Top 10 in Austin: Top Spots For Our Furry Friends
This post comes from INK alumna Rachael Genson.
Here at INK, we’re proud to call the “little big town” of Austin our home. Whether you’re passing through, staying awhile, or just need to get out more, these lists are our way of sharing the best of our city with you. Enjoy!
Ask anyone in the INK office to describe me in one word, and they would all say “dog-obsessed.” I’m the first one to post cute puppy videos to our INK chat room, and I show off pictures of my dog like he’s my own child, so it bodes well for me that I live in Austin – a city that welcomes our four-legged friends with open arms. Whether you and your pup are looking for a new hang-out, or you just need a place to get your canine fix, here are my top 10 most dog-friendly spots in Austin:
Auditorium Shores. One of the first things people hear about when they come to Austin is the beautiful running trail around Town Lake, which is a great for getting a nice workout in. But if you want to be lazy while your dog runs around, look no further than Auditorium Shores, conveniently located on the Town Lake trail. At any given time, you’ll find dozens of dogs enjoying the ample leash-free grassy and water area.
Greenbelt. We Austinites are no strangers to hiking trails, and the Greenbelt is a great one. Spread throughout the city, the Greenbelt is 7 miles of uninterrupted trails that highlight all that Austin’s nature has to offer. And when our constant draught hasn’t dried up all the natural water, there’s a beautiful river running along the trail that makes for a great swimming hole.
Barking Springs. The doggie counterpart to Austin’s favorite icy watering hole Barton Springs, Barking Springs is a great place to spend a hot Austin afternoon (y’all all know we have many of those). The dogs can cool off in the chilly waters (seriously, the water at Barton Springs remains a constant 65° year-round) while you work on your tan.
Banger’s. Located on Rainey Street, Banger’s Sausage House and Beer Garden boasts dozens of homemade sausages and even more beers on tap that can be enjoyed in their huge outdoor space, complete with fenced in dog park. Oh, and did I mention the WoofWurst? It’s a specialty sausage just for dogs so they can eat with you – from what I’ve seen, it’s a major hit.
Bouldin Creek Café. This quintessential Austin café is just one of the many examples of dog-friendly restaurants found throughout the city. When the weather is nice, Bouldin Creek’s outdoor patio is the perfect place for you and your dog to enjoy a nice vegetarian meal (or, you know, a dog biscuit).
The Liberty Bar. If you’re looking for dog-friendly hangout on the east side of Austin, The Liberty Bar is the place to be. The huge outdoor patio filled with long picnic tables is awesome for socializing over a meal (and maybe even making a new friend or two). Major bonus: Liberty Bar is home to celebrity chef-owned food trailer (and one of my favorites) East Side Kings.
South Congress Ave. A stroll down Austin’s historic SoCo street is an experience for dogs and owners alike. Majority of the stores are dog-friendly, and even those that aren’t have water bowls so your pup can stay hydrated during your day-long adventure.
Blues on the Green. This is one of the largest free music events in the US, and an Austin staple during the summer. Located at Zilker Park, thousands of people camp out in the park to spend a lazy summer evening listening to local music while their pups lounge in the grass (probably paying more attention the squirrels than the musical talent).
Farmers Markets. On the weekends, you can’t walk too far in this city without stumbling upon one of the many local farmers markets (HOPE, Mueller, Barton Creek, and SFC Downtown to name a few). This is the perfect way to kick-off your weekend, and if you’re lucky, some of the stands might have a special treat for your pup.
Yard Bar. While this place isn’t open just yet, I already anticipate it being a huge hit for dog owners. Part dog park, part restaurant, part bar, Yard Bar has all the makings of a great weekend activity (even if you don’t have a dog of your own).