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Roam: From dog parks to patios, Austin has it all

Austin is a huge city, and it’s overflowing with unique districts that celebrate authentically crafted food, art, and especially music—there are around 250 music venues alone. Something fun is always happening, whether it be a festival or concert, and delving into all the things to do is like slipping into an endless wormhole. Austin welcomes pups, so the biggest challenge will be deciding what you want to do!

Eat

Mozart’s Coffee Roaster’s outdoor patio is magic, with expansive seating areas and waterfront views. It also happens to be a phenomenal location to sip in-house cultivated brews.

Banger’s Sausage House & Beer Garden already sounds like a pup paradise, and the human food which includes indulgent poutine and plenty of sausage is absolutely drool worthy. The dog friendly outdoor space goes beyond just seating and features a little fenced off area. As a bonus, it’s a super cozy atmosphere with charming lighting and surroundings.

Yard Bar is, hands down, the ultimate place to dine with your dog in Austin—it’s a hybrid concept that has combined a restaurant, bar and dog park all into one. A large, pretty lounge space surrounds a walk up station with a menu of classic fare like great sandwiches, dips, cheese plates and salads. The drink selection is diverse with plentiful beer and wine choices. A separate doggy menu accommodates the taste buds of your furry friend. Tip: There’s a small entrance fee.

Austin has countless restaurants that rate high with dog owners—you can’t go wrong with Rudy’s Country Store & Bar-B-Q, Moonshine Patio Bar and Grill, Phara’s, Perla’s, Austin Java, Phil’s Icehouse, Cedar Door, you get the picture. The dog friendly food scene is spectacular.

Play

Auditorium Shores is a well known spot for events, while also being a fantastic place to hike, or to let your pup get some exercise. It meshes right up against a portion of Ladybird Lake, making for beautiful surroundings, while adding more depth to playtime possibilities. Now officially known as Vic Mathias Shores, a major restoration effort is bringing swanky new additions to the area, from bathrooms, widened trails, a restored shoreline to upgraded doggy grounds.

Red Bud Isle is simple, yet outstandingly scenic, thanks to its water surrounded, peninsula location. No frills, just great terrain and plenty of prime swimming spots reside here.

South Congress is a quirky little area to take a walk, and is brimming with fun boutiques and amazing cafes or restaurants. There is always something fun happening, making it an all around awesome place to soak in Austin.

Zilker Park is a wide, open space accented by a city backdrop—it’s a diverse spot to stretch those legs, as humans and pups alike are known to gather here for various activities. With hundreds of acres, there are both generous off and on leash sections to roam, including a leash free creek area for cooling off.

Stay

You’ve got plenty of big name hotels that accommodate pets, and they are a great choice if looking for predictability. Staybridge and La Quinta typically rate at the top in Austin. However, some charming little lodging options provide an out of the box, immersive experience!

Take a peek on Airbnb, and discover super cozy, dog friendly houses like the East Austin Charmer, a rustic cabin like rental with all the essentials. There’s also no pet fee here, and big dogs are allowed!

Hotel Ella is a stunning option, with lavish architecture, if you’re looking for something outside Airbnb. Truly lovely, the grounds are gorgeous as is the pool area.

Maybe you’re coming for a specific outdoor music event, or possibly you want to come taste award winning barbecue. Perhaps you plan to just pass through on your way to San Antonio. Whatever the reason, you’ll be pleasantly surprised with all this gem of a city has to offer to pets and their parents.

overlooking town lake


Karyn Wofford is a “Mom” to her fluffy, sweet dog Halli. She spends much of her time traveling and advocating for Type 1 diabetes—and Halli sometimes accompanies her on her adventures. You’ll find Karyn’s work on sites like Mother Earth Living, and in magazines such as Diabetes Forecast.

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