Dog-cation: Bring Your Dogs to Austin, TX

Casey and I love traveling with our dogs.  We planned a special trip to Austin, TX because we had heard the city was dog friendly and we were far from disappointed!  We planned our trip for Memorial Day weekend, leaving early on Saturday morning for the 6 & 1/2 hour drive to Austin, TX.

We had quite a few dog friendly hotel options, and wanted one close to 6th Street.  We decided on the Hyatt Hotel.  The hotel does not have a parking lot, so you have to valet your car.  On the opposite side of the street is a grassy area where you can walk your dogs.  The staff at the hotel is incredible friendly and accommodating!

Hyatt Hotel Austin TX

Our terrier mix, Yavanna, has stayed with us in hotels before.  This was going to be the first time we traveled with Brutus, our lab mix, and we were excited to see how he would react in this new place.

He didn’t seem to have a problem with the elevator as we made our way to the hotel room.  Once there he sniffed around the room while we got settled in.  We brought the dog crates with us, as a precaution.  Brutus eventually got up on windowsill and peered down at the streets below, looking intrigued, then barked at the moving shapes.  (A wise decision on the hotel’s part for putting us in an end room with fewer guests near us.)

It was still early in the afternoon and we decided that our first Austin exploration would be to the Yard Bar.  This was number one on my must see list.  The Yard Bar is an off-leash dog park that also is a Bar.  It sells local craft beer, has wine on tap, and also has a kitchen serving burgers, snacks, and even treats for your pups!

Yard Bar Austin TX

As we entered the park we were greeted by several inquiring wet noses.  Yavanna was soon off exploring all the smells, but Brutus kept his tail tucked and moved slowly past the other pooches.  He did eventually warm up to the new place, but neither Yavanna or Brutus were ever far from us.

Yard Bar Dog Park Austin TX

The dog area has several picnic tables and most of the ground is covered in mulch.  The heat and humidity were high, so the fans were running with misters.  We grabbed a couple beers before sitting at a picnic table that was half in the shade.

I made several new four legged friends.  One Aussie in particular was fun to pet and watch play.  We made a human friend as well, and our little dogs seemed to get along nicely.

We enjoyed the Yard Bar for a couple of hours before deciding to head back to Downtown Austin for some food.  We knew that Banger’s Sausage House and Beer Garden had an outdoor seating area that allowed dogs.  Plus we heard they had vegetarian sausages on their menu, so this was our dining choice.  However, when we arrived there the hostess said there was an hour and a half wait to be seated outside, plus then waiting for a wait staff to be available to take our order.

We could tell our pups were getting tired, and on Rainey St. you can find an assortment of food carts.  We decided to pick up some Indian food to take back to the hotel, and we grabbed a few local craft beers from the hotel bar on our way up to the our room.

While enjoying our food we discussed our plans for the next day, settling on doing a short hike outside of Austin and then exploring 6th Street.

The hike we chose was Turkey Creek Trail.  We picked this trial because not only was it dog-friendly, but you can let your dogs off-leash!  Yavanna is an amazing dog to take hiking.  She never goes too far and doesn’t bother other people or animals.  We were hoping that Brutus could learn to replicate her behavior on this trail.

There is only a small parking area dedicated to this trail.  The lot was already full when we arrived, so we had to park along to the side of the road and walk to the trailhead.  The trail is almost 3 miles long and loops back on itself.  It is mostly shaded and follows a creek.

Turkey Creek Trail Austin TX Dogs

This was great trail for us and the dogs! Brutus picked up on following Yavanna’s lead, venturing out for smells but keeping close enough to us.  We came across several other people and dogs, which gave Brutus some good socialization.  There were a few times we stopped for a game of chase between our dogs and others.

The trail is fairly wide, and crosses over the creek at several points.  There is also a section where you climb upwards to a cliff, away from the creek, before looping back down to it.  This area was very pretty with wildflowers!

We could tell as we made our way back to the car that our pups were getting pretty tired.  Yavanna slept in the car the whole way back to the hotel.

Hyatt Hotel Austin Dog Friendly TX
A tired puppy resting after our hike.

Once back at the hotel, Brutus collapsed on the bed.  We had plans to go exploring Rainey and 6th Street with the dogs after we showered and changed clothes.  However, it was around noon and the sidewalk and roads had become too hot for our pups to walk on.  We didn’t have any doggie shoes for them, so we let them rest in the hotel while we explored.

We made an attempt to go back to Banger’s – but were told that they were no longer taking dinning reservations.  This time it was because they had too many on the wait list already, but we were allowed to still grab some drinks and listen to the live band that was playing!

We then hopped over to Craft Pride, just a little ways down the block from Banger’s.  This place is awesome!  We grabbed Detroit style pizza from the food truck in the patio area while listening to another live musician play.

Craft Pride Detroit Style Pizza Austin TX

Both places mentioned above are dog friendly!  Your four legged pals can join you in the outdoor seating areas at both Banger’s and Craft Pride!  Our next stop does not allow dogs to my knowledge.

We made our way to the Container Bar.  This establishment is made of 7 stacked shipping containers, with an open air middle section.  We enjoyed chatting and people watching here for quite a while!  We played a game where we sat in one of the second level shipping containers and made stories about the people walking below on the street.  We had a BLAST!

We decided to take a break form our shenanigans to check back on dogs.  Both were still sleeping when we arrived.  We gave them dinner and checked their paws.  It was clear that they weren’t used to hiking, as the pads on their feet had been worn down.  We let them continue resting, while we went out to explore 6th Street.

6th Street is the most iconic night-life scene in Austin, TX.  Here you can find different themed bars, food, and an assortment of live music.  Looking to try more craft beer and play around, our first stop was Buffalo Billiards.  Casey and I played several games of shuffle board, and before we realized it we had spent a couple hours here having some competitive fun!  Our last game was a bet on who would have to pay for dinner.  I lost and we trudged the street looking for something to satisfy our appetite. We settled on an Indian food cart.

We spent another hour or so hopping around the different bars.  We then stopped at VooDoo Doughnut and grabbed a couple of their specialty doughnuts. While living outside of Portland, OR, I LOVED making trips to VooDodoo and especially taking our visiting family there! It made me incredible happy to visit the original VooDoo in Austin, TX!

After devouring our treats we called it a night and headed back to our hotel. Tomorrow we were heading back to our home in Louisiana, but had time for a couple more stops.

I, of course, wanted to visit the Yard Bar one more time.  I love the concept so much and wished we had something like this close to us in Louisiana.  We made that our first stop after checking out of the hotel.  We didn’t do any day drinking, since we had a long drive back.  The dogs feet looked like they were better, and both were much more social with other people and dogs on our second visit.

The last stop we made was for some authentic tacos.  Because of the holiday, we were having issues find something open – but what we did find was the BEST EVER!

Veracruz All Natural Food Truck.  There was quite a line, and there isn’t much parking space, but it is totally worth the wait!  We ordered almost all of the vegetarian tacos, plus two different juices (freshly made btw).  It was so amazing and delicious!  They try and use as much local ingredients as possible, which is also amazing!  This was the best way to end our Austin trip!

Casey and I only had a small taste of what Austin had to offer.  We would love to go back, but plan a trip around more outdoor activities, like rock climbing!

What have been your favorite places in Austin, TX?  Leave a comment below!

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Thanks for reading!


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