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A dog enjoying the view at Dale Hollow Lake in Tennessee
Photo Credit: @justme_d_e

The Ultimate Dog-friendly Guide to Visiting Tennessee

We collected a few of our favorite pet-friendly spots in the top cities in Tennessee, so you won’t have to leave your pup at home on your next trip.

Your pooch deserves some rest and relaxation. Luckily, Tennessee is full of dog-friendly places to stay, eat, drink and have fun. Here are just a few pet-friendly hikes, places to eat and more in Tennessee, so you won’t have to leave your pup at home on your next trip.

Dog-Friendly Activities in West Tennessee

Overton Bark - Memphis

Overton Park, a 342-acre public park in Memphis, includes the Memphis Zoo, Memphis Brooks Museum of Art, and of course, Overton Bark. This 1.3-acre dog park includes cleanup stations, benches, water fountains, and separate areas for small and large dogs. Overton Bark is open every day from dusk till dawn, giving your pup plenty of time to run around and make some new friends.

Malco Summer Quartet Drive-In Theater - Memphis

Nothing says summer more than a drive-in movie theatre, and it’s even better when your favorite furry friend can join you. Malco Summer Quartet Drive-In is always playing the newest blockbusters for a great price. Plus, check out their Time Warp Drive In schedule for throwback movie nights from March until December.

Shelby Farms Park - Memphis

The Outback at Shelby Farms Park provides a vast off-leash area for dogs to run, swim and play. You will encounter cyclists, hikers, runners, horses and other guests. Please be sure your pet listens to your verbal commands and doesn't disturb or interfere with wildlife or other guests. Outside of The Outback, dogs must be leashed at all times in the Park and on the Greenway. 

Paws Landing at Pickwick Landing State Park - Counce

Tails will be wagging at Paws Landing Dog Park beside The Lodge at Pickwick Landing State Park, 14 miles south of Savannah, Tennessee. In addition to the dog park, self-guided dog-friendly hiking trails include The Island Loop Trail, which is an easy 2.8 mile wooded and natural hike. There’s also a paved 1.2-mile easy walking trail. Dogs must be kept on a leash. The lake and river offer fishing, boating, swimming, and a marina. The Lodge at Pickwick Landing has 119 rooms with a picturesque view of the lake. Cabins and camping are also available. In addition to water sports, guests can enjoy golfing, birding, picnicking, disc golf, nature walks and tennis. The park features more than 1,400 acres of forested hills and hollows.

Tennessee National Wildlife Refuge - Springville

Actress Cherry Jones, her pup, Ruff and her sister, Susan, love to hike on the Tennessee National Wildlife Refuge in Springville near Paris, Tennessee. Britton Ford Trail is a moderate, 2.5-mile hike with gorgeous views of the water, interpretive signage, and woods. In additional to being a home to wildlife, the refuge offers hunting, fishing, hiking, wildlife viewing, observation decks and boat ramps. Don’t forget to stop in at the Visitor’s Center if you’re hiking during the week. The refuge covers more than 50,000 acres on Kentucky Lake.

The Tipton County Museum, Veterans Memorial & Nature Center - Covington

The Tipton County Museum, Veterans Memorial & Nature Center is located on 20 acres in Covington. It includes a half-mile, dog-friendly nature trail through a wooded area. It has a man-made wetland with an observation deck and benches along the trail. Dogs can enjoy water and the occasional doggy treat. Please clean up after your pets and always keep them on a leash.

Emily's Bark Park - Covington

Emily’s Bark Park features an area for large dogs and another for small dogs. The city has plans of expanding the park by adding an obstacle course. They will also be adding a memorial dedicated to the Munford K9 police dogs. Guests can enjoy fishing and disc golf nearby.

Dog-Friendly Activities in Middle Tennessee

Harlinsdale Farm - Franklin

This 200-acre farm, is famous for breeding prize stallions, but it also has a grassy dog park for pups to play in. Harlinsdale Farm is also across the street from the Factory at Franklin, a popular retail and entertainment complex. Stop by the Factory to see live music and locally owned artisan shops. Bonus: most of the Factory at Franklin is dog-friendly, too!

Tin Cottage - Franklin

This home décor and specialty gift shop features locally made goods and artisan fare any avid home decorator will love. Whether you’re looking for a one-of-a-kind piece to add some character to your home or the perfect gift, Tin Cottage has it. The store also allows leashed dogs inside, so you can bring your pup along while shopping.

Black Mountain Loop Trail - Crossville

Soak in beautiful mountain views with your pet.
Photo Credit: Ethan Hadley

Pups, pooches and people love the Black Mountain Loop Trail in Justin P. Wilson State Park, located in one of the most scenic spots in Tennessee’s Upper Cumberland region. To get there, take the Crab Orchard exit 239 off I-40 and follow Bat Town Road South. After about two miles, turn left onto Owl Roost Road (look for signage to Justin P. Wilson State Park) following on to Black Mountain Road for about three miles to the parking lot at the summit of the mountain. Drive carefully, as it is a single-track road with a few passing places.

Dunbar Cave State Park - Clarksville

Dunbar Cave State Park is one of Clarksville’s most scenic and popular sites. The 144-acre park offers three miles of hiking trails rated easy, moderate, and strenuous. All trails take hikers past the cave entrance and around the lake. The 57-degree-year-around temperature at the mouth of the cave is a refreshing stop during hot summer months.

The Clarksville Greenway - Clarksville

All of Clarksville’s 30 local parks also welcome pets on leashes. The Clarksville Greenway is a nine-mile paved scenic corridor with multiple access points. An abandoned railway, the diverse trail showcases creeks, bluffs, native wildflowers and trees, a bridge, open vistas, and wildlife. 

White's Mercantile - Nashville

Furry friends and stylish shoppers rejoice! Nashville’s chicest gift shop loves doggies. The owner, Holly Williams, is a singer/songwriter and, as the daughter of country musician Hank Williams Jr., Nashville royalty. White’s Mercantile is a modern, sophisticated general store, with a special section just for pups! Whether you’re looking for a special gift for loved ones back home, a chic Nashville souvenir, or a stylish new accessory for your dog, White’s is the place.

Bicentennial Capitol Mall State Park - Nashville

One of downtown Nashville’s most beautiful attractions, this well-kept 19-acre state park lets stunning monuments tell stories of Tennessee’s history. Bicentennial Capitol Mall State Park has guided tours, benches and a visitor’s center; pups are welcome if they’re on a leash. After walking through the park, take a stroll through the Farmers Market located across the street.

Radnor Lake State Park - Nashville

About 11 miles from downtown Nashville, Radnor Lake State Park is a natural oasis with convenient access to the bright lights and action of Music City. Take a walk with your leashed dog along Otter Creek Road to see beautiful views of Radnor Lake. For those with red-green colorblindness, a new ADA-accessible colorblind viewfinder has been installed by the Tennessee Department of Tourist Development in partnership with Tennessee State Parks. Now, even more guests can experience the vibrancy of Tennessee's colors year-round. This marks the 13th colorblind viewfinder installed in Tennessee. See all the locations here.

Dog-Friendly Activities Places in East Tennessee

Walnut Street Bridge - Chattanooga

This massive half-mile pedestrian bridge spans the Tennessee River, connecting downtown Chattanooga and North Shore. The bridge is pet-friendly, so you and your dog can stroll across it to take in the views and people watch. As a bonus, there are plenty of places on both sides to grab a treat like at Clumpies Ice Cream Co., right off Coolidge Park on the bridge’s north side.

Rock City - Chattanooga

One of Chattanooga’s biggest outdoor attractions, there’s so much to explore in Rock City. You can see seven states from the top of Lover’s Leap, a picturesque lookout point jutting out from the side of Lookout Mountain. In addition to some amazing views, there’s also Fairyland Caverns, where you can see artists’ renditions of classic children’s tales throughout the caves. Pets of all kinds are welcome here — and Rock City even serves doggie treats from local company Nooga Paws.

Knoxville Botanical Garden and Arboretum - Knoxville

It’s no coincidence that this botanical garden’s whimsical stone walls and hidden passageways are reminiscent of “The Secret Garden” — the author, Frances Hodgson Burnett, lived in Knoxville for a period, so this garden is thought to be the book’s inspiration. Bring the story to life among the beautiful array of plants and flowers along this two-mile trail. The Knoxville Botanical Garden and Arboretum also welcomes dogs if they are on leashes.

Ijams Nature Center - Knoxville

Knoxville is a dog-friendly city full of history, art, and plenty of nature to explore. Ijams Nature Center welcomes four-legged friends year-round. The natural area has more than 12 miles of trails that feed into Urban Wilderness. Forks of the River Wildlife Management Area features different kinds of trails in lengths and difficulty, and leashed dogs are always welcome. If you visit in the summer, make sure to park on the French Broad River side to see incredible fields of sunflowers.  

Cades Cove - Townsend

This stunning valley nestled between the Great Smoky Mountains is home to beautiful plants and a variety of wildlife. Take the 11-mile loop trail by bike or car, or try one of the many hiking trails for a better chance at seeing white-tailed deer, raccoons or even coyotes. Cades Cove also features a visitor center and well-maintained campgrounds, so bring your pup for a hike or on an overnight outdoor adventure.

Doggywood at Dollywood - Pigeon Forge

You don’t have to leave your pooch at home when spending the day at Pigeon Forge’s most popular attraction, Dollywood. Their on-site doggy day care, Doggywood, promises to take great care of your pup while you enjoy the park. FYI: Doggy day care service runs $25 to $35 per day, and you must provide food and proof your buddy has up-to-date vaccinations. If you’re planning a visit to the park, we also recommend making reservations at Doggywood — space tends to fill up quickly!

Two Trails in the Smokies - Gatlinburg

The Gatlinburg and Oconaluftee River trails, the two most popular trails in Gatlinburg, are both great ways to explore the Smoky Mountains with your pup. Both trails are easy terrain and under a mile long, with plenty of picturesque views. Not only are these two trails dog friendly, but many of the cabins in the area are pet friendly too!

Barking Lot - Kingsport

Kingsport is a top dog-friendly destination. The city's first dog park, Barking Lot, is located downtown among the city's 21 pet-friendly restaurants, 11 hotels that host pets and 5 businesses offering pet services. The dog park is open from dawn until dusk. It's conveniently located close to Kingsport's Selfie Trail where you can walk around the city and find the perfect backdrop for photos with your pet.

Roan Mountain State Park - Roan Mountain

Take your dog to experience some of the most incredible views in Northeast Tennessee. Roan Mountain State Park is an outdoor playground filled with views of bald mountains, forests, Doe River, and more. Adventurers love the many trails that snake through the park and the close proximity to Carver's Gap and the Appalachian Trail. Come in the summer months to experience the beautiful rhododendron blooms along the trail routes.

Dog-Friendly Restaurants in West Tennessee

Muddy's Bake Shop - Memphis

This hidden gem is known by locals to have some of the best cupcakes in Memphis. Enjoy one of their delectable treats with an artisan latte on the dog-friendly patio — Muddy’s Bake Shop even has fresh-baked goods for your pooch! What makes Muddy’s even better is their commitment to the community; the staff is always volunteering for different charities around Memphis, and all proceeds from their ROCWPC (Refill Our Community With Positive Change) jar goes toward a different nonprofit organization every month. Dog-friendly and committed to doing good — Muddy’s is a pretty sweet Memphis treat.

South of Beale - Memphis

Memphis’ first gastropub has become one of the hippest spots in the city, thanks to their elevated take on traditional bar food and artfully crafted cocktails. A dog-friendly patio, complimentary popcorn and awesome service are just a few of the things that make South Of Beale great. Be sure to try the duck fried rice — a $5 delicacy so great it was featured on “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives.” With $4 mimosas and bloody marys, S.O.B. is also a great stop for Sunday brunch.

Rock'N Dough Pizza & Brewery - Jackson

Rock'N Dough Pizza + Brewery in Jackson has a laidback atmosphere with pizzas that are made with locally sourced ingredients. Your dog can enjoy the atmosphere, too, on the pet-friendly patio. Watch the world go by and order starters like cheese tots, garlic buttered bread and burrata Caprese. Then, dig into pizzas topped with loads of toppings from spicy Italian sausage to spinach, mushroom, pineapple, ham and angus ground beef. Vegan pizza is available that features zucchini, tomatoes, spinach, roasted red peppers, Kalamata olives and Daiya. Order a local brew to wash it all down.

Dog-Friendly Restaurants in Middle Tennessee

McCreary's Irish Pub & Eatery - Franklin

The pet-friendly patio at McCreary's Irish Pub & Eatery is the perfect place to have a meal with your dog in tow. Pair your Guinness with corned beef and cabbage, Sligo whiskey salmon or Dublin style fish and chips. The covered patio offers a cool respite in the warmer months and the two happy hours make McCreary's a great hangout spot.

Miss Lucille's Marketplace and Cafe - Clarksville

When you're hungry, head to Miss Lucille's Marketplace and Cafe. The patio is pet-friendly for leashed dogs. The local cafe serves up a menu filled with laidback comfort food from brisket sliders on pretzel rolls to the Born on the Bayou Bowl overflowing with red rice, andouille sausage, Cajun remoulade, red bell pepper and onion topped with a fried egg. The red pepper hummus, couscous caprese or loaded potato salad make great sides.

Grinder House Coffee Shop - Crossville

Grinder House Coffee Shop in Crossville is a favorite hangout among locals. Great food and coffee, laidback atmosphere and live music every Friday night keeps folks coming back time and again. Before or after your exploration of Crossville, head to Grinder House for a full menu including breakfast served all day. Lunch and dinner include a variety of salads, sandwiches and flatbreads. Before you leave, pick up a freshly baked cinnamon roll, fried pie or gluten-free brownie.

The Southern - Nashville

This bustling steakhouse in the heart of Nashville is known for their elevated Southern cuisine and quality classic cocktails. The Southern takes pride in their extensive oyster selection, sustainably sourced meat and seafood, and use of local produce. It’s a busy spot, so reservations are typically needed for dining room seating; however, the patio is first come, first served and, best of all, dog-friendly. The outdoor seating is also perfect for sipping mimosas at brunch.

Dog-Friendly Restaurants in East Tennessee

Aretha Frankensteins - Chattanooga

Aretha Frankensteins is a funky diner with eclectic décor and out-of-this-world pancakes. It’s a little off the beaten path in Chattanooga, but that’s what makes it a favorite spot for locals looking for some awesome diner classics. Their patio is dog-friendly, so bring your pup along to this laid-back spot with quirky vibes.

The Tomato Head (Downtown) - Knoxville

This hip pizza parlor is a local favorite for its casual cool vibes and amazing pies. All of the food is fresh and delicious, living up to The Tomato Head’s catchphrase, “Food gotta cook, don’t come out of a can!” And with vegan and vegetarian options, the menu has something for everyone. Enjoy your pie on their dog-friendly patio, where local musicians often play. As a strong supporter of artists in their community, The Tomato Head regularly has art exhibitions from local artists.

Applewood Farmhouse Restaurant - Sevierville

Get your apple fritter fix at Applewood Farmhouse Restaurant in Sevierville where warm, homemade apple fritters are provided at every meal. Sit with your pooch on the pet-friendly patio to enjoy the homemade, Southern goodness served every day. Breakfast, lunch and dinner are served. Order wild blueberry pancakes, Belgian waffles or omelets for breakfast; southern fried chicken, pork chops and chicken pot pie for lunch; and chicken and dumplings, meatloaf and sugar cured ham for dinner. 

Purple Cow - Kingsport

Grilled subs, burgers, salads and more can be found at Purple Cow in Kingsport. Bring your pooch along as they have a convenient drive-thru window. Grab some food and a milkshake before heading out to explore Kingsport. Purple Cow also offers dinners like chicken tenders, spaghetti and meatballs, sirloin strips and pork chops. 

Dog-Friendly Places to Stay in West Tennessee 

The Peabody Hotel Memphis - Memphis

A Memphis landmark, The Peabody Memphis hotel is famous for its grand lobby, four-star accommodations, and most of all, its unique permanent residents. The Peabody ducks have been a tradition in the hotel for more than 90 years, where the five resident ducks march to the lobby fountain every day at 11 a.m. and 5 p.m. When off-duty, the five North American mallards reside in the Royal Duck Palace on the hotel’s roof. While doggies are not allowed at The Peabody Duck March, the hotel welcomes pups under 75 pounds for an additional fee. The hotel even has a special room service menu for pets, so both you and your pet can enjoy a luxurious breakfast in bed.

Lodge Pickwick Landing - Counce

Check into the new Lodge at Pickwick Landing in Counce. Located at Pickwick Landing State Park, the lodge offers six pet-friendly rooms for guests so you and your furry best friend can make outdoor memories. Hiking, birding, disc golfing, golfing, fishing and other outdoor activities can be enjoyed in the park. The lodge offers a full-service restaurant that serves breakfast, lunch and dinner, a fitness center, indoor and outdoor pools and easy access to Paws Landing at Pickwick Landing State Park. 

Blue Bank Resort - Hornbeak

Blue Bank Resort in Hornbeak is a lakeside oasis located on Reelfoot Lake. It's a pet-friendly resort that welcomes leashed dogs on the grounds as you explore together. Enjoy convenient access to Reelfoot Lake and the hiking trails around the area. Fishing, hiking, birding and more outdoor adventure await you. When you're finished exploring, sip on a local brew or wine at the Fishhouse Grill as you watch the sunset.

Dog-Friendly Places to Stay in Middle Tennessee

Hotel Preston - Nashville

The stylish Hotel Preston with rock ’n’ roll vibes is close to both the airport and downtown Nashville. Pet-friendly with modern amenities and an outdoor pool, it’s the perfect place for you and your pooch to stay while visiting Nashville.

JW Marriott Nashville - Nashville

Photo Credit: JW Marriott Nashville

Stay in luxury at the JW Marriott Nashville, conveniently located to Lower Broadway and downtown attractions. The hotel welcomes four-legged friends with a pet limit of two pets and a weight limit of 50 lbs. There is a dog potty area onsite as well. While your pooch enjoys the skyline views in the room, you can experience the incredible spa and three restaurants, gym with Peloton bikes and cocktail lounges spread throughout the property. To celebrate National Dog Month, book a stay at JW Marriott Aug. 1-31, 2022 for travel dates Aug. 1, 2022 - Feb. 8, 2023 and for every eligible reservation, $100 will be donated directly to Friends of MACC by JW Marriott Nashville on your behalf; the pet fee will be waived for the stay and you will receive complimentary JW Marriott dog amenities, including dog treats from local Crossroads Pets, tennis ball, dog bowl, plus a food and water bowl placemat. To redeem the promo code: Visit the JW Marriott booking website (marriott.com/BNAJW) and enter the promo code ER5 when prompted. 

Harpeth Hotel - Franklin

Photo Credit: @harpethhotel

You'll experience a wonderful stay when you book a suite at the new Harpeth Hotel in Franklin, just a short walk from historic downtown Franklin, local boutiques, restaurants and entertainment venues. The luxury hotel is also pet-friendly, welcoming your dog with a welcome treat bag, use of water and food bowls and a bed if needed. The pet deposit is a non-refundable $100 fee.

Commodore Hotel & Cafe - Linden

Book a spacious room at The Commodore Hotel in charming downtown Linden. Full of rich history, the Commodore Hotel includes a Music Cafe and a Speakeasy along with easy access to boutiques, art galleries and outdoor excursions like kayaking and hiking. The Music Cafe serves locally sourced food and live music. The menu changes weekly by owner Kathy Dumont. The Speakeasy Lounge serves delicious cocktails in a historic atmosphere that gives a nod to the Prohibition Era. The Commodore offers several pet-friendly accommodations along with in-room dining, free Wi-Fi access and handmade oil soap in rooms produced locally in Linden.

Dog-Friendly Places to Stay in East Tennessee

The Read House Hotel - Chattanooga

Located in the heart of downtown Chattanooga, the dog-friendly Read House Hotel is within walking distance of some of the city’s best attractions. This 19th century hotel has old-school charm with modern amenities such as a heated indoor pool and complimentary Wi-Fi. While staying at The Read House, check out the Tennessee Aquarium, Hunter Museum of American Art and the Creative Discovery Museum — all within a mile of the hotel.

THE TENNESSEAN Hotel - Knoxville

Indulge in a stay at the AAA Four Diamond Hotel, THE TENNESSEAN Hotel. Book the Puppy Love Package during your stay, a package for couples and their furry friend. Dogs are treated to custom in-house-made dog treats and in-room dining options with a choice of steak, chicken or salmon served with vegetables and rice. You are then treated to the Panoramic King room, a romantic rose petal turn-down service which includes champagne and chocolate-dipped strawberries. A dog sitter is also available for up to two hours while you enjoy an intimate dinner of wines and delicious meals.

Carnegie Hotel & Spa - Johnson City

Lay your head at the Carnegie Hotel & Spa in Johnson City, an historic hotel that is pet-friendly. Two dogs are welcomed per room with a non-refundable $50 fee per pet. Enjoy high-class service at the Carnegie, including a full-service Austin Springs Spa & Salon and memorable dining at Wellington's Restaurant. In-room dining, same-day dry cleaning, complimentary parking, 24/7 fitness center and 24-hour business center and a heated outdoor pool available Memorial Day through Labor Day are just some of the amenities you can experience.

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