Going to Richmond with Fido? Richmond, Virginia offers four-legged visitors an array of activities and attractions ranging from tail-wagging walks on historical grounds and yappy hours at local wineries to upscale shopping and five-star accommodations for you and your pooch.
Check-in to the five-star Jefferson Hotel for the ultimate in people and pooch pampering. If you visit in the fall, be sure to pack your best black-tie apparel for the annual SPCA Fur Ball, where decked out canines descend the hotel’s regal staircase to make their grand entrance. From the hotel, you can take your pal to sniff out the city’s history on Canal Walk, stretching for over a mile along James River and the Kanawha and Haxall Canals. You and your pal will be walking in George Washington’s footsteps—instrumental in the Kanawha’s design—and inlaid medallions marking events in the city’s history let you stroll and study at the same time.
For a scenic stroll along the banks of the James River, head to the garden-style Hollywood Cemetery with your best friend. Three presidents are interred here: James Monroe, John Tyler and Confederate President Jefferson Davis, along with thousands of Confederate soldiers and many notable Richmond residents, including Lewis Ginter. Ginter, a notable philanthropist and businessman, built the Jefferson Hotel and once owned some of the land occupied today by the Lewis Ginter Botancial Garden. During the summer, the garden features jazz to soothe the inner beast in its special Fidos after Five program.
Love to shop? Bring your pooch along to Stony Point Fashion Park where many of the retail shops and boutiques display a “pets welcome” doggy decal in their shop windows. Featuring high-end retailers from Louis Vuitton and Tiffany to Sur la Table and Coach, the unenclosed mall is park-like, with fountains and benches, gardens and trees, and doggy welcome stations.
On weekends, check out the historic 17th Street Farmers Market—one of the oldest in the country—for fresh produce, local foodstuffs and vintage treasures.
When you’re ready for a romp, head to Barker Field in Byrd Park for playtime. For Civil War buffs, most of the region’s battlefields and memorials also welcome well-behaved dogs.