Iowa Dog-Friendly Travel Guide

beagle looking out of the window of a blue car

Traveling with your dog can be a fun adventure or it can be a nightmare. The amount of planning you do ahead of time can be what makes the difference. Not everywhere you try to go will allow your dog to join you. But, by planning ahead, you can make sure you have dog-friendly places to go and stay as you and your pup travel. If you’re headed to “The Hawkeye State”, use this Iowa dog-friendly travel guide to start your research.

6 Dog-Friendly Activities in Iowa

Making sure you have some things to do and see that both you and your dog can enjoy together can add a lot of fun to your trip. Consider spending some time at these dog-friendly activities in Iowa if your travels will bring you nearby:

1. Iowa Arboretum

The Iowa Arboretum is located in Madrid, Iowa and is dog-friendly! As long as your dog is leashed and well-behaved, and you clean up after them, they are welcome to join as you explore these public gardens. The area features walking trails through both prairies and woodlands.

2. Field of Dreams

If you’re a fan of baseball and love the movie “Field of Dreams”, this attraction is the one for you. The Field of Dreams is the site where the iconic movie was filmed and it’s located in Dyersville.

Your dog is welcome to join you as you explore the site as long as they are leashed and well-behaved. Make sure you bring some waste bags just in case as you will need to make sure you clean up after any messes they make.

3. Mississippi River Walk

The Mississippi River Walk is located in Dubuque and is a great place for a relaxing, scenic walk with your dog. As long as your dog is leashed, they can come with you as you stroll along the river and take in the sights.

4. Des Moines Farmers Market

The Des Moines Farmers Market takes place downtown every Saturday from May through October. In addition to fruits, vegetables, and other food items, you’ll also find plenty of artisan crafts to peruse. Plus, your dog is welcome to join you as long as they are leashed. Who knows what you’ll find?

5. Thornberry Off-Leash Dog Park

It can be hard to make sure your dog gets enough exercise when you’re traveling. If your travels bring you near Iowa City and you want a break for you and your dog to stretch your legs, stop by the Thornberry Off-Leash Dog Park.

Not only is this dog park fenced, but it also has separate areas for small dogs and large dogs. Plus, there is agility equipment, a swimming pond, and a training area for whatever your dog feels like doing. Although a permit is required to enter this dog park, you can provide a $5 donation through an honor system to just visit for the day.

6. Prairie Pastures Dog Park

Located in Clinton is the Prairie Pastures Dog Park. This off-leash dog park is part of the Soaring Eagle Nature Center. You can get a day pass for your dog to this park for $3 for the first dog and $1 more for each additional dog through the honor box on the website.

Because this dog park is located on the site of an old zoo, there are a lot of varied and interesting structures for your dog to explore. Featuring 8 acres of fun plus a swimming pond, there is plenty of room for your dog to run and many things for them to explore.

3 Dog-Friendly Hotels in Iowa

After a day full of fun, you will want to make sure you and your dog have a place to where you can relax, rest, and rejuvenate. Since only some hotels allow pets and because pet-friendly rooms tend to go quickly, it’s important to research ahead of time and book your room early so you’re guaranteed a space. Here are a few dog-friendly hotels in Iowa to help you start your research:

1. Country Inn & Suites

The Country Inn & Suites located in Coralville is dog-friendly. You are permitted to bring two dogs up to 80 pounds with you for your stay. There is an additional pet fee, which is $35 per dog and per night.

As long as your dog remains quiet and well-behaved when you’re not around, they can be left unattended in your room. There are also grassy relief areas on-site for your dog to use. Plus, they have waste stations in case you forget waste bags in your room.

Since the Country Inn & Suites is a chain hotel, you may be able to find one that is dog-friendly in a more convenient location for your travels. Just make sure you call the location to verify that they do have dog-friendly rooms and to get more information about their specific pet fees and policies before you book a room.

2. TownePlace Suites by Marriott

Another dog-friendly hotel is the TownePlace Suites by Marriott located in West Des Moines. At this hotel, two dogs of any size are welcome to join you for your stay. There is an additional pet fee, which is $50 per stay.

As long as your dog is well-behaved and quiet when you are not around, you are allowed to leave them unattended in your room. You just need to make sure you notify the front desk and leave your contact number with them. There are also walking areas and pet stations on-site for your convenience.

3. Holiday Inn Express Hotel & Suites

The Holiday Inn Express Hotel & Suites in Dubuque is another dog-friendly option. At this hotel, you are permitted to bring two dogs up to 80 pounds with you for your stay. There is an additional pet fee, which is $10 per dog and per night.

You cannot leave your dog unattended in your room at this hotel. But, there are grassy relief areas on-site. Plus, the front desk has treats available for your convenience and to help your pup feel welcome.

4 Dog-Friendly Restaurants in Iowa

Although you can always hit fast food drive-thrus or stop at convenience stores, doing that can also be boring. Plus, it could cause you to miss out on the local flavor. Take a break and treat your palate at these dog-friendly restaurants in Iowa if you’re near one of them around a mealtime:

1. Bone-A-Patreat

This stop is all about your dog. Bone-A-Patreat is a pet supply store located in Des Moines. Not only can you find any of the supplies you may need for your dog, but your dog is also welcome to join you in the store. You will also find a variety of baked goods for dogs. It can be the perfect stop to get something special for your pooch.

2. Eagles Landing Winery

If you’re a fan of good wines, the Eagles Landing Winery could be the perfect stop for you. It’s located in Marquette and your dog is welcome to join you in the wine garden. Just make sure they remain leashed, are well-behaved, and don’t go to the bathroom in the wine garden.

3. Gazali’s

If you’re looking for some unique flavors and your travels bring you near Des Moines, consider stopping by Gazali’s for some food. This Mediterranean eatery has a variety of options on the menu.

From traditional gyros and gyros with a twist to falafel, baklava, hummus, and more, there is plenty to choose from. Plus, your dog is welcome to join you at their outdoor tables. Water is normally provided for your pooch and treats too, with your permission.

4. Backpocket Brewing

Should your travels bring you near Coralville, consider grabbing a drink and some food at Backpocket Brewing. In addition to 13 taps that feature both traditional and experimental brews, this place also has an extensive menu. From charcuterie, dips, and salads to brick oven pizza, desserts, and more, there is a lot to choose from on this menu. Plus, they have a spacious outdoor patio that is dog-friendly!

This Iowa dog-friendly travel guide is a good place to start your research, but it certainly doesn’t cover everything that’s available. If you come across anything else you want to do as you make your plans, just make sure it’s dog-friendly before it makes it onto your trip itinerary.

If you’re headed somewhere else, take a look at the other dog-friendly travel guides available to see if there’s one that can help with planning your trip. Regardless of where your travels may lead, here’s to safe travels, happy trails, and wagging tails!