Cats were worshipped by the ancient Egyptians, and it’s clear they let it go to their heads a bit. A dog lacks that pretension completely. The most imperious and finely groomed poodle will lose it the moment you scratch its belly and melt your heart in the process.
Cleveland doesn’t have a pretentious bone in its body, either. That’s what makes exploring the city with your four-legged friend a special experience. Whether we’re cheering in the Dawg Pound or celebrating DJ Alan Freed at the Moondog Coronation Ball, this is a dog-friendly city in every way. Here are just a few places where you can have the best time with your best friend in Cleveland.
An Ohio City favorite, this charming ice cream startup offers a rotating selection of 16 unique flavors (try the taro!) — five of which are usually vegan or dairy free — and a dog-friendly patio. If their diet allows for it, all pups get a free scoop of ice cream in a cup. They convert their space to a ramen shop each winter, but the sweet stuff is back on the menu every April.
The Holden Arboretum, the 12th largest public garden in the country, has a whopping 3,500 acres of green space. They’ve been a leader in nature education and promoting conservation since the arboretum’s creation in 1931. Home to a collection of over 120,000 trees and shrubs, it’s a great place to explore with your four-legged friend. Dogs on leashes are always welcome to roam more than 20 miles of hiking trails. (So much territory to mark, so little time.)
If you missed their second annual Puppy Bowl event, fear not, dog lover. Good boys and girls are welcome inside and out on the patio at Terrestrial. Located in Battery Park off the Detroit Shoreway, this local brewery will try anything in their small-batch beers, using ingredients like white peppers, guava and strawberry in unexpectedly delicious ways.
Founded by brothers and cousins, Sibling Revelry has such a fun family atmosphere that it will come as no surprise that your own furry family members are allowed inside their taproom. When you’re done sampling one of their 16 in-house brews on tap, enjoy some munchies from a rotating selection of Cleveland’s finest food trucks.
Luxe has long been a staple of the Gordon Square dining scene with a variety of shared plates, pastas and pizzas. On the weekends, their gorgeous and always dog-friendly patio is open for brunch with a special menu just for pups. Quick reminder: those little dishes on the floor are for water, not mimosas.
A short drive south, the Winery at Wolf Creek sits among the beautiful rolling hills of Norton, Ohio. Starting in May through October, Tuesdays are for Yappy Hour, 5–8 p.m. out on the patio. Ten dollars gets you a drink ticket, goodies for your dog and a raffle ticket for a prize basket. Raffle proceeds, and a portion of every glass of wine sold, go to local pet-related charities. Would you expect any less from a place called Wolf Creek?
Just south of Cleveland in Stow, Ohio, Bow Wow Beach is a 7.5-acre fenced in dog park with a sandy beach and its own lake. From mid-March to December 1, dogs of all shapes and sizes (there are special areas for smaller dogs) can run around as nature intended, as long as they’re following park rules. Dog washing stations are available, because getting sand in your hair is even less fun when the hair is on your entire body.
Flying monkeys and dogs, historically, have not gotten along. Just ask Toto. That couldn’t be further from the truth at this Tremont favorite. You don’t need to keep your pup in a basket in this bar, as dogs are allowed inside and out on their great fenced-in patio. As if that weren’t enough, The Flying Monkey boasts Tremont’s longest Happy Hour from 3–7 p.m. on weekdays.
Lakewood’s Bottlehouse prides itself on creating a real sense of community, so along with communal seating and a lack of TV screens, you can be sure to see humanity’s bestest buddies rolling around on the floor while their owners try some great in-house craft beers and meads. A well-appointed patio is another option for enjoying a barrel-aged sour beer with your dog in tow.