Ahhh summer. Time to explore, experience the outdoors, and build in quality time with the people who matter – your doggos. This one’s for you, dog lovers. We’ve mapped out the ultimate stay for you and your fur baby so that nobody gets left behind. As far as sleeping arrangements, Hilton has you covered with over 15 pet friendly places to stay, including the Canopy in Bethesda North and at The Wharf! And with that, we present to you the Dog Days of Summer Guide to the DMV area, so you can walk the walks, see the sights and eat all the foods with your bestie. Woof!
WALK THE WALK
Stroll down national parks and designated doggy playgrounds with that pooch, your dog deserves some culture!
DC: If you’re in DC, Fletcher’s Boathouse is the BEST spot to fish, boat, paddle, & anything else you and bestie could want. There is the Potomac River as well as the historic Chesapeake and Ohio Canal, so gorgeous.
Maryland: If your pooch has energy to burn, Cabin John Dog Park in Bethesda is the place for you. With a dog beach, miles of winding trails and multiple unleashed areas, this park is a doggy Disneyland. Not only is this park cleaned once a week, but it provides doggy bags and water to accommodate all your pups needs and make for an easy and fun afternoon.
Virginia: Located in Arlington, Shirlington Dog Park has multiple spaces to unleash your pup and designated areas for small and big dogs. Bring all those dogs together for a quick mingle sesh, seems like a rom com, we know.
And if those aren’t enough, the DMV area is full of National Parks for you and your good boy (or girl!) to explore. Some of our favs are the US National Arboretum, Meridian Hill, and Great Falls Park.
SEE THE SIGHTS
That’s right, dogs can be tourists too.
DC: The National Mall is a given when you visit DC. Not only are there plenty of memorials and monuments to enjoy, but it makes for a scenic walk with your canine companion. Standard rules apply, pets are permitted in most outdoor areas and must be leashed and cleaned up after. The secret is to take your furry bestie on one of the night walks because then you will be away from the majority of people who will try to pet your hound. Make sure to stop by FDR’s memorial and snag a photo with his beloved Scottish terrier, Fala!
Are you and your dog more into the haunted scene? Thought so. Escape the summer heat with Washington DC Ghost Tours, a nighttime walk through what are said to be the most haunted sites in the district. Your tail won’t be between your legs with the added comfort of your dog by your side!
We get it- all this walking is exhausting. How does seeing the sites from the comfort of a shaded tricycle sound? Not only does Adventure DC Tricycle Tours allow dogs in their carts, but the tour guides also offer complimentary dog sitting while you explore the inside of the monuments. You read right, free dog-sitting. Our tails are wagging already.
Maryland– For all the athletic dogs and owners out there, you can grab your bikes and leashes to ride alongside a former railroad trail from Bethesda to Georgetown. The Capital Crescent Trail is a nearly 7-mile ride has plenty of shade to keep you cool, but if you get tired, there’s a station at River Road & Landy Lane to slow your panting and chill out.
EAT THE FOODS
Treats for everyone!
DC: Art and Soul is probably the most puppy accommodative spot on this list. Not only do they have a designated pooch patio to enjoy their food and drinks, but they have an actual menu for your pup to choose from. We spoke to your dog, they deserve it.
Since you’re in DC and it’s a beautiful summer day, you might as well swing by the elusive Brig DC for a cold one with your day one- your pup, that is. This neighborhood favorite has an extensive beer list and atmosphere to please two- and four-legged friends alike.
Maryland: Do you and your dog enjoy delicate French pastries and an eloquent atmosphere? Are your palettes refined and ready for a gourmet meal and scenic patio to savor it on? Look no further. Praline Bistro in Bethesda awaits.
Virginia: If you’re in the Alexandria area, The Dairy Godmother is a must. Stop by and treat yourself to their homemade frozen custard, and your fur companion to a puppy-pop as you peruse downtown. Afterall, vacations are for treating yourself (and your dog), right?
Last but certainly not least on our guide is the Yappy Hour. Like happy hour, but substantially better because dogs are involved. An opportunity to mingle with fellow pup owners, enjoy food and drink specials, and take on the town with your pooch.
- Macon Bistro in DC
- Jackson 20 in Alexandria, Virginia
- Blue Moon TapHouse in Norfolk, Virginia
- Yappy Hour Pop Up in Bethesda
- Satellite Room in DC
Save this list:
Food and Drinks
- (DC) Wunder Garten Pub
- (DC) Wet Dog
- (VA) The Dairy GodMother (has puppy pops)
- (DC) Art and Soul– Has a Pooch Patio with a gourmet dog menu
Dog Friendly Monuments/Activities
- (DC) Fletchers Boathouse- Fish, boat, paddle, swim, kayak or stroll with man’s best friend down miles of scenic trails with access to the Potomac River as well as the historic Chesapeake and Ohio Canal.
- (MD) Quiet Waters Park– With a dog beach and 2 off-leash areas to play, and multiple trails to explore. Fido got a little muddy? Fear not. Dog ‘n’ Bean Dog Wash and Coffee Shop is located right next door with a washing station and iced latte waiting for you
- (DC) National Mall- (Linked is a dog blog which mapped out the perfect route for your pup) Pets are permitted in most outside areas on leashes as long as you clean up after them. You can stroll the Tidal Basin up to the Washington Monument, down the mall to the Capitol and up Pennsylvania to the White House with your pooch, and stop at one of the many outdoor pavilions for water and shade. *** Dogs are NOT permitted Inside Sculpture Garden/ Moments***
- (DC) Washington DC Ghost Tours– Experience the ghosts of DC with this nighttime outdoor tour- with the comfort of your furry best friend by your side,
- (DC/MD) Visit the National Parks- Meridian Hill, Rock Creek Park, Capitol Hill Parks, Great falls Park, Chesapeake and Ohio Canals, the list goes on
- (DC) Key Bridge Boathouse– Stroll the scenic area, bring your pup paddle boarding, take a swim and enjoy the natural beauty of historic Georgetown
- (VA) Shirlington Dog Park– Popular in the Shirlington Area, this park has multiple spaces to unleash your pup and even designated areas for small and big dogs! Open from sunrise to sunset.
- (DC) Adventure DC Tricycle tours – a quick way to get all the signs in from the comfort of a shaded tricycle. Not only do they allow dogs in the carts, but the tour guides also offer complimentary dog sitting while you explore inside the monuments!
- (DC) United States National Arboretum- The National Arboretum welcomes you to explore 446 acres of gardens with your pup leashed by your side! From large grassy areas to small trails and views of the river, this walk showcases some of the most scenic spots in DC.
- (MD) Cruise the Bay– Cruise the bay with your canine companion and enjoy a night on the water with a tour or private group! The staff provides water, treats and plenty of attention to ensure both you and your dog are comfortable for a relaxed ride.
Now you are super in the know for all things DMV and doggo. From food and drinks to puppy playtime, no matter who you are and what you like, Hilton has you covered!