BringFido’s Ruff Guide to North Carolina

Posted by Jason Halliburton

Thinking of lavishing your Labrador with a trip to North Carolina? If so, he’ll be one lucky pup. The editors at BringFido have dedicated themselves to digging up the dog-friendliest things to do in the Tar Heel State, as well as the rest of the country. And we've assembled it all in the 2021 edition of our 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 TARHEEL.

For a preview of the book, here are a few of our editors' top picks for dog-friendly things to do in North Carolina:

Explore the Grounds at the Biltmore Estate

Asheville, NC
"When do we move in?" Photo by @keepingupwithatlas

Your dog will love strolling through the hundreds of manicured acres on the Biltmore Estate in Asheville. Nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains, this 8,000-acre property offers you and your furry friend over 20 miles of hiking trails and 2.5 miles of paths through manicured gardens. Relax with a glass of wine at Biltmore Winery’s Bistro or have a bite to eat at Cedric’s Tavern (named for George Vanderbilt’s Saint Bernard). Dogs must remain leashed at all times and are not allowed in any buildings. For an alternative view of the estate’s lush grounds, take a six-mile kayak tour with French Broad Outfitters. Enjoy paddling with your pooch past the 19th-century house, stables, Inn, Antler Hill Village, and winery.

Located just outside the gates of the Biltmore Estate, the luxurious Grand Bohemian Hotel Asheville awaits your pooch’s arrival. This Tudor-inspired property will greet Fido with treats and bowls at check-in. Once you are settled in, stroll through the hotel art gallery, relax with a cocktail in the lounge, or visit the neighboring shops at Biltmore Village, where you will find an assortment of dog-friendly restaurants and boutiques.

Learn the History of Flight in the Outer Banks

Kill Devil Hills, NC
"Come fly away with me." Photo by @staffy.seamus

Aviation and history buffs will enjoy bringing their furry co-pilots to the Wright Brothers National Memorial in Kill Devil Hills. Stand on the spot where Orville and Wilbur changed the world with their first flight and view full-scale replicas of their 1902 glider, 1903 flying machine, and first wind tunnel. Take a walk up Big Kill Devil Hill, where the duo conducted their glider experiments. If you want to do some flying of your own, head to nearby Outer Banks Airlines for a sightseeing flight. Pilot Charlie Snow will take you and your pooch on an aerial tour of the memorial, Roanoke Island, and Bodie Island Lighthouse. Once your feet are back on the ground, visit the Cape Hatteras National Seashore for some free fun in the sand and surf.

Following Fido’s day of fun in the Outer Banks, retire for the evening to the Sandbar Bed & Breakfast in beautiful Nags Head. The inviting three-story cottage offers beachfront convenience paired with Southern hospitality. Complimentary breakfast and evening refreshments are served daily. For an afternoon treat, take a short walk to Surfin’ Spoon, where Fido can enjoy a cup of frozen vanilla yogurt topped with a dog treat.

Make a Splash at the US National Whitewater Center

Charlotte, NC
White water, blue sky, Golden Retriever. Photo by @eden_the_golden

The US National Whitewater Center in Charlotte offers numerous outdoor adventures, whether you're on two legs or four! Dogs aren’t allowed on the rafts or zip lines for safety reasons, but water-loving pups can join you on a kayak, canoe, or stand-up paddleboard trip down the scenic Catawba River. Snag a ‘Flatwater Kayaking and SUP Pass,' or opt for a full-day, all-access pass. Land lovers enjoy complimentary access to hike, bike, or run with Fido on over 20 miles of trails. Doggos are always welcome at special events, festivals, Family Camping Weekends, and concerts held throughout the year. So, be sure to check the center’s online calendar before planning your visit. For refreshments, head to the facility’s outdoor restaurant and biergarten, where you and your pup can take a snack break while watching rafters brave the whitewater course.

After tiring your pooch out at the USNWC, check into the Drury Inn & Suites Northlake in time for their nightly ‘kickback’ hour at 5:30 pm. While Fido chills out in the comfortable suite, you’ll be treated to some free hot food and cold drinks. Once your furry pal is rested, head to Lucky Dog Bark & Brew Charlotte, a dog-friendly bar with an indoor and outdoor dog park.

Ready for a Road Trip?

Photo by Linda Segerfeldt


If this Ruff Guide to North Carolina preview left your dog drooling for more, we hope you check out our new book - Ruff Guide to the United States. Remember to use discount code TARHEEL to save 50% on your copy. Happy Travels!

Have you been to dog-friendly North Carolina? Leave a comment or tweet us @BringFido!

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