It might be hot out, but there are oodles of cool summer spots for you and your pooch to visit and explore right here in Charlottesville. Lucky for us, Cville is an incredibly animal-friendly community. Whether you and your dog have been all over town or just have a few favorite hangouts, we hope to add a few new must-visit spots to your list. Check out our pampered pets visiting Cville’s coolest pooch hangouts.
This beautiful park is well worth the visit! Bring the family, pack a snack, grab running shoes or a bathing suit, and most importantly load up the dog. This 26-acre park allows dogs 7 days a week from 6 am – 9 pm. On Tuesday, Wednesdays, and Thursdays, designated portions of the walking and running trail allow dogs to be off-leash.
Many dogs enjoy running side by side with their owners or romping down to the Rivanna River for a quick dip in the water. Families can be seen sitting on the shore, playing with river rocks and splashing in shallow pools while their dog lounges next to them. This park has it all! Whether you have an active dog who wants to sprint the trails (miles are marked to help you keep track of distance) or a dog who likes to sit back and enjoy nature (Riverview Park is a stop on Virginia Birding and Wildlife Trail), Riverview Park is a must.
Bonus: During May through September on Wednesdays the Meade Park Market is held from 3-7 pm. Just up Chesapeake St from Riverview, this farmers’ market is dog-friendly (on a leash) and a great place to get local produce, baked goods, plants and much more.
This dog-friendly park boasts a dog park, walking trails, and a stream to splash in. There are two separate fenced-in dog areas, so if your dog isn’t jiving with the dogs in one area, head right next door to the second. Always remember to keep a close eye on your dog at the dog park. Many dogs are not comfortable with every single dog they meet (most of us don’t want to hang out or be best friends with everyone we meet!), and it’s important to listen to what your dog is telling or showing you.
If your dog needs a play break or a change of scenery, hit the trails! There’s nothing like a short walk to a romp in the river, especially after a hot play session. Or if your dog isn’t feeling the dog park at all, start with the trails. This park has perfect trails for dogs who are just getting into the gym scene and need to build up their stamina before longer hikes, or for an older dog who still enjoys outside actives, but likes to take things slow. These small but serene trails are the perfect introduction to hiking.
Have an intellectual pup who loves to people watch? Stop by during softball practice – many dogs enjoy sitting on the benches and watching teams run the bases.
This scenic location is the perfect place to pack a picnic and enjoy the day with your pooch and friends.
You can enjoy some fresh, seasonal fruit! Friendly pups on leash can join owners in picking a variety of peaches (July-August) and apples (mid-August-October). Hungry from your walk around the orchard? Carter Mountain offers apple cider donuts, apples pies, BBQ sandwiches and more! Pups are even allowed on the deck, where they can enjoy a fresh bowl of water while you enjoy a glass of wine – and you both can enjoy the view!
This is a wonderful location to bring friends and family who are visiting from out of town. Introduce them to Virginia’s beauty, include your pup in the fun, and have afternoon adventure!
Bonus: Each Thursday from mid-May through the end of September, Carter Mountain stays open ’til 9 pm for the Thursday Evening Sunset Series. You and your pooch can enjoy an amazing view of the sunset, dinner, live music, hayrides and more. Bring your lawn chairs and blankets or go early for a picnic table.