Dog's Day Out in Austin, TX
A source of pride for many Austinites, the Barton Creek Greenbelt sits within city limits and stretches over seven miles long. Though the Greenbelt is not far from downtown, this peaceful reserve helps you forget about your urban location. Tall trees shade rocky, winding trails that often lead to either limestone cliffs or water. Consider entering the Greenbelt at the Gaines/Twins Falls Access off of the feeder road of MoPac (Loop 1) as it provides an easy trail to two popular swimming holes, perfect for dogs. The Greenbelt is an on-leash area, which is especially important considering the amount of bikers and hikers sharing the trail.
Austin’s largest park sits alongside Lake Austin and offers countless recreational spots for swimming, biking, hiking and camping. Even the drive to the Emma Long Park entrance is enjoyable as the road winds through juniper and oak trees. Dogs will love the Turkey Creek trail, the off-leash and admission-free area of the park. The trail is roughly 2.5 miles long and it crisscrosses over the creek in several parts, which allows for dogs to cool off. Be aware that an admission fee is charged for the rest of the park, which includes access to the sandy beach near the lake as well as picnic areas.
For a restaurant, Freddie’s takes an open-door policy for dogs to another level. Dogs are loved here and treated like worthy customers. Freddie’s occasionally hosts dog-centric events and the restaurant features a dog snack dispenser. The big back yard is great for playing washers, seeing a band or bringing children to run around — there’s even a playscape here. Freddie’s provides live music Thursday through Saturday, weather permitting. Keep an eye on their online calendar for events such as Freddie’s Backyard Big Screen, where children’s movies are screened or Two Throw Tuesdays where patrons are allowed to have two throws at the washer pits for the chance to win a free meal.
Every dog’s day out requires a bit of a jolt in the morning to get you going, and Jo’s can provide just that. Jo’s has two prime locations — one in the heart of South Congress, the other on classy, urban Second Street, surrounded by shops and high-rises. Both can provide you great people-watching as you sip Jo’s own roasted coffee. Are you more of an afternoon java junkie? Come to Jo’s later and eat lunch or dinner. If you do visit in the evening, make it Jo’s on Second Street, where they host fun activities such as the trivia-centric First Tuesdays, Jo's Downtown Music On The Patio and Drag Queen Bingo.
Spacious outdoor patios make Opal Divine’s a good choice for dogs and humans alike. Opal Divine’s serves American fare in three different locations across Austin and is open for brunch (weekends only), lunch and dinner. Enjoy their daily drink specials and expansive bar. From scotch to beer to pressed fruit drinks and handmade margaritas, happy hour is certainly happy here. Don’t worry that your furry friend will feel out of place. The staff’s sentiments towards dogs are no secret— the West 6th Street location even has a sign stating they are “Woof Friendly.” The waiters treat dogs here to a water bowl and smiles.