Coach and Madden are the best travel companions and I wish that we could take them along more frequently, but we will never put them on a plane, do not like long-distance driving, and are limited in places that will take two big dogs into hotels or vacation rentals, so we usually only get to bring them along on vacations near our home base in Houston, TX. One of the easiest places we have taken them is Austin, and we try to bring them a long with us about once a year. A dog vacation is very different from a couple’s retreat -it tends to be more casual and there is an additional furry consideration that can affect/limit plans.
We have found that Austin has an amazing array of vacation rentals that are dog-friendly. We have stayed in several lovely homes with loads of Austin charm that allowed both 75lb+ dogs to join us. In addition, the city is very dog friendly with restaurants not only allowing dogs, but even catering to them with a touch of dog service. This is especially nice when you are out and about on adventures and do not want to return back to drop them off. Adventures are always better with fur companions, and honestly, they are usually so pooped out from swimming and running that all they do is sleep.
Austin offers quite a few options for adventures with your dog, including hikes, swimming holes, boat rentals and our favorite the Lady Bird Lake Hike and Bike Trails. The dogs start shaking with excitement when we pull into a parking spot and it is hard to keep them calm until they can run it out around the loop. My husband proposed to me on a kayak with one of our dogs, Madden, in the boat. Our Golden Retriever, Coach, pulled my mother into the lake from the walking trails. And we have been talking about taking them on a stand-up paddle boarding adventure, but I think we would get life-vests for them so we would not have to worry about them swimming to death. Honestly, Coach would die happy if he was in the waters of Austin… and we do worry it might happen at times. They absolutely love it there and usually leave sore and exhausted with smiles.
At any rate, we love taking our dogs on active trips, and in the evening when we go on date nights, they snooze. In fact, we have had to leave them behind on day adventures for being too sore and worn out. Well, Madden anyway. Coach is an energizer bunny. Hope you enjoy these suggestions and would love to know if you have any additions that we can keep in mind for our next Austin road trip!
Here are some of our favorite dog-friendly adventures:
- Turkey Creek Trail
- Just for Fun boat rental on Lake Travis, specifically pontoon boats for us
- The many dog parks, especially Red Bud and the one located off 2222 near 360
- Town Lake trail or Lady Bird Lake
- Barton Springs free side
Here are some of our favorite dog friendly establishments: