Cool River Tubing in Helen
Dog-Friendly Georgia Getaways
Pack up the kids -- those with two legs and four -- and head to these pet-friendly destinations in Georgia.
Cuddle with your furry friend at Hotel Indigo in Midtown Atlanta or Athens, where dogs receive their very own beds and bowls. The contemporary hotel also invites pooches to mingle with other four-legged friends at seasonal Canine Cocktail Hours. The lively gathering includes treats (traditional, vegan, or organic) and a water bar for dogs as well as bites and themed cocktails (think Greyhounds and Salty Dogs) for pet parents.
Another champion of furry guests, The Thunderbird Inn in Savannah, makes Fifi feel right at home with a custom pet bed, stainless-steel dishes, bottled spring water, and gourmet pet treats, not to mention a “Thunderbird Inn Loves Me” pet tag. When it’s time for Buddy to get some fresh air, head to the enclosed dog run or take a walk in a nearby park — the hotel will supply you with “doggie business bags.” Exploring Savannah with your canine is a cinch thanks to the Thunderbird’s recommendations for dog-friendly restaurants and shops.
For a seaside break with man’s best friend, head to the beautiful -- and pet-friendly -- The King and Prince Beach & Golf Resort on St. Simons Island. Pups who weigh less than 25 pounds are welcome at the Wynn Cottage, Familia Meadows House, and select ground-floor rooms in the Oleander Building -- the perfect retreats after a day of exploring downtown or walking the beach.
Nothing makes a doggie feel more special than a handmade treat. You’ll find plenty of them at Decatur’s Taj Ma Hound, where all-natural and delicious “Poochie Pawstries” like Cannoli, Peamutt Butter Cups, and Biscotti are baked fresh every day with restaurant-quality ingredients. For some extra tail wagging, stop by during the shop’s Doggie Ice Cream Socials on Thursdays.
You can also usher your loyal companion into Oliver Bentleys in Savannah to sample some of their famous Ollie B. Biscuits. The tin-packed goodies are made with human-grade ingredients, are 100 percent gluten-free, and contain no corn or soy. What’s more, the snacks are free of added salt and sugar and have no preservatives or fillers, so you can feel good about spoiling your furry baby.
Nothing, however, will get your mutt’s mouth watering like a Doggie Sundae at Savannah’s famous Leopold's Ice Cream. The indulgence is bestowed upon any pooch that brings in a human for ice cream, so stroll up to the East Broughton Street shop and settle in for some sweets. Buddy will delight in a small scoop of vanilla, a cup of water, and a doggie treat while you pick from a smorgasbord of regular and seasonal flavors. From the tutti-frutti to the (not so green) pistachio, all ice cream is made on the premises using family recipes passed down since 1919.
Dublin is another bark-worthy stop while road tripping through the state. “The Emerald City” offers Southern hospitality such as a spacious dog park at the Visit Dublin Welcome Center. Situated right off I-16 at exit 51, the pup playground includes sections for large and small dogs, and comes equipped with human-grade treats from Dublin’s Cake Art bakery, as well as water bowls, leashes, and disposal bags. Dogs are also welcome inside the Dublin Laurens Regional Visitors Information Center, where the staff awaits with free ear scratches and belly rubs.
All Georgia State Parks are dog-friendly, but pooches must remain on leashes that are six feet or shorter.
For an off-land adventure, head to Helen and tackle a trip down the Chattahoochee River with your dog. Cool River Tubing welcomes pets to float the river with their humans for no additional fee.
You can also let Fido join you on a trip to a vineyard during Three Sisters Vineyards & Winery's annual VineDog Weekend. Held the first weekend in May, the dog-honored tradition includes a “Yappy Hour” for pooches and the chance to get your barking best friend’s picture on a Three Sisters Vineyards VineDog private wine label -- a memento to cherish for years to come.