I surprised my kids with our first dog right before Christmas last year. I grew up with a dog, but I’ve never had one as an adult, so it was certainly a learning curve for me. I probably would have gotten one sooner, but I was always hesitant about the work of having a dog. I fell in love with our sweet Terry when I first spotted her on SpaySA’s Instagram feed, and reached out to her foster dad (aka: @thephosterdad on IG—highly recommend his lovable pups if you’re looking for one of your own) as quick as I could. The stars—and paperwork—aligned, and we were able to take her home the same day we met her.
Terry is officially a part of the family now, and we’ve enjoyed taking her out and about discovering some of the best dog-friendly places in San Antonio—with many more discoveries to come, I’m sure. Here are some of the places we love taking our pup, along with recommendations from seasoned ACMB pet owners.
I’m a total Pearl girl. I love nothing more than meandering the farmers market on the weekend, grabbing a cup of coffee and sitting out in front of Larder with the paper, or letting my kids run wild with their friends in the courtyard. Everyone’s out walking their dogs at the Pearl on the weekend; and there’s a dog park, plus easy access to the River Walk if your pup gets a little to restless with the crowds. There are plenty of poop bags handy at the trash bins, and at least one or two water fountains with a lower doggy fountain. There’s pet-friendly patio seating at most of the restaurants at the Pearl, but my top picks are Botika, Cured, Southerleigh, The Boiler House, and Green. The Pearl is my #1 top pick for dog-friendly places in San Antonio.
My pup isn’t trained enough to chill calmly while I’m lounging outdoors with friends, but The Luxury is a great choice for outdoor seating with friends and canines. And it’s within walking distance from the Pearl. My favorite thing on the menu? Fries, of course (be sure to ask for the special sauce).
Another dog-friendly spot with great fries is The Cove. Known for its sustainable, organic, local fare, more than 50 Texas craft beers on tap, and live music, The Cove is one of my go-to spots for eating out. Plus, they have a playground where the kiddos can run around, too. My fave food pick? Fish tacos. You can read their dog-friendly patio rules here.
The Friendly Spot
The Friendly Spot is the place to go for outdoor hanging out with furry and non-furry friends alike. Take the kids to play on the playground, grab a drink and some eats, and even catch the game on the outdoor screen.
The Bark Park of Alamo Heights
Terry’s foster dad invited us out to a foster pup play date, and I was delighted to discover this little treasure right near the Quarry. It’s basically a big, fenced-in field. There’s also plenty of shade, various places to sit, toys for your canines (and the kiddos to throw), and most importantly, agua. I let my sweet Terry loose, and she held her own running around with the bigger crew members. I’ve taken my kids back to The Bark Park since, and they enjoyed running around and meeting all of the other dogs just as much as Terry did.
McAllister Dog Park
If you’re looking for a more centrally located dog park, check out McAllister Dog Park off of Starcrest. McAllister Park is run by the City, and features a combined small and large dog park on 1.5 acres. My kids love this park because it has playground equipment for the dogs. It also has a trail circling within the park, so you can also get a quick walk in. Bonus points: there’s bathroom access for humans (it’s a port-a-potty, but a well-kept one). There’s also a big open field right next to the dog park, perfect for running your four-legged and two-legged little ones. You can check out a full list of City dog parks on the Parks and Rec website.
Fest of Tails
The Fest of Tails is one of my favorite events to take my kids to each spring, and not only is it an amazing kite festival, but it’s a dog festival, too. (They both have tails—get it?) It’s totally free, with live music, kite flying, arts and crafts, and a dog contest and pooch parade. Registration is required for the dog contest and pooch parade, with awards for the best dressed dog and most resembles owner. You can learn more about the Fest of Tails on my previous post here.
Fiesta Pooch Parade
I’ve never been to the Fiesta Pooch Parade, but if you love dogs and Fiesta, then this official Fiesta event is for you! Registration is required to take part in the parade, but I believe anyone can go and enjoy watching it.
Dog Days at the Park at the Botanical Gardens
The Botanical Gardens is another favorite spot of mine for either a kid-friendly outing or solo musing and eye-candy. They also host Dog Days in the Park from time to time throughout the year. There is a small fee on top of regular admission per pup.
Although being a dog owner is still relatively new to me, I’m super thrilled to have so many great dog-friendly places in San Antonio to enjoy. It’s made me fall in love with my city even more, and I would love to hear about your favorite dog-friendly places and events here in the Alamo City!