Traveling with your dog can be a wonderful adventure and bonding experience. But, it also has the potential to be stressful for you both because you can’t guarantee that everywhere you go will welcome your dog. If you do your research and plan ahead, you can build a truly dog-friendly trip itinerary where you know both you and your dog will be welcome with open arms. If you’re headed to “The Heart of Dixie”, use this Alabama dog-friendly travel guide to start your research:
6 Dog-Friendly Activities in Alabama
Traveling with your dog is about more than just riding around or staying in a hotel – you want to make sure you see some of the popular sites and attractions too. Not everywhere will allow your dog to join you, but these are some dog-friendly activities in Alabama to consider:
1. Ruffner Mountain Nature Center
If your travels bring you to Birmingham, consider spending a day exploring the Ruffner Mountain Nature Center. This nature preserve sits on over 1,000 acres and features over 11 miles of hiking trails with gorgeous scenic views. Trails range from easy to difficult and long to short, so no matter your activity level or time available, there is a trail in this park for you.
This nature center offers educational opportunities, plenty of opportunities to see wildlife, and weekend activities. Plus, it’s dog-friendly! Your dog is welcome to join you as you both explore as long as they remain leashed at all times and that you clean up after your pup. This is a great place to make sure your dog gets some exercise as you’re traveling.
2. Little River Canyon National Preserve
The Little River Canyon National Preserve is located in Fort Payne and it’s dog-friendly. This park has trails for biking, hiking, and walking. It also has opportunities for horseback riding, kayaking, fishing, rock climbing, and more. Your dog has to be kept on a leash at all times, but they are welcome to join you as you explore and enjoy the views.
3. Turkey Creek Nature Preserve
Located in Pinson is the Turkey Creek Nature Preserve. This preserve features five miles of hiking and walking trails that are a mix of paved and unpaved trails. These trails follow along Turkey Creek, which has sections that are considered level 1 whitewater.
Your dog is welcome to join you and can even go swimming! But, there is a slight current. So, beginning swimmers and small dogs should be carefully watched and you should be close by in case the current starts to pull them. In this case, it might not be a bad idea to be in the water with your dog with a leash attached to their life jacket.
4. Geri Moulton Children’s Park
Geri Moulton Children’s Park is a unique attraction that’s located in Mobile. This is a large sculpture park that sits on the grounds of the USA Children’s and Women’s Hospital. In addition to the interesting sculptures, there are several great paved walking trails that wind through a wooded setting and there are even a few fountains to see.
And, it’s dog-friendly! Your dog needs to be leashed at all times and you need to clean up after them, but your dog is welcome to join you. You also want to make sure your dog is well-socialized and does well with children because this park attracts a lot of people and families with youngsters.
5. Fort Gaines
If history is your thing and your travels bring you near Dauphin Island, set aside some time to explore Fort Gaines. This fort was integral in the Battle of Mobile Bay during the Civil War. It still has the original cannons and features a museum, gift shop, blacksmith shop, kitchens, and tunnels.
Your dog is welcome to join you as long as they are leashed at all times and you clean up after them. It’s also right next to Dauphin Island Beach, which is a dog-friendly beach as long as they leashed.
6. Dothan Botanical Gardens
If you need a relaxing break and you just want to enjoy nature, consider spending some time at the Dothan Botanical Gardens in Dothan, Alabama. This botanical garden features 50 acres of beautiful scenery with plenty of nature trails, some koi ponds, and a small picnic area. Plus, your dog is welcome to join you as long as they are leashed and you clean up after them.
3 Dog-Friendly Hotels in Alabama
After a day full of fun, you want to make sure you and your dog have a place to stay where you can relax and rest up for the next day. Not every hotel will welcome your dog and dog-friendly rooms tend to fill up fast, so it’s important to do your research and book a room early to make sure you have somewhere to stay. Here are a few dog-friendly hotels in Alabama to kickstart your research:
1. Drury Inn Mobile
If you’ll need to stay overnight in Mobile, consider booking a dog-friendly room at the Drury Inn. You are welcome to bring up to two dogs with you with a combined weight of 80 pounds. There is an additional pet fee, which is $35 per night.
You cannot leave your dog unattended in your room and they have to be leashed when you are outside of your room with them. They are also not permitted in the elevators, so try to book a room on the first floor or be prepared to take the stairs. They do have grassy relief areas on-site and provide waste stations where you can get waste bags if you forget your own.
2. Wyndham Garden Hotel
If your travels will keep you in Guntersville for the night, check out the Wyndham Garden Hotel. At this hotel, up to two dogs up to 80 pounds are welcome to join you. There is an additional pet fee, which is $20 per night.
You can leave your dog unattended in the room, but you will be responsible for any damage or noise they cause. So, you want to make sure your dog will stay quiet and won’t destroy the room if you have to leave them alone for a bit. There are also a few grassy relief areas on-site.
3. Homewood Suites by Hilton
If your trip will take you near Montgomery and you’ll need a place to stay, start your research with the Homewood Suites by Hilton. At this hotel, you are welcome to bring two dogs of any size to join you.
There is an additional pet fee, which is $50. You can leave your dog unattended in the room, but they have to be crated for housekeeping. There is also a dedicated pet walking area located behind the hotel and waste bags are provided in case you forget to bring your own.
3 Dog-Friendly Restaurants in Alabama
When you’re traveling, it’s easy to stick with the food you have or go with something quick from fast food places or convenience stores. But, when you do this, you miss out on all local flavor and experience. If you find yourself near some of these dog-friendly restaurants while you travel through Alabama, consider stopping by for a meal:
1. Cosmo’s Restaurant and Bar
If you’re near Orange Beach and wanting something to eat, think about stopping by Cosmo’s Restaurant and Bar. This local favorite is popular for residents and tourists alike.
The open-air deck is dog-friendly and the menu features a variety of options for any seafood-lover. The menu may be seafood-heavy, but there are plenty of other options too if seafood isn’t your thing. Plus, word on the street is the desserts are worth the stop all on their own.
2. The Filling Station
If you’re a fan of Italian food and find yourself in Birmingham, set aside some time for some food at The Filling Station. Whether you’re in the mood for pizza, pasta, something fancy, or just a sandwich, there’s something on this menu for you.
Not only is this menu full of Italian staples and favorites, but you also get the chance to eat in a refurbished gas station. Plus, the outdoor seating is dog-friendly!
3. Sweet Home Food Bar
Nestled in Tuscaloosa is the Sweet Home Food Bar. This homey, gorgeous place offers sweet and savory breakfast and lunch options. The outdoor seating is dog-friendly and there are plenty of options to choose from whether you’re in the mood for comfort food or something with a more adventurous twist. You’ll likely want to have a bite of just about everything!
This Alabama dog-friendly travel guide is a great place to start your research when you’re planning on traveling with your dog to Alabama. It certainly doesn’t contain everything, but it’s a good place to start. If you find somewhere else you want to go, just make sure they’ll be fine with your dog before they make it onto your trip itinerary.
If you’re headed to another state, check out the other dog-friendly travel guides available. Here’s to safe travels and wagging tails no matter where your adventure takes you!