Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Road Trip: Dog Friendly in Austin

Happy Wednesday! Today I am continuing with the round-up of road trip tips, focusing on dog friendly events/locations we loved in Austin, Texas. Along the way we found cities that were all along the dog-friendly spectrum. Austin & San Diego were SUPER dog friendly, while Phoenix almost killed them with them, but mostly because of the 120 ˚F temps (they had to stay in the AC 100% of our time there!). Regardless of where we were, we always checked for dog friendly hotels & resturants on BringFido.com. It is a simple site that never let us down & they just came out with an app!

If you are just joining the road trip series, read about our initial itinerary, how to set road trip expectations & my top 5 tips for exploring National Parks.

Austin, TX is such a great place to visit (I've now been 3 times - to visit a friend, for my bachelorette & on our road trip) - not only is it a very dog friendly town, but they have the best murals (I used this guide to find some new favorites) & it has an overall retro mid-century vibe (Tyler loved all of the kitschy neon signs). 

Topping our favorite dog friendly spots in Austin are these 6 restaurants & parks. If you have your own dog friendly favorites in Austin, let me know in the comments - I'm sure we will be back with the pugs soon!

1. Banger's - this sausage house & beer garden has a dog park in the restaurant area... how much more dog friendly can you get than that!? When traveling with dogs it can be such a juggling game as one person always has to wait with the dogs outside while the other goes in to order, & then you switch to do it all over again. But at Banger's, the humans get to sit at long farm tables, while the doggies play with their friends in the dog pen. Doug made lots of friends (as seen above) & Scout drank A L L the water, while we stuffed our faces with sausages + crisp beers. Win. Freaking. Win.  

2. Redbud Isle - Austin has some great public parks, but Redbud Isle is my favorite for the doggies. It is an off leash dog park that is actually an island in the middle of the Colorado River. Dogs are allowed to swim in the river, & even our non-swimming pugs enjoyed taking a dip in the calm, cool water right off the walking paths - some are even paved with steps so that the humans enjoy getting in too (as seen above). Our dogs aren't super accustomed to being off leash, but this is a calm spot & everyone's dogs are so friendly that our two little piggies did just great!

3. Yellow Jacket Social Club - hipsters love dogs, & this hip spot features great sandwiches, yummy brunch & tasty drinks, all in a dog friendly spot on the East side of town. It is equally great for people & dog watching! You have to get creative with the parking situation in this part of town, but the ambiance is worth it! This neighborhood is also a hot spot for mural hunting!! Happy searching :)

4. South Congress Bat Bridge - if you want an event to take your dog to, the nightly bat viewing is low key & dog friendly. About an hour before sunset, bat enthusiasts gather below the South Congress bridge to watch the bats fly out (they emerge right when the sky gets dark). You can bring your kids, dogs, picnic blankets, food & I even saw a red solo cup or two filled with adult beverages! Check out this link to see what time the bats will fly out before you go.  

And if you are in the area during the day, South Congress is a freaking HOT BED for murals. We just about wore the brakes down in our car as I forced Tyler to break suddenly at every corner with my mural induced squealing!! I really wanted to get a shot of this lion one (we are both Leos, how precious would that be), but I got cut off from my mural photography before I spotted it! Next time lions, next time!

5. Jester King Brewery - Located a little out of town, but definitely worth the drive! We do much of our new town exploring by hitting up the local breweries & this spot was an oasis in the outskirts of the Texas hill country that we spent a large chunk of an afternoon enjoying. The beers are very creative (lots of sour beers if you are into that sort of thing), but the highlight for me was the farm table seating, & amazing pizzas available from Stanley's Farmhouse, also located on the property. 

6. Oyster Landing - after hitting up Barton Springs early one morning (dogs are not allowed so we went super early so that it was still cool enough to leave them in the car + it is free before 8 am!), we stopped at the Oyster Landing strip of restaurants/shops to enjoy coffee on the amazing patio of Mozart's. Located close to Redbud Isle & also right on the Colorado River, this dog friendly coffee shop has ample patio space, serving up a front row seat for turtle & duck watching. 

Another of my favorite Austin spots, for tex-mex Hula Hut, is also located at Oyster Landing, but I couldn't find it on my favorite app for researching dog friendly spots (BringFido), so if you want to bring your pup, call ahead!

Just down the road from Oyster Landing is Maudie's (tex-mex) & their patio is dog friendly & I highly recommend the migas! 

Thank you Austin for your bevy of murals & dog friendly spots! 

What are your tips for traveling with dogs? 

Anyone else want to know why people can bring their unruly kids everywhere they go, but my well mannered pugs have been shooed from many a patio?? 

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