When we travel, we like to approach locals to get the inside scoop on places they love. It’s definitely more fun to visit local spots in major cities that won’t have long lines or crowds. We recently visited Philly for a weekend with our dogs and asked several local residents about where we eat, stay and play. Here’s what they said:
1. Kimpton’s Hotel Monaco:
Kimpton has a reputation for having the most pet friendly hotels in the country, and now we understand why. Upon arrival at Hotel Monaco, everyone from the concierge to the valet knew our dogs’ names. The staff went above and beyond during our stay and even presented us a welcome basket of treats and toys to entertain our pups. Pet lovers can stay at Kimpton’s Hotel Monaco Philadelphia at no extra charge for their furry friends. Plus, there is no limit on the number of pets, as well as no restrictions on their size or weight. And not only are the rooms beautiful, but the entire hotel’s decor is whimsical and elegant. Best of all? Their complimentary coffee bar is available every morning in the lobby, and it’s dog friendly!
2. The Franklin Fountain:
Who doesn’t love ice cream? The authentic sweets and treats at Franklin Fountain are all made in-house. Homemade flavors, authentic creations and unique toppings are only a few of the things you will find at this old fashioned ice cream parlor. With plenty of outdoor seating, there will always be a spot for you to enjoy a cone (while sneaking some of their fresh whipped cream to your dog under the table.)
3. Rittenhouse Square:
Located in a quaint area of the city, Rittenhouse Square is a gorgeous park surrounded by restaurants, shops and high-rise apartment buildings. This section of the city that is coveted by the more affluent crowd, but even if that’s not you, that shouldn’t stop you from checking it out. Grab coffee and a book, find a bench or a nice shaded area of grass, and stretch out for a little relaxation with your pip. Enjoy people (and dog) watching while you let the buzz of the city fall by the wayside.
4. Dilworth Park Fountain:
In the summer, Philly can be very hot, especially when you are exploring the city by foot. If you’re looking for a dog & family friendly spot to cool down, look no further than Dilworth Park, right in front of Philadelphia City Hall. The high-tech design of these fountains are perfect for escaping the heat and providing a fun (and free) activity for your dogs. Best of all? There are tables all around the plaza and plenty of spots to grab lunch, a drink or even some yummy gelato.
5. Schuylkill River Trail:
This recreational path runs along the Schuylkill River from Center City Philadelphia, through Valley Forge National Historical Park in Montgomery County and ends in Phoenixville, Chester County. The 26.5-mile trail is a favorite for bicyclists, families and dog owners. The Schuylkill Banks Boardwalk is a breathtaking, 2,000-foot-long pathway that extends the Schuylkill River Trail from Locust to South Street. The scenic path allows pedestrians, runners and bicyclists to literally walk over river to some of the best skyline views around.
6. Schuylkill River Park Dog Run:
Along the trail, find this well-kept dog park that offers thousands of dogs and their owners a shaded, quiet escape from the urban grind – a place to relax, chat, and bond over your adorable canine companions. Every year, the Friends of the Schuylkill River Park (FSRP) makes improvements to the run. Over the years they have added water fountains, grass, replaced park benches, cared for and added trees, and worked to ensure that the park is a safe and welcoming place for all users.
*Please remember that the dog run is the only area in Schuylkill River Park where dogs are permitted to be off-leash.
7. Penn’s Landing Dog Park:
Take a stroll along Penn’s Landing Marina, a waterfront area of Center City Philadelphia along the Delaware River. Along the piers, you will find restaurants, a concert hall, plenty of fishing and above all: a dog park. A beautiful dog run equipped with water sources, plenty of shade and a close view of The Benjamin Franklin Bridge. You will meet local dog owners here every day of the week who can offer more insight about the city and even more dog friendly locations to check out.
8. Hang Out at a Beer Garden:
Beer Gardens are the ultimate summer spot to gather with friends and dogs for an afternoon of fun. Outdoor tables, craft beers, delicious eats and dog friendly atmospheres are what make beer gardens so special. Philadelphia is packed with outdoor bars and beer gardens throughout the city. There are the established favorites like Frankford Hall and Morgan’s Pier, as well as new additions like the Spruce Street Harbor Park, The Oval and the PHS Pop-Up Garden. So whether you’re looking for a litre of draft beer served in an authentic German beer stein (Frankford Hall) or looking to enjoy a local beer in a waterfront hammock garden (Spruce Street Harbor Park), Philadelphia’s beer gardens have you covered.
9. Take in Some History:
You can’t make a stop in Philly without doing something historic and educational. Unfortunately, museums don’t allow dogs, but outdoor monuments and historical sites are very dog friendly. My top pick? Elfreth’s Alley, a street in Philadelphia which is referred to as “our nation’s oldest residential street,” dating to 1702. This picturesque cobblestone street is known as the oldest continuously inhabited road in America. You will feel like you are walking through another century as you explore this beautiful street, and it makes for quite the photo-op.
10. Square 1682, Hotel Palomar:
Located at another Kimpton Hotel in Philly, this restaurant hosts a bring-your-own-dog brunch on weekends through the end of the summer. The folks at Square 1682 not only provide guests with tasty brunch options, but also have a few specials on the menu just for your pet. A portion of the brunch benefits Operation Ava, a non-profit organization that aims to save Philadelphia’s abandoned pets.
Do you know of any local gems in Philly that you have visited with dogs? Share them in the comments below!