BringFido's Ruff Guide to Tennessee

Posted by Jason Halliburton

Thinking of treating your Terrier to a trip to Tennessee? If so, he’s one lucky dog. The editors at BringFido have dedicated themselves to digging up the dog-friendliest things to do in The Volunteer 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 VOLUNTEER.

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

Walking in Memphis

Memphis, TN
It's hard to feel blue on Beale Street. Photo by Backbeat Tours

Put on Fido’s leash and go walking in Memphis with Backbeat Tours. Hear the story of how the city became the ‘Home of the Blues’ on an hour-long historic walking tour of Beale Street. After your tour, make your way to the National Civil Rights Museum located at the former Lorraine Motel, where civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated on April 4, 1968. Dogs aren’t allowed inside the museum, but the grounds outside are worth a visit. The motel’s sign and façade have been preserved as they appeared in 1968, and two vintage replica cars are parked beneath the balcony where Dr. King was shot. Signage memorializing his life and the events of that fateful day are also located outside.

After a day of sightseeing, spend a night with your pup at The Peabody Memphis. During your stay, don’t miss the famous Mallard ducks march down the red carpet to the hotel lobby fountain. Ceremonial processions take place daily at 11:00 am and 5:00 pm. Your pup will also get the red carpet treatment during his stay. He’ll be greeted with a duck-shaped treat at check-in, and he can order room service from the special pet menu.

Music City Lowdown

Nashville, TN
"Do you take requests?" Photo by Charles Jennings

Country music lovers will enjoy learning about the golden era of their favorite genre on a tour with Walkin’ Nashville. Grammy-nominated music journalist Bill DeMain takes visitors on a two-hour stroll through downtown Nashville on his Music City Legends Tour. The tour starts at the corner of Fifth Avenue and Union Street and visits sites including the Ernest Tubb Record Shop, Castle Recording Studio, and Sho-Bud Steel Guitar Company. Fans of Dolly Parton, Willie Nelson, Loretta Lynn, and Johnny Cash will hear fascinating stories about their favorite music stars’ careers as they walk through the heart of Music City.

The Hermitage Hotel became Nashville’s first pet-friendly hotel in 1941 when movie star Gene Autry and his horse, Champion, checked in for a week-long stay. To this day, the hotel continues to welcome four-legged guests with a dose of good old-fashioned Southern hospitality. Fido can sleep on a custom dog bed, order from the pet room service menu, and even schedule a daily walk through the concierge.

Born to Be Wild

Townsend, TN
"Wildlife? What wildlife?" Photo by Emily Pow

Even though dogs aren’t allowed on most trails at Great Smoky Mountains National Park, you can still enjoy the park’s most popular attraction with Fido in tow. Take a scenic drive on the 11-mile loop around Cades Cove, and you’ll easily spot dozens of white-tailed deer, black bears, and other animals roaming the open fields that were once farmed by pioneers. Depending on traffic conditions, motorists should allow two to four hours to drive the entire loop. If you’d prefer to take Fido on a walk instead, plan to visit on a Wednesday between June and September. Cades Cove Loop Road is closed to vehicular traffic during that time to give bicyclists and pedestrians an opportunity to enjoy the awe-inspiring scenery. After navigating the loop, head to nearby River Rat Tubing for some fun on the water.

After a day of exploring the Smokies, you and your pup can kick back in a cozy cabin at the Dancing Bear Lodge in Townsend. All cabins feature luxurious feather beds, wood-burning fireplaces, and private porches with hot tubs. Enjoy a glass of wine and a delicious meal as your pooch sits tableside on the outdoor deck of the on-site Appalachian Bistro. A complimentary breakfast is served daily.

Ready for a Road Trip?

Photo by Linda Segerfeldt


If this Ruff Guide to Tennessee 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 VOLUNTEER to save 50% on your copy. Happy Travels!

What are your favorite pet-friendly attractions in Tennessee? Leave a comment or tweet us @BringFido!

BringFido is committed to providing authentic dog-friendly content that our readers will love. We may at times receive compensation from our partners or use affiliate links to promote products and services featured on our blog. Banner photo by @boogikramer.