BringFido's Ruff Guide to Texas

Posted by Jason Halliburton

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Thinking of treating your Terrier to a vacation in Texas? 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 Lone Star State, as well as the rest of the country. And we've assembled it all in the latest 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 LONESTAR.

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

Keep Austin Weird

Austin, TX
“This is my idea of doggie paddling.” Photo by @babygirlkody

On your next visit to Austin, make a bee line for Lady Bird Lake. You and your pup can enjoy the serenity of the water with a canoe or kayak rental from Zilker Park Boat Rentals. Located just 10 minutes from downtown, a scenic float on the lake will provide you with magnificent views of the Austin skyline and a glimpse of the famous bat colony that resides under the Congress Avenue Bridge. When you’re back on dry land, head to Zilker Botanical Garden to explore over 30 acres of lush gardens with Fido. If your pup needs to cool off, nearby Red Bud Isle is the perfect spot to swim and play in the waters of the Colorado River. When you get hungry, check out Austin’s Yard Bar, an outdoor restaurant and bar with its own dog park.

After a fun-filled day exploring Austin, recharge at Hotel Saint Cecilia. Every suite, studio, and bungalow in this secluded estate pays homage to the great writers, musicians, and artists of the decades. You and your pup can enjoy the sounds of the greats on the in-room Geneva sound systems with turntables. Furry guests receive treats, bowls, and toys.

Tour Texas Hill Country

Fredericksburg, TX
"Care to join me for a swim?" Photo by Brenda Ernst

The town of Fredericksburg serves as a central hub for exploring Texas Hill Country’s numerous dog-friendly state parks. Start your tour at Enchanted Rock State Natural Area. Situated 20 miles north of Fredericksburg, the 1,643-acre park is popular among hikers and rock-climbers. Drive an hour west to South Llano River State Park, where you can rent kayaks and canoes or go tubing with your pup down the scenic river. In nearby Johnson City, Pedernales Falls State Park offers excellent family-friendly hiking and wildlife viewing opportunities. Travel north to Inks Lake State Park in Burnet to fish for bass or catfish with your four-legged friend. Primitive camping and backpacking are available at the Hill Country State Natural Area, located 60 miles away in Bandera. As you enjoy the parks, be sure to keep Fido on a leash at all times.

After spending some quality time in the great outdoors, savor the beauty of Texas from a relaxing rocking chair on the veranda at the Best Western Plus Fredericksburg. Fuel up in the morning with a complimentary hot breakfast and catch some rays on a lounge chair at the outdoor swimming pool.

Take Your Trusty Steed to the Ranch

Canyon, TX
"Ready to leave my mark at Cadillac Ranch." Photo by @violetsadventures

Mosey along with Fido to Palo Duro Creek Ranch – a working cattle ranch in the Texas Panhandle – where you can tour the nation’s second largest canyon. Travel back in time to the fascinating Old West as your guide regales you with vivid history and delightful folklore of the area. Enjoy spectacular views of Palo Duro Canyon as you travel over rugged terrain in a customized Jeep that’s well-equipped for the trip. Dogs of any size are allowed on the one- or two-hour tours, which are offered daily. After your tour, visit the world-famous Cadillac Ranch. At this public art installation, Fido can pose for a photo next to 10 graffiti-covered Cadillacs that have been half-buried into the ground. The public is invited to leave their mark on the vehicles, so be sure to bring a can of spray paint.

If you and your canine companion need a nice place to crash after a long day of exploring Palo Duro Canyon State Park, stay in the conveniently located Holiday Inn Express Canyon. Enjoy a clean, comfortable room, complimentary daily breakfast, and evening snacks.

Ready for a Road Trip?

Photo by Linda Segerfeldt


If this Ruff Guide to Texas 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 LONESTAR to save 50% on your copy. Happy Travels!

What are your favorite dog-friendly things to do in Texas? Leave a comment or tweet us @BringFido!

Banner photo by BringFido/Gabriela Sosa.