Visiting Raleigh with your dog? Check out these places where your four-legged friend is welcome to eat, shop and sightsee with you, and where you’ll both enjoy the outing, whether you’re into art, history, architecture or food.
North Carolina Museum of Art Park
Take a stroll across the lawns and wooded trails of the newly redesigned Ann and Jim Goodnight Museum Park to see creative and interactive works of art. From Ledelle Moe, "Collapse I"—gigantic legs reclining on an open meadow—to Thomas Sayre’s enormous “Gyre” rings, these installations invite play and exploration.
Encompassing 164 acres of creeks, rolling meadows and woodlands, the park is one the largest of its kind in the nation and a haven for dog lovers, like Rebecca Payne—pictured below walking her dog Caribou. “It’s nice and calm …very open and quiet,” said Payne.
Hungry for lunch? Cameron Village, a shopping center established in 1949, offers restaurants with outdoor patios that welcome dogs with a bowl of water. Choose from Cantina 18, Village Deli and Grill’s homemade foods, Noodles & Company and The Flying Biscuit Café, Café Carolina and Bakery, Brixx Pizza, Ajisai Japanese Fusion, Sugarland, Village Draft House and Benelux Coffee. Many of the shopping center’s boutiques—such as Uniquities—also allow well-behaved dogs.
Take a Historic Walk Through Downtown
Stroll through Raleigh’s streets to gain a sense of the city’s history. Start at the Shops at Seaboard Station, where local retailers sell their wares in 1940s-era warehouses, and where you can get dropped off or park in the lot.
Walk east on Seaboard Avenue, then south on Halifax Street, cross Peace Street to Salisbury Street. Walk south past the North Carolina General Assembly and the State Capitol, both on your left. At Morgan Street, which dates to the original 1792 city plan, head east, then north on Wilmington Street, walking the perimeter of the historic Capitol grounds by heading west on Edenton Street.
Go half a block on Edenton Street, and then take the pedestrian crossing so you can walk through the outdoor Bicentennial Plaza between the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences on your left and the North Carolina Museum of History on your right. When you see the Legislative Building in front of you, head east on Jones Street until you get to Blount Street.
Head north on Blount Street, passing the North Carolina Executive Mansion (better known as the Governor’s Mansion) and the 1876 Merrimon-Wynne House (at the corner of Polk Street) before walking west on Peace Street and north on Halifax past William Peace University, where the main building was used as a hospital during the Civil War. Then head west on Seaboard Avenue to return back to your starting point.
Started in 1865 on Fayetteville Street, Briggs Hardware has been in the Briggs family for nearly 150 years, apart from a brief closure in July 2015 due to an economic downtown. Two months later, sixth-generation family member and owner Evelyn Murray reopened the shop in downtown Raleigh at 111. E. Hargett Street.
“I brought it home,” says Murray, noting the store remains an old time general store. Farmers and gardeners will find a full line of tools, but the shop also carries products made in North Carolina, such as toffees, honeys, peanuts, jams, cheese straws and barbecue sauces. Murray welcomes dogs with fresh water and a basket of bones.
Deco at 14 W. Hargett Street in Raleigh also features locally handcrafted gifts and welcomes patrons with well-behaved dogs. Shop for everything from barbecue sauces to pottery, prints, cards, jewelry, textiles, babywear and T-shirts.
UnLeashed: The Dog and Cat Store
Visit Raleigh’s historic City Market, which dates to 1914, to get to Unleashed, a locally owned and operated store at 329 Blake Street where you can treat your buddy to food that is made without corn, wheat or soy, and to the store’s “chew bar.” Walk the cobbled streets pass boutiques and restaurants that now fill the old market area where farmers from Eastern North Carolina would come to sell their produce, poultry, seafood and flowers through 1940.
Pet-Friendly Hotels in Raleigh
If you’re visiting downtown Raleigh with your dog, you may want to search for pet-friendly hotels located within a short driving distance. Head to the Red Roof PLUS+ Raleigh NCSU Convention Center for a relatively inexpensive stay (rooms start at about $73) and where you’ll be just 2.6 miles south of downtown Raleigh and close to the North Carolina State University campus. Enjoy free WiFi and a complimentary “grab and go” breakfast.
If you’re in the mood to splurge, the Hyatt House Raleigh North Hills offers a stay (starting at $174) with amenities that include free Wi-Fi everywhere, a 24-hour workout room, and a free daily breakfast buffet, including an omelet bar. The extended stay hotel is just 5 miles from the heart of downtown, and you can step outside to explore the North Hills district's upscale shops, boutiques, restaurants and its Midtown Park.
The Hilton North Raleigh/Midtown is slightly less expensive (rooms start at about $119) and is located 4.2 miles from downtown Raleigh in a busy technology and business hub. Guests can work out at a 24-hour fitness center, lounge in the indoor pool and dine at the hotel’s two restaurants, Lofton's and Skybox Grill.