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7 Amazing Dog Friendly Getaways near Charlotte

What are the the best dog friendly getaways within four hours of Charlotte?

Planning a vacation or weekend getaway with your dog near Charlotte? North Carolina and its neighboring states offer fantastic destinations where you and your pup can explore and relax together. From sniffing along urban trails to strolling through historic sites, these spots provide all the fun and scenery you both can enjoy.

Whether you want to delve into the cultural vibes of Asheville, bask in the historic charm of Savannah, or explore the outdoors and scenic views at Blowing Rock, there’s some wonderful places and experiences just waiting for both you and your dog.

We hope you can escape your day to day and explore one of these great dog-friendly getaways.

a man, a woman, a border terrier and a norwich terrier post in the fall leaves near Ashville
Photo Credit: Peter Mulroe


Why Asheville is a great dog friendly getaway

Best For: dog-friendly downtown strolls, mountain views and artsy vibes, scenic trails, craft breweries with crisp mugs and cool floor

Asheville, North Carolina, is a fantastic place to visit with your dog. It’s known as Dog City USA for a reason—it is one of the most dog-friendly places in the United States. Dog City is only a couple of hours away from Charlotte and worth the drive.

A great place to start is the Dog Welcome Center, where you and your pup can get all the information you need, along with some doggy treats. Walking through downtown on the Urban Trail is another great way to explore the city’s history and art with your dog by your side. The Historic Trolley Tour is another fun activity, allowing small dogs to join and giving you a comprehensive look at the city’s highlights.

For outdoor enthusiasts, Asheville offers plenty of dog-friendly hiking trails in the Blue Ridge Mountains. Craggy Gardens and Graveyard Fields Loop are popular choices, providing stunning views and refreshing waterfall spots for your dog to cool off. If your dog loves the water, the French Broad Outfitters offer canoe and kayak rentals, perfect for a day on the river.

While in Asheville, you’ll find that many shops downtown and at the Asheville Outlets are dog-friendly, with water bowls and seating areas for your convenience. Many of these shops even provide special treats and amenities for your canine companion.

If you want more details and the local scoop, which includes dining and accommodations, check out our full guide to dog friendly Asheville from a NC local.

Our experience: why we think this is a fantastic day trip or weekend getaway

We loved Asheville and it lives up to its reputation as one of the most dog-friendly cities.

However, since we only visited you should get all the details directly from someone local! Check out our Dog Friendly Asheville guide, by NC locals.

It was a great time of year in the stunning Asheville fall to get some family portraits done with the pet photographer Peter Mulroe. Choosing spots for the photos was a great way to explore the area in a different way than we normally do. Plus, we have some beautiful memories to keep with us now.

Note: the next two destinations are a longer drive from Charlotte (around 4 hours), but they are among the most unique cities in the US AND they are dog friendly, so they might make a great place to visit for a longer weekend vacation.

our two dogs, enjoying their weekend getaway in Savannah


Why Savannah is a great dog friendly weekend vacation

Best For: sandy island romps, cobblestone strolls and Spanish moss, riverfront warehouse cafes, spooky tails and trails

Savannah, Georgia, feels like a world of its own. If you can visit, we highly recommend it. The place is literally haunted with history (with plenty of ghost and graveyard tours to show you just that!) Spanish moss is everywhere and creates an otherworldly feel. Check out Forsyth Park and Bonaventure Cemetery to really experience it.

A good place to start exploring the city would be River Street, with old warehouses turned into shops and cafes that often let dogs in.

Just a short drive from Savannah, Tybee Island has sandy beaches where dogs can play in the water and run around. The island is laid-back, and there are plenty of places to stay that welcome pets.

The north end is quieter if you prefer that, and there’s also a dog-friendly section at South Beach. Hilton Head Island is about an hour away and has wide beaches and lots of parks where dogs are welcome. There are trails and paths through the forests that are perfect for walks. Both islands have plenty of dog-friendly restaurants, so you can bring your dog along when you go out to eat after a day of exploring.

It is hard for such a quick summary to do this special city justice. For detailed local insights, go deeper with our post on dog friendly Savannah

Our experience: why we think this is a fantastic day trip or weekend getaway

Savannah was a great dog friendly getaway for us as we were on our way down to Florida. We spent some time on Hilton Head Island and enjoyed an incredible sunset.

Then we explored Savannah, which has this wonderful eerie quality with all the Spanish moss, historic buildings and old streets. There isn’t any other place like it. We also enjoyed some incredible food. So all around it was a very memorable getaway and if we get the chance we want to go back and stay longer.

If you want more detailed recommendations and places to stay, don’t just take our word for it, we teamed up with a Savannah local to give you detailed dog friendly guide for Savannah

our dog Denver, playing in front of a fountain in Charleston


Why Charleston is a great weekend vacation with your dog

Best For: walkies in the historic deep south, beautiful waterfronts and beaches, dog-friendly tours

Charleston is a great spot if you’re looking for a mix of history and dog-friendly fun. You can walk your dog through streets with old houses and green gardens. The Battery is a nice waterfront area perfect for walks.

There are also dog-friendly tours like the Charleston Tea Garden or even a historic carriage ride. Many local restaurants have patios where you can sit and eat with your dog. Parks like James Island County Park have special areas just for dogs.

If you and your dog like the beach, Folly Beach and Isle of Palms are great for running around in the sand. Magnolia Plantation and Gardens have big, open spaces for you to explore together.

Shem Creek in the nearby town of Mount Pleasant has beautiful boardwalks over the marshes with a chance to spot dolphins (even manatees on more rare occasions).

Our experience: why we think this is a fantastic day trip or weekend getaway

Charleston was a place that we absolutely loved.

Yet, as eclectic travelers with hippie roots, there was the heavy awareness that this was a major port and a hub of slavery that still lingers and shapes the present.

Visiting Charleston was both a major highlight of our giant road trip, and also a strange experience. During our stay there there were definitely moments where we could feel some of the weight of history pressing through.

There is a rich and complicated history woven into the city but that also makes it what it is today.

The city itself is beautiful and full of the architecture of the south, with cobblestone roads and intriguing, wandering side streets. The waterfronts were our favorite, with the Battery being a great place to be in the evening. We want to come back and spend more time, and in particular because of Shem Creek park in nearby Mt Pleasant. We would go there every day the next time we visit.

We discovered this wonderful spot late, which is crazy because it was close to our hotel. Boardwalks trail all over the park giving you great way to see the marshes, creek and ocean with your dog. Dolphins visit here often. Next time, we will try and time it so that we get there as the fishing boats are returning since the dolphins come looking for some lucky leftovers.

Charleston is such a memorable place and there is so much to do there with your dog that it makes for a fantastic getaway.

a dog smelling a wine glass on the lawn of a winery

Yadkin Valley Wine Region

Why Yadkin Valley Wine Region is a great weekend vacation near

Best For: vineyard walkies and dog-friendly wineries, river adventures, outdoor dining, nature trails

The Yadkin Valley Wine Region in North Carolina is great for dog lovers. Many wineries like Elkin Creek and Shelton Vineyards let you bring your dog to their outdoor areas. Pilot Mountain State Park has scenic trails with amazing views, perfect for walks with your dog. If your dog loves water, the Yadkin River is good for kayaking and picnics by the water. There are plenty of cozy cabins and pet-friendly places to stay. Towns like Elkin and Dobson have outdoor dining spots where you and your dog can eat together. The relaxed vibe and natural beauty make it a nice weekend getaway for you and your dog.

Our experience: why we think this is a fantastic day trip or weekend getaway

Did someone say wine? Next time we are in the area, count us in.

sunset view of Myrtle Beach

Myrtle Beach

Why Myrtle Beach is a great dog friendly weekend vacation

Best For: off-leash beach zoomies and ocean swims, boardwalk strolls and dog-friendly parks

The last few years, Myrtle Beach has consistently ranked in surveys as a great spot to visit and live. So for a weekend with your dog, there is no question this is a great coastal escape.

The long, sandy beaches are perfect for letting your dog run off-leash and play in the waves. The Myrtle Beach Boardwalk is good for easy walks with ocean views. Barc Parc South has a big, fenced-in area for dogs to play freely. There are also dog-friendly parks and trails like North Myrtle Beach Park and Sports Complex, which has dedicated dog parks and paths.

Many local restaurants and cafes have pet-friendly patios, so you can eat without leaving your dog behind. The place has a laid-back vibe, making it clear why dog owners love it here. Whether you’re enjoying the natural beauty or just chilling on the beach, it’s a great spot for both you and your dog.

Our experience: why we think this is a fantastic day trip or weekend getaway

As one of the top travel and places to live destinations in the United States, I think it is our professional duty to visit this place. The biggest draw would be the beaches and any other off-leash areas that Denver could roam on.

We haven’t made it there yet though, but for this and many other reasons I think we need to spend more time in the Carolinas because we only had a few days last time. Which is no where near enough.

the entrance to blowing rock

Blowing Rock

Why visit Blowing Rock for a vacation with your dog

Best For: the mystical blowing rock, Blue Ridge mountain hikes and views, cozy cabin stays, downtown walkies and pet-friendly patios

Blowing Rock, NC, is a mountain town that’s perfect for a weekend with your dog. It’s in the Blue Ridge Mountains and known for its scenic views and friendly atmosphere. The main event is Blowing Rock itself, a natural phenomena with amazing views and a dog-friendly policy. The town and surrounding area have a number of activities for you and your pup to spend a weekend.

You can start with a hike on the Glen Burney Trail, where you and your dog can see waterfalls and forests. The Blue Ridge Parkway has great views and spots to stop so your dog can run around. Or check out Moses H. Cone Memorial Park, which has trails through meadows and woods.

After spending some quality time in mountains, you can relax downtown, which has a variety of shops, places to eat and pet-friendly patios.

In winter, there are a variety of snow sports, including downhill and cross country skiing.

Our experience: why we think this is a fantastic day trip or weekend getaway

It is a great little mountain town that we only were able to spend a couple hours in before heading back to where we were staying near Asheville. There were a number of great choices for food and we enjoyed the small town feel of the place, which reminded us a bit of our own home town in the Sierra Nevada Foothills.

Sadly, we arrived to Blowing Rock just as it had closed! So we could glimpse some of the great views from the parking lot, but it was clear we were missing out because once inside and past the trees, the vistas must have been amazing.

waterfalls and hiking trails in Greenville, SC

Greenville, SC

Why Greenville, SC is a great dog-friendly getaway

Best For: waterfront walks and trails, vibrant downtown and dog-friendly breweries, outdoor dining spots

Greenville, SC is perfect for dog lovers. Falls Park on the Reedy is the city’s main spot, where you and your dog can walk along trails and see a great waterfall. For more adventures the Swamp Rabbit Trail is great for long walks or bike rides with your dog.

Downtown Greenville is very pet-friendly, with many restaurants that have outdoor seating for dogs. Places like Nose Dive let you eat while your dog chills next to you. Check out the Unleashed Dog Bar, where dogs can play off-leash and you can have a drink.

Greenville also has events like the Mutt Strut, a fun run/walk for dogs and their owners.

While Greenville has a lot going on, if you want a change of pace, hop across the border to Tryon, NC, which is known for its horse events but is also really dog-friendly. The Tryon International Equestrian Center has lots of space and outdoor activities. Harmon Field in Tryon has nice walking areas and a river where dogs can play. There are also some nice trails and vineyards around that welcome dogs. So, whether you want the buzz of the city or the calm of the countryside, this area has got you covered.

Our experience: why we think this is a fantastic day trip or weekend getaway

While we were in the Blue Ridge mountains for a few days, it didn’t work out for us to make it to Greenville. If we had, though here are the items that would have definitely been on our itinerary.

Falls Park on the Reedy – popular dog hike
Blue Ridge Parkway – beautiful scenic drives, hiking trails in the picturesque Blue Ridge Mountains
Downtown and the Unleashed Dog Bar
Artisphere – a 3 day spring arts festival (if the stars aligned)

our dog Denver enjoying a dog-friendly getaway, fresh off his photo session in the Blue Ridge mountains near Asheville

Final Thoughts: best dog friendly weekend getaways near Charlotte

Exploring these dog-friendly getaways is a great way to create some new experiences with your constant companion. From the historical charm of Charleston and Savannah to the scenic blue ridge beauty of Asheville and Blowing Rock, each destination provides a unique blend of fun, relaxation, and adventure that is perfect for a weekend excursion.

We hope this roundup inspires you and your dog to start planning your next journey!

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