12 Dog-Friendly Things to Do in Washington, D.C.

Fala, the first dog of our 32nd president, has his own memorial. Explore Washington, D.C. with your own pup.
Fala, the first dog of our 32nd president, has his own memorial. Explore Washington, D.C. with your own pup. | © Ken Lund / Flickr
Photo of Kirsten Ballard
4 May 2018

Taking a trip with friends is the best – taking a trip with man’s best friend? Even better. While traveling with dogs can be challenging in many cities, Washington, D.C. is incredibly dog-friendly. So jump in the car with Fido and come explore the District with these 12 dog-friendly activities.

Dacha Beer Garden

Bar, American, $$$
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A popular spot on sunny days for humans and puppers alike. | A popular spot on sunny days for humans and puppers alike.
Start your weekend at Dacha Beer Garden with your dog in tow. This outdoor Shaw beer garden has gravel ground covering, shade, and bowls down for your pup when he wants a pint (of water). The brunch menu includes shareable plates and hangover cures galore. Your dog won’t mind if you want to share.

Happy #nationalpuppyday!! ? #Repost @shermanthecorgi

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Pups in the Park

Elevate your dog’s love of ball to a love of baseball. The Nationals host a series of dog-friendly games where you and your furry best friend can watch the game in a special, reserved area. Dog tickets are $10 but the memories are priceless. The park has designated “Pet Sitters” to watch your dog when you run to the concession line.

Grilled sirloin for brunch? Yes please! #Repost @izzy_the_chow

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Art and Soul's Pooch Patio

Cafe, American, $$$
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Gravy, grilled sirloin, and peanut-banana pupsicles – Art and Soul’s Pooch Patio boasts an entirely dog-friendly menu that’s good enough for humans! Enjoy your own plate while your pup samples frozen beef bones and Bowser Beer, a non-alcoholic brew for those older than 21 dog years.

National Mall

The expansive National mall is dog-friendly and open 24/7. While you do have to keep your dog leashed, you can explore the monuments together. Some memorials require carrying your dog. Make sure to stop by the FDR memorial, as he was a true dog-loving president and his Scottish Terrier, Fala, has a statue, too.

Boating in DC at Key Bridge Boathouse

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Key Bridge from D.C. Side | Key Bridge from D.C. Side
Let your pet be your first mate at the Key Bridge Boathouse. Rent a SUP or kayak and paddle around the Potomac River. Bring a life-vest for your dog and he can do some (doggy) paddling of his own to cool off. Dogs ride for free.

Frolick Dogs

Dog Park
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This gym has gone to the dogs – literally. This indoor facility offers agility courses, self-grooming stations, classes, boarding, and “specialized canine gym equipment.” Plan ahead if you want a slot on the day boarding list, as there is often a waitlist. Or you can pay $12 to drop in at the gym and take your dog through his paces. He’ll be dog-tired by the end of the day.

8 Chains North Winery

Wine Seller, Contemporary, $$$
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Is your dog whining to go out? Why not go out to wine. This winery is especially dog-friendly. If you want to sip vino on the patio, your leashed dog can join you. If your dog is not the lie-in-the-shade type pup, you can move over to the off-leash dog park where your dog can run and play while you enjoy a glass at a shaded picnic table. Starting in July, 2018, dogs are even allowed inside the winery.

Guarding/hoarding all the water bowls

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Kimpton Carlyle Hotel Dupont Circle

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Carlyle Suites | © Kimpton Hotels
When you’re booking your dog-friendly vacation, look no further than the Carlyle. This hotel goes above and beyond for pets, with no extra fees, no weight or breed restrictions. Your dog will be welcomed by name and the hotel offers complimentary poop bags. Additionally, it’s in an amazing location and walkable to the S Street Dog Park.

Congressional Cemetery

Cemetery, Memorial
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Welcome to Washington, D.C.’s most exclusive dog park. With a waitlist of over 500 people, the Congressional Cemetery K9 Corps is a dream for any pooch owner. Only about 600 people have unfettered access to all 35 acres of leash-free historic grounds. Skip the three to four-year wait for membership and pay the $10 entrance fee for access for the day.