Doggie-Friendly Day Trips In and Around Dane County

Doggie-Friendly Day Trips In and Around Dane County

Dogs make terrific traveling companions, and summertime is the best time to hit the road with your pooch(es). 

Many destinations in and around Dane County offer dog-friendly environments — including mulitple state parks. Governor Nelson State Park in Waunakee, for example, has a designated pet picnic and swim area, as does Governor Dodge State Park in Dodgeville. Devil’s Lake State Park in Baraboo offers both on-leash and off-leash pet swim areas, along with a pet picnic area. 

Other outdoor spaces encourage hiking with your dog, including the Robertson Trailhead on the Ice Age National Scenic Trail Wisconsin near Lodi, as well as the trail’s Table Bluff Segment near Cross Plains. Read the dogs-on-trails guidelines and regulations here.

If your dog is comfortable around other people, Wisconsin Dells is a dog-friendly destination. From tourist attractions like the Dells Boat Tours (which allow small dogs and service animals on the Dells Army Ducks) to restaurants such as The Keg and The Brat House Grill (which both allow pets on their patios), the Dells offers more opportunities for dog owners than you might initially think. 

The Milwaukee Boat Line also welcomes well-behaved and leashed dogs on public cruises, and Lakeshore Paddle Sports Rentals in Milwaukee invites you and your pooch to explore the Summerfest grounds lagoon. S&B Tubing in Albany, meanwhile, lets both of you float down the Sugar River together. 

When you get hungry, there are plenty of dog-friendly restaurants scattered throughout the state – from Janesville and New Berlin to Sheboygan and Appleton and beyond. features long list of dining options for all tastes. 

And if you decide to go a little further for a two- or -three-day getaway, rest easy knowing there are plenty of lodging options around the state — especially cabins and cottages. Travel Wisconsin includes “pet friendly” listings on its Places to Stay web page. Notable overnight accommodations include the Ironworks Hotel in downtown Beloit, The Ridge in Lake Geneva and the Country House Resort in Sister Bay — where dog-friendly rooms come with food and water dishes, a doggie gift basket and an outside dog-wash area. 

Summer is here, which means it’s time to get out and explore. Why not do it with your best four-legged friend? 

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