Do you find yourself stuck in a rut when it comes to finding fun things to do with your pup? Are you hoping that you and you furry sidekicks next adventure will satisfy both of your interests?
Many pet parents are unaware of the wide variety of pet friendly experiences North Carolina has to offer, from the coast to the mountains! There are many fun day trips that allow you and your four legged family member to explore North Carolina’s rich history, unique traditions, diverse landscapes, and exciting attractions in a way you both find stimulating and exciting.
1. Gold City Gem Mine, Franklin
Plan a fun day at this dog friendly mine in Franklin where you can search for gems and pan for gold with your pup. The mine also provides professional cutting and setting services for the gems that you find during your mining adventuress. Enjoy a burger and shake with your furry best friend after a day of mining at the super pet friendly Motor Company Grill, located about 10 miles from Gold City Gem Mine.
2. Burntshirt Vineyards, Hendersonville
If you are a wine lover, you can savor many unique flavors of wine with your furry best friend at this pet friendly vineyard in Hendersonville. Your pup is allowed to join you in the tasting room and throughout the large vineyard. Burntshirt Vineyards offers gourmet boxed lunches or you are welcome to bring a picnic to enjoy on the patio or at the designated picnic area. There are also other pet friendly restaurants in the area, such as Mike’s On Main and the Flat Rock Wood Room, where you can enjoy a meal with your pooch after a day at the vineyard.
3. Carolina History & Haunts, Charlotte
Bring your pooch along for a spooky stroll through the streets of Charlotte with this 75-minute guided, candlelight tour where you will be regaled with local history and ghost stories as you explore the sites of many of uptown Charlotte's haunts. If you find yourself spooked at the end of your tour by Carolina History & Haunts, stop by Charlotte’s The Dog Bar to enjoy a drink with your furry best friend, who is permitted to be unleashed! Other pet friendly dining options in the area include The Flying Saucer and Mellow Mushroom.
4. Masonboro Island Reserve
Spend the day on the beaches of an undisturbed, pet friendly barrier island approximately 5 miles southeast of Wilmington, which is the site of national estuarine research and is the home to many wildlife habitats and threatened species. If you would like to extend your visit, primitive camping is allowed on Masonboro Island Reserve. You and your pooch can reach the island with the help of pet friendly Entropy Boat Rentals out of Wilmington. After a day of frolicking and boating with your pup you can enjoy many of Wilmington’s pet friendly dining options, such as Dock Street Oyster Bar.
5. Craggy Gardens, Ivy
Stop at this beautiful attraction in Ivy (near Weaverville and Asheville) to enjoy one of the most stunning views of the Blue Ridge Parkway with your pup. Experience the beautiful flora and fauna as you partake in a 1.5-mile round-trip hike on the popular trail, Craggy Pinnacle, which leads you through a tunnel of rhododendrons to an amazing 360-degree view at the summit. It is suggested that you visit Craggy Gardens in mid to late June to see the dazzling display of the pink and purple rhododendron blooms. If you are hungry after your hike, there is a dog friendly restaurant a mere 20 minutes away in Weaverville called Blue Mountain Pizza and Brew Pub.
6. North Carolina Art Museum Park, Raleigh
Experience a unique combination of art and nature and explore the North Carolina Art Museum Park in Raleigh with your pup. Enjoy 160 acres of trails and modern art projects, including a cloud chamber, forest of chairs, and sculptures. When the park closes at dusk, enjoy a cold one at the dog friendly Raleigh Brewing Company.
7. French Broad Outfitters Float Trips, Asheville
Explore Asheville with your pooch and family in a unusual way and take one of French Broad Outfitters float trips. Your four legged friend is allowed on one of the three unique float trips on the French Broad River, giving you the option of exploring attractions such as the River Arts District and the Biltmore Estate. Enjoy a meal and brew with your pup at Westville Pub in Asheville after your adventure.
8. Corolla Outback Adventures, Corolla
Book a private tour with Corolla Outback Adventures and traverse the Outer Banks with your pooch in a 4x4 off-road vehicle and see several refuge areas and sanctuary sites. You will learn the local stories and history while you observe wildlife and the famous Colonial Spanish Mustangs. You can enjoy local seafood in Corolla after your tour at the pet friendly Steamer’s Shellfish.
9. SkyTop Orchard, Zirconia
Spend the day with your furry best friend in a "pick-your-own" orchard in Zirconia (near Flat Rock), which offers a wide variety of apples, grapes, pears, and pumpkins, as well as numerous pre-picked fruit and other treats. SkyTop’s deliciously famous apple and pumpkin donuts are made daily and served hot. You can enjoy these treats at the picnic shelters and you and your pup can explore the play area, ponds and bamboo forest, and see the barnyard animals. SkyTop Orchard is less than a 10-minute drive from Hubba Hubba Smokehouse in Flat Rock, where you can enjoy its famous barbecue with your pet.
10. Tour Old Wilmington, Wilmington
Learn about Wilmington's colorful history with your pooch by joining Tour Old Wilmington for a Historic Walking Tour. You and your pup will learn about life during Wilmington's Victorian Era, exploring the town's customs, traditions, sea tales, folklore and more. After your tour you and your furry best friend can enjoy a meal in Historic Downtown Wilmington at The George on the RiverWalk.
11. Ghost Hunters of Asheville, Asheville
If you are looking for a day of spooky fun with your pooch, you should embark on one of the three interactive tours offered by Ghost Hunters of Asheville and enjoy a fun excursion of hunting for ghosts around Asheville, while learning Asheville's history and lore from friendly and knowledgeable guides. These tours give you the chance to use ghost-hunting equipment, such as EMF meters and dowsing rods. You can even choose a ghost tour that involves wine tastings. Asheville offers a variety of pet friendly dining options, such as White Duck Taco Shop.
12. Raleigh Flea Market, Raleigh
Discover hidden treasures with your pup and spend the day shopping at one of the most popular shopping destinations in Raleigh. Ranked by CNN as one of America’s best flea markets, Raleigh Flea Market hosts hundreds of vendors. Enjoy a relaxed meal after your excursion at the famous pet friendly Players Retreat in Raleigh.
With all that North Carolina has to offer, pet friendly experiences can be found just about anywhere. You can also find great pet friendly things to do in Elizabeth City, Atlantic Beach and Winston-Salem.
Author: Caroline Waller
Caroline is a full time student studying English and journalism at UNC-Chapel Hill. An avid pet lover, she is excited to be able to work with TripsWithPets.com as a marketing intern. In her spare time Caroline enjoys curling up with a good book and her beloved cats, Buttercup and Butternut, and spending time with her family.