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  • Asheville is going to the dogs

    Friday, July 7, 2023   /   by Amy Brown

    Asheville is going to the dogs

    Welcome to Dog City USA!

    Asheville is home to the first official "dog welcome center" in the United States. A warm and fuzzy introduction to Asheville awaits you and your dog at the Dog City USA Welcome Center. It's located inside the Dog Door Behavior Center and Store next to the historic Grove Arcade. Get your paws on a list of the top 100 dog-friendly attractions and services in the city and browse the store’s toys, chews and other dog necessities. Sammy (see video below) received his training from The Dog Door’s owner, Kim Brophey!

    Just blocks away, the humans in the group can pick up more general travel information at the Asheville Visitors Center. The bright red trolley you see in the video, the Gray Line Trolley Tour, departs from here. The relaxing tour gives you the chance to hop on or off a number of iconic Asheville spots. Or, ride and learn about Asheville's past and present.

    Dog Friendly Locales

    ?? Breweries

    • Sweeten Creek Brewing, 1127 Sweeten Creek Rd. | This brewery loves dogs so much that it opened its very own 8,000-sqft private dog park. There’s also a beach volleyball court and Bear’s BBQ on-site.
    • Archetype Brewing, 265 Haywood Rd. and 174 Broadway St. | Well-behaved dogs are welcome inside both the North and West Asheville taprooms.
    • Cellarest Beer Project, 395 Haywood Rd. | This open-air taproom is a great place to enjoy a beer in the sunshine with your pup.
    • Hi-Wire Brewing, 197 Hilliard Ave., 284 Lyman St., and 2A Huntsman Pl. | All three locations are splendid, but the recently opened beer garden, made of nine open-aired shipping container, is our favorite due to its close proximity to the French Broad River Greenway.
    • Zillicoah Beer Co., 870 Riverside Dr. | This riverside brewery has plenty of space for your dog to roam — and if you’re hungry, we recommend grabbing a bite from the legendary Taqueria Munoz food truck.
    • Hillman Beer, 25 Sweeten Creek Rd. | Dogs that are leashed and well-behaved are always welcome in this Biltmore Village taproom. This spot also has excellent pub fare, like the housemade soft pretzels, patty melt, and fried buffalo chicken wrap.
    • The Meadow at Highland Brewing, 12 Old Charlotte Hwy. | This wide-open green space is an oasis for enjoying pours from Asheville’s oldest craft brewery. There’s also plenty of events and a designated outdoor bar open all summer long.
    • Whistle Hop Brewing, 1288 Charlotte Hwy., Fairview | This train-themed taproom is built out of a 1969 caboose has three acres of pet-friendly fun including mini golf, mini bowling, disc golf, and plenty of park and picnic spots.

    ?? Wineries + Cideries

    • Ginger’s Revenge, 829 Riverside Dr. | This locally-owned and founded brewery pioneered alcoholic ginger beer in our community — it’s a great stop on the way to or back from the French Broad River Dog Park.
    • pleb urban winery, 289 Lyman St. | Sample a slew of NC wine while hanging indoors or out on the patio with your pup.
    • Bold Rock Mills River Cidery, 72 School House Rd., Mills River | It’s worth taking the twenty minute drive to Mills River to visit this apple oasis, complete with a cider garden and mobile kitchen.
    • Urban Orchard Cider Co., 210 Haywood Rd. and 24 Buxton Ave. | Sip on unique ciders with your dog at either the West Asheville or South Slope tasting room.

    ?? Restaurants

    • Posana, 1 Biltmore Ave. | This gluten-free restaurant goes above and beyond for its four-legged guests, with a special menu that includes chicken and rice, doggie biscuits, and grilled bacon soy doggie ice cream. If you really want your pet to soak up the experience, you can also get them a “Bowser Beer” — patio dining only.
    • Mellow Mushroom, 50 Broadway St. | This funky pizza chain has a huge, pet-friendly patio in the heart of downtown and a menu brimming with pizza, calzones, salads, and hoagies.
    • Creekside Taphouse, 8 Beverly Rd. | This family-friendly spot is nestled in the Haw Creek neighborhood and includes two acres of waterside property — perfect for a peaceful meal with the pup.
    • Twisted Laurel, 130 College St. and 10A South Main St., Weaverville| Both the downtown and Weaverville location offer pet-friendly patio seating. For a special doggie menu — including dishes like burgers, brussels sprouts, scrambled eggs, trout, and ice cream — head downtown.
    • White Duck Taco Shop, 12 Biltmore Ave., 388 Riverside Dr. and 16 Miami Cir., Arden | This quirky taco shop has three locations, all with outdoor and pet-friendly seating. Bonus: There’s plenty of great vegan and vegetarian menu options.

    ?? Hotels

    • Barkwells, 290 Lance Rd., Mills River | This unique vacation rental service (which provides fenced in cabins) allows your pup to roam freely among acres of grass, swim in a pond, and get plenty of chances for off-leash socialization.
    • Kimpton Hotel Arras, 7 Patton Ave. | This hotel is a great launchpad for downtown Asheville adventures, with plenty of dog-friendly restaurants and breweries within walking distance. Bonus: There’s no pet fee or size restrictions.
    • The Black Walnut Inn, 288 Montford Ave. | This historic bed and breakfast just north of downtown allows dogs in certain rooms with no extra deposits or fees, so long as dog owners are responsible for any excessive cleaning costs or damaged items.

    ?? Shopping centers

    • Asheville Outlets, 800 Brevard Rd. | This outdoor shopping center has a pet way station with plenty of green space and a drinking fountain, located behind the West Elm outlet. While each store may have different policies, dogs on leashes are welcome on the campus.
    • Downtown Asheville | Plenty of shops welcome pups inside, including the Asheville EmporiumDuncan and YorkMalaprop’s Bookstore + Cafe, and Mast General Store. Just ask before you waltz in with your four-legged friend.
    • Patton Avenue Pet Company, 109 Patton Ave., 1338 Patton Ave., and 582 Hendersonville Rd. | All three locations, which span North, South, and West Asheville, welcome well-behaved pets inside to shop for toys, treats, leashes, and other goods.
    • Foundy Street, 1 Foundy St. | This artsy outdoor plaza in the River Arts District has plenty of pet-friendly shops. Plus, when you’re done shopping, you can enjoy a beer at Wedge Brewing Co., which is also dog-friendly.

    ?? Parks

    • Azalea Dog Park, 395 Azalea Rd., | Azalea is arguably the most peaceful dog park in town thanks to its sprawling acreage, minimal crowds, and nearby river access.
    • French Broad River Park, 508 Riverview Dr. | This riverside park, which most locals consider the most lively dog park in town, offers two fenced-in play areas and is a great place for dog owners to chat. Pro tip: Snag a latte, smoothie, or brunch dish from Homeground Coffee Bar & Deli afterwards.
    • Wagbar | 320 Merrimon Ave., Weaverville | This outdoor, interactive 25,000 sqft bar offers ramps, tunnels, and a permanent pool to keep your dog entertained for hours. There’s also plenty of shade, fans, and outdoor heating options to make the outdoors more bearable for humans.
    • Buncombe County Sports Park, 58 Apac Cir. | Buncombe County’s first-ever dog park, which just opened in May 2022, features two fenced-in play areas. County staff hope to add more amenities and water fountains in the future.
    • Sweeten Creek Brewing, 1127 Sweeten Creek Rd. | This local brewery, which offers weekly open mic, trivia, and live music, has recently added a 8,000-sqft fenced area to the mix so dogs can frolic with their humans in harmony in the brewery’s grassy meadow.
    • Down Dog Bar & Yoga Studio, 51 Sweeten Creek Rd. | This indoor-outdoor bar also offers weekly trivia nights and music bingo, with fun drink options like prosecco popsicles and an array of local craft beers. Bonus: There are “dogtenders” on staff who ensure all the pups stay safe and get along.
    Cellarest Beer Project dog friendly
    *Information courtesy of Avl Today and Explore Asheville