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Roam: Plenty of sun and shopping in dog friendly Tucson

By: Lynn Coulter

Tuscon, Arizona offers pet friendly fun in the form of shopping, dining, and more. Enjoy the sun and stay for the pet friendly leisure activities any time of the year.

Roam: Plenty of sun and shopping in dog friendly Tucson

If you’re a sun-lover, plan a trip to Tucson, Arizona—where the weather is beautiful almost every day of the year! The city offers plenty of wide, open spaces and mountain trails for hikers, birders, photographers, and dog-lovers. Use our guide to find pet friendly places to stay, eat and enjoy some retail therapy.

Shop with Your Pup

  • Fido can pop into Bookman’s with you when he’s leashed, while you browse the shelves for new or used titles. This book seller often hosts dog adoption events.

  • Do your gift shopping at DeGrazia Gallery in the Sun, where the staff hand out dog treats. This 10-acre National Historic District began as an adobe structure built by acclaimed Arizona artist Ettore “Ted” DeGrazia. Today, visitors come to admire its permanent and rotating collections of paintings, sculptures, ceramics and more, and shop for souvenirs, gifts and original DeGrazias. Leashed canines are welcome.

  • Need some gear for your outdoor fun? At Summit Hut, the staff will outfit you and your canine companion You’ll find a selection of everything from collapsible food and water bowls to field guides on first aid for dogs, canine booties, light-up safety collars and other items.

Note: Of course, you would never leave your dog in the car while you’re shopping and the weather is even warm; temperatures can rise quickly, leading to injury and even death.

Book a Pet-Friendly Room in Tucson

  • Have a student at the University of Arizona? Stay next door at Aloft Tucson University, a hotel that believes “pets are family, too”. Dogs are allowed as long as they’re on leashes or in pet carriers, but note: they cannot be left alone in your room.

  • At Bed and Bagels, a bed and breakfast, the innkeeper welcomes kids and pets, and her own pup, Levi, may greet you when you check in. This property has two fenced areas for dogs, one near the pool and one by the patio. Enjoy a walk to a dry riverbed, but keep your dog safely leashed, since coyotes and other wild animals are in the area.

  • Drop the letter “o,” and Tucson’s Poet’s Studio becomes Tucson’s pet studio. Dogs are welcome at this adobe-style property, located in midtown Tucson. Book your stay through Airbnb and check the rates, since there is an additional per-night charge for dogs. (However, the studio website indicates that rates for dogs can be negotiated for longer stays.)

  • There’s no size limitation on the dogs that can lodge with you at Loews Ventana Canyon Resort. You can bring two, and all the rooms are pet-friendly (but inquire about additional charges). This luxurious hotel welcomes Fido with a name tag, bowl and treats, and pet walkers and sitters are available if needed. You can borrow a pet bed and even order vet-approved choices from a doggie room service menu.

Playtime in Tucson Dog Parks

  • Leashed pups are welcome in Agua Caliente Park. Bring a picnic and your binoculars to look for bids and other wildlife. You’ll find three ponds and a warm spring here; the park name means “hot water.”

  • Walk Fido on the paved trail at Rillito River Park. The trail, which is almost 22 miles long, runs alongside the Rillito River, and there are stops along the way for shops, exercise stations, restrooms and drinking fountains. The trail links to the Santa Cruz River Park Trail, which has an additional 40 miles of paved paths.

  • There’s no turf at Palo Verde Park, but your dog can play on the special granite surface at this 38,00-square foot park. Fenced areas keep small and large dogs apart, and there are dog drinking fountains, picnic tables and lights that remain on until the park closes at 10:30 pm.

  • Stow the leash while your best four-legged friend romps at Tucson’s Christopher Columbus Dog Park. This 14000 square-foot park has a shaded shelter, waste station, scooper dispenser and and doggie water fountain. The facility is lighted, too, so you can visit from dawn to dusk.

Dine with Your Dog

  • Sky Bar likes to say that you and your pet will be the coolest “kids” in the universe when you come for drinks or trivia games, karaoke and other fun events. As you’d guess from the name, you’ll find telescopes to use on the patio at night, and astronomers to help you star-gaze.

  • Drop in to Stray Dogs for beer, wine or cocktails, or order burgers, pizza and other dishes from the made-from-scratch menu. This grill and sports bar has a dog-friendly patio with a special doggy play area.

  • You’ll also find yummy dogs –hot dogs, that is—along with sausage meals, sandwiches, soups, salads and various breakfast options at Mutts Premium Hot Dogs and Sausages. Snap a selfie with your fur friend on the pet-friendly patio and post it on the restaurant’s Facebook page.

Tucson has much to offer, from sunny skies to scenic vistas. Grab a leash and plan a visit. The only things missing in this Arizona city are you and your best fur-friend.

Lynn Coulter is owned by two rescue dogs—Molly and Miss Paws—and occasionally blogs at She’s also the author of three books and a freelancer who writes about travel, gardening and more. She and her husband live in metro Atlanta, where they cheer for the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets and spend their money on dog biscuits.

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