Pet-Friendly Travel in the Shenandoah Valley
July 15, 2022
It wouldn’t be a vacation without your fur babies, and the Shenandoah Valley is full of wide-open spaces to explore with your pet! But how can you avoid leaving your pet in the car when you come back to civilization? Fortunately, many businesses and attractions welcome leashed and well-behaved pets. Here’s a guide to pet-friendly restaurants, attractions, businesses, and places to stay in our localities in the Shenandoah Valley.
Shenandoah National Park and George Washington and Jefferson National Forests
- Shenandoah National Park showcases miles of trails with incredible summit overlooks, mountain meadows, and hikes along streams and waterfalls. Leashed pets are welcome on the majority of the hiking trails. It’s actually one of just a few national parks with this perk!
- George Washington and Jefferson National Forest is a wonderful chance to hike and recreate in unspoiled natural areas. Dogs must be leashed on hiking trails, but they may go off-leash in undeveloped areas. Make sure you pack plenty of water for your furry friend and check them for parasites after your visit.
- Downtown Berryville is friendly to leashed pets and responsible owners who clean up after them. Many local businesses supply water bowls with fresh water outside for four-legged friends. If you’re looking for a gift for your pet, try the selections at Berryville Treasures and Modern Mercantile.
- Dogs are also welcome at the Clarke County Ruritan Fairgrounds, as long as owners clean up after them.
Winchester and Frederick County
- Roma Wood-Fired Pizza: Stop for drinks, pizza, and traditional Italian food while you’re exploring Winchester’s Old Town Walking Mall. The patio has dog-friendly seating.
- Winchester Dog Park at Jim Barnett Park: Licensed and vaccinated dogs can play off-leash at this fenced park. There are enclosures for both small and large dogs.
- Warren County Dog Park has a beautiful location above the Shenandoah River and large, separate fenced grassy areas for large and small dogs to safely play and socialize off-leash. There’s also a walking trail and a doggy water fountain.
- TownePlace Suites by Marriott Winchester allows visitors with pets. There’s also an outdoor pool, a kitchenette in each room, and a grassy area for pets.
- Candy Hill Campground is a camper-only (no tents) campground that allows quiet, leashed dogs. There are also camping cabins to rent as well as a dog walk area. The campground is convenient to downtown Winchester.
- Swover Creek Brewery: Fill up on icy craft beer, farm-crafted sausages, and wood-fired pizza. You can’t take your dog on the disc golf course, but there’s a dedicated dog park onsite.
- Muse Vineyards: This award-winning vineyard allows leashed dogs to accompany their owners as they relax on the decks enjoying wine and views. Check out the food menu and the onsite walking trails. Drive slowly – owners’ dogs are off-leash.
- Consult this pet-friendly itinerary as you plan your trip to Shenandoah County
- Fairview Park features a special area just for dogs to run around and play.
- Strasburg Town Park has a walking trail and river access. Bring towels – your dog WILL get wet!
- Score incredible views of the Valley as you hike with your pet at many locations in Shenandoah County, including Seven Bends State Park, Buzzard Rock, Kepler Overlook, and Crisman Hollow Trails.
Front Royal and Warren County
- The Element Bistro: You’ll love the soups, salads, burgers, and sandwiches made with in-house roasted meats and homemade bread. They welcome dogs.
- Pavemint Smokin’ Taphouse: This “farm-to-street” taphouse serves up global street food and a nice selection of craft beers and ciders. Dogs are welcome.
- Vibrissa Beer and Kitchen opens its patio to pups and their owners for craft beer and “surprising twists on traditional American-style brewpub fare.”
- Front Royal is a VERY dog/pet-friendly town! We offer the #pawfect adventure for furry friends.
- Eastham Dog Park: The Warren County Dog Park, which is in Eastham Park in Front Royal, Virginia, is a very spacious park. There is a small dog section, which is reserved for dogs smaller than 30 pounds or dogs who are elderly or disabled is three-quarters of an acre.
- Shenandoah Riverstate Park and Shenandoah National Park – Front Royal Outdoors can help guide your furry pal on river adventures and mountain trails! Keep them safe with their own life vests and plenty of water for their trek!
- Hawksbill Brewing Co. emphasizes local ingredients like hops, honey, and blackberries in its fresh beers. Leashed dogs are welcome.
- Luray-Hawksbill Greenway: Leashed dogs can stroll the 2-mile, paved, multi-use path stretching along next to Hawksbill Creek. This trail lets users enjoy natural elements in an urban environment.
- Town of Shenandoah Dog Park: Leashed dogs will love this grassy park with shade and seating for owners.
- Luray Caverns: Leashed pets can check out the Luray Caverns grounds, and if your pet is small enough to carry, you can actually take him on your cavern tour.
- The Cabin Capital of Virginia has many pet-friendly cabins, including A Buck’s Peak Cabin, which welcomes pets, is ADA accessible, and offers a Wounded Warrior discount.
- The Cracked Pillar has outdoor tables where your dog can join you for apps, burgers, sandwiches, cold beer, and rotating flavors of cheesecake.
- Elkton Brewing is a family-owned and operated nano brewery that serves cold beer and invites your well-behaved dogs to join you outside on the porch and in the newly completed beer garden.
- White Oak Lavender Farm: Your pup can help you explore the grounds and the wine tasting room. Breathe deeply and sample wine on the shaded patio.
- Shenandoah National Park: Leashed pets are welcome on the majority of the hiking trails. It’s actually one of just a few national parks with this perk.
- Several Harrisonburg restaurants are not only dog-friendly but complement their offerings for humans with special treats for pups. Some of the outdoor dining spaces are shaded and all locations will bring your dog a bowl of water. Kline’s Dairy Bar and Bruster’s Real Ice Cream sell pup cups as does dog-themed and dog-friendly Coffee Hound. Island Wing Company has a pup menu and a shaded patio for comfort.
Coffee Hound: Photo by Jake Woetzel
- Other restaurants have outdoor dining spaces that welcome owners and leashed dogs.
- Magpie Diner breakfast and brunch with a “modern-diner-inspired menu.”
- Rocktown Kitchen “elevated American cuisine” emphasizing farm-to-table fare.
- Heritage Bakery & Cafe serves delicious and beautiful bites, drinks, and pastries.
- Clementine Cafe delights with lunch, dinner, and brunch menus featuring both eclectic fare and Southern classics.
- Jack Brown’s Burger and Beer Joint offers savory burgers and a choice of over 100 craft beers.
- Mashita uses local ingredients to inspire its made-from-scratch Korean cuisine.
- BoBoKo Indonesian Cafe serves salads, street food, and entrees inspired by the tropical islands.
- PULP smoothie cafe welcomes dogs both inside and outside.
- Some Harrisonburg stores cater to lucky dogs or at least welcome them inside. Both Walkabout Outfitter and Blue Ridge Dog are Ruffwear providers, and Blue Ridge Dog makes homemade hand-frosted treats. Dogs can help you pick out food and treats at Sylvia’s Pets and Farm Choice Country Stores.
Walkabout Outfitter: Photo by Jake Woetzel
Treats at Blue Ridge Dog
- Smithland Road Dog Park is a double-gated dog park with separate areas for small dogs (under 30 pounds) and larger dogs.
- Edith J. Carrier Arboretum is a woodland sanctuary and public urban garden featuring shaded wooded paths, and blooming wildflowers. It is an idyllic space to walk with your dog.
- Head into the mountains with your furry hiking companion to explore trails along streams and ridges. Shenandoah National Park and George Washington and Jefferson National Forest offer endless opportunities to explore the wilderness.
- Want more? Here’s a link to Harrisonburg’s dog-friendly blog.
- Pet-Friendly Hotels in Harrisonburg: Check out an extensive selection of pet-friendly hotels. Book ahead for the best deals!
- Little Maria’s Pizza & Subs, an Italian restaurant in Verona bakes pizza, stromboli, pasta, and more, and offers covered pet-friendly seating on their patio.
- Barren Ridge Vineyards: Leashed dogs can accompany you on your visit to Barren Ridge as long as there are no ticketed events happening. Sample your favorite wines by the flight, glass, or bottle.
- Edelweiss Restaurant: There’s dog-friendly outdoor seating at this authentic German restaurant. Sample food like bratwurst and jagerschnitzel.
- Skipping Rock Beer Co. allows well-behaved dogs in the large beer garden.
- Shop & Dine Out in Downtown: Each weekend, Staunton closes down Beverley Street for alfresco dining. Your pup is welcome to join you as you take your pick of Staunton’s best restaurants.
- Well-behaved dogs on leashes can join you at a table on the covered, gated patio at Table 44.
- The patio at Byer’s Street Bistro also welcomes dogs. Bonus: Dogs will find water bowls and often treats.
- Stop by the outdoor patio at The By & By for coffee drinks, beer and wine, and sandwiches.
- The patio at Thai Staunton Restaurant is pet-friendly.
- If you’re feeling like eating Mexican, take your pooch to Mi Rancho’s outdoor dining space where you can get relax with a big, tasty margarita.
- Prefer Italian? Family-owned Maria’s Pizza & Italian Restaurant has a dog-friendly patio.
- The Pampered Palate, Cranberry’s Grocery & Eatery, The Split Banana, Nu-Beginning Farm, and the Clocktower Eats & Sweets all have delicious food and allow dogs at their sidewalk seating.
- Redbeard Brewing allows well-behaved dogs on the patios, and Shenandoah Valley Brewing and Queen City Brewing actually welcome dogs inside their taprooms.
- Well Balanced Paw Pet Wellness Shoppe and Barkery specializes in nutrient-rich pet nutrition and relaxing small-animal massage.
- More pet-friendly businesses can be found here.
- Montgomery Hall Park has miles of wooded trails as well as big, open fields for playing catch. Dog owners who like solitude and taking serious hikes with their dogs should sniff out the Betsy Bell Wilderness Area.
- Gypsy Hill Park: Dogs can go off-leash at the Gypsy Hill Bark Park. Divided into separate enclosures for small and large dogs, the spaces include tunnels, training ladders, and benches for humans to sit.
- Hotel 24 South is both a luxury, historic hotel as well as a pioneer in Staunton’s dog-friendly accommodations.
- The Blackburn Inn opens select rooms to dogs and has extensive grounds to explore while you walk them.
- Plaza Antigua’s menu includes street tacos, enchiladas, bowls, fajitas, and guacamole made right at your table, will be sure to please. Leashed dogs are welcome outside.
- Lightwell Survey opens its doors for scheduled tastings once a month. They’re very dog-friendly.
- Basic City Beer Co.: Have a beer with your leashed dog inside and outside the taproom. Enjoy a range of craft beers, bistro-style sandwiches, and Billy Pie brick oven pizza.
- Seven Arrows Brewing offers dog-friendly seating inside the taproom and on the deck. Select from 12 fresh craft beers, and dine on upscale pub fare from onsite Nobo’s Kitchen.
- Waynesboro city parks: Leashed dogs are welcome in the Waynesboro parks and along the South River Greenway. 145-acre Coyner Springs Park includes a large, dedicated area for dogs to romp off-leash. There are also miles of wooded trails and lots of water (and mud) for romping.
- Waynesboro’s pet-friendly accommodations are all within easy driving access of downtown. They include brand favorites Best Western Plus, Comfort Inn, Days Inn, and Residence Inn).
Lexington and Rockbridge County
Lexington, Buena Vista, and Rockbridge County offer over 75 dog-friendly locations, making it easy to travel the Shenandoah Valley with your four-legged best friend. From trails to historic sites and family fun attractions, there’s no reason Fido can’t tag along.
- Salerno Wood Fired Pizza & Taphouse: Your dog can join you at an outside table for wood-fired pizza, burgers, or pasta with a “pour your own beer wall” featuring 30 craft beers.
- Devil’s Backbone Outpost Tap Room & Kitchen: You and your pet can sit outside for fresh craft beer and tasty apps, burgers, and entrees. There’s even a kids’ menu.
- The Natural Bridge Historic Hotel’s Colonial Dining Room allows dogs at their outdoor tables. Order Southern cuisine plus steak, seafood, pasta, burgers, as well as breakfast and a children’s menu.
- TAPS: Well-behaved dogs can join their owners at the outdoor tables in the courtyard. Select from a menu of specialty cocktails as well as a bar menu of appetizers, salads, and handhelds.
- Lexington Pet Place is a locally-owned pet store and boutique that sells food, supplies, and gifts. They work with the SPCA and Cats Unlimited to help people with adoptions.
- Hull’s Drive-In lets you share this year’s summer blockbusters with your pet!
- The Chessie Nature Trail: Walk along the former railroad bed from Lexington to Buena Vista to get some exercise with your pet.
- Dinosaur Kingdom II: Get ready to snap some hilarious pictures of your dog with dinosaurs and other exotic creatures as you tour this funky attraction!
- Natural Bridge State Park: Stroll the Cedar Creek Trail and 7 miles of trails.
- Glen Maury Park: Doggie paddle in the Maury River to cool off after walking in the woods and strolling along the river on 13 park trails.
- Lavender Fields at Tantive Farm: Get a snoot-full of aromatic lavender and enjoy a short walk in the woods to the waterfall.
- Vineyards including Rockbridge, Ecco Adesso, and Great Valley Farm welcome leashed dogs in their outdoor spaces.
- Rockbridge County boasts over 30 pet-friendly accommodations ranging from chain hotels, B&Bs, cabins, and campgrounds. Brand favorites near downtown include Best Western, Comfort Inn, and Holiday Inn Express to name only a few. In addition, check out Natural Bridge Historic Hotel & Conference Center, Fox Hill B&B (rated “5 Bones” on Bring Fido), Amanda’s Cabins at Lazy Acres, and Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Camp-Resort.
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