The best dog-friendly destinations in Asheville, NC


Photo via Wagbar

If you’re a dog owner and an Asheville resident, then consider yourself doubly lucky, because our city ranks as one of the most pet-friendly destinations in the country.

Ready to take your pup out on the town? Here are the top, reader-recommended destinations to bring your dog, where every creature can live their best life.

Pro tip: Remember to check each spot’s vaccination requirements before showing up.

Off-leash bars

Wagbar | 320 Merrimon Ave.

This outdoor, interactive 25,000 sqft bar offers ramps, tunnels, and a permanent pool to keep your dog entertained for hours. There’s also plenty of shade, fans, and outdoor heating options — along with a plethora of snacks + beverages for purchase — to make the outdoors more bearable for humans. We recommend the wine slushie.

Down Dog Bar & Yoga Studio | 51 Sweeten Creek Rd.

A place where you can practice yoga and let your dog roam free? Count us in. This indoor-outdoor bar also offers weekly trivia nights + music bingo, with fun drink options like prosecco popsicles and an array of local craft beers. Bonus: There are “dogtenders” on staff who ensure all the pups stay safe + get along.

Sweeten Creek Brewing | 1127 Sweeten Creek Rd.

This local brewery, which offers weekly open mic, trivia, and live music, has recently added a 8,000 sqft fenced area to the mix so dogs can frolic with their humans in harmony in the brewery’s grassy meadow.
Off-leash public parks

French Broad River Park | 508 Riverview Dr.

This one’s Editor Laura’s personal favorite. This riverside park, which most locals consider the most lively dog park in town, offers two fenced-in play areas and is a great place for dog owners to connect over conversation. Pro tip: Snag a latte, smoothie, or brunch item from Homeground Coffee Bar & Deli afterwards.

Azalea Dog Park | 395 Azalea Rd.

Azalea is arguably the most peaceful dog park in town, thanks to its sprawling acreage, minimal crowds, and nearby river access.

Buncombe County Sports Park | 58 Apac Circle

Buncombe County’s first-ever dog park, which just opened in May 2022, features two fenced-in play areas. County staff hopes to add more amenities and water fountains in the future.

Where dogs are VIPS

Barkwells | 290 Lance Rd., Mills River

Want to take a staycation with your dog? This unique vacation rental service (which provides fenced in cabins) allows your pup to roam freely among acres of grass, swim in a pond, and get plenty of chances for off-leash socialization.

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