“Before you get a dog you can’t quite imagine what living with one might be like; afterward, you can’t imagine living any other way.” –Caroline Knapp
In this post, you’ll get my story about my adventures with Atlas in DC and some advice on how to get the most out of spending your day there with your fluffy family member.
My dog, Atlas, is 1,000,000% family. He is a border collie/lab/miniature pinscher mix and full of energy, attitude, sass, and the most friendly fur ball on the planet. My boyfriend and I try and take day trips with him instead of leaving him at home. We’ve lived in many places that have so many dog-friendly adventures and we wouldn’t have it any other way. When most people think of Washington D.C I seriously doubt the first thing they think of is: HOLY CRAP I LOVE BRINGING MY DOG THERE, but I do.
I grew up in Richmond, VA and was only a 2-hour drive away from one of my favorite places aka the nation’s Capitol. We came up on the weekend (many parking garages don’t charge fees on the weekend) and found parking near the National Mall. Atlas loves a good walk outside anywhere that’s green and there are people who could potentially pet him, so we thought that was a good place to start. We walked past the Smithsonian Castle and many of the museums. Atlas got his picture taken in front of the National Monument and we even had a picnic with him on the Mall.
If you’ve never explored DC there is SO much to see that’s free and outdoors. All along the mall, you will find some amazing things to see that you can bring your dog to such as the WWII, Vietnam, and Korean War memorials. It’s a very long walk if you go start at the Washington Monument all the way to the Lincoln Memorial and even the Jefferson and MLK memorial, but there are shady areas and benches for resting.
What’s the best monument to take your dog to you ask? The Lincoln Memorial. By the time we reached the memorial we had walked about 5 miles and if you’ve never seen this site there are dozens of steps to reach the top where Lincoln’s statue sits. We made lots of tourists laugh by carrying a 50lb smiling ball of fluff up the steps to pose for a picture with Lincoln. Was it worth it? YES to the Y-E-S.
If you are looking for dog-friendly places in any town/city use the site http://www.bringfido.com It gives you hotel, restaurant, points of interest that are dog- friendly based on zip code or city. We’ve used it in several states and love it.
- Bring a water bottle for your dog. There are places to fill them up along the way, but make sure you have one for your dog.
- Bring poo bags. Clean up after your dog so we can all keep enjoying these fun places with our fur babies.
- Plan your day. Make the most out of your day and know what sites you have to see and the best ways to get there. Plan a place for lunch as well. It’s always better to be prepared.
- Dogs are NOT allowed on the metro. Plan accordingly and be prepared to walk.
- Parking in many public garages is free on the weekends.
- Have proof of vaccinations just in case of emergencies.
- Make sure your pet is up for the trip physically
- Take breaks. Not all dogs are as energetic as their owners. Keep your dog’s health a priority and make sure they stay hydrated and happy.
Dog-Friendly Tourist Attractions:
- National Mall
- National Arboretum
- Washington Monument (outside)
- Lincoln Memorial
- Korean War Memorial
- WWII Memorial
- Vietnam Memorial
- Roosevelt Memorial
- MLK Memorial
- Rock Creek Park
- Mount Vernon Trail
- DC Pedicab Tours