Texas State Capitol in Austin
Austin Texas is a rapidly growing city of 735,000 people. The capital of the State of Texas, and home to tthe main campus of the University of Texas, the region has become perhaps the nation's high tech center outside of Silicon Valley and San Francisco. Austin is one of the most dog-friendly cities in the United States. It was the first Texas city to pass a local ordinance clearly allowing dogs to accompany people to patio restaurants. It has many off-leash dog parks and areas to walk dogs. Austin has led Texas in dog-friendliness to residents and visitors and is very welcoming to dogs.
Austin has many pet-friendly hotels and extended stay dog-friendly hotels. From the new Aloft Brand from Starwood to the Best Western, La Quinta, Motel 6 to high end hotels such as Sheraton, the Renaisssance and the W there will be a dog-friendly place to stay for all budgets in Austin. Austin, being a business and tech center, has a large number of extended stay hotels that are pet-friendly. If you are moving to Austin, or working there for a number of months, these properties will make your stay with your dog more comfortable. Some of the extended stay brands are Residence Inn, Staybridge Suites and Extended Stay America. There are a few dog-friendly vacation rentals in town, as well.
Austin has been one of the national leaders in dog-friendly dining. Dog-Friendly outdoor restaurants were sanctioned by city ordinance here earlier than in most places in the country. As such, there are many dog-friendly restaurants in town where your dog can join you for meals on the outdoor patio. P Terry's Burger Stand at 404 S Lamar Blvd even has doggy bones for your pet. There are many restaurants with dog-friendly dining for every taste in food. Dog & Duck Pub, Elevation Burger, Gingerman Pub, Freddies's Place and the Moonshine Patio Bar &Grill are some of them. But check the DogFriendly.com restaurant directory for many more.
Visitors with four-legged family members can view the famous Congress Avenue Bridge Bats as they make their sunset flight out of the Congress Avenue Bridge. From March to November this largest of urban bat colonies leaves "en mass" from their home in the bridge and it makes for an incredible site. If more conventional tourism is your thing, you can explore the city on foot where you can get great views of the Texas Capitol Building from the grounds. You can also see the LBJ Presidential Library from it's grounds, but to go inside either of these buildings you will need someone to watch your dog. The Austin Carriage Service offers rides at vaious downtown locations and your dog is welcome to join you for the guided tours. The Cedar Park Farmer to Market Farmers' Market allows well-behaved, leashed dogs. It is held on Saturdays from 9 am to 1 pm in the parking lot at the Lakeline Mall. For reading fans, the Half Price Books and Music Stores around town are also dog-friendly. For a pet-friendly shopping center visit the Hill Country Galleria at 12700 Hill Country Blvd in Bee Cave.
The most popular park in town for people and pets is Zilker Metropolitan Park. The park is 350 acres and there are 1 1/2 miles to trails to walk with your dog. Leashed dogs are allowed in most of the park. They are not allowed in the theater or the Umlauf Sculpure Garden. They are welcome to explore the Zilker Botanical Garden with you. This 31 acre garden offers themes such as the Fragrance Garden, Prehistoric Garden and Rose Garden. There is also an off-leash dog park in Zilker Park. If your dog is a canoeing canine, you can rent canoes on Lady Bird Lake at Zilker Park Boat Rentals. For a popular seven mile trail, there is the Barton Creek Greenbelt Preserve. About 20 miles east of Austin is Bastrop State Park for 6000 acres with a scenic drive, hiking and camping.
Other Texas destinations to take your dog near Austin include San Antonio, Houston and Dallas.