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Saturday, April 28, 2012

A Treat Better than Dog Biscuits:
Friendly Austin

© courtesy atmtx via
Staying in tune with the city’s saying, “Keep Austin Weird,” countless business owners within Austin’s city limits graciously welcome four-legged kids of all ages and breeds into their establishment. Whether one wants to pamper their pets, dine out, go shopping, take a swim, or visit local tourist attractions, there’s a little something for everyone amid this rather unique capital city.

Austin’s 2nd Street 
Welcomes Wagging Tails
A haven for pets and their owners, the majority of the businesses within this warehouse district boast pet friendly policies. Discover the trendy Lofty Dog, a boutique that offers everything pooches need, and on Woof Wednesdays, shoppers enjoy discounted rates on the store’s extensive line of products. Gallery D offers artwork and designer clothing, while St. Bernard Sports caters to the active outdoor enthusiast. Visit Tuecher’s walk up order window for delectable Swiss chocolates after patronizing any of the pet friendly patio eateries along 2nd Street. Both pooches and owners are sure to meet some new friends during a visit to this sector of the city.

Austin’s Yappy Hour: The Crème de la Crème of Canine Fun
This once a month gathering takes place the last Friday of every month at the Irie Bean Coffee Bar on South Lamar Street in downtown Austin. In addition to great coffee, drink specials, live music, doggie pools, and an occasional “awesomist dog” competition, dogs receive the pampering of a lifetime with offers of an exquisite mani/pedi and discounts on doggy gear. On hand for the festivities is a local expert who provides training tips to owners at no cost.

Off-Leash Dog Parks
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With approximately 18 off-leash parks within the city, owners have the freedom to literally free their pups for a few hours. Local favorites include Red Bud Isle Dog Park on Red Bud Trail. Water surrounds this gem on three sides, and pooches love to frolic, swim, socialize, and wear themselves (and their owners) down while there.

Another excellent choice is Town Lake Metropolitan Park on South Lakeshore, which boasts 10 miles of groomed trails meandering along the banks of the Colorado River. Most portions of the region’s lakes welcome friendly dogs off-leash to play in the water – such lakes include Lake Austin and nearby Lake LBJ.

Fido Friendly Outdoor Attractions
Bringing along well-behaved pets on a leash is encouraged at Zilker Botanical Gardens on Barton Springs Road in southeast Austin. Packed with unusual, rare plants for viewing, there are also several themed garden areas that visitors will enjoy exploring. For just a $2 admission fee, gain entrance to all the action, including the koi pond, waterfalls, and all of the gardens.

Another place to soak in the beauty of nature with pets is the Laguna Gloria Overview, a renovated 1916 Italian-style villa converted to an art museum, which boasts a sculpture garden, swimming access to the lake, extensive trails, and a remarkable field of clovers. However, pets aren’t permitted indoors due to the fragility of the artwork on display.

Austin Restaurants Don’t Raise the Red Flag on Dogs
The majority of casual eateries that feature patios foster pet friendly policies, but a sure-fire way to find out is by asking. However, these are some Austinite’s favorite places to dine with their pooch: The Boat House Grill on Lake Travis, the Lift Cafe on Lamar, and the Kerby Lane Cafe. These laid-back restaurants offer up home-style favorites alongside eclectic fare, and each offers pups a water bowl and doggie biscuits.

With so many establishments catering to pet owners, Austin provides the options true pet lovers want and need while taking a trip. After all, it’s nice to be able to spend the day out with the entire family, without having to leave the four-legged kids behind.

Lynn is a certified Fido fan, former Austin resident and loyal supporter of the Highland Lakes as a pet and family friendly fun spot in Central Texas. 


bichonpawz said...

Hi Carrie! Austin is a city we would love to visit! Sounds like they are really pet friendly!! Thanks for all the great tips!!
xoxo Chloe and LadyBug

Oskar said...

Austin sounds like a great place for pups!

Nubbin wiggles,

Pup Fan said...

Sounds like a cool place!

Friends of Red Bud Isle said...

PARD is considering installing Parking Meters at Austin's Favorite Dog Park!

We would like to add you to our email distribution list to keep you up to date on this issue. Please email us at

Thanks for including a link to our volunteer group Friends of Red Bud Isle on your website

Patio austin said...

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