My dog and I have travelled to Asheville, North Carolina twice – first to stop at the famed Biltmore Estates historical property, which I mistakenly thought we could do in half a day – second, to check out the dog-friendly downtown, which I mistakenly thought wasn’t worth the stop during our first pass through. But I fixed that later. Don’t miss the best of Asheville.
Here’s our dogtrotting travel guide to arty dog-friendly Asheville, North Carolina:
1. Pet-friendly Biltmore Estates
The Biltmore Estates’ reputation is well founded. Not simply a historical house – though that’s the crowning jewel – it’s a two-day excursion. The house tour is worth a visit (though dogs must stay outside or in the dog kennels in the RV parking lot). Built in 1895 by steamboat and railway mogul George Vanderbilt, the Biltmore has 250 rooms, including 43 indoor bathrooms.
The gardens, however, are what your dog will love touring and in fact we met locals with a season pass using to facility to do only that – dog walk. And if you’re up for a horseback riding tour of the property, you can do that too. Check out our Biltmore Estates Trail Riding afternoon on horsetrotting.net.
Check out our dog-focused Biltmore Estates adventure here.
2. Pet-friendly Cedric’s Tavern
You can’t discuss Biltmore Estates without mentioning Cedric’s Tavern named after the Vanderbilt family dog. Here you can dine with your pup alfresco. The cafes (and the take-out counter beside the house) have dog-friendly patios, and one even celebrates a former Fido resident.
Check out our dog-focused restaurant experience here.
3. Pet-friendly Asheville Hotel
Unfortunately, neither of the hotels on the Biltmore Estates property (yes, there two hotels onsite) are dog-friendly, so we stayed at the always pet-friendly Red Roof Inn Asheville both visits.
Check our Red Roof Adventure here.Book now and save 15% Off your next stay at Red Roof Inn with VP code 614872.
4. Pet-friendly Downtown Asheville
Dogs are part of the crowds lining the specialty store and café-lined streets of downtown Asheville, though narrow sidewalks can create challenges for the leash bound. Moving in and out of clothing stores (many environmentally friendly cotton and bamboo) with the dog is not a problem and Three Dog Bakery is a street feature, along with cat public art statues and street performers.
Check out dog-friendly downtown Asheville here.
5. Pet-friendly Bookstore and Café
Battery Park Book Exchange & Champagne Bar anchors the bohemian vibe in downtown Asheville. Four levels of floor to ceiling bookshelves and lush Victorian-style décor, the place is entirely dog-friendly. One side is the indoor wine bar and café, but we went back the next door for brunch on the patio.
Also, the vegetarian Laughing Seed Café downtown Asheville has a dog-friendly patio.
Check out dog-friendly bookstore brunch here.
6. Dog Welcome Centre
Stop at the Dog Door storefront (1 Battle Square) and pick up an Asheville dog-friendly guide at the Dog City USA welcome centre inside this combination store and dog training centre. Dog Door is a great place to pick up no pull-harnesses and get your pup a drink.
7. Off-leash Parks
Asheville has three leash-free dog parks: The French Broad River Park (580 Riverview Dr.) one-acres along a river; The Azalea Dog Park (395 Azalea Road) with separate big and little dog zones; and Black Mountain (205 N Carolina 9) for small dogs only.
NOTE: In loving memory of Victor, who sadly died July 13, 2020. He enjoyed visits to Asheville in 2016 and 2018.
TRAVEL NOTE: Most of the trails through the nearby Smoky Mountains are dog friendly (on leash) except for the National Park but that is true of most US National Parks, unfortunately.
We didn’t check out the trails, but here’s a thorough guide to the area of you are planning to spend more time than we did: The Moon Guide to Asheville and the Smoky Mountains. (affiliate link)