Urban Splashin: City Sniffs and Outdoor Splorin in Charlotte
“Welcome to my hometown! Charlotte is where I adventure with my hoomans when we’re not adventuring on vacay. And even though I live here – there are so many new sniffs to explore, I’m always tracking more fun. Let’s meet for a canine cannoli, go camping, try kayaking, watch hoomans play ball, find a waterfall in the city or conquer new hikes (and heights).”
– Mo, North Carolina’s
dog travel agent
COME & STAY
1 Kimpton Tryon Park Hotel
1 Kimpton Tryon Park HotelCharlotteSee on map
Smol puppers, big woofers, single or in a pack – you’re all welcome (and free) guests here. Work out morning zoomies at Romare Bearden Park next door and relax at the hotel’s complimentary wine reception each evening. At night, snoozle in your own plush bed. Tip: Hoomans at the front desk have treatos – begging encouraged.
2 Aloft Charlotte Uptown at the EpiCentre
2 Aloft Charlotte Uptown at the EpiCentreCharlotteSee on map
If being near the action sends you into maximum borkdrive, try Uptown’s Aloft Hotel. Aloft is part of the uber-cool Epicentre, filled with restaurants and bars, some with doggo-friendly patios. And here’s a first: Instead of missing the snugs while your best fren hits the nightlife, take some doggo “me time” with your own bed, treats and toys courtesy of Aloft’s arf program. No fees for hoomans who bring up to two doggos up to 40 pounds.
3 U.S. National Whitewater Center
3 U.S. National Whitewater CenterCharlotteSee on map
Adventure doggos, jump aboard flatwater kayaks or stand-up paddleboards with your best frens, or do you a hike around 45 miles of trails. If you and your hoomans are more into staying than playing, buddy up on the grass for a picnic while watching the action on the rapids or climbing walls.
4 Lake Norman State Park
4 Lake Norman State ParkTroutmanSee on map
Take your hoomans splorin along the shore of the largest lake in central North Carolina. Lake Shore Trail, voted a must-see trail in Charlotte, can be as long as 6.3 miles or as short as 3 (shortcuts available for tired puppers). Prefer mountains to lakes? Guide your best frens to Morrow Mountain or Crowders Mountain state parks for dirt staircases that lead to higher-elevation sniffs and squirrel spotting.
5 Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden
5 Daniel Stowe Botanical GardenBelmontSee on map
During special events, Daniel Stowe invites good woofers to sniff more than 100 acres of gardens. Each spring, Pups & Perennials welcomes doggos to a family-friendly event with dog-themed vendors, fun activities and adoptable puppers ready to join your pack. Each summer, join your hoomans for Sip and Stroll, featuring live music, craft beer and – ohboyohboyohboy – treatos!
6 Tailrace Marina
6 Tailrace MarinaMount HollySee on map
When time in the city gets to be a bit much, escape to the great outdoors. After a 25-minute drive (car ride! much happ!), you can be out in the Catawba River, doin you a doggie paddle. Aqua doggos and their hoomans can come to the marina to explore the waters from the perch of a rented kayak, stand-up paddleboard or canoe.
7 Kannapolis Cannon Ballers
7 Kannapolis Cannon BallersKannapolisSee on map
Never treato’ed your hooman to a baseball game? Show yours that not all home plates have to be enjoyed in the house. Baseball is a game best shared between a doggo and his or her best fren thanks to Wieners and Wags Wednesdays. During Bark in the Park nights, you’ll wow the crowd when you compete for best-dressed doggo or best trick or strut your stuff around the bases for the pup parade. Check out the Charlotte Knights and Hickory Crawdads for more woof-friendly ballpark events nearby.
8 Canine Cafe
8 Canine CafeCharlotteSee on map
Make sure your hooman gets your best side when they take a pic of you and your first ever frozen doggie daiquiri for Instagram. (Who are we kidding – both sides are your best side.) Then splurge on a toy, bow tie or pupcake from the bakery. They’re pretty enough for hoomans, tasty enough for doggos. Give shop dogs Gunner and Idgie a sniff for me.
DOGGOS GOTTA EAT
9 Two Scoops Creamery
9 Two Scoops CreameryMultiple locations
I yip, you woof, we all awoo for ice cream! Hoomans choose from more than 32 flavors of freshly churned ice cream, but there’s one non-dairy frozen treat that’s clearly just for you: Canine Crunch. Nom!
10 JackBeagle’sCharlotteSee on map
Always trust a place named for a woofer. JackBeagle’s, named as a tribute to the owner’s rescue doggo, is a low-key restaurant in NoDa with plenty of local beers and local bands. Hit the patio to find fellow puppers up for frolicks, and before you go, let your hooman snap a selfie by the doggos in the mural just outside.
11 Lucky Dog Bark and Brew
11 Lucky Dog Bark and BrewMultiple locations
What, your hooman has never let you pick the bar? Well, it’s about time then. Lucky Dog Bark and Brew has three Charlotte-area locations where doggos can shed their leashes and go wild (as wild as you can get within a fence, anyway). But beware the bamboozle: Lucky Dog will offer to give you a bath while your best fren enjoys drinks. Doesn’t sound lucky to me.