Best Dog-Friendly Activities in Richmond, Virginia

Walking your dog around the neighborhood is great exercise for both of you, but it can get a little mundane. Even dogs like a change in scenery once in a while. The next time you're looking for something fun to do with your four-legged friend, consider some of our suggestions for dog-friendly activities in Richmond.

Rivers, lakes and parks
Dogs love to run, walk and romp around Belle Isle's trails, trees and rocky paths. Splashing in the James River is always a fun treat on a hot day. Just a few of Richmond's outdoor venues that your pup would enjoy include Pocahontas State Park, Great Shiplock Park and Three Lakes Park. If you have a boat, even better. Take Rover out for a day on the James River or Lake Anna.

Stony Point Fashion Park
Enjoy a stroll around Stony Point Fashion Park with your canine companion. Dogs must be on a leash no longer than three feet, and there are drinking water stations and bag dispensers. Dog-friendly merchants have signs in the window that say "Welcome Dogs." Some might say "Welcome Small Dogs Only," so be sure to be observant. Some of the dining places will even bring food out to you if you have your dog with you.

Dog Parks
Part of Chimborazo Park, Church Hill Dog Park is on the lower terrace of the park on the eastern end. There is an area for large dogs and one for small dogs. It is fenced for safety for your pet to run around off-leash. There are cool-down stations.

Barker Field Dog Park is located at Byrd Park. This off-leash park is fully fenced and has water during the warm weather months. You may want to bring water during the cool months. There are also bench swings and shade.

Breweries and Wineries
Richmond is home to a wide selection of craft breweries, cideries and even a few wineries. Many of them have outdoor patios and decks where you can check out the season's latest flavors with your pet in tow. Strangeways Brewing hosts Yappy Hours. Check out Ardent Craft Ales, Blue Bee Cider, Center of the Universe Brewing Company or James River Cellars, to name just a few.

Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden
Richmond's favorite garden, Lewis Ginter, hosts events where you can bring leashed pets. During the summer months, the Garden partners with the Richmond SPCA for Fidos After Five on select nights of the week. Check out their website for more information.

Traveling with your dog? No problem. Several Richmond hotels allow pets, including the Jefferson Hotel, the Berkeley Hotel, the Omni Richmond Hotel and Four Points by Sheraton Richmond Airport. Please visit for information such as size restrictions, additional fees and other dog-friendly hotels.

Check out the RVADogBlog for even more fun with Fido in Richmond.

Sandy has lived in Richmond for more than 25 years. She writes on lifestyle and travel topics for AFAR and She loves meeting four-legged travelers whenever she's out and about.

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