Dogs of Asheville Image ; Taken by Flickr user anoldent
There are some things that you just don’t leave home without when packing for vacation: Passport? Check. Toothbrush? Check. Swimsuit? Check. Fido? …???
Well if you plan a visit to Asheville, North Carolina anytime soon, you’ll be able to check that one off of your list too. That’s because Asheville is positioning itself as a top dog-friendly destination and I had the chance to experience it firsthand this week with my dachshund pal, Moose. Here’s how our trip shook up – where we stayed, where we ate, and what we did – from my perspective, as well as Moose’s.
Hotel: Quality Inn and Suites – 1 Skyland Drive, Arden, NC
My take: I love how inexpensive the pet deposit is here – only $25 for the ENTIRE stay! When I saw that the hotel wasn’t in Asheville, I was dreading a long commute into downtown, but the hotel is located right on the edge of Arden, making it only about a 10 minute drive to Biltmore Estate and the downtown scene. The pet-friendly rooms are located on the first floor in a segregated wing (I suppose to limit the disturbance to any other guest) and they provide complimentary “poop scooper” bags to aid in keeping the grounds pristine.
Moose’s take: I loved the large grassy area where I could run around and sniff. Some hotels have just a small patch of grass for my potty breaks, but this hotel’s lawn was bigger than my backyard at home! My only issue is that I like peace and quiet. My human owners don’t have the super-bionic hearing that I do, so they couldn’t hear the racket that the other dogs were making in the neighboring rooms – but I could and I kept barking at the door in an effort to get those rascals to calm down. That’s something that I never do at home.
Dinner: Asheville Pizza and Brewing Company – 675 Merrimon Avenue, Asheville, NC
My take: This restaurant isn’t located in the heart of downtown, but it was worth the 2 mile drive to get there. They are very dog-friendly, allowing well-behaved and leashed four-legged friends to dine with you in the outside seating area. The pizza was pretty greasy, but tasted great and they brew their own local beer.
Moose’s take: There were lots of friendly dogs here and the staff was just as friendly. They offered me fresh water in a dog bowl! I got in trouble though because I didn’t want to sit still – I wanted to PLAY with the other dogs. Finally my owners banished me to the crate in the backseat of our parked car, so I don’t think that I can give an impartial review of this place.
Entertainment: Asheville and the Central Mountains Area
The following sites ranked “two paws way up” among Moose’s favorite locations:
• Biltmore – While you can’t tour the inside of the home, the winery, or the indoor shops with your dog, the immense grounds (designed by Frederick Law Olmsted) are completely pet-friendly and breathtakingly beautiful.
• Chimney Rock Park – The only place that your dog can’t go is in the elevator that rides you straight to the top of the mountain, but dogs are welcome everywhere else. You (and your pet) won’t experience another view like it.
• French Broad River Park and Dog Park – Lots of paved and dirt paths, bbq area, river outlooks, and a 1 acre dog park tucked away to play. Located along the picturesque French Broad River at the intersection of Amboy Road and Riverview Drive.
• Downtown – Just walk around the downtown area and window shop / people watch. Many of the stores even allow you to browse around with your pet in tow. Just make sure that you ask first.
Additional Resource: Our friends at ExploreAsheville.com have an excellent section of their site dedicated to pet friendly travel. Be sure to check it out and let us know what else would you recommend when traveling with your dog to Asheville.