Pet Friendly

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!

16 Tips for Cross County Road Trips With a Dog

In case you don’t follow us on Instagram (which you SHOULD), in the past year we may have been better off calling ourselves the “Roadtripping Newlyweds”. If it takes 10,000 hours to become an expert on something, we’re probably getting close to that based on all of the long drives we’ve done. If you’re doubting our expertise, here’s where we’ve been (keep in mind all of this is within the past 12 months): 

  • Aug/Sept 2018 - We embarked on a 5,000 mile drive from our house in California up to Seattle, east to Banff, back down through Montana and Idaho, and back home. 

  • Sept. 2018 - We drove on a “mini” 1,100 mile road trip to hike the narrows in St. George. Worth it! Do it!

  • Dec 2018 - Also on the shorter side, we drove 2,100 miles to Tempe, Taos, and Aspen. All so pretty during the holidays!

  • Apr/May 2019 - We drove from our house in Costa Mesa to Savannah (GA) and up to Pittsburgh, then headed home. Just over 6,500 miles. There were plenty of stops and potty breaks. 

  • Jun 2019 - Had a quick trip to Carson Valley, Lake Tahoe, and Bend. It’s weird that a 2,000 mile trip now feels like nothing.

  • July/Aug 2019 - We just returned from a nice “little” drive to Kalamazoo, Michigan. 5,800 miles in 19 days. Not the furthest, but definitely the greatest mileage per day. Woof


Did we mention that we’ve had our bernedoodle, Sally, with us on these drives? And that we’ve done 3 of the 5 in our compact Toyota Prius? Pretty ridiculous!

We get pretty excited when we’re home…

We get pretty excited when we’re home…

Family photo!

Family photo!

She loves the car!

She loves the car!

With all of that in mind, it’s safe to say that we’ve learned a few things. 

Here are our 16 tips (in order with the most important first) for a massive road trip with a puppy in tow. 

  1. Leave early - This is our most important tip if you are a road trip rookie. Specifically on the days of your big drives (300+ miles), get up as early as possible for your drive. You’ll be sleepy, but trust us - you’ll wake up. To us, there is nothing worse than leaving somewhere at noon, and having to end the drive and arrive at your destination in the dark. On the contrary, if you leave before the sun rises, you’ll probably arrive at your destination mid-day, with plenty of time for a nap (praises!) and to start exploring. 

  2. Pack right - You’re going to be taking your luggage in and out of the car A LOT, so you want luggage that is durable, lightweight, and easy to move around. For us, that is our American Tourister bags, along with a couple of backpacks (Bobby has a Lowepro Camera bag and Alli has a Herschel backpack). Oh, and we of course have a little tote for all of Sally’s things! :) 

  3. Optimize your vehicle’s layout for humans - This is a big one for comfort. For us, that means knowing where everything is at all times. The car is packed the same way, so that you could ask me right now (a week after our last road trip) where I keep my computer, sunscreen, Sally’s food, Alli’s bag… it all has a place. This is your second home, so it will make it much easier if you piece it together effectively.

  4. And for dogs - Speaking of second home, you have to have your fur baby’s safety and comfort in mind when you’re going on a long drive. For safety, we have a harness that hooks Sally in (a pet seatbelt), but also allows her to be mobile in the backseat. For comfort, we have a backseat bridge that extends the backseat so there’s no gap, giving Sally a lot more space. Lastly, we have a dog hammock that drapes over the whole backseat and makes it all one consistent surface. Yes, we are those dog people. And yes, Sally loves us.

  5. Stop frequently - Aside from having to use the restroom, get out and move a little. Having Sally with us may seem like an inconvenience, but she actually forces us to get out and run around every hour or two. 

  6. Have your thing - If you’re traveling with a partner, there’s only so much you can talk about. For us, we listen to audiobooks together, talk about anything and everything, play with Sally, and we always run out of things to say. Other than music, we each have our own thing in the form or unique podcasts that the other person doesn’t really care for. For Bobby, it’s the Fantasy Footballers. He knows it’s kind of nerdy, and he loves it. For Alli, it is the Morning Toast. While we each do our own thing, the other person naps (although Bobby is totally a “Toaster” now, and Alli’s never been more proud.). 

  7. Take your wallet out of your pocket (Bobby) and throw on your comfy pants (Alli) - You’re going to be sitting for awhile, so make it as comfortable as possible. Don’t worry about how you look - just wear whatever you’re most comfortable in! (Also in the comfort category, for this last trip we bought these sun shades and it was a TOTAL gamechanger. Nothing is worse than trying to take a nap and having the sun beating down on you the whole time.)

  8. Hydration > Caffeine - While coffee will definitely do the trick during those early morning drives, it should not be your solution whenever you get sleepy while driving. We’ve found that staying hydrated (with water), is actually the best thing we can do on our road trips. Yes, you will have to pee more. But you will absolutely feel better that night and the next day. Trust us on this one! 

  9. Pack light - Assuming you’re driving through the US or Canada, pack as light as possible. You can pick up anything you need along the way, and there are plenty of laundromats to keep your wardrobe fresh.  

  10. Nap - When you’re sleepy, stop driving and take a nap. The end. 

  11. Decide your absolute maximum mileage for the day (and stick to it) - Also important. If you want to get to a spot 500 miles away but think maaaayyyybe you can get 100 miles further, then decide that no matter what you will stop if you get to the 600 mile destination. If you keep playing the, “Oh let’s just drive for another hour” game, you’ll put yourself at risk for dangerous fatigue or a speeding ticket. Not worth it.

  12. Be a tourist while on the road - Seven Magic Mountains, Car Henge, the World’s Largest Ball of Twine, Wall Drug, etc. There are countless strange roadside attractions. Whether you plan them out, or see a sign that it’s a mile up ahead, you won’t regret making the stop (even if you’re making fun of it as you leave). 

  13. Research your route - The shortest distance may not be the fastest. The scenic drive may be the most beautiful drive you’ve ever set your eyes on. Or the “scenic drive” is pathetic. Do some research on where your driving, beyond your endpoints. 

  14. Be honest - Unless you’re traveling solo, this just means to be honest about when you don’t want to drive any more. Or, when you shouldn’t drive anywhere. Bobby always wants to set personal long distance driving records (currently he’s gone 575 miles with a couple potty breaks), but sometimes he has to give up and hand over the keys because he’s sleepy. Know your limits and communicate with your partner. 

  15. Pace yourself - What we mean here is pace yourself over the course of the trip. If you’re whole trip is two weeks and 4,000 miles, don’t drive 800 miles on 5 different days. Spread it out. If we ever have more than 2 days driving 300+ miles, we take at least 1 day off. 

  16. Cruise control is your friend, but be smart - Bobby LOVES cruise control. But he only uses it when there’s barely any traffic, and early on in his drives. It’s a little risky if there are other cars, or if you’ve been driving for awhile. Just because your foot isn’t on the gas doesn’t mean you don’t have to pay attention… 

Can you see the sunshade on the left? Game changer…

Can you see the sunshade on the left? Game changer…

Lot’s of pretty drives! And nice naps!

Lot’s of pretty drives! And nice naps!

Lots of stops for goodies :)

Lots of stops for goodies :)

Lots of gas station stops (We call Sally “Stinker”)

Lots of gas station stops (We call Sally “Stinker”)

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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!

Why the Shenandoah Valley Should be on Your Bucket List... And Why Your Pup Should Tag Along

If you’ve been following us for awhile, you’ll know that our family changed dramatically in the summer of 2016. We had know idea how a little 4 pound bernedoodle would change our home and our hearts, forever. Since then, Sally has grown into a fluffy, snuggly, 60 pound dog who loves travelling as much as we do.

For that reason, the way we travel has changed quite a bit. We are constantly on the hunt for destinations where Sally can tag along. Not that she needs to be with us 24/7 (our travels almost always involve a visit to the closest doggy daycare), but we love seeing the world through her cute little puppy eyes!

We just returned from a trip to the Shenandoah Valley in Virginia, where we did exactly that. And whether you decide to bring your pup along or not, the Shenandoah Valley deserves to be on your bucket list. In this blog we’re going to share exactly why this place is so special, and highlight some of our favorite “Sally approved” spots along the way. Here we go!

Exploring the cute downtown areas throughout the Shenandoah Valley were definitely Sally approved!

HISTORY

Located across the Blue Ridge and Allegheny mountains, the Shenandoah Valley is extensive (over 200 miles long), and brimming with history. Nicknamed “The Breadbasket of the Confederacy” during the Civil War, there’s battlefields, historical sites, plantations, museums, and more!

:: SALLY APPROVED :: The quaint town of Staunton happens to be the birthplace of President Woodrow Wilson, where you can visit his beautifully maintained Presidential Library. Leashed dogs are allowed to walk around the gardens and the gift shop, resulting in a fun, informative outing for all three of us! (Keep in mind that while dogs are allowed inside the gift shop and grounds, they are not allowed inside the library.)

A few of Staunton’s other notable attractions are the American Shakespeare Center and the Frontier Culture Museum. The American Shakespeare Center is the world’s only recreation of Shakespeare’s famous indoor theater, and their rotating, nightly performances are absolutely spellbinding. The Frontier Culture Museum is a living history museum that tells the story of thousands of people that migrated to colonial America, and the life they built for themselves. From West Africa to Ireland, it’s a trip back in time that will captivate all ages!*

*Dogs aren’t allowed at either of those attractions (which is fine - they wouldn’t understand the historical significance anyway ;), so thankfully there are several outstanding doggy daycares closeby. Rainbow Springs Kennels and Home Away From Home Dog Boarding are both great options. You can get your history fix, and your pooch can get their wiggles out - it’s a win-win!

Family photo in front of Woodrow Wilson’s home

A working blacksmith at the Frontier Culture Museum

We loved exploring the Frontier Culture Museum

Amazing talent at the American Shakespeare Center

NATURE

Adventure seekers, chances are if you name a mode of outdoor recreation, the Shenandoah Valley will have it. You can go tubing in the summer and ski in the winter, and mountain bike in between! And you better believe your pup will adore all of the wide, rolling hills and picturesque parks!

:: SALLY APPROVED :: We spent some time in the breathtakingly beautiful Shenandoah National Park, where there are over 500 miles of trails to explore - with Sally, our Bernedoodle, in tow!  We hiked to waterfalls, scenic vistas, and deep into the lush forest - all in one day! We highly recommend spending at least a night at the Skyland Resort, the stunning resort located in the park… Sally even had her own bed! (Leashed dogs are allowed on most trails, and the Skyland Resort has a pet fee of $25/night.)

Another must-see is the largest (and most popular) caverns in Eastern America, the Luray Caverns.* Guided tours lead guests through towering stone formations and rooms that are over ten feet high! There’s even the world’s only “Stalacpipe Organ”, which produces varying tones by tapping stalacpipes. It’s unheard of (hehe)!

*While dogs are not allowed inside the Luray Caverns, the neighboring Mystic Pet Resort & Spa will take incredible care of your pooch!

Family photo on Skyland drive!

Our view from the Skyland Resort!

The Luray Caverns were mind-blowing

WINE

If you’re a wine-o (like us), you’ll adore the many picturesque wineries scattered throughout the Shenandoah Valley. The Shenandoah Valley Wine Trail has 22 wineries, many of which have award-winning wines and sweeping views of the mountains - AND many of them welcome dogs!

:: SALLY APPROVED :: Some of our favorite dog-friendly wineries were CrossKeys Vineyards, OxEye Vineyards, and White Oak Lavender Farm (visit in June and July for peak lavender season)! All of these charming spots welcome pups (leashed, of course) on their outdoor patios. They even have water bowls out and ready, ensuring everyone gets a drink! ;)

Sally doesn’t want wine… just the snacks.

BEER

Maybe you’re more of a beer connoisseur? If so, you’re in luck too. The Shenandoah Beerwerks Trail has 13 fantastic breweries, all within an hour from each other! Many have on-site restaurants or rotating food trucks, and many are kid and dog friendly!

:: SALLY APPROVED :: The Shenandoah Valley Brewing is a brewery and tap house in Staunton that is popular with locals and visitors alike,  and dogs are welcomed on their patio! Pop by on the weekend, and chances are you’ll even catch some live music!

Another fantastic brewery is Stable Craft Brewing, at the beautiful Hermitage Hill Farm and Stables.* Located on a working farm, guests can enjoy their ales in their modern tasting room or exploring the expansive grounds. And be sure to come hungry, their Farm Hand Burger is not to be missed!

*Since Stable Craft Brewing is situated on a working farm, it’s unfortunately not dog friendly. Luckily, Home Away from Home Dog Boarding is just minutes away - and they’re great! Our dog Sally spent an entire afternoon there, and loved every minute!

Delicious lunch at Stable Craft - and tasty beer of course

They had Clydesdale horses at Hermitage Hill Farm!

DINING

Shenandoah Valley’s culinary scene is extremely impressive. Farm to table is taken seriously here, as many of the amazing restaurants source produce and livestock from independent farms across the state of Virginia. And everything we ate was really, really good.

:: SALLY APPROVED :: If you’re looking for the ultimate dog-friendly dining experience, head to Staunton and go straight to Table 44! This friendly bakery and restaurant just opened their new dog-friendly patio, cleverly referred to as the “Doggio”! They even have a special menu just for pups - complete with dessert!

Another Sally-approved restaurant is Moonshadows Restaurant in the quaint town of Luray! We brunched on flavorus eggs benedict and fresh vegetable omelettes, and Sally basked in all of the attention she received from the hostess, our waitress, and even the chef!

If you decide to drop your pup off at the local pet boarders  for a “paw-rents night out”, we highly recommend going to Zynodoa Restaurant, where they have phenomenal craft cocktails and locally-inspired small bites, then end the night with fancy artisanal grilled cheeses at Yelping Dog Wine. (Both are in Staunton.)

Love the bar at Zynodoa

Date night without Sally :)

INSANE Grilled Cheese at Yelping Dog Wine

Yummy brunch at Moonshadows!

Waiting for our table at Table 44

Sally got her own meal at “Doggio”

As far as we’re concerned, planning a trip to the Shenandoah Valley, and bringing your pup along for the adventure is a no-brainer. We’re convinced that if our Bernedoodle Sally could talk, she’d agree! From hiking the many dog-friendly trails in Shenandoah National Park, to sipping wine with Sally by our side, to exploring Woodrow Wilson’s scenic gardens, we were amazed at how often Sally could tag along!

(And as we’re sure every dog owner can relate, we also enjoyed the times where we dropped her off at doggy daycare, too. ;) Just make sure that your dog is up-to-date with their vaccinations, and to always travel with their paperwork!)

So? Have we convinced you to plan that road trip yet? And do you have room in your car for three more?

Sally was so sad to leave the Shenandoah Valley :(

We’ll be back soon!

We See You, Knoxville

We’ve gotten a lot of questions this road trip, everything from “Why did you bring your dog along?” to “Do you two fight ALL the time?” but two of the most frequent questions we’ve gotten are “What’s your favorite stop so far?” and “Has anywhere surprised you?”

While it’s too hard to pick a favorite (every city has been SO different, you really can’t compare), we without a doubt can answer which city surprised us.

Knoxville, Tennessee.

Now, we could say the typical “It’s really up and coming!” and “It’s such a foodie city!” (which is all true), but Knoxville deserves more than that. It’s special. It has the charm and approachability that we would assume Nashville had before it really commercialized. It’s a small town, yet modern, and the people are all so incredibly kind and proud of their city. (And after having spent a couple of days there, we felt proud of Knoxville too!)

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Instead of trying to convince you on just how epic Knoxville is, we figure we’ll let our experience (and the pictures) do the talking. Here’s what we did:

ATE OUR WAY THROUGH KNOXVILLE

If we’re being honest, we’re probably still full from Knoxville. This city has more restaurants and cafes than it knows what to do with - and they’re good, too! From modern taco shops like Chivo Taqueria and Good Golly Tamale, to artisan pizzarias like A Dopo Sourdough Pizza, to mouthwatering bakeries like Wild Love Bakehouse and Paysan Bread, the Knoxville foodie scene has a little of everything. And if you don’t end the day with a dipped cone at Cruze Farm Ice Cream, you’re doing it wrong!

Morning bagel deliciousness at Paysan Bread (and Remedy Coffee right next door)

Good Golly Tamale has some golly good tamales

Sally wanted the tacos at Chivo Taqueria

Yassin’s Falafel House is a great quick dinner

A Dopo may have been our favorite meal!

Can you see the SPARKLES?!?!?! Cruze Farm is AMAZING!

DRANK OUR WAY THROUGH KNOXVILLE

If you love beer, you will have a serious love affair with Knoxville. There are 15 local craft breweries in town, and every brewery has a story and a theme. Schulz Brau Brewing Company serves German style beers in a castle, Pretentious Beer Co serves their ales in hand-blown glasses that are made on site, and Last Days of Autumn has the best taco tuesday in town! (Paired with a habanero IPA, of course!)

How do we know so much about these breweries, you ask? We took the famous Knox Brew Tour - and we highly recommend it! This 3-hour tour took us through four craft breweries, where we not only learned more about the beer-making process, but we enjoyed twelve tastings, and made some new friends along the way. (No joke - we all went out to dinner together after!) We can’t say enough about how fun the tour is, and how great the people are that run them. The next time we’re back in Knoxville, you better believe we’ll be doing another Knox Brew Tour.

And while beer was definitely a highlight, we would be remiss to leave out our daily fuel - coffee. Of course there are amazing coffee shops in Knoxville. Some of our favorites are Honeybee Coffee, Remedy Coffee, Wild Love Bakehouse, and Awaken Coffee (and there were more that we wanted to visit - next time!).

Hand blown glass can be found all over Pretenious Beer Co, and you can buy some amazing glasses!

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We learned something new at every stop!

Our guide Zack, aka Taco, is a beer guru that makes the tour so much fun!

We left with more knowledge of beer, but also some new pals!

Honeybee Coffee :)

Wild Love Bakehouse for coffee and treats!

Honeybee is bright, spacious, and has some yummy coffee

SWUNG, ZIPPED, & WALKED OUR WAY THROUGH KNOXVILLE

Thanks to the folks at Navitat Canopy Adventures, we were able to see Knoxville in a whole new way… from the trees! We spent an afternoon conquering their tree-based zipline and aerial course, and it was quite the thrill! USA Today has called their zipline course “One of the best in the nation”, and it definitely lives up to the hype. Adventure seekers, this is reason enough to put Knoxville on your radar!

Prefer walking on solid ground over balancing on ropes? You’re in luck too! Knoxville’s downtown is incredibly walkable. We rarely used our car while we were there, which we loved! We stayed at the Hilton Downtown, which was just a stone’s throw away from the picturesque Market Square, where there were plenty of restaurants, bars, and shops to explore. Oh, and we can’t forget about Strong Alley (just parallel to Market Square)! This colorful artist-designated alley has dozens of unique and expressive murals - our favorite was the painting of the iconic Dolly Parton!

Before we embarked on our adventure at Navitat Canopy Adventures

Bobby flying through one of the more challenging courses!

Beautiful night to explore Market Square

Dolly Parton is one of the first to greet you as you stroll into Strong Alley

SALLY PAWED HER WAY THROUGH KNOXVILLE

Knoxville is just about as dog friendly as they come. Not only do most restaurants have dog friendly patios, but many downtown shops allow dogs inside! We had the best time shopping with Sally in Mast General Store, where she got ample attention from friendly shoppers, and we were able to stock up on some needed roadtripping essentials.

Popular pet brand Pet Safe has their headquarters in Knoxville, and has outfitted the city with spacious dog parks and even a pet resort and spa! We frequented the Pet Safe Downtown Dog Park, where Sally was able to get her wiggles out and make some new friends.

Most breweries are dog friendly, including Alliance Brewing Company, Balter Beerworks, and Elkmont Exchange (see a full list here). Many of which will bring water bowls to your table and have puppy treats on hand, that’s true Southern hospitality right there!

Sally getting her wiggles out at the Pet Safe Downtown Dog Park

So many friends for Sally…

Mast General Store has treasures everywhere

Sally at Mast General :)

More treasures…

Yum!

So many great spots for Sally to get her photo taken!

Moral of the story? Knoxville is really cool. It surprised us, and we think it will surprise you too. We can’t wait to go back.