DC was carved out of Maryland
and Virginia when President George
Washington selected the sight on the Potomac River. The city
designed and laid out by Pierre L'Enfant with numbered streets going
north and south, lettered streets going east and west and Avenues named
after the states criss-crossing these streets. The city was divided
into four quadrants, Northwest (the largest quadrant today),
Northeast, Southwest and Southeast. The land that Virginia donated for
the nation's capital was returned to Virginia. Only the land donated by
Maryland remains as Washington. Since Washington is a Federal district,
its borders cannot expand and thus much of the activity has moved to Northern
Virgina and Suburban
Maryland, or the Suburbs. The
vast greenways of the capital city
are great for people with dogs and almost all are open to leashed dogs.
The monuments make for very scenic walks and there are quite a lot of
dog-friendly activities in the Washington area.
D.C. is filled with luxurious
hotels for people traveling with and
without dogs. The Park Hyatt in fashionable Georgetown is dog-friendly
and host a number of after work "Paws at the Park" doggie happy hours.
There are a number of pet-friendly Kimpton Hotels in the city such as
the Palomar Washington, The Topaz and the Monaco Washington. At
Lafayette Square across from the White House is the Sofitel. Ther are
also a number of dog-friendly Westins and the Washington Hilton. If you
are planning to stay a longer time and need more living space for you
and your dog then there are a few Residence Inn Extended Stay Hotels.
When people visit Washington
they want to to take in the major monuments
and view the awe
inspiring buildings that make up the Federal Government. With a dog you
can do much of the same. Leashed dogs are allowed throughout the
National Mall so you can walk with your dog past the Capitol,
Smithsonian, Archives, Washington Monument, Lincoln and Jefferson
Memorials and the White House. This can make for a number of scenic
pictures of you and your dog to send to relatives. As far as getting
close up pictures at the Lincoln Memorial dogs are allowed at th
memorial except underneath the dome. This means you can get pretty
close to Mr. Lincoln's statue. The same is true at the Jefferson
Memorial. The FDR Memorial is completely outdoors and your four legged
friend can take in the whole thing with you. If you would like to sit
and watch Washington go by then take the dog-friendly tour boats from
Capitol River Cruises which leave from 31st and K Street. This is a
very scenic one hour water tour of the Potomac and Washington.
There are other places to hike in Washington with your dog. The longest
trail by far is the C&O Canal Towpath which starts in
and travels 184 miles to Cumberland Maryland. You can also walk along
most of the Potomac River and in Rock Creek Park. Dogs are allowed in
the National Arboretum at 3501 New York Ave NE where you can see miles
of beautiful gardens and all kind of plant life. Dogs in carriers that
you can carry are allowed on the Washington Metro trains and buses.
Across the river from Washington Alexandria
and Arlington may be the most
dog-friendly area of town. In
particular, Alexandria Virginia is one of the more dog-friendly towns
on the East Coast. There is a doggie happy hour at the Hotel Monaco in
Alexandria which is also a dog-friendly hotel. It is held between April
and October on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 5 pm to 8 pm. In Alexandria
you can also take the Potomac Riverboat Company Canine Cruises which
offer 40 minute cruises of the Washington Skyline. They are held every
second Thursday in May to September. You can walk the grounds of George
Washington's Mount Vernon, the Woodlawn Plantation, view the Iwo Jima
Memorial and visit Arlington National Cemetery. The carriage rides in
Alexandria also welcome dogs as riders.
Alexandria and Arlington are the best places to find dog-friendly
restaurants. A number of years
ago Alexandria was having trouble
with their local health department about dogs sitting at outdoor
restaurants. The city passed an ordinance authorizing the practice and
many restaurants are dog-friendly. Pat Troy's Irish Pub was one of the
restaurants that pushed for this ordinance and now offers a special
doggie menu. Jackson 20 New American Tavern also offers a dog menu.
There are many other dog-friendly restaurants in Alexandria and now
throughout Arlington County which also passed a similar ordinance
recently. Other dog-friendly dining can be found in Reston Virginia
near Dulles International Airport at the Reston Town Center, a
dog-friendly outdoor shopping area. Georgetown in Washington also is a
great place to shop with a dog.
can hike in Northern Virginia
with your dog along the Mount Vernon
Trail from Alexandria to Mount Vernon. This is a 13 mile trail. If you
asked a dog which presidential monument is their favorite they would
probably say the Theodore Roosevelt Island Park and Memorial. This
island is accessed by a foot bridge from a parking lot on the George
Washington Parkway and has hiking trails and the Roosevelt Memorial.
There are a lot of fenced off-leash dog parks in Northern Virginia.
Day trips from Washington with your dog may take you to Harpers
Ferry West Virginia, Annapolis
Virginia and Shenandoah
National Park, one of the most
dog-friendly National Parks in the