Top Spots to Hang Out With Your Pet in Nashville

Why Nashville is for the birds ... and cats and dogs

Even a metropolitan city like Nashville hasn't lost sight of what is important to people—their pets. Yes, this city, famous for country music and more, has carved a place for its furry travelers and residents as well.

From dog parks to five-star accommodations to unrivaled views, these spots welcome the four-legged varieties with open arms. Mary B. Hammet, Loews Vanderbilt Hotel director of sales and marketing, expressed that attitude succinctly.

“We believe in delivering ‘Genuinely Nashville, Soulfully Inspired’ service that starts with making our guests, and their pets, feel as comfortable as possible," Hammet said.

Hermitage Hotel, Nashville, Tennessee

Stay—Not Just an Order

Hermitage Hotel

This historic, luxury hotel in downtown Nashville has attended to the whims of celebrities like Johnny Cash, but its 122 rooms and suites are also built to accommodate pets. Its five-star service is extended to furry visitors via the Pampered Pets Program. In-room amenities include specialty beds and pet bedding, organic welcome treats, bottled spring water, water and food bowls; for those stressed out by travel there is an on-call pet masseuse.

Loews Vanderbilt Hotel, Nashville, Tennessee

Loews Vanderbilt Hotel

"We take the stress out of travel and make the hotel feel like a home away from home by offering creature comforts for your pet like bedding, water bowls, placemats, treats, dog-walking route maps, sanitary bags, litter boxes, toys and more," Hammet said of the hotel's Loews Loves Pets initiative.

Located close to Music Row, the hotel's pampering begins immediately with a welcome gift at check-in. Forgot to bring enough food? Don't worry, order up gourmet room service with fare prepared by the hotel's executive chef. 

Running Free

The six city-run dog parks are open from dawn until 8 pm and are spread out across the city. 

Centennial Dog Park distinguishes itself with separate areas for large and small dogs. Near Midtown, the tree-lined park offers shade and drinking fountains for both dogs and their owners.

Edwin Warner Dog Park promises lots of open space with no shade, but water fountains to help provide relief on scorching days.

A local favorite, Shelby Dog Park is near the Cumberland River and next to the Shelby Community Center. The large and well-preserved space provides shade and a water fountain. 

Other spots include Pitts Dog Park, Two Rivers Dog Park and Percy Priest Dam Dog Park.

Where to Eat—And Party

Nasxhville Undergound, Nashville, Tennessee

Nashville Underground

High atop the live music, restaurant and bar space owned by Gavin and Joey DeGraw, is Nashville Underground’s double-deck rooftop. Head to the sixth floor and relax outdoors on the green grass roof with your furry friend while sipping a cocktail.

Drifter's Bar-B-Que Joint

Hickory-smoked goodness and close attention paid to your dog by wait staff mark this hole-in-the-wall joint. Come for drinks and live music and let your pal relax at your feet on the big, dog-friendly deck.

Make It a Destination

Just 10 miles outside the city in the Whites Creek Valley, the "Fontanel Experiences" are ones to share with your favorite canine for the day or on an overnight stay.

For a good stretch of the legs The Trails & Greenway at Fontanel, free to the public, provide more than three miles of pet-friendly wooded trails.

If the outdoor foray leaves you needing respite, there are a few ways to recover. Head to Café Fontanella with its pet-friendly outdoor patio for lunch, dinner and daily drink specials or weekend brunch.

If that return trip to the city seems like just too much, book the South Bunkie or King Guest House Suite at The Inn at Fontanel, both of which are pet-friendly. 

For a Scary Good Time

The Cheekwood Estate and Gardens, nine miles southwest of the city, have 12 separate gardens and a Museum of Art. Once a year, the 55 acres are opened up to pooches in full regalia for the Cheekwood Halloween Pooch Parade or "Howl-o-ween." The parade around the gardens pairs with a donations drive for the Nashville Humane Association.

The Cheekwood Halloween Pooch Parade

Scott Rouch
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