Things to Do

Texas Hill Country, Doggie Style… er, Dog-Friendly

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Although dripping with innuendo, the title of this article is completely and utterly G-rated. The Texas Hill Country is all about “man’s best friend” with some phenomenal places to go and things to do for you and your panting pal. That’s right, get your mind out of the gutter, grab your doo-doo bags, and get Fido’s favorite leash, because the Texas Hill Country has some great dog-friendly places to tour around, keeping you and your furry friends happy!

Hiking

Enchanted Rock Pet Rules 1 CMYK web

Photo: fredericksburgstandard.com

Enchanted Rock is one of the largest stone formation (pink granite to be exact) in the west – second only to Stone Mountain in Georgia. Considered a batholith (an underground rock formation that became uncovered by erosion), Enchanted Rock was named for the sounds that the Native Americans would hear from the rock while it was cooling at night. At its height, this giant is 425 ft., with 360 degree views to take in, and getting there is only half the fun!

Although your furry friend is now only allowed to hike around the camping areas, day-use areas and The Loop Trail (effective March 1, 2016) Enchanted Rock State Natural Area offers dog-friendly picnicking spots for the two of you to enjoy, and when you have the time, consider ascending solo towards beginner-level hikes up the main formation, and more challenging climbs on some smaller ones. Your fur-baby’s feet were taken into consideration when the park chose to limit pet access (not to mention the crowds) when it comes to walking the rocks in warmer weather.

From April through October the granite heats up in correlation with the day’s temperatures. To avoid any unnecessary issues, you may want to arrive and wrap up early, or bring your buddy some booties that will protect them from burnt pads. For more information, visit the park’s website at www.tpwd.state.tx.us or call (830) 685-3636.

Swimming

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Photo: www.imgmob.net

After a long, hot hike, you might want to consider taking your pal for a swim, and Devils Waterhole at Inks Lake State Park is a prime spot. It’s approximately a 50-minute drive from Enchanted Rock to Inks Lake, so plan ahead for the ride. If your dog is a diving diva, they can jump right in from the rocks that surround this part of Inks Lake, which is dog-friendly. The park also has plenty of other activities for you to enjoy, and you’ll want to double check with staff to ensure your furry friend can tag along for those as well. For more information, visit the park website at www.tpwd.state.tx.us or call (512) 793-2223.

Eating Out

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Photo: kvue.com

Perhaps your pet is a furry foodie and loves to try new snacks and treats. After hiking and swimming, you’ve probably worked up an appetite, and for the two of you to partake at the same place, you have a few options.

First up is the Chisholm Trail Winery, where you and your best bud can enjoy their grounds and western saloon atmosphere or sit on the covered patio overlooking Spring Creek Vineyards. And when hunger strikes, the Oval Oven Pizzeria is just a stone’s throw away, where you and your dining dog can enjoy some delights fresh from their ovens. If wine isn’t your thing, why not try the Altdorf German Biergarten and Restaurant for a shady eatery that welcomes dogs. German food is of course the specialty, however they also offer Mexican, sandwiches, burgers and steaks, and the two of you can relax over a beer (you’re having the beer in this scenario of course) after a long day.

Sight-Seeing

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Photo: huffingtonpost.co.uk

Maybe you and your dog fall in for more of the rest and relaxation theme, and just want to take it all in. If that’s the case, try Luckenbach – a tiny Texas institution that welcomes pets and their owners. A fairly quiet place, except on nights when dances are held, the town consists of two shops and a small general store that also serves as a post office, dance hall and beer joint.

If your pet likes photo ops, there’s a bust of the Luckenbach founder, the late Hondo Crouch, also the namesake for a pet-friendly eatery – Hondo’s On Main. Featuring live music, a large patio and a shaded garden, Hondo’s On Main serves up enchiladas, Frito pie, tortilla soup and doughnut burgers (Angus beef patties that are shaped like a doughnut.) Both you and your fetching friend will be drooling in this dog-friendly atmosphere!

References:

hikewithyourdog.com

dogtipper.com

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