Washington, D.C. is one of the most dog-friendly cities around, and there are many places you can take your dog within the city. Outside of D.C., however, options abound for an entire day with your dog. The best places to take a doggy day trip promise both athletic and boozy extras, and even a city to explore with your pup.
Aspen Dale Winery at The Barn
11083 John Marshall Highway
Delaplane, VA 20144
A 200-year-old Delaplane barn winery about an hour from D.C., Aspen Dale must be your first stop. Check out the Mary-Madeleine’s Rose, one of its most popular rose wines. This pet friendly winery is about an hour from D.C., and well worth the drive for a day of wine tasting with your furry friend. You’re welcome to venture out on your own, but if you decide to go with friends, the winery also offers group tours.
Barrel Oak Winery
3623 Grove Lane
Delaplane, VA 20144
Aspen Dale and Barrell Oak wineries are near each other, so you may choose to combine the two trips or make a day trip of just Barrell Oak Winery. Dogs are welcome here as long as they’re on a leash, but be sure they’re great with other pets as this place features its very own pack of snuggly pups. On a nice day, sit outside with your dog and enjoy the view. Click here for even more dog-friendly wineries.
Shenandoah National Park
Entrances at Front Royal, via I-66 and Route 340,
Thornton Gap, via Route 211
Swift Run Gap, via Route 33
Rockfish Gap, via I-64 and Route 250
Click here for prices
Shenandoah National Park is one of the most beautiful ranges around this area. The park, west of D.C. and roughly two hours away, is in the famous Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia. It stretches lazily from Front Royal all the way to Waynesboro, covering a distance of 105 miles, attracting hikers and nature lovers with its scenic beauty and volunteer-maintained trails. The good news is that pets are allowed on most trails. Click here for pet rules and regulations. Rose River Loop Trail offers a great trail for dogs and humans with views of pools and cascades. It is around four miles, and starts at mile marker 49.4 of Skyline Drive. The trail is moderately difficult and ascends more than 900 feet. Parking is available at the Fishers Gap Overlook parking lot on the west side of Skyline Drive.
610 East Main Street
Charlottesville, Va., is one of Virginia’s loveliest cities just two hours away. During the day, walk around and explore the nice shops in the area. Make sure and check out Dog and Horse where you may snag all-natural dog treats for your dog. Then let him work off the treats at Darden Towe Park, which offers a one-acre, fenced-in area for dogs to run off-leash until dark every day. If you are in the mood for walking try the Rivanna River Greenbelt Trail at the end of Chesapeake Street or just the Charlottesville historic downtown mall. Also check out Animal Connection. Get a pre-dinner beer at pet friendly Beer Run and end the day with an early supper at one of the dog friendly restaurants in the city, like Bang.
National Battlefield Park
6511 Sudley Road
Manassas, VA 20109
Price: $3 per person 16 years old and older
At National Battlefield Park in Manassas, about 45 minutes from D.C., exercise the pup while you snag a little dose of history. The trails, grounds and parking areas are open until dark. Don’t miss out on the historic Stone House and historic weapons demonstrations on weekends and during summer. Dogs and other pets are allowed in the park and must be kept on a leash, even on the trails. Picnics are encouraged in designated areas. Picnic tables are available at Stuart’s Hill and Brownsville Picnic Area off Groveton Road.
Related: The Perfect Day for Your Dog in DC
During the day, Tanya Gupta is a development finance professional. By night she blogs about the development, technology, academia and her city. Her personal web page is at techtanya.com. Her work can be found on Examiner.com.