Tennessee Dog-Friendly Travel Guide

mini schnauzer leaning out of a car window

Traveling is a great way to explore new places and go on fun adventures, but it can become stressful when you have a dog. If you decide to leave your furry friend behind, you have to arrange care for them and you both may be stressed out by the separation. On the other hand, if you decide to bring them with you, you’ll have to face places that may not be dog-friendly – that’s where planning ahead and using a dog-friendly travel guide can help. If you’re headed to “The Volunteer State” with your pup, use this Tennessee dog-friendly travel guide to start your research and plan a trip both you and your dog can enjoy stress-free:

6 Dog-Friendly Activities in Tennessee

No matter where your travels take you in Tennessee, you’ll want to make sure there are dog-friendly activities on your trip itinerary. Here are a few attractions to consider adding to your list:

1. Smoky Mountain River Rat

If you find yourself near Townsend, make sure you leave plenty of time to enjoy Smoky Mountain River Rat. This dog-friendly attraction is the perfect stop for people and pooches who love the water.

You can go tubing, rafting, or kayaking down the Little River and your dog is welcome to join you in the lower section, which is the main outpost. Although you can get a tube and a tether for your dog, life jackets are not offered for dogs; so, make sure you bring your own doggie life jacket if this stop is included on your trip.

2. Stones River Greenway

Should you find yourself in Nashville and need a break from the hustle and bustle of downtown, plan to spend some time on the Stones River Greenway. This trail system is paved, stretches for 10 miles, and connects Shelby Bottoms to Percy Priest Lake.

It also links to Two Rivers Park, Heartland Park, and the YMCA on Lebanon Road along the trail system. Your dog is welcome to join you anywhere along this trail as long as they are leashed. There is also a large dog park at the entrance of the trail where your pup can run free. Make sure you bring along plenty of water as there are no water fountains along the trail.

3. Malco Summer Drive-In

This drive-in theater is located in Memphis and is a great dog-friendly attraction where you and your pup can relax and watch a movie after a day of exploring. Malco Summer Drive-In is open for most of the year and shows movies nightly during the summer and on weekends only in the fall.

4. Founders Park

Founders Park is located in the Downtown district of Johnson City. Your dog is welcome to join you in this 5-acre green space as long as they are leashed. The park is open to the public unless it has been reserved for a specific event. If you happen to be traveling nearby in October, be sure to check out when the annual Barktoberfest event is going on.

5. Chattanooga Ghost Tours, Inc.

If the spooky and macabre is your style and you’re around Chattanooga, make sure Chattanooga Ghost Tours, Inc. is one of your must-see attractions. TripAdvisor and USA Today named this attraction one of the top 10 ghost tours in the country. Several adventures are available and your dog is welcome to join you as long as they are leashed and well-behaved.

6. Beechcraft Heritage Museum

Aviation fans will enjoy the Beechcraft Heritage Museum. This aviation-themed gem is located in Tullahoma and traces the lineage of the Beechcraft family of airplanes in a “living and working” museum environment.

Your leashed dog is welcome to join you in the museum and the gift shop. As long as your dog is well-behaved, they are welcome to be off-leash on the grounds! The museum also offers an Annual Beech Party for a weekend in October and your dog is welcome at that event as well.

4 Dog-Friendly Hotels in Tennessee

After a long day full of adventures, you and your dog will need a place to stay. Start your research with these dog-friendly hotels and book early when you find the one you want to make sure both you and your pup are welcomed with open arms:

1. Baymont Inn & Suites

The Baymont Inn & Suites Pigeon Forge is a dog-friendly hotel in the heart of the Smoky Mountains. Two dogs of any size are welcome to join you for a pet fee, which is $20 per night, per pet. A few of the amenities include free wifi, free breakfast, free parking, and more. There is an indoor and outdoor pool, but your dog will not be able to join you in them.

2. Dancing Bear Lodge

Should you need to stay overnight in Townsend, consider a reservation at the Dancing Bear Lodge. Three pets of any size are welcome to join you for an additional pet fee of $50 per stay.

This dog-friendly lodging is a great option for enjoying a rustic Smoky Mountain experience with hotel-like amenities. Plus, all cabins and cottages are equipped with full kitchens and the Dancing Bear Appalachian Bistro is nearby.

3. La Quinta Inn & Suites

If you’re staying in Chattanooga, La Quinta Inn & Suites Chattanooga – East Ridge is a dog-friendly hotel to consider. Two pets of any size are welcome to join you and there is no additional pet fee.

Free wifi, breakfast, parking, and more are just a few of this hotel’s amenities. Just make sure to book your room in advance so you’re guaranteed a pet-friendly room when you show up.

4. Cabin at Autumn Dancer Llama Farm

For something a little different, you can stay at the Cabin at Autumn Dancer Llama Farm. This is a 3-bedroom vacation rental located in Parrottsville. You are permitted to bring five dogs of any size and there is no additional pet fee!

In addition to a full-feature cabin that is a home away from home with a fantastic mountain view, there is also a ½-acre backyard that is fenced so your dogs have plenty of room to run. If this is where you want to stay, book your reservation early and make sure your dog is flea and tick-free before entering the cabin.

4 Dog-Friendly Restaurants in Tennessee

Even if you bring your own, stopping for food and breaks will definitely be a part of your travels. Gas stations, convenience stores, and fast food can get tiring. Besides, why not try some local flavor while you’re exploring a new town? Try one of these dog-friendly restaurants to get a taste of something new in a place both you and your dog will be welcome:

1. Joshua’s Pet Treat Bakery

Although you won’t find a snack for yourself here, Joshua’s Pet Treat Bakery is a must-stop if you travel near Crossville. This bakery features homemade, low-fat, and all-natural dog treats in a variety of flavors.

Treats are available in flavors like peanut butter, bacon, sweet potato, and more. Plus, your dog is welcome to join you while you shop as long as they are leashed.

2. Dancing Bear Appalachian Bistro

Whether you’re staying at the Dancing Bear Lodge or just passing through Townsend during mealtimes, the Dancing Bear Appalachian Bistro is a good stop.

This farm-to-table restaurant offers a varied menu featuring fresh, local ingredients and regionally-inspired dishes. The patio seating is dog-friendly, so your dog is welcome to join you in the outdoor seating area.

3. Hair of the Dog Pub

The Hair of the Dog Pub is located in Chattanooga. Along with a great selection of booze and brews, this restaurant also features a menu of British-inspired pub fare. From Knight sliders to beer cheese soup and other delicious options, there is something on this menu for everyone. Plus, dogs are welcome to join you on the patio.

4. Maddog’s Creamery & Donuts

This dog-friendly gem is located in Gatlinburg. Maddog’s Creamery & Donuts is an ice cream and donut shop that serves 24 flavors of ice cream and several other dessert options, including donuts and funnel cake. Plus, your dog is welcome to join you and there are even doggie donut treats available!

With this Tennessee dog-friendly travel guide, you’re one step closer to a trip that both you and your dog will love. If you’re traveling somewhere else, check out the other dog-friendly travel guides available to help you plan your trip. Here’s to safe travels, happy trails, and wagging tails no matter where your adventures take you!