7 Paw-Fect Places in Charleston to Bring Your Dog
Let’s face it, life is better with your best friend by your side. But there is a downside, as living with your dog in any city can have it’s challenges. Whether it be trying to find a nearby dog park, calling multiple restaurants to see if they allow dogs, searching for a local pet store with the best treats and pet supplies or whatever it may be, I’ve been there. Luckily for you, I’ve spent the last few years trying out some of the best places in Charleston to bring your dog, and now it's time to share them with the Whim community in a brand-new Whim List called, “Paw-fect Places.” After reading this post, head over to the Whim Social app and make sure to follow me to see the full list of “Paw-fect Places” and activities for you and your furry friends to enjoy, updated regularly!
1. James Island County Park Dog Park
If I could only bring my dog to one park for the rest of his life, it would be the dog park at the James Island County Park because it’s just that good. It’s located at 871 Riverland Drive and admission into the park is $2, which allows you to park your car anywhere on the grounds and gives you access to almost everything the park has to offer, including the dog park. The dog park is separated by fencing into two large fields, one for small dogs under 25lbs and the other for large dogs. There are dog washing stations, picnic tables and benches, and water fountains for humans and dogs. In the large dog park, there is great access to the lake where the dogs can walk directly into the water to swim and play with their furry friends. If your dog is like mine and doesn’t have the best relationship with water or swimming, I still recommend you to try out this park. My dog had so much fun playing with the other dogs that he completely forgot his fear of water and splashed around all day long. Aside from the dog park, there are miles of paved trails running through the James Island County Park that are perfect for long walks in nature with your pup.
2. The Barrel
The Barrel, located at 1859 Folly Road, is the most dog-friendly (and goat-friendly) bar in Charleston, hands down. I mean come on, what goes better with beer than the company of man’s best friends! For humans, The Barrel offers 30+ local and regional beers on tap, rotating food trucks, live music, waterfront location, and fun games like cornhole and shuffleboard. For dogs, The Barrel has a gated backyard with access to the Secessionville Creek, a separate gated dog-run, multiple water stations, and tons of furry friends to romp and play with! Make sure to check out The Barrel’s website to see the food truck and live music schedule and plan out a perfect evening for you and your friends (pet and human) to enjoy!
3. Woof Gang Bakery
If you’ve ever walked down King Street in downtown Charleston, chances are you’ve walked past Woof Gang Bakery. If you haven’t seen it, take your dog onto King Street and their sniffer will lead you right to it! Woof Gang Bakery is the local one-stop shop for pet supplies and grooming, with locations in downtown Charleston, Mount Pleasant, and Summerville. Woof Gang carries all different kinds of pet food and treats from top-notch, reputable brands to keep your dog living a happy and healthy life. Aside from food and treats, Woof Gang Bakery carries pet clothing and accessories, toys for all pet sizes and chewing (or in my dog’s case, destroying) levels, and tons of pet items you never knew you needed in your home. As a pro Charleston dog-owner, I definitely recommend you to buy shoes for your dog in the summer. Living in Charleston during the summer months is hot for everyone, especially dogs. In order to protect your pup’s toe pads and paws from walking on the hot concrete, invest in a good pair of dog shoes from Woof Gang Bakery!
4. Brown Dog Deli
You can probably tell from the name that Brown Dog Deli is the perfect place for you and your dog to grab a bite for lunch. With over 40 different menu options, it’s safe to say that Brown Dog Deli has something that everyone will enjoy. The restaurant has two different downtown locations, one located at 225 Calhoun Street and another at 40 Broad Street. And while both have some outdoor seating, the Broad Street location has a beautifully decorated patio for you to bring your dog, making it the perfect lunch date. Here, you can enjoy gourmet sandwiches, wraps, hot dogs, salads, or choose from their various vegetarian options. And it’s located just a block away from the Hazel Parker Playground Dog Park, making a perfect day for you and your pup to enjoy together!
5. Hazel Parker Playground
If you either live in downtown Charleston or ever find yourself near Broad Street and The Battery, you have to check out the Hazel Parker Playground Dog Park located at 70 East Bay Street. I have been bringing my dog here on a daily basis for almost two years, and I can easily say that both my dog and I have made friends for a lifetime here. There is a fenced-in dog park with benches and water fountains that is open all day long, every day, but after 5pm things only get better. Directly next to the fenced-in dog park is a community baseball field and recreation area. Every day after 5pm, the extremely large outfield of the baseball field becomes a mega-dog park. On an average day, I will usually see anywhere between 10 and 25 dogs here in the evening, sometimes over 30 dogs (did someone say dog party?!) will be romping and playing in the huge field. If you bring your dog here and you see me and my black standard poodle, come say hi, I’d love to meet you and your pup!
6. Hampton Park
Hampton Park is the largest and (in my opinion) the most beautiful park in the Charleston peninsula, located at 30 Mary Murray Drive. With 60 acres of land, you can enjoy a variety of different areas in the park over and over again with a different experience every time. Bring your dog out for a walk through nature under huge live oak trees and a beautiful array of flowers and plants on the paved path winding through the park, or play a high-energy game of fetch out in one of the many open fields of grass. To see some animal wildlife other than the squirrels and critters living in the trees, take your pup on a stroll around the large pond often filled with ducks and geese. At Hampton Park, you can walk/hike, run, bike, or get an entire workout in at the multiple workout stations throughout the edge of the park.
7. Bay Street Biergarten
Bay Street Biergarten, located at 549 East Bay Street in downtown Charleston, is one of my dog and I’s favorite restaurants in the city. With southern roots, a touch of Bavarian flair and a hint of German magic, this restaurant has something for everyone! From a variety of delicious burgers and sandwiches, German bratwursts, Bavarian dishes, and over 60 beer taps, Bay Street Biergarten knows how to give the crowd what they want. They have an enormous sized patio, perfect for bringing the furry friends along, as well as games in the parking lot, like cornhole! What I love the most about Bay Street Biergarten, is that they have almost as many special events going on as Charleston has churches; live music, trivia nights, pop-up markets, after-brunch parties, and sports game watch parties!
P.S. Make sure to follow me on the Whim app and check out my Whim list, "Paw-Fect Places," to see tons of more places and in-depth video reviews of dog-friendly restaurants, stores, parks, nature trails, and must-see spots in Charleston!