Go Pet Friendly

Singing the Pet Friendly Blues in Memphis

When we rate a city on its pet friendliness our criteria is a little different than most. In fact, we only consider one thing: Is it easy to do all the things a visitor would normally do – but do them with our dogs.

Unfortunately, we found that Memphis does not get high marks for its pet friendliness.

Washington, DC is a great example of a pet friendly place to visit. From the Lincoln Memorial to the Washington Monument, the White House to Capitol Hill, even Arlington National Cemetery – you can see much of what Washington has to offer with your pet. Aspen, Colorado is another super place to visit with your pet.

We’re not saying that Memphis isn’t a decent place to visit with your pets –  just that traveling here requires a bit more work. Its best known attractions, the Civil Rights Museum, the live music venues on Beale Street, and Graceland, do not allow pets. Combine that with Memphis’ hot and humid summer weather, and you’re looking at finding a pet sitter or doggy day care if you want to visit these locations.

Beale Street - Memphis, TN Beale Street - Posted A little more research and some tips from friends turned us on to a few things we did enjoy in Memphis.

The recently constructed Shelby Farms Greenline Trail, a seven-miles rails-to-trails project, connects Shelby Farms to Midtown Memphis. Leashed pets are welcome, though you should note that the trail is new and there aren’t any trash cans yet. Be sure to take your own waste bags and be prepared to pack the poop out.

Shelby Farms Greenline Trail All the trails at Shelby Farms Park are pet friendly, as long as the dogs are leashed. But the big attraction here is the off-leash area. And when I say big, I mean BIG! The staff was unable to tell me how many acres it is, but if you have a dog that doesn’t come back when you call him, I can tell you this isn’t the park for you. There are six lakes, rolling hills, and a plethora of sticks to choose from. Buster thought it was fabulous.

Buster at Shelby Farms Off-leash Area Buster and the stick If you find yourself downtown, look up Mabel and Rob for a pet friendly carriage tour of historic Memphis. Rob adopted this sweet pup after she and her litter mates wandered into the stable. Now they make a great team. Just look at those ears! Who could resist her?

Mabel the Carriage Pup in Memphis, TN And, finally, if you need a snack you don’t want to miss Muddy’s Bake Shop. The “Prozac” cupcake is so good it should be illegal. They also make fresh sandwiches and provide pet friendly sidewalk seating.

Memphis does have a good selection of pet friendly hotels to choose from, and a reasonable number of pet friendly restaurants. The Agricenter campground where we stayed was only a mile from Shelby Farms Park, and though it wasn’t pretty, it was clean and the people were friendly.

When you’re choosing a pet friendly destination, what are the most important things to you?

Planning a pet friendly trip of your own? We’ll make it easy:
Pet Friendly Hotels | Pet Friendly Destinations | Pet Friendly Activities


Comment Archive

Amy@GoPetFriendly Oct 30, 2011 at 1:13 pm
Yea, it was a bummer Tricia - it would have been a blast to sit out with the dogs and listen to live music. But, we still found plenty of fun things to do with the boys. I hope you guys have a great time!
Tricia (Geekyexplorers) Oct 30, 2011 at 7:31 am
Just came across your post as we are headed to Memphis in a few weeks in our RV. What a bummer that Beale Street doesn't allow dogs. As we travel around, it will be interesting to balance what we want to see, and what allows us to bring our pup!
Amy@GoPetFriendly Apr 22, 2011 at 7:56 pm
I think you'll have a blast at the off-leash area! And, be sure you get one of those cupcakes. =)
Margaret Apr 21, 2011 at 11:12 am
We are headed to Memphis in the middle of May. Of course, we are bringing the dogs. I thought we would camp in Shelby Forest State Park. I guess we will forgo many of sites and just enjoy being with dogs. I didn't realize that they had such a hugh leash-free area.
Amy@GoPetFriendly Apr 20, 2011 at 9:27 pm
LOL! Too many pet alligators perhaps.
Amy@GoPetFriendly Apr 20, 2011 at 9:26 pm
Thanks Deborah! When you're talking about taking your pet on a trip, isn't that what pet friendly really means? I get that sometimes compromises are necessary - for example we don't expect the dogs to be allowed in museums. But when the dogs aren't welcome at the outside attractions - that irritates me a little. I guess because we know that some places go out of their way to welcome people and their pets, it's disappointing when you visit other places that are not making any kind of effort at all.
Amy@GoPetFriendly Apr 20, 2011 at 9:22 pm
The off-leash area is pretty spectacular and definitely worth a stop if you're passing though. And, hotels that allow 100lb dogs and don't rob you are our favorites too! :-)
Hawk aka BrownDog Apr 20, 2011 at 1:21 am
Hi Y'all, Sounds like the off leash area makes Memphis worth a stop. However, the summer heat anywhere makes traveling with dogs difficult. For us hotels that allow 100lb dogs is a must. Oh yes, and that they don't rob you for having a large dog. BrownDog's Human
Deborah Flick Apr 19, 2011 at 8:59 pm
Love the off-leash area. That's awesome. I like your litmus test for pet friendliness: Is it easy to do all the things a visitor would normally do – but do them with our dogs. :-)
Karen Friesecke Apr 19, 2011 at 6:04 am
Bummer that you can't take the dogs onto Beale Street, but you can't bring your pet snake either. I guess that they were having a problem with reptiles?
Pup Fan Apr 19, 2011 at 1:03 am
Wow... that's a huge off-leash area!