When it comes to the most “dog-friendly cities in America, Asheville, NC makes the grade. According to an extensive rating system “Bring Fido” ranks Asheville second only to Portland, Oregon as THE most dog-friendly city. (BTW, what’s up with all of the AVL vs PDX competition? We’re always vying for the title of “Beer City” with our Oregonian counterparts, too!) But back to the dog thing. We dig it!
So yes, indeed, Ashevillians love their canine companions as do many of the visitors who travel with their dog in tow. So it’s pretty obvious that one of the draws of this area for dog lovers is the massive hiking trail systems in our Blue Ridge mountains. Our access to the great outdoors is hard to beat. But, alas, our city slicker friends still have plenty of opportunities to bring their dogs along if getting into the woods is not their jam. Strolling the extensive new greenway system along the French Broad River and through the River Arts District is really fun and there are dog waste stations along the way, too. The vast majority of Ashevillians are very respectful about picking up poo, thank goodness.
Places in town. There are many dog-friendly bars, breweries and restaurants in Asheville where you can comfortably take your dog for an outdoor patio outing. Most of the hotels allow pets and we even have the Wag Bar- a bar serving adult beverages attached to, you guessed it, a dog park. While there is a fee to take your buddy to this dog park, there are also several public dog parks maintained by the City of Asheville that are completely free.
Many people love to take time to visit The North Carolina Arboretum which is extremely dog friendly and has over 10 miles of hiking trails along creeks and through beautiful gardens. We love taking Ruby and MoJo (the Dig Local mascot duo) to explore this area. Admission is only $16 per car so load up your friends and their dogs for a day of fun.
For those of you with deeper pockets the Biltmore Estate is an awesome place to take your dog. Did you know that George Vanderbilt was a big fan of big dogs? He had a beloved Saint Bernard named Cedric who had full reign of the estate and would cozy up to the plethora of fireplaces on very expensive Persian rugs (there are photos!) And although you can’t take your dog inside the 250 room “house”, There are 8000 acres of outdoor spaces to roam. Dogs are welcomed to wander the paths of the well manicured landscaped gardens. And don’t miss the miles of nice trails along the Swannanoa River. You may even see a dog cruising down the river on a paddle board (with a human, of course.)
And finally one of the very best things about Asheville is that we still have locally owned and operated vet clinics! We did a little research and what many people don’t know is that most vet clinics and hospitals in the U.S. have been acquired by private equity groups. We dig that we have some of the last “hold outs” who refuse to sell out and offer the best in veterinary care. We also have some incredible LOCAL pet supply shops who have been in business for decades even when large corporations set up shop a stone’s throw away. Offering specialty goods & food, training services, and unbeatable lived experience as fellow pet-lovers, we dig these businesses! We even have makers in town that rescue spent beer grain and turn it into delicious (according to MoJo and Ruby) dog treats! Ashevillians love supporting our local dog-friendly business and know that by doing so their dollars stay within the Asheville community.
That’s it for now. Gotta take the girls out for a quick jaunt and maybe a beer. Asheville makes