South Carolina Dog-Friendly Travel Guide

happy labrador retriever in a car

Traveling with your dog can be a lot of fun, but it can also be really stressful if you don’t plan ahead. Without planning ahead and checking into places you plan to stop, you can’t guarantee that they will all be dog-friendly. When traveling with your dog, you want to make sure everywhere you go will welcome both you and your dog with open arms. Dog-friendly travel guides can be a great place to start your research. If you’re headed to “The Palmetto State”, use this South Carolina dog-friendly travel guide to start your research:

8 Dog-Friendly Activities in South Carolina

Adding dog-friendly attractions to your trip itinerary ensures you have fun things to do throughout the day where your dog can join you. Here are a few dog-friendly activities in South Carolina to consider adding to your trip plan:

1. Myrtle Beach State Park

If you’re a nature fan and your travels bring you into Myrtle Beach, set aside some time to explore the Myrtle Beach State Park. Although your dog is not permitted on the beaches for most of the year, there are plenty of trails and outdoor areas to explore throughout this 312-acre oceanfront park.

Your dog just needs to be leashed, within your control at all times, and you need to make sure you clean up after them. When it comes to the beaches, dogs are not allowed on them between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. starting May 1st and running through Labor Day. Outside of these peak beach times, you can bring your dog on the beach.

2. Adventure Harbor Tours

Adventure Harbor Tours is located in Mount Pleasant and offers several different boat tours. Private charters are available and they also offer a Charleston Harbor Cruise, Sunset Boat Cruises, and a tour around Morris Island. Plus, their boat tours are dog-friendly!

Morris Island is a popular location for dog owners as it is an undeveloped island that is located at the mouth of Charleston Harbor. It’s only accessible by private boats. But, if you plan a trip there, you can walk along the beach with your dog off-leash while you look for dolphins in the harbor, search for shells, and enjoy the sun.

3. Swamp Rabbit Trail

If your travels will take you through Greenville, the Swamp Rabbit Trail is a great place for you and your dog to stretch your legs and relax in nature. This trail is 22 miles long. Because it follows along the Reedy River, it passes through the Reedy River Park and downtown Greenville.

In addition to beautiful scenery, there are also several waterfalls to see and plenty of ducks. Your dog must be leashed at all times and well-behaved, but they are welcome to join you. The path is completely paved or a rubber track. But, there isn’t much in terms of water stations or food stations, so you’ll want to make sure you bring plenty of your own.

4. King Street

King Street is a notable historic shopping district in downtown Charleston. Not only is it historically significant, but it also offers some beautiful architecture along with some of the area’s best shopping. Plus, it’s dog-friendly and many of the shops are dog-friendly as well.

As long as your dog is leashed and well-behaved, many of the shops will welcome you and your dog inside. Several of them also leave out bowls of water for pooches passing by. There is also a dog bakery called Woof Gang Bakery in the middle that is a must-stop for all dog owners.

5. Charleston Carriage Works

If you’re a fan of history and you find yourself in Charleston, consider taking a horse-drawn carriage tour with Charleston Carriage Works. These carriage tours are narrated and travel throughout Charleston’s residential historic district.

They load and depart about every 30 minutes and include plenty of stories. And, your dog is welcome to join you as long as they are leashed and well-behaved. Small dogs that sit in your lap are free while larger dogs will need a child’s ticket in order to ride.

6. Vagabond Cruise

Vagabond Cruise is located on Hilton Head Island. They offer dolphin cruises and a Spirit of Harbour Town Dinner Cruise. Dogs are welcome on the dolphin cruises as long as they are leashed and well-behaved. And, leashed, well-behaved dogs under 20 pounds can join you on the dinner cruise as long as you choose the outdoor dining option.

7. Ghost City Tours

For fans of the spooky and macabre, Ghost City Tours is a great attraction to add to your trip itinerary. They are located throughout several cities including Charleston and offer a variety of tours that range from family-friendly to adult-only.

They happen seven nights a week and last about 90 minutes. Plus, they’re dog-friendly. Your dog just needs to stay leashed at all times and be well-behaved.

8. Frampton House Visitors Center & Museum

If history is your thing and your travels bring you near Yemassee, consider spending some time at the Frampton House Visitors Center & Museum. The 4-acre property dates back to the 1700s while the plantation house dates back to 1868. It is now the location of the Lowcountry Museum, Visitors Center, and Gift Shop.

Also, your leashed dog is welcome to join you anywhere on the property, which makes it a great place for both of you to stretch your legs. On top of that, as long as your dog is well-behaved and under your control, they will also be allowed to join you inside the house.

3 Dog-Friendly Hotels in South Carolina

After a full day of fun, you’ll want to make sure you have a place to rest, relax, and recharge that will welcome your dog too. Because not all hotels are dog-friendly and dog-friendly rooms tend to fill up fast, it’s important to do your research and book a room ahead of time to ensure you have a dog-friendly place to stay. Start your research with some of these dog-friendly hotels in South Carolina:

1. Wentworth Mansion

Wentworth Mansion is a mansion-turned-historic-hotel located in Charleston. It’s a 5-star hotel that blends history, hospitality, and luxury. Plus, it’s dog-friendly. Two dogs of any size are welcome to join you for your stay. There is an additional pet fee, which is $40 per dog, per night of your stay.

There is a relief area for your dog located conveniently in the courtyard and waste bags are available on-site. On top of that, your dog can be left unattended in your room as long as they are well-behaved and treats are available at the front desk. If you’re not sure how your dog will do if you need to leave them alone in your room, you can work with the hotel to arrange a petsitter.

2. Holiday Inn Express & Suites Bluffton at Hilton Head

If you’ll need a place to stay on Hilton Head Island, consider the Holiday Inn Express & Suites in Bluffton. This hotel is dog-friendly. You can bring up to two dogs of any size with you. There is an additional pet fee, which is $25 for one dog and one night.

This fee increases to $50 for one dog for two nights or more and $15 on top of that per stay for a second dog. The front desk has treats available. There are two areas on-site for walking your dog and waste bags are provided. Quiet, well-behaved dogs are permitted to be left unattended in your room.

3. Hyatt Regency Greenville

If you’ll be staying overnight in Greenville, consider booking a room at the Hyatt Regency Greenville. Located in the heart of Greenville, this hotel offers great views, access to plenty of things to see and do, and is also dog-friendly.

You are welcome to bring two dogs up to 60 pounds with you for your stay. There is an additional pet fee, which is $125 per stay for one dog and $175 per stay for two dogs. You can’t leave your dog unattended in your room, but there is a grassy area on-site where you can walk your dog. You can also buy dog treats from the front desk if you happen to run out.

4 Dog-Friendly Restaurants in South Carolina

When you’re traveling, it’s easy to fall into a pattern of fast food and convenience stores in addition to whatever you’ve brought with you. Although this is often fast and easy, it also means you miss out on the local flavor and experience. If your travels bring you near these dog-friendly restaurants when you need to eat or grab a drink, consider stopping by:

1. The Unleashed Dog Bar

If you are a fan of wine and brews and your travels take you near Greenville, consider stopping for a drink at The Unleashed Dog Bar. True to its name, this bar offers a fenced-in off-leash dog park where your dog can run free while you enjoy a drink.

As long as they are leashed, they’re also welcome to join you inside the bar. You will need to purchase a day pass for your dog to attend and ensure they follow the dog park rules. But, other than that, they’re free to join you wherever you are in this dog-friendly bar!

2. Tail Wiggles

This shop located on Hilton Head Island is all about your dog. Tail Wiggles welcomes both you and your dog with open arms. They offer treats, toys, collars, beds, and other supplies for both dogs & cats including food.

They even have an in-house “barkery” that features baked cookies and treats for your dog in a bunch of different sizes, shapes, and flavors. This makes it a great place to stop for a special local treat for your pup.

3. FUEL Charleston

FUEL Charleston is a great place to stop for some food and refreshment if your travels bring you downtown. Not only is it housed in a repurposed gas station and offers a great menu, but it’s also dog-friendly. This place is known for classic pub grub with a Caribbean flavor.

Local favorites include chorizo burgers, grilled shrimp, jerk chicken salad, and more. Plus, the outdoor seating area is shaded and has fans. So, in addition to a bowl of water, you and your dog will both be more comfortable while you eat.

4. Lost Dog Cafe

Lost Dog Cafe is located in Folly Beach and it is a favorite of locals and tourists alike. The menu features breakfast and lunch options with a Southern twist, so there is something for everyone. Plus, their outdoor seating is dog-friendly. But, this is a popular place that doesn’t really have an “off” time. So, try to go outside of peak rush hours and be prepared to wait a little bit for a table.

This South Carolina dog-friendly travel guide is just a starting point for researching and planning your trip. By doing your research and planning ahead, you can take a lot of stress out of traveling with your dog and make sure it’s a trip you can both enjoy together.

If you’re headed somewhere else, check out some of the other dog-friendly travel guides available to help you plan your trip. Here’s to safe travels, happy trails, and wagging trails throughout all of your adventures!