two short days they felt like family! They also are home to a few of our favorite Revelstoke restaurants… more on those below!

 

WHERE TO EAT

River City Pub (located in the Regents Hotel): Typically when we think of “pub food” we think of mediocre burgers, cold french fries, and flavorless mac n’ cheese. Not the case with this cozy pub! Not only is the food REALLY good, but the vibe is fun too! Play pool and make some friends while you’re there!

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112 Restaurant & Lounge (located in the Regents Hotel): Intimate, romantic, and downright delicious… 112 is the premier “date spot” in Revelstoke. This steakhouse is the perfect mix of modern and classic - and their menu is mouth-wateringly good. You won’t go wrong.

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Dose Coffee: This trendy coffee spot not only has super fast wifi (always a plus!!), but really great coffee, and really friendly service! We came here three times! (We didn’t try the food, but it looked good!)

 

Big Bend Cafe: Hearty breakfasts and fresh, substantial lunch. This is the spot to come for nourishment after a long morning hike. We were big fans of their salads!

 

The Modern Bakeshop and Cafe: Oh man, we’re still craving their baked goods… everything we tried was delicious! Several gluten free options and “healthy” baked options, so you won’t feel as bad for ordering a few!

 

Monashee Spirits Craft Distillery: Both nights we spent in Revelstoke, this was always our first stop. Not only are they dog friendly (you read that right - you can bring your dog INSIDE!), but their cocktails are incredible. Bobby loved the Caesar (Canadian Bloody Mary that's like a whole meal!), and Alli loved the Julip!

 

WHAT TO DO:

The Pipe Mountain Coaster: If you love a good thrill, you HAVE to do the Pipe Mountain Coaster. After all, it IS Revelstoke’s #1 summer attraction! This coaster takes you down a track over a mile long, through lots of twists, turns and drops… it’s a freaking BLAST!!

Hike to Bigbee Falls: This was one of our favorite hikes on our trip. It’s lush, and green, and the falls are the most perfect shade of blue. You can roam all along the falls - just be careful!

Explore Downtown: Downtown Revelstoke is storybook cute. Spend some time exploring the shops and restaurants, and on Saturday’s the have an amazing farmers market!

There you have it. Our list is rather short, simply because we were only in Revelstoke for two days. But it’s safe to say we are Revel-STOKED and can’t wait to come back!!

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