10 cool spots to hang out with your dog this summer — and beat the heat

Image courtesy of NoDa Brewing

Looking for somewhere different to take your pup to stay out in the world, but out of the heat? Try out these (cool) spots for a day out with the pooch.

For shopping

Sleepy Poet

4450 South Blvd, 28209

Sleepy Poet makes for a great day of antiquing and gazing. Bring the pup along for company and browsing. Check out Bird Dog Vintage’s booth, where a portion of proceeds go to Springer Rescue.

Treat yo’self: Grab a bag of popcorn and spend your day wandering the aisles.

Atherton Mill and Market

2120 South Blvd, 28203

Atherton is incredible because of the openness and friendliness of business owners. Peruse Free People and Anthropologie, which are both dog friendly. In fact, it’s encouraged through their parent company, Urban Outfitters, and they even have dog bones and water in the summer. Grab a cup of coffee at Not Just Coffee (where dogs can wander inside), or take a seat for lunch on the shady patio of Living Kitchen.

Treat yo’self: I highly recommend the (hemp) milk and cookies from Living Kitchen.


Various Locations

Summer projects are all the rage. Grab your pup and head to your home superstore of choice. This is perfect because the aisles are spacious, it’s air conditioned, and you can hit your to-do list with the pup in tow.

Treat yo’self: Grab a handful of DIY magazines and get your wheels turning for your next project.

Farmers Markets

Various Locations

No matter your side of town, you are certain to be close to a farmers market or two. I recommend NoDa Farmer’s Market or Davidson Farmer’s Market. It’s outside, so going early in the morning is key to keep you and your dog out of the hot summer sun.
Treat yo’self: Pick up an herb or potted plant while in Davidson and support Davidson Green School, an independent school focused on science and sustainability.

For dining/drinking

King of Pops

2500 Dunavant St.

Located in South End, this colorful space is perfect for a human/doggie date. Your dog will love a King of Pups—a dog-friendly “ice cream” made from honey, bananas, peanut butter, and other yummy dog treats.

Treat yo’self: Try the new peach pop—it’s what summer should taste like.

NoDa Brewing Co.

2921 N. Tryon St.

NoDa Brewing has, from its inception, been dog-friendly, with brew dogs Marley and Dakota spending their days in the offices of owners Suzie and Todd Ford. And now, with this dog-love in mind, NoDa has taken this a step further with “BYOD: Dog Walking Program”. Bring your own dog on Sundays to walk a mile at noon, grab a beer, and sit in the shade on the patio.

Treat yo’self: NoDajito- NoDa Brewing’s award-winning mojito wit beer

Free Range Brewing

2320 N. Davidson St.

Located beside Amelie’s, Free Range is just a short dog-walk from NoDa proper. With a great, nicely-shaded outdoor patio and water bowls, Free Range is an easy-going spot to sit outside and enjoy the sun. As with all breweries, remember dogs are only allowed outside and brew staff are just following the rules when asking you to keep Fido outside.

Treat yo’self: You’re Everything I Kneed—a Carolina wild ale collaboration with Duke’s Bread, and a cup of wasabi peas

Rhino Market

1500 W. Morehead St., E, 28208

The covered outdoor patio at the West End Rhino Market is waiting on you and your dog. You (likely) will be met with lots of other dog-lovers with their fur-babies lying in the shade, staying cool while enjoying great food and beverage. Water bowls abound and there is plenty of space for the pups to lie down.

Treat yo’self: Grab a can of Rosè All Day or a pint of Golden Cow Ice Cream to enjoy some summertime treats.


5000 Whitewater Center Parkway

The Whitewater Center is a mecca of all things outdoors. From weekly concerts and yoga, to well-maintained river-side trails, USNWC is a great fit. And, if your pup is up for a swim, grab a paddleboard and float along the Catawba River, through shaded tributaries and open water. It’s a cooling, relaxing, and peaceful way to enjoy the outdoors with your best friend roaming the shady trails or enjoying a show.

Treat yo’self: If you don’t already have one, grab an ENO hammock at the Outfitters store and set up at one of the stations along the whitewater river.

Carolina Thread Trail/ Little Sugar Creek Greenway

Various Locations

Since 2005, North Carolina has been working diligently to connect significant trails from city to city to address environmental concerns and make North Carolina truly walkable. Many of these trails are shaded and wooded, including the Little Sugar Creek Greenway portions of the trail. Walk along the water and through the woods, right in the heart of the city.

Treat yo’self: If walking through midtown, stop by Cherry Berry for some self-serve froyo.

Image Courtesy of NoDa Brewing





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