Botanical Gardens Where Fido can Stop and Smell the Roses

Posted by Billy Francis

This article was updated in August 2021.

Just like our furry friends, plants require love and care to flourish. When they are tended to properly, their flowers produce a feast for the eyes and a beautiful day out for the family. While many public gardens in the U.S. do not allow dogs, we’ve unearthed a few pet-friendly botanical gardens that welcome Fido year-round.

Iowa Arboretum

Madrid, IA
"This is my happy place." Photo by BringFido

On your next visit to the Hawkeye State, bring Fido to the Iowa Arboretum. A featured attraction in the 2021 edition of our Ruff Guide to the United States, this verdant oasis boasts 160 acres of gardens, forests, and prairies populated with century-old oak trees and native grasses. You and your dog are welcome to explore the picturesque grounds and gardens that are home to more than 6,000 catalogued specimens of trees, plants, and shrubs. Exercise your leashed pup on the 0.8-mile outer loop and woodland hiking trails. Waste stations are positioned on the property for proper cleanup. Visit in the autumn and join the annual Woof Walk for a chance to meet and socialize with fellow dog lovers as you hike trails and marvel at the colorful fall foliage.

You and your furry companion will find comfortable accommodations at the GrandStay Hotel & Suites in Ames. Spacious suites offer separate living areas and full kitchens, and property amenities include a complimentary daily breakfast, indoor swimming pool, and an outdoor sports court. Up to two dogs of any size are welcome for an additional fee of $15 per pet, per night. When it’s time for dinner, make your way to the dog-friendly patio at The Mucky Duck Pub.

Oregon Garden

Silverton, OR
“Sun’s out, tongue’s out!” Photo by Facebook.com/TheOregonGarden

Oregon Garden is an 80-acre botanical garden that welcomes you and your leashed pooch to explore side by side. The main attraction is a garden devoted to the canine community that highlights regional plants which are toxic to pets and others that can be used in “pawsitive” ways. Don’t forget to stop for a selfie at the statue of Bobbie the Wonder Dog, who traveled more than 2,500 miles on his own to return to his family in Silverton after he was lost in Indiana.

You won’t have to travel as far as Bobbie the Wonder Dog to find a homely place to rest your head. Silverton Inn & Suites is located just down the road from Oregon Garden.

Kanapaha Botanical Gardens

Gainesville, FL
“How can I have green thumbs? I don’t have any!” Photo by Mel

At Kanapaha Botanical Gardens, visiting canines are welcomed with a delicious dog treat at the greeting desk. The good times keep rolling once your pup steps outside. Explore 24 major collections from the easy 1.5-mile paved walkway, including the largest herb garden in the Southeast. The best time to visit is June through September.

Taking in all the sights and scents of the grounds may require more than one visit. Stay at the HoM Hotel & Suites Trademark Collection by Wyndham before heading back for more.

The Butchart Gardens

Brentwood Bay, BC
Flower power! Photo by Facebook.com/butchartgardens

The Butchart Gardens welcomes more than a million visitors annually. This National Historic Site changes with the seasons, offering visitors a different breathtaking experience every time. Wander through a winter wonderland covered in snow; discover blossoming flowers in spring, luscious lawns and bustling crowds in summer; and gaze upon a show of reds and browns during fall. Pause for thought at five canine water fountains conveniently located throughout, and don’t forget to stop by the reception desk for a tasty treat for Fido.

True fans of flora will want to witness The Gardens at HCP, too. Stay within fetching distance of both at the Quality Inn Waddling Dog.

Santa Barbara Botanical Gardens

Santa Barbara, CA
“I’ve never seen such a fine Calendula officinalis specimen!” Photo by Facebook.com/sbgarden

Blaksley Boulder, at the center of the Santa Barbara Botanical Gardens, is one of many big rocks deposited in the area by glaciers during prehistoric times. After inspecting the stone, hop on the dog-friendly trails that seamlessly transition between swaths of desert, redwoods and meadows. The secluded and idyllic atmosphere is accented by the canyons, creeks and mountains in the distance.

Take the lush garden surroundings home with you by reserving a stay at this quintessential Santa Barbara-style home.

Zilker Botanical Gardens

Austin, TX
"Keep off the grass and wear a leash." Photo by @red_dobe_tres

Located on the south bank of the Colorado River near downtown Austin, Zilker Botanical Gardens showcases a diverse selection of plant life from around the world, including the Hartman Prehistoric Garden and Isamu Taniguchi Japanese Garden. Leashed pups are welcome on trails, as long as they avoid the water features and don’t leave any mess behind.

After seeing its natural wonders, explore the historical sights of Austin. If Fido’s legs tire, head back to Kimpton Hotel Van Zandt for treats and a grassy relief area.

Myriad Botanical Gardens

Oklahoma City, OK
“Sir, I don’t take bribes, but a belly rub will do.” Photo by Facebook.com/MyriadGardens

Myriad Botanical Gardens is a verdant gem in the heart of Oklahoma City. Dogs are not allowed inside the large domed conservatory known as Crystal Bridge, but are free to wander the outdoor areas on a leash. This green space is used for events and gatherings throughout the year. While you and Fido wait for the rest of your pack to emerge from the impressive domes, blow off some steam at Myriad Botanical Gardens Dog Park.

The Colcord Hotel is just a block away from Myriad, making it a great choice for horticultural hounds.

South Carolina Botanical Gardens

Clemson, SC
"Is this supposed to teach us a lesson about scratching at the door?" Photo by @awellreadhound

Bring your pooch for a walk alongside streams and gorgeous floral displays at the South Carolina Botanical Gardens. This diverse space encompasses 295 acres of gardens and landscapes that can be viewed on various nature trails. Leashed pups are welcome to join you, as long as they don’t practice their favorite pastime of digging in the flower beds. The only trail that doesn’t allow dogs is the Natural Heritage Garden Trail.

Plan to spend a couple of days in the charming university town and book a stay at Comfort Inn Clemson, conveniently located within a couple of miles of the Tigers' campus and the botanical gardens.

Mobile Botanical Gardens

Mobile, AL
“This grass is comfier than my dog bed.” Photo by Facebook.com/mobilebotanicalgardensmbg

Plan your trip to Mobile Botanical Gardens in spring for a hike with your pup on the pretty trails through Longleaf Pine Treasure Forest. During this time, the pathways are lined with thousands of colorful, native wildflowers. After a walk in the woods, make your way around the lake to Langan Park, a well-kept municipal area that’s home to a number of pet-friendly trails and a disc golf course.

Spring scents and fun in the forest will be sure to tire Fido out. Recharge your batteries at Residence Inn by Marriott Mobile. This popular stop-over for road-trippers making their way across Alabama is conveniently located on the I-65 corridor.

Pittsburgh Botanic Garden

Oakdale, PA
“I know it’s stylish, but the neckerchief has to go.” Photo by @finnstagram_412

Does Fido want a luscious garden of his own? The aim of Pittsburgh Botanic Garden is to inspire people to value plants, and perhaps take some of the design ideas home to their own outdoor spaces. Take note of the tulip fields, lily pad-covered ponds and tranquil woodland areas as you walk on the trails with your pooch.

If you want to keep Fido away from the crowds in Steel City, spend a few nights at the House That Love Built in Oakdale.

Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens

Fort Bragg, CA
“There’s not mush-room for me to fit!” Photo by Facebook.com/mendocinocoastbotanicalgardens

Located on the opposite end of California’s coast to Santa Barbara Botanical Gardens, Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens offers visitors the chance to wander with their leashed dogs through formal gardens, coastal bluffs, pine forests and fern-covered canyons. The mild coastal climate ensures that something is always in bloom. Treats and dog bags await canine visitors upon arrival.

Enjoy stunning ocean views from the trails during the day and as the sun sets at The Beach House Inn.

Ready for a Road Trip?

Photo by Linda Segerfeldt


The editors at BringFido have dedicated themselves to digging up the best dog-friendly things to do across the country. And we've assembled it all in our new book, Ruff Guide to the United States.

Now in its second edition, the book features over 365 of the best places to stay and play with your dog in all 50 states. Order your copy today and save 50% off the retail price when you use the discount code BOTANICAL.

Which botanical garden will you explore first with Fido? Leave a comment or tweet us @BringFido!

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