We told you how weird, wonderful, and pet friendly Austin is, but we haven’t told you what we did during our visit. Here are our suggestions for a perfect day in Austin!
Need coffee in the morning? Head down to Jo’s Coffee in the SoCo neighborhood.
They have shady outdoor seating, and the double chocolate muffin is to die for.
After breakfast, take a walk over to Auditorium Shores and burn off a few calories at the dog beach.
You won’t find a double gated entry here – in fact this dog beach isn’t fenced at all. Located on Lady Bird Lake Trail, you’ll know you’re there when you see these signs:
The trail is shared by runners, walkers, bikers, and off-leash dogs, so be sure your dog responds well to verbal commands. While Buster was playing, I saw a young dog run in front of a biker and get hit. The biker crashed to the ground and the frightened pup ran off. Fortunately, the closest street is across a large field and the owner was able to catch up to her dog before the mishap turned into a tragedy. As it turned out, neither biker nor dog sustained serious injuries, but watching it happen left me a little shaky.
When you’re done at the beach, take a stroll out Lady Bird Lake Trail to Zilker Park. Rent a boat and explore Town Lake, or enjoy a walk through the botanical gardens. There are huge fields where dogs run and play, and don’t miss Barton Springs Pool. Though the spring fed swimming pool is not pet friendly, it is amazing – and there is an area downstream where dogs can splash in the water.
From Zilker Park walk back on Barton Springs Road and stop at P. Terry’s burger stand for lunch. They use local ingredients and make everything fresh each morning. Their veggie burger is the best I’ve ever had, and do yourself a favor – get the oatmeal chocolate chip cookie.
Afternoons can get pretty warm in Austin – if it’s hot, head over to Butler Park and find spot to relax in the shade. If you’re up for a walking tour of downtown, cross the pedestrian bridge at Lamar and pick your poison: the live music venues that Austin is famous for are on 6th Street; Amy’s Ice Cream – the best in the city – is at 6th and Lamar; or mosey along the Shoal Creek Trail – you won’t even know you’re in a city.
When dinner time rolls around you’ll have plenty of pet friendly restaurants to choose from – there are more than 80 listed on the GoPetFriendly.com website! No matter where you decide to dine, be back on Lady Bird Lake for sunset.
In Key West, sunset is a celebrated event each day – in Austin it’s the flight of the bats. Shortly after sunset, from March through October, you’ll see people congregating on the Congress Street bridge waiting for the largest urban bat colony in North America to depart for the nightly hunt. For the best view, walk down Lady Bird Lake Trail on the north side of the lake until you’re just east of the bridge. Bring a blanket and binoculars, and enjoy the show.
The last stop for the day – back to Amy’s for ice cream.
Austin has a great selection of pet friendly hotels – there are 70 listed on the GoPetFriendly.com website. If you’re RVing, there is really only one place to stay – the Pecan Grove RV Park. It’s tough to get a site here, so make your reservations in advance. You won’t be disappointed – the park is located on Barton Springs Road and within dog walking distance of everything described above.
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