From breweries to bakeries, there are so many reasons you’ll want to bring along your best furry friend on your next getaway to the Smokies. Haywood County is one of the best dog-friendly vacation spots in Western North Carolina and Alana is here to tell you why.
Follow along as our sweet fur-iend, Alana gives us an inside scoop on all her favorite spots!
My pawrents like to come here to drink good beer, but I come for the atmosphere (and of course the food!). I order my usual, the ‘4-Legged Dog Bowl’ (made up of shredded chicken, peas and carrots) at the bar – where I’m greeted with smiles from the Frog Level team. Once we place our order, I go straight to the outdoor picnic tables where I like to make new friends and watch the creek flow by. It’s hard to wait for my heaven in a bowl, but it’s always worth it when it comes around!
If I ever run away one day, this is where you’ll find me. As soon as you walk through the doors you’re greeted with treats! I mean…what more could you ask for? These hoomans know a way to a dog’s heart (and that’s my stomach). All my favorite toys at home like ‘Susie The Sheep’ and ‘Keith the Koala’ came from the bakery. Oh! And I haven’t even gotten to the pest part yet – THE TREAT BAR! Yes, you heard me right – they have a whole bar where you can choose from a variety of treats that are made fresh daily. The bakery ladies say that I can treat myself to the treat bar anytime I come in…don’t mind if I do. The Smoky Mountain Dog Bakery was also voted one of the top ten dog bakeries in the nation! I’m not surprised though – I’d give the bakery two paws up any day.
My pawrents like to bring me here to socialize and get my energy out. I enjoy chasing sticks and balls and making instant friends when they walk through the gate. There is a small and large dog section at the Waynesville Recreation Park so pups of all sizes can spend time playing with others. Once I’ve run out a little energy, I like to cool off in the nearby Richland Creek that runs alongside the park. This is one of my favorite places to take a dip in the summertime.
I love shopping at the Mast General Store with my pawrents. Not only do they have plenty of dog accessories, like travel bowls, leashes, and doggie backpacks, you can also find a nice employee who will toss you a treat or two from their big cookie jar. And guess what? They carry Smoky Mountain Dog Bakery treats…my favorite!
I love to take the 2.3-mile stroll around the lake that goes by so many beautiful buildings and gardens. If you’re feeling frisky, there’s a longer 3.5-mile route. Either loop will take you by my friend, ‘Bushy the Dog’, who can be seen outfitting the latest season. Continue on to find over 200 different varieties of roses along the iconic Rose Walk, where my hoomans and I like to stop and smell the roses. Once we’ve made it around to South Lakeshore, I like to cool off with a swim in the lake. I usually end my walk with a trip to Junaluska Gifts & Grounds where they carry great dog-friendly gifts and local treats from once again, The Smoky Mountain Dog Bakery.
I love that The Dog House has everything I’d ever need in one place. They carry gourmet foods, pet specialty items, and even have a grooming salon for all my long-haired friends. Make sure to check out both locations in Waynesville and Canton. Oh and did I mention the owners also opened up a food truck called, Woof Street Bistro? It’s so good it’ll make you howl!
I believe that these mountains were made for us dogs. There’s plenty of space to roam, rivers to wade in and peaks to climb. Some of my favorite hikes include Black Balsam Knob and Waterrock Knob. The Black Balsam trail includes some of the most spectacular mountains and balds in the Southern Appalachians. After a full morning of hiking, there’s lots of great grassy patches and rocks to sit down with your hooman to refuel with a snack. Waterrock Knob is my favorite place to catch the sunset. The parking area offers a 360-panoramic view of the mountains, making it the perfect place to pitch a picnic. If I’m lucky, I’ll get thrown a scrap or two.
I have a simple math equation all you dogs out there will understand. Shaved ice + beef broth + whipped cream + treats = The Ultimate Pup Cup. I love swinging by 828 Market on Main in the summer to snag this delicious sweet treat. Not only are the people friendly, they also know exactly what I want when I walk in. 828 Market is also a great place for my pawrents to enjoy a mimosa flight while I entertain one of my favorite activities, people-watching. Most folks can’t resist this cute face, so I usually attract a lot of suckers who want to pet me. Maybe I can make a deal with the owners one day – “will bring in customers in exchange for pup cups”.
The Patio Bistro is a great lunch spot serving up homemade quiche, cookies, soups, sandwiches and more in Downtown Waynesville. I love to come here with my pawrents because they have a great outdoor seating area that’s perfect for a pup like me! They even have tons of water bowls for us dogs to quench our thirst on a hot summer’s day.
Well now that I’ve shared all my favorite places, I want you to share yours! Make sure to tag @visitncsmokies or use the hashtag #haynow in all your photos showing off the best dog-friendly spots in Haywood County for a chance to be featured on social media. 🐶