Tips + Trends

6 Pup-Approved Spots to Check Out in Austin

You’ll be hard pressed to find a place that’s not dog-friendly in Austin. You can almost guarantee that any restaurant or bar with an outside patio or a shop with a dog bowl by the door is more than happy to welcome you and your pooch.

Whether you want to go for a swim, share a bowl of queso or just cool off with some local beer, here’s a list of some essential spots.

1. Auditorium Shores

With perfect views of the skyline and Lady Bird Lake, Auditorium Shores is one of the best parks in Austin for humans and canines alike. Part of Town Lake Park, Auditorium Shores is an expansive off-leash area right by the waterfront.

So, if your dog loves to swim, they will be in heaven wading around in the cool water or jumping right in front the docks. Even if your dog is not a natural swimmer, there is plenty of room on dry land to romp around or make friends with their tail-wagging peers.

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What pup doesn’t love a paddle? (Photo: Getty Images)

2. Red Bud Isle

Red Bud Isle is a 13-acre island located right below the Lake Austin dam, and it’s completely off leash. It’s one of the city’s lesser-known spots for dog owners—there’s plenty of room to run, swim and hang with other dogs.

The one downside is the parking lot is far too small for its popularity. Weekdays and early mornings are your best shot, or park several blocks away and walk over to the island.

3. Jo’s Coffee

Home of the famous “I love you so much” graffiti, Jo’s Coffee is the perfect starting point for any South Congress neighborhood adventure. The coffee shop has a lovely shaded patio with plenty of water bowls to keep your dog cool from the Texas heat.

Whether you need to work a few hours outside of the office or just want to grab a cup to go, you can get your fix here. And don’t forget to Instagram an image of you and your best friend at this iconic Austin spot.

4. Circle Brewing Co.

Founded in 2010, Circle Brewing Co. is one of the city’s oldest craft breweries. Located in the heart of North Austin’s brewery district, it’s also dog-friendly—inside and out. Your pup will love chilling on Circle Brewing’s cool concrete floors, and won’t lack for hydration, since the staff always makes sure to keep the water bowl filled.

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There’s plenty to do in Austin’s great outdoors. (Photo: Alamy)

5. Torchy’s Tacos

You can’t come to Austin without making a stop at this beloved local taco chain. There are several locations of Torchy’s Tacos around Austin proper, and most feature a well-shaded patio that’s open to dog owners and their pups.

Even better, the Torchy’s team is fast to bring out ice cold water bowls for the hot summer days. And of course, they are never opposed to showing some love to all the fur-babies that stop in.

6. Bull Creek Greenbelt

When you say Greenbelt in Austin, most people will think you’re referring to Barton Creek Greenbelt near the heart of downtown. But Bull Creek Greenbelt offers a more secluded set of trails in North Austin.

Depending on the season, and how much rain the city had, the creek can be anything from a calm, mellow wading pool to a rushing body of water perfect for swimming. On the lower part of Bull Creek is a 3.5 mile trail that features several spots that are perfect for swimming or fishing.

Regardless of water levels, the Bull Creek trail is a great option for runners and their pups looking for a short—and accessible—running route.