Charleston, SC is a gorgeous, sun drenched city surrounded by Weeping Willow trees and steeped in American history – but best of all, it’s super dog friendly! Stephanie Burt is a Charleston native and a writer for Travel & Leisure. She rounded up the best of the best the city has to offer for dogs and the humans who love them. So if you’re ready to book an escape to this jewel of the South, here’s everything you need to know to ensure it is the perfect dining, entertainment and lodging experience for you and your canine travel buddy.
Where To Stay:
One of the most difficult aspects of planning a pup-tastic vacation is finding a decent hotel that is welcoming to your furry BFF. Luckily, Charleston has plenty of classy, stylish options so you won’t have to settle just because you’ve got a pooch in tow.
Located in downtown Charleston’s historic district, the Wentworth Mansion is a 21 room Victorian style home converted into a 5-star hotel. The lovely first floor garden rooms are designated pet-friendly, and the pet fee is a reasonable $25 per night.
You can’t beat this historic Bed & Breakfast’s prime location on famous Broad Street. The former home of U.S. Constitution signer, John Rutledge is now one of the top B & B’s in the South and they love dogs! To book your doggy digs email their designated Pet Consierge or call 800-476-9741. Pet friendly rooms are limited and the fee is $25 per night.
This hotel has three award winning restaurants, a slew of luxury shops, an indoor pool and a spa. The Belmond is a short walk to all downtown Charleston has to offer. Dogs are welcome on the patio and common areas and can stay in any suite for a $150 pet fee.
What To Do:
Charleston is nestled along the lovely white sand beaches of South Carolina’s coast. Needless to say, many of the best attractions to enjoy with your dog will involve the incredible parks and beaches.
With two large fountains and breathtaking views of Charleston Harbor, Waterfront Park is a favorite among locals and tourists alike. Dogs will love the salt air, ocean breezes, and extensive walking paths for exploring.
James Island is just a short drive from the city, and totally worth it! Pups and humans alike will love the pristine marsh views and wide variety of sea birds. There’s a climbing wall, fishing dock, water park and plenty of hiking trails, but dogs will really dig the dog park! It features a fenced area, a lake and a beach!
For the furry social butterfly in your life, the Charleston Farmer’s Market is the place to be Spring through Fall. Open every Saturday while in season, the market is more like an outdoor festival with local food favorites, music and crafts. Locals and tourists alike bring their pups along for the festivities, so your dog is sure to make lots of friends while you shop and eat.
The Charleston area boasts five major beaches – Kiawah Island, Isle of Palms, Folly Beach, Seabrook Island and Sullivan’s Island. Each has its own set of rules regarding dogs. During the busy season of April through September dogs are only allowed at most beaches during off peak times, the rest of the year the rules are more relaxed.
Where To Eat:
Charleston is world famous for its fine dining experiences, and just like most cities, dogs in restaurants are a no no. But unlike other cities, most Charleston eateries have outdoor courtyards, patios and porches where pooches are more than welcome! The following three restaurants are definite doggy hot spots, but if there is an establishment you’re dying to try, it’s best to call ahead before arriving with Fido in tow.
This quaint country restaurant is named after a real dog who refused to stop hanging around his owner’s front porch – even after they sold the house and it was converted into a restaurant! In Poogan’s honor the outdoor seating area is always pup friendly. The food is pretty darn good, too!
This hip joint has something for everyone – who doesn’t love beer or coffee or both? Their lovely outdoor courtyard is a popular hangout for local pups so your dog is sure to meet a few friends while you celebrate Happy Hour.
This locals’ favorite has three Charleston area locations, but the Downtown eatery is closest to the action. Fiery Ron’s is down home country barbecue at its finest – with a hint of culinary refinement. Pups are always welcome on the porch or in the courtyard, and there’s usually some great live music to enjoy. If you want the full Southern experience, authentic barbecue is a must!
H/T to Travel & Leisure
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