Dog-Friendly Day Trips

We all have favorite local “go-to” spots when it comes to spending quality time with our fur-kids. And while these places are familiar and fun, sometimes we get an itch to see and try something new. What’s a good cure for that itch? A dog-friendly day trip, of course!

We’ve come up with five dog-friendly destinations — all within a two-hour drive, and perfect for day-trippers and their furry companions. So, make a plan to go somewhere new with your pooch!

Haw River in Saxapahaw

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Saxapahaw is best described as a place that’s in the middle of nowhere, but close to everywhere. If you and your pup are outdoor enthusiasts, then the nearby Haw River is the place to be, and it’s less than an hour’s drive.

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A broad dam slows the river into smooth, flat water — making it perfect for novice two- and four-legged paddle-boarders or kayakers. This flat-water paddling experience is also ideal for those dry summer days when water levels are low. After your water adventures, make a pit-stop at Haw River Farmhouse Ales Brewery. It’s dog friendly inside the taproom and out on the patio!

We can’t forget the neighboring town of Graham, where you can start your day at Press Coffee + Crepes in the quaint downtown area. Outdoor tables provide the perfect spot to enjoy European-inspired crepes and fresh-brewed coffee, all with your dog by your side. Plus, check out the sights and sniffs at Saxapahaw Island Park, with its scenic walking trails, a meadow and river access.

Round Peak Vineyards in Mount Airy

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The fictional town of Mayberry, from the TV sitcom “The Andy Griffith Show,” was based on actor Andy Griffith’s hometown of Mount Airy. So if you’re looking to go somewhere with your pooch that takes you back to a simpler time, then it’s worth the two-hour drive.

Located right at the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, Round Peak Vineyards is a must-see destination when visiting, especially for wine connoisseurs. Dogs are welcome anywhere on the 12-acre property, including the crush pad patio with its spectacular views of the surrounding mountains and vineyard. The staff offer biscuits to four-legged patrons, and there’s a small, fenced-in, off-leash area where pups can play. Sip on award-winning wines while enjoying a picnic lunch with your pooch. Also, the local Round Peak dogs usually come around to meet and greet the winery’s guests.

Tour Old Wilmington in Wilmington

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Wilmington is a quick two-hour jaunt, and while it’s a great coastal town for beach lovers and water dogs, history buffs absolutely love it here! In fact, there’s so much to see and do, you might want to make it a weekend getaway.

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Diving into Wilmington’s history is easy since there are plenty of walking (and ghost) tours around the area. Tour Old Wilmington invites you to discover a hidden history and experience life during the Victorian Era. You’ll see what life was like during the Civil War, learn about old customs and traditions, and hear exciting folklore and tales of the sea.

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Beyond history, the Riverfront Farmers Market welcomes pets and their people to shop for the best local produce. Plus, there are many restaurants, breweries and coffee shops offering outside seating areas, where dogs can join their humans for dining and relaxing. All of this comes together to make Wilmington a very dog-friendly day-trip destination!

Uptown Umbrella Market in Greenville

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Head an hour and a half east to arrive in Greenville, the “Gem of the East.” While it’s a growing city, there are plenty of rivers and more than 300 acres of parks, making it a very dog-friendly place. For a perfect mid-week getaway, pack up your pup and plan to shop ’til you drop at the Uptown Umbrella Market. On Wednesday evenings from May through August, you can enjoy fresh produce from local farmers, handmade art and jewelry, homemade ice cream and baked goods, and live music on the Five Points Plaza.

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Before heading home, stop over at Pitt Street Brewing Company, where pups are welcome in the taproom and outside areas. Home to the award-winning Dapple Dog Dry Stout, the brewery offers a waste bag stand in the backyard area and provides water bowls for furry patrons.

Riverside Mill near Roanoke Rapids

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Roanoke Rapids, located only an hour and a half northeast along the scenic Roanoke River, offers plenty of indoor and outdoor activities. Just 5 miles down the road in Weldon, you’ll find Riverside Mill — a historic cotton mill that’s been converted into an antique mall, art gallery and shopping outlet all rolled into one. With 100-plus spaces for local antique dealers and artisans, it’s the perfect spot for those who are into antiquing. Pooches are welcome to browse with their pet parents, and there’s a picnic area to rest, relax and sample homemade treats from various vendors.

After browsing and shopping, take in some walking and bird-watching along the Roanoke Canal Trail in Roanoke Rapids. Well-preserved remnants of the 19th century Roanoke Canal line can be seen along this 7.5-mile trail — including a large tow path, aqueduct and stone culvert. Bird- and nature-lovers visit all year to catch glimpses of bald eagles, osprey, hawks, owls, woodpeckers and herons, just to name a few.

About TripsWithPets

TripsWithPets has been helping pet parents find and book pet-friendly accommodations since 2003. TripsWithPets provides online reservations at over 30,000 pet-friendly hotels & accommodations across the U.S. and Canada.

When planning a trip, pet parents go to for all they need to book the perfect place to stay with their pet — including detailed, up-to-date information on hotel pet policies and pet amenities. Enjoy exclusive deals, get travel tips and news @ #jointheroadtrip.

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