Looking for places to take your furry friend? From pet parks to patios, dogs are welcome in Knoxville!

Welcome to Barxville

Humans talk about Knoxville as a nature-loving-adventure-seeking-artsy-kinda-town, but for the canine community, it’s a nature-loving-adventure-seeking-belly-scratching-kinda-town – with some art even I can appreciate.

I’m Hank, and on a recent visit here I determined rather quickly that Knoxville is one giant playground; a place that has gone to the dogs – in the best way possible.

That’s a good thing for my kind. My human loves me (duh). He also loves going places. The problem is not every place loves me. Oh, I’m a good boy, but we all know there are places that prefer we STAY home. Luckily, that’s not the case in Knoxville. From the time we checked into our hotel and I got a taste of that first locally made treat, I knew –  there’s something special happening here.

Yes, we can walk outside, through the parks and on the trails. A lot of cities allow dogs to do that, but in Knoxville I was allowed to go inside so many cool places! Like any other tourist, I started at the Visitors Center. Yes, I indulged in more treats (locally made and for sale in the gift shop!), but the best one was live music. It’s true! I sauntered right up to the stage to enjoy a live radio show: the WDVX Blue Plate Special (the plates are on the wall for some strange reason and there’s no trace of food on them). For a dog like me who loves chilling on patios with some nice acoustic covers or sunning on a big blanket at a music festival, this was a nice change of pace – a great spot when it’s really hot or cold out.

Within blocks of the Visitors Center, I was walked into shops that, you guessed it, offered me more treats. I sniffed some other four-legged visitors at Mast General Store before heading to Bliss – trust me when I say a boutique like this was definitely a surprise stop for me. Our next stop was Union Ave Books. They have a dog there, Scout, that practically lives there. My human luckily spotted nearby CitiFid-O and discovered the most exclusive line of pet products in Knoxville! Score. Fairly sure I saw stuff my size next door at Nothing Too Fancy as well.

We even wandered over to the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame. I basically dragged my humans there once I spotted that enormous basketball. And once again, I was allowed inside. Amazing. Gotta say, that OTHER ball – the big shiny GOLD one at World’s Fair Park REALLY caught my eye. I got busted staring at it more than once!

Being so good for so long earned me some fun time at the downtown PetSafe® Dog Park. Yep, that’s the same name you know from that invisible fence in your yard. Honestly, there are great parks for dogs all over town. We even discovered an INDOOR park one afternoon! The Bark is an indoor and outdoor dog park (and doggie daycare) located in a cool part of town near some breweries. I felt safe there and my humans really liked their beer garden.

Beer. The human treat. There’s plenty of options here to accompany your best friend for that, too. We hit Yee-Haw one day, then strolled over to Schulz Bräu. I heard some dogs giving big props to breweries like Orange Hat, Elst, Abridged and Last Days of Autumn, too.

I’m telling you, people here are serious dog lovers! Most people know that the University of Tennessee’s mascot is a dog. That dude has statues in his honor all over the UT campus. But what most people don’t know is there is also a War Dog Memorial on campus outside UT’s Veterinary Medical Center. A noble Doberman pinscher represents hundreds of heroic war dogs that served in the United States Marine Corps during World War II.

Beyond the expected bone-shaped treats, I was able to indulge in a pup cup from Cruze Farm while my bestie inhaled some ice cream. I even joined him for a puppuccino at K Brew.

So yeah. Lots of places claim to be pet friendly but doggone it, Knoxville really is. I love it here.


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