Love to travel but don’t want to leave your dog behind? With a trip to the Charlottesville area, you don’t have to! At the foot of the Blue Ridge Mountains, Charlottesville not only provides a plethora of activities and gorgeous views, but also an abundance of dog-friendly options for activities, dining, and staying the weekend! Charlottesville provides the perfect outlet for adventures with your pup, with plenty of places to visit, from wineries to dog parks to restaurants. We have put together some of the best dog-friendly places to visit on your next trip to Charlottesville with your pup!
Where to go: Activities
There are plenty of places in the Charlottesville area that your dog will be sure to love! Carter Mountain Orchard, an apple and peach orchard nestled about 15 minutes from Downtown Charlottesville, is a great option for a fun-filled day with the dog. Roam the orchards and pick your own apples, or grab some pre-picked fruits to enjoy. Then, take in the gorgeous mountain views while sipping on some Bold Rock or wine, sold right inside the barn, while relaxing on the wide-open hill with your pup. You won’t want to leave Carter Mountain without picking up some of their ever-popular apple cider donuts that are sure to make your mouth water.
Wineries also make for the perfect relaxing day for you, while providing a great atmosphere for your dog. The Charlottesville area has been named one of the top wine destinations in the world by Wine Enthusiast, providing more than 30 wineries perfect for kicking back and taking in gorgeous mountain views. And many of the wineries are dog-friendly! King Family Vineyards is a perfect option for you and your pup, with 31 acres of land and many wide open fields ideal for your pup to play on. This family owned and operated winery specializes in the production of ultra-premium wines that showcase the remarkable quality and terroir of the America Monticello Viticulture Area (AVA). Keswick Winery is another great option for you and your pup! With the recent addition of their fenced-in off-leash dog park, Keswick provides the perfect opportunity for your dogs to run around and play while you are relaxing and enjoying some wine. Blenheim Vineyards, Jefferson Vineyards, and Pippin Hill Farm & Vineyards are also great options open to your dog!
If beer is more your speed, bring the dog along to one of the great breweries in the area. Albemarle County is home to many small-batch breweries making handcrafted ales and lagers. If you’re looking to enjoy a cool glass of craft beer inside, head over to Three Notch’d Brewing Company, where you can bring your well-behaved dog into the tasting room with you! Or, enjoy a handcrafted flagship or seasonal beer from Pro Re Nata Farm Brewery on the outdoor patio overlooking the Blue Ridge Mountains. At Pro Re Nata, your dog will be delighted with the water bowls and homemade (free!) dog treats that the brewery provides. A supporter of dogs, Pro Re Nata often does fundraising events to support the Augusta Dog Adoptions. Blue Mountain Brewery and Champion Brewing are also great places to bring the dog along.
If you’re looking to get outside, the Charlottesville area provides plenty of great dog parks for your pet to run around and play. Bring along a picnic and let your dog run in the one acre fenced area for dogs at Darden Towe Park. Or, if your pup loves to swim, visit Chris Greene Lake Park, where there is a one acre fenced area for dogs including a roped water access for dogs to swim in while you relax on the beach. Azalea Park is also a great option, with 23 acres of level land with a fenced-in area, baseball field, concession stand, basketball court, and even hiking trails!
Where to explore & eat
You don’t have to give up good food, just because you’ve got your dog in tow! There are plenty of options for exploring and eating with your pup in the Charlottesville area. Take a stroll around the gorgeous UNESCO World Heritage site, the University of Virginia. At the center of the University lies the Rotunda and The Lawn, a great place to throw a Frisbee with the dog or just a lay back, relax and take in the history. After a stroll around the UVA grounds, head to one of the many dog-friendly restaurants on the Corner, a strip of businesses adjacent to the University. Visit Charlottesville’s oldest restaurant, The Virginian for some signature crab cakes or some famous mac ‘n cheese in the patio area that overlooks the UVA grounds. Or, grab a burger at Boylan Heights while taking in some sun on the large patio with your pup. If you’re looking for an option off the Corner, Kardinal Hall offers a large dog-friendly outdoor patio perfect for beer, bocce, and fun!
The Downtown Mall also offers a plethora of great options for eating and exploring with your dog. The historic pedestrian Downtown Mall, an eight-block avenue paved with brick and lined with mature oak trees is one of the longest pedestrian malls in the entire country! And don’t worry; a walk down the mall won’t leave your dog parched! Several businesses, including Chaps Ice Cream, leave giant water bowls outside to ensure your pup stays hydrated on long downtown walks in the heat. There are also plenty of places to eat on the downtown mall. Almost all the restaurants have dog-friendly outdoor seating allowing for dining al fresco! You can find a full list of restaurants on the mall here.
After a day full of fun activities, your dog will surely want a treat or two! Stop by Charlottesville Dog Barkery for a pup-cake or a paw treat, specially made for your pet! Sammy Snacks is also a great place to pick up some dog food or some snacker treats for your pup.
Where to Stay: Hotels
With so many fun things to do in the Charlottesville area with your dog, you’ll surely want to stay more than just a day! Luckily, there are plenty of dog-friendly hotels in the Charlottesville area that will make your stay here a great one. The Residence Inn by Marriott, The Omni Hotel, and the DoubleTree by Hilton are all great options for a stay with your dog in the Charlottesville area. The Draftsman on W. Main Street is so dog-friendly they have an official hotel dog to greet guests. His name is Bulleit, and he's a soft-coated Wheaten Terrier. If you’re looking to stay in an estate, check out a premier boutique hotel, The Clifton Inn. These hotels are only a couple of the many great options for a stay-cation in Charlottesville, for a full list of hotels, please visit our website.
With so many options for fun with your dog, Charlottesville is a great place to enjoy a vacation without having to leave your dog behind. The area provides plenty of wineries, breweries, and orchards, great for relaxing with your pup. There are also plenty of places to explore, eat, and stay that will ensure you have the perfect getaway with the perfect pet!