Dog Friendly Road Trip: Columbus

I recently read an article about a bucket list a woman devised for her and her dog. One of the things on her list was taking trips with her dog. Although I think this is a great idea, the logistics of flying or taking a long drive with a dog seem difficult. This bucket list did get me thinking though what a fun idea it would be to take short weekend trips with my dog.

Just a short drive from Cleveland, Columbus is an easy road trip you can take with your dog. Since I make it back there frequently to see family, I’ve done some research recently on what Columbus has to offer in the way of dog friendly places and activities. Like Cleveland, Columbus has a lot of great parks as well as bars and restaurants with dog friendly patios.

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Here are some of the tops spots to hit up with your pup:

Best Parks:

Highbanks Metro Park, Lewis Center. Although I usually hit up Blacklick Park, since its closest to my family, I’m always disappointed that the park’s pet friendly trail is so short. Dogs are not allowed on most trails through the park (the Cleveland parks system seems much more welcoming of dogs, but let me know if I have the wrong impression Columbusites). I’ve been doing research to find a more pet-friendly park and recently came across Highbanks Metro Park in northern Columbus. This park has a 3.5 mile pet trail, the longest pet trail in the Columbus area. Great for a stop if you want to take your dog on a long walk to wear him out before hitting up a dog-friendly patio for dinner.

Scioto Audobon, Downtown. Located in the heart of downtown, this is a great place to take your dog while making a weekend visit of the city. The park has hiking and biking trails, a climbing wall, fishing and a dog park. The 2-acre dog park features separate areas for small dogs and large dogs, each with its own agility course.

Alum Creek Dog Park – this large park has a lot of space for dogs to run around, including a spacious small dog area as well.

For a complete list of what Columbus parks offer pet trails visit:

Dog Friendly Dining

Once you’ve worn out your dog on the trails or at the dog park, it’s time for dinner! The best area for dog lovers is in the Short North, the area just north of downtown and just south of the Ohio State campus. The Short North is chock full of galleries, bars and really good restaurants. Some good ones to check out on your visit with your dog:

Bodega, corner of High St. and Third Ave. Bodega offers an impressive beer menu along with burgers, sandwiches, salads and appetizers. The usual array of menu items you can find at most gastropubs. The patio isn’t very large, but it does welcome dogs.

Northstar Café, 951 North High Street. The restaurant specializes in healthy, locally-grown cuisine. Dogs are allowed at the outside tables.

La Chatelaine French Bakery 1550 West Lane Avenue, Dublin. In the true spirit of France, this delicious French bakery allows dogs at the outside tables. Although not in the Shorth North, the bakery is located in a really cute area of Dublin that is definitely worth a visit.

One other thing I just found out about that I’d love to take my dog to is Dog’s Night Out at Graeters. Since it falls on the first Thursday of the month, I haven’t been able to make it yet but I love the idea of taking my dog to my favorite ice cream place!


Since I always stay with family, I don’t have any firsthand experience with pet-friendly hotels in Columbus. However, the site has a great list of pet-friendly hotels to help you find a place to stay with your dog:

Upcoming Events:
Lazy Danes Luau, Jul 27, Three Dog Bakery, Columbus
Dog Jog, Aug 18 Genoa Park
WAG! Dog Festival, August 24, Hilliard
Woof Stock, Aug. 24, Columbus Commons Downtown
Fido Fest, Oct. 6, Worthington Village Green
Canine Companions DogFest! October 12, Dublin

Don’t forget to send me pics of your doggie road trip!