Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Great places to walk your dog in Washington, DC

If you are living in or visiting Washington D.C. and are accompanied by your favorite furry companion, you'll be pleased to know the region is generally a dog-friendly area. Many hotels, and even some restaurants, will permit your dog to join you. The city hosts a number of dog parks and, if you prefer a more traditional walk without direct interaction with other dogs, there are many other great places to bring Fido in and about the District.

Image credit: Pixabay

Dog parks

Your fur baby will need to be walked and there are many excellent places in D.C. you can bring your dog. You can stay within the city, or explore areas to go for a walk in the surrounding areas, lots of choice in the region. Many dog parks are located right in Washington D.C. These parks are designated specifically for pets and provide baggies and trash cans to accommodate the "pooper scooper" laws which are strictly adhered to in the region. Some areas you can explore are the Glover Dog Park located on 42nd and W Street, S Street Dog Park at 17th and S Sts, NW, Congressional Cemetery on E Street St SE (membership only but they do offer $10 day passes according to the website), Langdon Dog Park at 2901 20th St. NE and Lincoln Park on Capitol Hill, located at East Capitol and 11th St.

Image credit: Pixabay

Mount Vernon Trail

Running along the George Washington Memorial Parkway is a terrific 18 mile stretch of pavement known as the Mount Vernon Trail. It begins in Washington D.C. and runs along the Potomac River down to Mount Vernon, which is George and Martha Washington's estate. The Mount Vernon Trail is an ideal place to walk your dog if you're looking to go for a nice stroll. This area is designated for pedestrians; bikers, walkers and joggers also utilize this area. It is a wide path and wonderful place to take your dog for a walk. Along your walk, you'll see many scenic places and pass several parks or trails you might want to take a detour to explore with your canine pal.

National Mall

The National Mall is another popular spot to take Fido for a walk. Sitting in the heart of Washington D.C. the National Mall offers many areas you can bring your pooch and get some good exercise. As you walk your best pal, you can take in the fantastic views in and around the Mall. Wander the open fields which surround the Washington Monument or stroll along the sidewalks located on the Mall's outskirts. There are many different paths you can take and you can always vary your routine if you choose to walk your dog down in the heart of D.C.

Alexandria, Virginia

If you cross the Potomac and venture into the nearby City of Alexandria, you'll find this is an extremely dog-friendly area, possibly one of the best in the area. Many of the restaurants even make provisions for dogs. 

As you walk along Alexandria's sidewalks with your pet it is common to come across several billboards outside restaurants designed to entice dog owners to stop in for a bite to eat with their furry friend during their walk. Some even have doggy menus and happy hours. This area has many historic landmarks and is such a beautiful city to explore, very quaint and an attractive place to walk. The fact it is so dog-friendly is a bonus.

Along the way, you'll likely encounter others, so abide by local laws by keeping your dog leashed (unless you are in a designated area) and remember to bring along your baggies as the D.C. metro region has strict "pooper scooper laws". You may receive a high fine if you ignore these rules. (Plus, it's just the polite thing to do!)

Washington D.C. and the surrounding areas/communities are, in my experience, pretty dog-friendly. There are many other places you can go to, especially if you venture outside city boundaries into Virginia or Maryland, but these are a few of the top dog-friendly spots located inside of the Beltway near the heart of the Capital city.