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Best Virginian Cities to Bring Your Pets

by Aoife O'Riordan

Aug 22, 2022

© Courtesy of Visit Virginia’s Blue Ridge

Destinations / North America

Known as the State for Lovers, Virginia welcomes more than just humans to its many cities. If you’re planning a visit to Virginia in the near future and intend to bring your pet, consider some of these pet-friendly cities.

 

Roanoke

Located in Virginia’s Blue Ridge, Roanoke boasts some of the state’s most pet-friendly neighborhoods, eateries and parks. For a trip to a brewery, head to Golden Cactus Brewing, where they keep free treats on hand from Unleashed Dog Bakery & Boutique.

 

Big Lick

© Big Lick Brewing Company

 

At Big Lick Brewing Co., you can order from Tuco’s Taqueria or Beamer’s 25 and have the food delivered across the street at the brewery, so you and your pet can enjoy some time outdoors while you sip on beer and eat delicious food. Open daily, Historic Roanoke City Market welcomes pets and features products specifically for pets.

 

Each October, Go Outside Festival occurs in downtown Roanoke. This pet-friendly event even includes a series where you can enter your dog, such as the dock-jumping event.

 

Looking to stay the night in Roanoke with your pet? Peaks of Otter Lodge, located on the Blue Ridge Parkway just 45 minutes from Roanoke, offers the Pampered Pooch package, including room accommodations, a dog bone and bowl, and a stylish bandana for your dog.

 

the dog park

© M Enriquez for Visit Alexandria

 

Wasena

Located just outside of downtown Roanoke, the up-and-coming neighborhood of Wasena boasts a number of pet-friendly locations. Not only do businesses on Main Street put water bowls outside their doors, but some businesses also offer delicious coffee (RND Coffee) and ice cream (Crème Fresh) with outdoor seating areas for all to enjoy.

 

Behind Main Street in Wasena lies Roanoke River Greenway, a great place to take your dog for a walk or swim. After a day exploring the greenway, treat you and your dog to Hang 10 Hawaiian Ice. Next door, Green Goat offers great dinners with an expansive patio for both you and your pet to relax.

 

Grandin Village

Also situated just outside of downtown Roanoke, Grandin Village features many restaurants, like Grace’s Place, Rockfish Food & Wine and Village Grill, with outdoor patios to accompany guests and their pets.

 

Grandin

© Grandin Chillage

 

Head to Black Dog Salvage to experience this unique warehouse full of architectural salvage and design. Named in honor of the owners’ dogs, this pet-friendly store is a can’t-miss attraction.

 

Alexandria

Recently certified as a BETTER CITY FOR PETS by Mars Petcare, Alexandria comprises one of just a few dozen cities across the country to receive this certification. Stop by Barkhaus, the region’s first dog-friendly bar, restaurant and dog park.

 

dining

© K Summerer for Visit Alexandria

 

More pet-friendly restaurants in the area include Vola’s Dockside, Virtue Feed & Grain, Mia’s Italian Kitchen and Sonoma Cellar, all of which boast dog-friendly patios and, at some restaurants, special dog menus. At Dairy Godmother, dogs can enjoy “pup cups” while humans indulge in some Wisconsin-style frozen custard.

 

Soon to open, Snouts and Shouts will be Northern Virginia’s first indoor dog park and bar. Cat owners can also rejoice with the newly opened Happy Cat Hotel and Spa, a luxury boarding and grooming spot. Cat lovers can head to Mount Purrnon Cat Café + Wine Bar to sip wine while playing with adoptable kitties.

 

With more than half of Alexandria’s hotels deemed pet-friendly, the hardest part about staying in the city with your pet is choosing where to stay. Some of the pet-friendly hotels include The Alexandrian and Lorien Hotel & Spa.

 

Founders Park

Founders Park © L Barnes for Visit Alexandria

 

Go shopping with your pet at The Dog Park in Old Town or Your Dog’s Best Friends in the Del Ray neighborhood. Bring your pet to George Washington’s Mount Vernon and watch them smell the flowers in Four Gardens and meet special friends, such as lambs, cows and pigs, at the farm.

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