Seven dog-tastic destinations for you and your pup to enjoy
Nothing’s better than an adventure with your four-legged best friend. Austin is a dog-lover’s mecca – there are so many dog parks and dog-friendly places to explore. So jump in the car, stick your head out the window, and check out some of these great dog-tastic destinations.
This epic dog park has five fully-fenced acres to enjoy, with three separate enclosures. There’s an area for small dogs under 30 pounds, one for large dogs that contains shade trees and agility equipment, and a huge third area with a swimming pond and diving dock! Best of all, there are dog bathing stations at the exit, so you won’t have to put a muddy dog in your car. Bring shampoo and towels.
Yard Bar opened in August 2015 after a successful crowdfunding campaign helped kick off its construction, and the beer-drinking dog owners of central Austin have been rejoicing ever since. Yard Bar is a large dog park where your dogs can run and play in the same fenced-in area as a well-stocked bar. The drinks menu features Texas microbrews, wine, and cocktails. There are plenty of chairs and picnic tables for the humans, as well as fans and misters for warm summer evenings. They also have a full lunch and dinner menu, served in a separate (on-leash) section. Admission is $5 per dog.
Doghouse Drinkery is another dog park/bar combo, located in Leander between Cedar Park and Round Rock. If you want to watch the game, the bar has an indoor area with tables and TVs, and if you want to let the dog run around, the bar has an outdoor window serving the fenced-in dog park. Burgers, patty melts, and of course, grilled dogs, are available at their food truck. The Drinkery has live music about once a month; check their calendar for listings. Admission is $5 per dog.
The Turkey Creek Trail is a fantastic off-leash hiking trail that is filled with happy dogs, especially on the weekends. The 2.5-mile trail follows the creek and provides a shady place for your dog to play. Numerous deep pools give Fido a chance to show off his swimming skills. The trailhead is located along City Park Road, just outside the entrance gate to Emma Long. The parking lot fills up quickly on the weekends, so get there early.
This incredible place must be seen to be believed—an entire island on which your dog can run, swim, and play off leash! The park features 13 acres of room to roam. You can stroll along the crushed gravel path that circles the island while your dog explores the woods and water. This is a popular park and parking is extremely limited, so go at off times and be prepared to wait for a spot. Your dog thinks it’s worth the wait.
This big park in north Austin has an off-leash zone more than 200 acres in size. The area has miles of trails through varied terrain, multiple creek crossings, and shady wooded sections. Be sure your dog is OK around bikes, because these are some of the most popular mountain biking trails in town. Park near the pool and find the trailhead at a nearby kiosk. Don’t worry about getting turned around in the park’s spaghetti-bowl of trails—just follow the “P” signs back to the parking lot.
Local pet stores
If you really want to treat your pooch, take her to one of Austin’s many local pet stores, where you can find specialized products such as healthy dog food, yummy treats, unique toys, designer collars, and more. Bonus – you’ll be doing your part to keep Austin weird by supporting a local business!
No matter what part of town you’re in, there’s a fun pet store near you. Your dog will love Lofty Dog and Phydeaux and Friends in north central Austin – both of which have huge selections of all-natural food and specialty products. You’ll find Healthy Pet in south Austin, which has a self-service dog wash station in addition to a great selection of dog supplies. In central Austin there’s Bark ‘n Purr Pet Center, which offers free delivery to the Austin area. Tomlinson’s, a beloved local business, has several locations in Austin and its surrounding communities.