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Roam: Freedom to play in pet friendly Philadelphia

What’s your reason for visiting Philly? Is it the ties to our favorite boxer movie of all time, the ever-expanding art scene, a longing to stroll by the historic Delaware River? Maybe you’d like to explore the cool new green space developed along historic, out of commission rail ways. Whatever the reason, your fur baby will have access to some of the best parts of this further blossoming city.

Eat

Square 1682 is a modern dining establishment that focuses on local produce and sustainable ingredients—herbs are grown in house, and that’s as local as you can get. A special “Four Legged Friends Menu” offers some dishes humans would be down with eating—beef and veggie infused dirty rice, an egg, potato, bacon plate and house-made peanut butter biscuits are part of the delicious line up. (Proceeds from the pup menu go to SPCA.)

Because sometimes we just need a really good burger, P’unk Burger has mastered the American favorite by using simple, wholesome ingredients. Feel good about eating here, because they support rescue charities, while welcoming your dog with fresh water and tasty treats.

Teetering on the more risqué side, The Trestle Inn has a fun 70’s vibe and one heck of a whiskey sour. With lots of funky events, it’s a fun place to drop by—although we don’t know of any special offerings to pups here, they are welcomed. So, you can sip on a favorite cocktail with the best company imaginable, your dog.

M Restaurant’s gorgeous patio is surrounded by a fairytale garden landscape, and plenty of stunning trees—from time to time, live musical performances take place out there. Dogs are welcome on the patio, and although the food and surroundings seem quite upscale, the place is pretty laid back.

You can enjoy fresh pizza, breads, granola, French Macarons and other sweets while your dog chows on savory treats made just for them, at Metropolitan Bakery.

SliCE is possibly the best place to get pizza in Philly, thanks to natural, organic ingredients that give the Trenton Style pies— a variation of pizza where the sauce goes over the cheese-- an amazing taste. Dog treats and animal rescue support gets SliCE our pup’s stamp of approval.

Of course, we aren’t going to round out the food list without mentioning the famous Philly Cheesesteak. Pat’s King of Steaks has been going strong and could likely claim the top spot, but not without some controversy from loyal fans of other insane good joints.

Uptown Beer Garden also hosts adoption days and “Yappy Hour”—obviously this the perfect spot to sip some brews. However, the best part is the wonderful outdoor space with a crawling tree canopy, twinkling lights and lots of rustic seating.

Red Owl Tavern has the most impressive looking dishes accented with all kinds of herbs, sprouts, meats and fruits that pair seamlessly together. “Yappy Hour” is hosted once a week, and features a dog menu offering bacon, eggs, grains, and short ribs--adoptable pups also come to hang out.

Play

While Philadelphia houses numerous dog parks, Schuylkill River Park Dog Run may be the best. Equipped with a special antimicrobial, non-toxic turf, the terrain is smooth and perfect for running or lounging. K-9 grass is cleanable, drainable, and an all-around perfect addition to a doggy play area—at Schuylkill you’ll also find other conveniences like water fountains and disposal bags.

Seger Dog Park is another one of those great options for a day outside. The enclosed environment is ideal if a dog is still in training.

Rittenhouse Square is one of five historical squares in the city, and it is an awesome central spot to hang, because it’s surrounded by cool shops and pet friendly places to eat. Picnics are a great alternative too, especially if you are hankering for something from a non-dog friendly restaurant—grab it to-go and come to Rittenhouse.

Those steps in front of the Philadelphia Museum of Art are the same ones Rocky Balboa triumphantly trots up in the movie, and you can do the same. Talk about the ultimate photo op.

Dogs are also welcomed to roam the Magic Gardens, an urban outdoor art gallery, with their parents. Colorful mosaics, unexpected sculptures and deep creativity dwell within this popular destination.

Stay

A Historic 1904 construction with grand style, the breathtaking Bellevue Hotel sets beautifully in the theatre district of the city, only a half mile from Seger Park. Careful though, dogs might think they’re royalty after staying in digs like these.

Also where Square 1682 resides, Hotel Palomar is described as a sultry, edgy, high-end hotel, with pet room service and even sitters on hand. Along with several other perks, it’s within fantastic proximity to nearby dog parks and Rittenhouse Square.

In the cultural district of Philly, The Logan is modern-artistic with fun twists like Rocky Balboa themed robes. We love this hotel for its ability to remaining charming but streamline, and for the provided pet guide for navigating downtown. Plush beds, fresh baked treats and bowls are provided, and although there is a fee for accommodating four legged friends, part of the dough supports local animal shelters. It’s a win, win.

A classic example of luxury lodging, The Rittenhouse features fine dining, spacious rooms and relaxing amenities like a spa and afternoon tea. Personalized dog bowls and pastry chef prepared treats await at Delta Sky Magazine’s number two selection for their “best hotels to bring your dog” roundup. Good behavior is a must, and if housekeeping will be tending to your room while you can’t be with your pup, you’ll need to take advantage of sitter or dog walker services offered at the hotel.

Suddenly inspired to take a vacation with your fur baby? Philly awaits!


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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