Imagine a place so dog friendly that it claims the title of Dog City USA. A place with restaurants offering dog menus, stylish dog friendly hotels, bars where dogs can play off-leash, even a welcome center just for dogs! Larry and I spent several days sniffing around and can confirm that Asheville, NC is Dog City USA. Here are just a few of our favorite spots:
Dog City Welcome Center – Downtown Asheville
We started our visit to Asheville at the Dog Door Behavior Center and Outfitters on Battle Square. The Dog Door is also home to the “Dog City Welcome Center” of Asheville. The knowledgeable staff there can provide you with a list of dog friendly Asheville restaurants and shops. The “Dog City Welcome Center” is an excellent first stop if you want to understand why Asheville, NC is Dog City USA.
Dog Friendly Asheville Hotels
The Asheville area is also home to some of the best campgrounds, inns, and hotels in North Carolina. For our first visit, I chose to stay right downtown at the Kimpton Hotel Arras. Like all dog friendly Kimpton hotels, there are no pet fees at the Arras. You are welcome to bring any number of dogs regardless of their size. Every canine guest gets a goody bag, including gourmet treats and a toy. The hotel also has loaner pet beds and bowls available by request. The Kimpton Hotel Arras is located right across from dog friendly Pack Square Park, so you won’t have to walk your dog far for potty breaks.
If you plan to visit the Biltmore Estate, the dog friendly DoubleTree Hotel Asheville is a convenient choice. Dogs up to 74 pounds are allowed to stay for a $50 non-refundable fee. I selected a ground-floor patio room that allowed easy access to a spacious landscaped area for late-night potty trips. Even if you don’t book a patio room, there are plenty of grassy areas outside the hotel for when nature calls.
Dog City Tours & Asheville Attractions
The DoubleTree Hotel is also a pick-up point for the small dog friendly Asheville Trolley Tour. Tickets for the trolley are valid for two days of hop-on hop-off service and cost $35. Adults are allowed to bring along one lap dog (under 25 pounds) for no additional fee. The trolley tour has several stops in Downtown Asheville, Biltmore Village, River Arts District, and Grove Park, making it a convenient way to get around Dog City.
Riding by on the Asheville Trolley, it is not possible to sense the enormity of the Biltmore Estate. George Vanderbilt’s mansion is surrounded by 8,000 acres of grounds designed by Frederick Law Olmsted. Dogs are welcome to explore all of the estate’s grounds with you on a leash. Just be forewarned, it costs at least $75 per person to access the grounds of the Biltmore Estate. Entrance to the mansion is available for an additional fee, but your dog will have to stay locked in the property’s self-service kennel.
Dog Friendly Asheville Restaurants & Bars
One of the top reasons Asheville, NC is Dog City USA is its dog-friendly restaurants and bars. A perfect example is Twisted Laurel restaurant on Asheville’s Pack Square Park. Twisted Laurel offers Mediterranean-inspired cuisine for humans, but what makes it really special is the menu just for dogs! Larry and I sat on the shady patio while I enjoyed a pizza. He had his own helping of puploaf, and neither of us needed a doggie bag when we finished.
Asheville is famous for its craft beer culture, so naturally, Dog City USA has many breweries with dog friendly taprooms or outdoor patios. We stopped into Wicked Weed Brewing Pub in Downtown Asheville so I could sample a flight of local beers and ciders. Larry had to settle for water supplied by the waitstaff but seemed pleased as well.
Perhaps the best example of why Asheville, NC is Dog City USA is the Down Dog off-leash bar and yoga studio in Biltmore Village. At Down Dog, pups are free to run around and play while their humans socialize over craft beer, ciders, or hard kombucha. Staff members are available to ensure all the pups stay safe while you enjoy a drink or take a class in the attached yoga studio! Cheers and namaste!