Our research is editorially independent but we may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.

8 Best Places to Take Your Dog in North Carolina

If your best friend has four legs and a lot of hair, you probably don’t like to go anywhere without your dog. And the good news is, if you’re traveling to or through North Carolina, there are plenty of great places you can enjoy with the company of your trusty old friend. From nature hikes to bars that cater specifically to dogs and their owners, you’ll find lots of great ways to hang out with Fido.

U.S. National Whitewater Center, Charlotte U.S. National Whitewater Center
Credit: U.S. National Whitewater Center by usnwc.org

U.S. National Whitewater Center, Charlotte

If you and your pup are an adventurous duo, you will have a blast together at the U.S. National Whitewater Center in Charlotte. Although your furry friend can’t join you in whitewater rafting, they can do a bunch of other activities with you including hiking, kayaking, stand-up paddleboarding and just chilling on the beautiful grounds to watch all the action. Dogs are also allowed at the outdoor restaurant and at special events like the Center’s weekly music event, River Jam.

Biltmore Estate, Asheville Biltmore Estate in Asheville, NC
Credit: Biltmore Estate in Asheville, NC by Biltmore Estate

Biltmore Estate, Asheville

Although many people may not know this, the Biltmore Estate in Asheville is actually pet-friendly! Dogs obviously can’t go in the house itself, but they are allowed to explore the over 250 acres of grounds and manicured gardens. And when you’re ready to take a break and sit down for some food, there are several pet-friendly restaurants in Biltmore’s Antler Hill Village too, so your dog can join you while you dine.

The Dog Bar, Charlotte At The Dog Bar, dogs can run off-leash both in and outdoors.
Credit: At The Dog Bar, dogs can run off-leash both in and outdoors. by www.facebook.com

The Dog Bar, Charlotte

With a name like The Dog Bar, it’s not hard to figure out what this place is all about – it’s a bar where you can hang out with your dog. In addition to being able to roam free, off-leash in the climate-controlled indoor bar area, your dog can also run and play outdoors on the Astroturf, while you relax on the covered patio. There’s a full bar with liquor, beer and wine, as well as live music to enjoy. And although you can’t order food on the premises, you can bring in take-out from one of the many restaurants in the area.

Topsail Island Off-Leash Dog Beach, Topsail Beach Topsail Island boardwalk
Credit: Topsail Island boardwalk by Bigstock.com

Topsail Island Off-Leash Dog Beach, Topsail Beach

Although North Carolina has several beaches that are dog-friendly, the beach in Topsail is one of only a few in the state that allow your dog to roam off-leash. During the off-season from October 1st to May 14th, your dog can frolic and play in the sand and the water as much as he or she wants, as long as they respond to your voice command and you pick up after them. And since the weather in this region stays nice late into the fall and early in the spring, you should be able to catch some rays together!

NC Arboretum, Asheville The Winter Lights at the NC Arboretum features more than a half million lights spread over three acres.
Credit: The Winter Lights at the NC Arboretum features more than a half million lights spread over three acres. by ncarboretum.org

NC Arboretum, Asheville

The North Carolina Arboretum, located in Asheville, NC, is a nature lover’s dream. Spread across a total of 434 acres, the Arboretum is home to 65 acres of gorgeous gardens, as well as ten miles of hiking and biking trails. Although your dog cannot go into any of the buildings on the grounds, they are allowed to go on all of the trails with you, which range in difficulty from easy to difficult, as long as they remained leashed. There are also several spots along the trails where your dog can cool off in the stream if they’re getting too hot!

Three Dog Bakery, Asheville
Credit: by Facebook

Three Dog Bakery, Asheville

After your furry friend works up an appetite exploring the Arboretum, head into downtown Asheville, where you can visit the home of the popular treat brand, Three Dog Bakery. Of course, the store is dog-friendly and you can choose from a wide variety of fresh-baked, human-quality dog treats that contain only natural ingredients and no salt, sugar, chemicals or animal fats. They also carry a large selection of other pet products like toys, leashes, collars, bowls and more.

Muttigans K9s and Coffee, Emerald Isle
Credit: by Facebook

Muttigans K9s and Coffee, Emerald Isle

You can get your coffee fix and spend some quality time with your fur baby at K9s and Coffee. This quaint coffee shop located in the beautiful coastal town of Emerald Isle, is also a pet boutique that sells organic treats, toys, leashes, collars and more. Dogs are welcome to relax with their owners at one of the indoor tables or if it’s a nice day outside, you can enjoy the rocking chairs on the front porch. Make sure to also ask for a “pup cup” for your dog to enjoy too while you sip your brew!

Lucky Dog Bark & Brew, Cornelius Lucky Dog Bark and Brew has two locations in N.C.
Credit: Lucky Dog Bark and Brew has two locations in N.C. by Facebook.com

Lucky Dog Bark & Brew, Cornelius

Lucky Dog Bark & Brew is another dog-friendly bar where your pup can run around off-leash with his friends, while you enjoy a cold one with yours. There is a climate-controlled indoor area that has a separate bar area for humans and an enclosed off-leash area with picnic tables for the dogs, as well as a large, open off-leash area outside that also features picnic tables and an open patio area.

Travel Deals

Hyatt Ziva Los Cabos All-Inclusive Resort | Mexico

$334+ pp/pn

10-Day Shades of Ireland Tour | Save Up To 15%


14-Day Spitsbergen Photography Cruise


2nd Guest Flies Free | 7-Day Eastern Caribbean Cruise


Hyatt Zilara Cancun All-Inclusive Resort | Mexico

$405+ pp/pn

Last-Minute Savings | 6-Day Hawaii Cruise on Norwegian


9-Day Italy's Great Cities Guided Tour w/ 11 Meals


Riu Palace Aquarelle All-Inclusive Resort | Jamaica


N. Europe Cruises $25 Dep., Up to 40% Off, Upgrades


Med Cruises | $25 Deposit., Up to 40% Off + Upgrade


19 Santa Barbara Hotels Offering a Third Night Free


Ace Hotel New Orleans | Up To 20% Off


Mexico | Hyatt Ziva Cancun All-Inclusive Resort

$454+ pp/pn

Discover Seadust Cancun All-Inclusive Family Resort

$167+ pp/pn

Save 30-77% | Business Class Deals on Top Airlines