Puppy Love: Dog-Friendly Charleston

by Traci Magnus
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girl on beach in dog-friendly charleston

Spend a day in Charleston, and it will soon become apparent how much our city loves its four-legged family members. Pooch-friendly patios, spacious dog parks and an endless amount of dog-centric businesses abound in the Holy City. Love your puppy? Then take him along and and you’ll both enjoy dog-friendly Charleston!

Charlestonians take their southern hospitality seriously, and this extends to our four-legged friends as well. Whether you’re spending a day, a weekend or an entire week in Charleston, you and your furry companion will never lack for things to do together.

We’ve rounded up a few ideas for dog-friendly activities that you and your pup can do together in Charleston.

dog-friendly Charleston pet travel

Explore the Charleston Farmers Market

The Charleston Farmers Market happens every Saturday in downtown Charleston at Marion Square, and many locals bring their dogs. Strolling through this lively market is always a fun experience, as it is chock-full of interesting crafts and tasty food vendors.

Once you’ve had your fill of the market, Kudo Coffee and Craft Beer is right by Marion Square — and welcomes dogs. In fact, your canine companion probably won’t be the only dog there, so be prepared to meet a lot of new fur friends.

Grab a Cold Beer at The Barrel

After a long day of walking, grab a cold beer and relax with your pup at the Barrel over on James Island. This dog-friendly bar features live music, cornhole, food trucks and an excellent selection of top-shelf beer, as well as a few carefully selected wines.

But most importantly, the Barrel has an enclosed area for the pups to romp around or relax in the shade while you enjoy good company and craft beer. Be sure to check out the rules before you go to keep things fun and safe for everyone.

Stay at a Pet-Friendly Beach Vacation Rental

Staying in Charleston for a week or longer? Kick back and relax in a dog-friendly vacation rentals on Folly Beach. This laid-back beach town is the perfect place for dogs and their owners to catch some waves and have fun together.

Folly Beach is extremely dog-friendly. Dogs are welcome on the beach, and you may even spot some paddleboarding with their owners.

After a long day at the beach, stop by Lost Dog Café with your pup. Grab a spot on the shady patio, and this fun café even has a supplementary menu for dogs so you can dine together.

Take a Walking Tour of Charleston

Charleston is an extremely walkable city and perfect for exploring with your four-legged friend. If you don’t want to wander aimlessly around the city, consider taking a dog-friendly tour instead.

There are a few Charleston tour companies that invite dogs to come along on their walking tours. Choose Bulldog Tours and explore Charleston’s haunted history on a ghost tour or take a two-hour guided tour from Free Tours by Foot and pay what you think the tour was worth at the end.

Watch Dolphins Aboard the Charleston Water Taxi

The entire family — yes, including the dog — can sightsee and spot dolphins via the Charleston Water Taxi. Book an all-day pass and don’t worry about Fido — he gets in for free.

You can also book a round trip to Daniel Island and grab a delicious burger at dog-friendly Daniel Island Grille or take Rover to Governor’s Park to burn off some energy.

Treat Your Pup to Something Sweet

If all that walking is beginning to wear you and Fido out, stop by one of Charleston’s dog-friendly bakeries for a sweet treat.

Charleston has a few bakeries that make special treats for dogs. Check out Sugar Bakeshop over in the Cannonborough-Elliottborough neighborhood downtown and give your pup an in-house treat to enjoy right there in the courtyard. Woof Gang Bakery on King Street also has a great selection of baked dog treats that will delight your pup.

Visit Magnolia Plantation and Gardens

Magnolia Plantation and Gardens is one of Charleston’s most popular attractions for a reason. Steeped in history and surrounded by lush gardens, it’s easy to feel as though you’ve stepped back in time.

This historic plantation is also pet-friendly, allowing dogs to join you on your stroll through the plantation. The only exceptions are the petting zoo and inside the plantation home, though small dogs can be carried inside the house.

Your dog can join you on the Nature Train, the boat tour and even inside the theater at Magnolia Plantation. While they may not appreciate the history, they will love experiencing the plantation with you.

Magnolia Plantation and Gardens

Dine with Fido

Charleston is known for its growing culinary scene, so why not allow your pup to share the experience? Many of Charleston’s most notable restaurants and breweries welcome dogs to their outdoor patios.

In fact, Poogan’s Porch in downtown Charleston is even named after a dog. From James Island to Downtown Charleston, finding a memorable place to eat with your dog isn’t hard in the Holy City.

Popular establishments such as Edmund’s Oast, Kitchen 208, Tavern & Table, Bay Street Biertgarten, Bowen’s Island Restaurant and Dunleavy’s Pub are all dog-friendly. To ensure that your dog is welcome, plan where you want to eat and call in advance — chances are good that the restaurant will have a dog-friendly patio.

Walk through White Point Gardens

Located at the end of the peninsula in the heart of downtown Charleston, White Point Gardens is a beautiful place to take your dog for a walk. This historic waterfront park is not only teeming with history, but it also offers stunning views of Fort Sumter and the Charleston Harbor.

Walk through the 5.7-acre park and you’ll find all sorts of monuments, statues and Civil War cannons. The park also has plenty of benches and shade for you and Fido to rest and take in the scenic views.

Enjoy Dog-Friendly Charleston

Spacious parks, pristine beaches and pooch-friendly patios are just a few reasons why the Holy City is a dog lover’s dream come true. Plan a trip to dog-friendly Charleston and bring your pup along for a memorable vacation.

However, do keep in mind that it gets hot and humid in Charleston during the summer. Be sure to give your pup plenty of water, shade and rest breaks for a safe and happy vacation!

dog-friendly Charleston

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