Charlotte’s known for being an especially dog-friendly city. In fact, it’s not uncommon to find yourself winding through the crowd in a brewery, clutching a beer and staring at the floor to make sure you’re not about to trip over someone’s beloved four-legged friend, or to peruse the racks at Neiman Marcus alongside a cultured pup. Here in the Queen City, it’s likely that Fido and Fifi are just as welcome anywhere as you. So, if you’re looking to get out and about with your fur baby in tow, here’s where to go.
However you prefer to spend your weekends, Charlotte features plenty of options for you and a furry friend. Seeking thrills at the U.S. National Whitewater Center? Take your leashed dog with you to one of the many scenic trails. Never knew you could bring a dog to a gallery? Twenty-Two, the funky gallery nestled beneath Soul Gastrolounge in Plaza Midwood, welcomes pets and their artistic owners. When it’s caffeine you crave, bring your pup along for a pit stop at Smelly Cat Coffeehouse in NoDa. And when the two of you need to get some exercise, spend a day at one of the city’s many parks or Crowders Mountain State Park. McDowell Nature Center and Preserve features nine trails for you to enjoy.
If sitting outside on a patio enjoying your favorite local cold one is your thing, you’re in luck. Many of the area’s breweries and bars are known for welcoming dogs in their outdoor spaces. Among the list of watering holes where your pooch can plop down beside you are Sycamore Brewing, Triple C Brewing Co., Angry Ale’s, NoDa Brewing Company, Brazwell’s Premium Pub, The Olde Mecklenburg Brewery and Birdsong Brewing Co., among others. The Dog Bar in NoDa and Lucky Dog Bark & Brew, with locations in Cornelius and Charlotte, are popular spots specifically designed for craft brew lovers to sip and socialize with dogs in tow. If you enjoy serenading your best friend, head to the ultra pup-friendly Hattie’s Tap & Tavern for Thursday night karaoke.
Even our sports franchises are dog-friendly, as the Charlotte Checkers and Charlotte Knights both feature at least one game per season where pups are welcome to tag along as you root for the home teams.
If your family and friends are starting to think your love for your dog is a little unhealthy, it’s time to expand your social circle and meet others whose smartphones are just as packed with puppy portraits. Meetups, facilitated locally through meetup.com, are a great way to build friendships with fellow dog-minded Charlotteans. Check out groups like the Dogs and Drinks meetup.
After a day of activities, extra-good boys and girls deserve a trip to Canine Café. The store features an on-site, dog-friendly bakery as well as all-natural dog food and pet supplies. Humans celebrate their birthdays, so why shouldn’t dogs? When your pup’s special day rolls around, Canine Café will customize a cake, right down to a fire hydrant design, just for the occasion.
When work or vacations call you away, you want to make sure your dog is well cared for. Thanks to Charlotte’s luxe lodging options, like Pet Paradise, he or she will probably consider it a spa vacation. Here Fido can enjoy lounging in a bone-shaped pool, relaxing at story time and socializing with other dogs. Live webcams even make it possible for protective owners to check in on their beloved pups at any time, guaranteeing peace of mind. For overnight stays or simply a little extra exercise while you’re away during the day, drop your dog off at Club Fetch in South End. Play areas are selected based on your pooch’s energy level and personality, so he or she will always feel right at home.
If you’re tagging along on your pup’s playdates but want to give him or her room to run, a trip to Davie Dog Park at William R. Davie District Park will do the trick. It’s home to a 5-acre, fenced-in area where dogs can run and play off leash. Separate areas for both large and small dogs means everyone can safely enjoy the experience. Another popular spot for dogs of all sizes is Frazier Park, a 12-acre urban park located in Third Ward. Charlotte is also home to more than two dozen disc golf courses, each filled with plenty of trails for your best bud to explore.
Connect with Insta-famous Charlotte Canines
Bumper, a service dog in training, leads the pack with 44k followers!
Cooper enjoys paper towels, chasing squirrels and stealing dish towels.
Adele is peanut butter’s self-proclaimed #1 fan.
Gary claims to be half golden, half poodle and half human.
Sadie is an avid counter surfer, professional tongue model and best friend.
Noah loves tennis balls, naps and his Insta-famous mom, @queencitychic.
If you love puppies and Charlotte craft beer, be sure to follow @brewerydogsofclt.
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