By Courtney Emken
co-written by Bart Emken, CPDT-KA & Jen Larson, KPA-CTP
With Valentine’s Day right ahead of us, we wanted to share some of our favorite date spots in Austin. Of course, none of these places would’ve made our list if they weren’t great for canines too. We aren’t called DogBoy’s for nothing!
Here’s our top ten doggie date ideas:
#1 Red Bud Park (Or Red Bud Isle)
This dog park is smack-dab in the middle of Town Lake. There’s a gorgeous view on either side of the isle. You can hang out on the shore while your dog swims in the surrounding waters, or hike the little trail with them at your side.
Red Bud Park is a dog park first, so keep in mind that a few human accommodations are lacking. There aren’t any bathrooms on the island, nor is there a children’s playground. Luckily, the island itself is plenty fun for dogs!
#2 Lady Bird Lake Park And Boardwalk
While not strictly dog-centered, Lady Bird Lake Park has room for everyone. There are more runners, bikers, and general park-goers here, so make sure your dog is properly leash trained and can handle large amounts of strangers.
#3 Zilker Park
Zilker Park is one of the most dog-friendly places to visit in Austin. Bring a blanket to spread out over the grass and watch the dogs play all day. Add a bottle of wine to the equation and you have a picture-perfect doggie date.
All three of these parks are conveniently located off of Town Lake. If you want to add some high energy activity to your date, you can:
- Go kayaking
- Rent a paddle board
- Take a swim
However, we highly recommend your dog wear a life jacket in case of emergencies. Any time water and uncertainty is involved, it’s best to play it safe.
#4 Opal Divine’s Marina
This dog-friendly restaurant has a giant deck where dogs can stretch out and play. Their waiters will fill your glass and your dog’s bowl. And during the summer, they’ll give your dog chilly ice water to help keep them cool.
#5 Yard Bar
This hybrid-genre eatery is a must for those who love their dogs and their beer. You’ll need to buy a five dollar day-pass per dog. This gives them access to agility equipment, an off-leash park, and “bark” ranger supervision.
#6 Doghouse Drinkery
In the same vein as Yard Bar, Doghouse Drinkery caters to those two great passions: dogs and beer. There’s a large off-leash park where you can let your dog loose, as well as an enclosed area for smaller dogs to play in. Their day passes are also five dollars.
#7 Attend A Seasonal Dog Event
Austin is home to a variety of dog-themed events, parades, and celebrations. These are great fun for the family, and perfect doggie date material. Some of our favorites include:
There are other parades and events that welcome dogs as well, even if they aren’t the main attraction. Just check an Austin events calendar to stay in-the-know.
#8 Walnut Creek
Walnut Creek is a great place to take your dog hiking, and get away from the hustle and bustle of the Town Lake parks. It’s an off-leash dog park with extensive trails. You’re free to stroll along with your date while your dog sniffs to their heart’s delight.
#9 Turkey Creek
Turkey Creek offers many of the same benefits as Walnut Creek, including the hiking trails. Remember that if you’re taking your dog out for extended walks, they need to be properly protected from fleas and ticks, and you would also benefit from keeping your eye out for snakes and other hazards on the trails.
#10 Take a Training Class Together
We’d also like to mention that DogBoy’s private dog park is available for you to rent. You can book the park ahead of time and enjoy a nice, quiet afternoon or evening. Don’t worry, we’re fully equipped for human dates too with restrooms close by.
Town Lake View With Dog by Michael Cote
Valentine’s Dog by Found Animals Foundation
Dog Kiss by Rhys. A