Athens, Georgia is located about 70 mi (113 km) northeast of downtown Atlanta and is the home of the University of Georgia. It is known for its beautiful antebellum architecture, but the coolest thing about this bustling town is its dog-friendly cafes, restaurants and trails. Offering a variety of animal-adapted amenities, these places will make your trip with your dog quite a memorable experience.
So, let’s take some of pet-friendly places for exploring in Athens.
Dog-friendly Parks and Trails
- Sandy Creek Park: Sandy Creek Park is a beautiful Park where you can enjoy outdoor recreation with your dog. The 782-acre park, which surrounds 260-acre Lake Chapman is a perfect place to spend fun-filled weekend with your furry friend. There are four fenced off-leash areas in Sandy Creek Park, where your dog can play to its heart’s content without any worries. In one standard park, the entry for dogs is free but in other three, the entry is by reservation only.
- North Oconee River Greenway: The North Oconee River Greenway is a linear park system, which is 3.5 miles long and 10 feet wide. This paved multi-use path is open to all types of non-motorized uses. It runs from Sandy Creek Nature Center, following the North Oconee River south to Dudley Park. Canine buddies are allowed on the trails but they have to be kept on-leash. If you like to watch your pooch have fun off-leash, there is a designated dog park that allows friendships to form and legs to run off-leash.
- Dudley Park: Dudley Park is a 24-acre park, which is a tract of tranquil woods. It is nestled in the confluence of Trail Creek and the North Oconee River. All the trails are free to use for both humans and their pets; but dogs must be on-leash at all times.
- Southeast Clarke Park: There is a very nice dog park at Southeast Clarke Park where you can watch your dog happily run around. The dog parks can be accessed from the Whit Davis Parking Area or through an entry from the sidewalk adjacent to Whit Davis. The park provides engaging and sustainable environment to dogs, which they absolutely love.
Important Trail safety rules & etiquettes
Carry lots of water: Georgia has a warm climate so dehydration can easily occur. So, make sure to pack plenty of water for both you and your dog.
Put your dog on leash: Keeping your dog on a leash not just keeps your dog safe but also provides safety and assurance to other hikers and their dogs.
Plan ahead and start small: If your dog is new to the trail, start with shorter hikes so that he or she gets used to it. Gradually increase the trail length and difficulty as your dog becomes more trail savvy. Different breeds have different fitness levels, therefore choose the trail distances and conditions based on your dog’s breed.
Dog-friendly cafes and restaurants
- Mama’s Boy Restaurant: If you are looking for a restaurant in Athens where you can enjoy sweet and savory Southern breakfast and lunch pet foods with your dogs then Mama’s Boy Restaurant is the place to be. The restaurant offers dog-friendly outdoor seating and the staff is very nice to the dogs.
- Cali-n-Tito’s: Cali-n-Tito’s located at La Puerta Del Sol is one of the best pet-friendly places to visit in Athens, Georgia. It has four pet-friendly outdoor tables where you can enjoy great Cuban food with your canine companion. This is an eclectic, counter-service shack style place which is sure to make both you and your furry happy.
- De Palma: De Palma is an Italian cafe in Athens, GA that welcomes people with their pets. It has an outdoor seating area where you can savor some of the finest Italian dishes with your furry friend. The cafe requires you to contact them in advance if you wish to visit with your canine buddy so that there is ample space for you and your buddy.
- Big City Bread Cafe: It is a family run business in Athens, GA that serves locally served food and home baked items. It has a fabulous outdoor seating area where you can have great time with your furry friend. The dog friendly cafe also has dog bowls scattered around the courtyard for your pooch to have a drink while you eat.
- Last Resort Grill: This is a critically acclaimed restaurant situated in downtown Athens. If you enjoy dining out with your canine friend, this quaint and elegant setting along with the sumptuous food is sure to win your heart. You can bring your canine friend and enjoy the outdoor seating at this place. Make sure to inform the restaurant in advance to avoid inconvenience.
- Terrapin Brewery Tours: Most of Athens’ local breweries allow you to visit them with your furies. You can let your pup run around at Terrapin Beer Co. while enjoying deliciously crafted brews. So, visit this amazingly beautiful place for freshly brewed beer, or just to spend some quiet and relaxing time with your furry friend.
Rules for dogs at cafes and restaurants
To have the best time with your pets at cafes and restaurants, here are some etiquette and rules you and your pet should follow:
- Call ahead first
- Keep your canine companion leashed at all times.
- Don’t allow your dog to bark
- Don’t allow them to beg
- Make sure they doesn’t jump at others and disturb them
- No sitting on chairs, tables or benches
- No eating off the table
- Do not allow your pet to enter the inside of the restaurant.
- Make sure your pet is vaccinated and has an identification tag
- Make sure to bring your own food dish and water bowl to feed your pet.
- Get your pet to sit as close to the table base as possible to reduce the chances of anyone tripping over him.
There is no better feeling than to look at your dog’s face when they experience something exciting and new. So get outside, find pet friendly places to enjoy with your canine buddy and appreciate the many fields, trails, lakes and greats hotels and cafes that Athens has to offer!
You can find pet friendly hotels in Athens by clicking here.
Harsh Arora is a proud father of four rescued dogs and a leopard gecko. Besides being a full-time dog father, he is a freelance content writer/blogger and an educationist, with more than 6 years experience in the field of content writing.