Dog Friendly Road Trip along the Southeast U.S.

Trying to plan a dog friendly road trip along the south east coast? I decided to treat my own four-legged friend, Apollo, on his first road trip for his first birthday! We decided to visit Asheville but coming from Central Florida, it was a long drive. So, instead of a one-stop destination, we decided to make it into a road trip stopping at popular dog friendly cities. 

After some planning, Savannah, Asheville, and Hilton Head offered the best dog friendly stays. From breweries to restaurants, and tours to hiking, this trip contains a little bit of everything. And, as a plus they are all dog friendly! Check out my week-long itinerary for a road trip through Savannah, Asheville, and Hilton Head!

Here is my 8-Day Itinerary for a Dog Friendly Southeast Road Trip

Day 1 - Drive to Savannah, GA

We got an early start to the morning by packing up our car and heading out to Savannah. On the way, we took a quick stop in Gainesville. After arriving in Savannah, we checked in at The Bohemian Hotel Savannah Riverfront, a cute, upscale, dog friendly hotel near the riverfront. For dinner we dined at the Little Duck Diner which had dog friendly outside seating and duck decorated cocktails!

Day 2 - Savannah, GA

Dog on Oliver Bentley Dog Walking Tour in Savannah Georgia
Dog sitting in front of honey at the Savannah Bee Company Store in Savannah, Georgia

Our second day in Savannah had another early start with a jam-packed day. We started with a dog friendly tour with Oliver Bentley Dog Walking Tour. Not only did Apollo enjoy it but us humans learnt a lot as well! Click here to make reservations. Afterwards, we headed to Zunzis a must eat in Savannah, and as a pro it was right where our tour had ended. We grabbed one of their famous sandwiches and ate in their back patio with our pup. After lunch, we checked out a few dog friendly stores including Savannah Bee Company before heading back to our hotel. 

In the evening we grabbed a quick drink at Moon River Brewing Company, which had great outdoor seating. After, we headed to Treylor Park, a cute hipster restaurant for some cocktails and dinner. For an evening stroll we walked over to Forsyth Park and ended the night at Leopold’s Ice Cream where Apollo enjoyed his own sweet treat!

Day 3 - Drive to Asheville, NC

Day 3 began with another early morning to head to our main destination, Asheville NC! Before our long drive out we ended our Savannah stay with an early breakfast at Collins Quarter.

After a long drive we checked into the Asheville Swiss Chalets, dog friendly chalets that gave you the views of staying in the quiet serene mountains while only being a few minutes from downtown. Click here to make reservations. We grabbed a bite at Luella’s Bar-B-Que and headed straight to bed.

Day 4 - Asheville, NC

Girl and dog standing in front of Biltmore Estates in Asheville North Carolina
Girl, guy an dog standing in front of a waterfall on a train in Biltmore Estates in Asheville, North Carolina

Our first day in Asheville we spent visiting the famous Biltmore Estate’s! Biltmore Estates have dog friendly grounds except for the buildings. You can spend the whole day here doing different activities. We were able to tour the gardens, then took turns visiting the inside of the house while one of us waited in the courtyards with our pup. Click here to purchase tickets.

We ended our Biltmore visit by going to Antler Village to grab food at one of their dog friendly restaurants. Side note, included in your Biltmore Estate ticket is a wine tasting which is not dog friendly, this is also something we took turns doing. After spending the day at Biltmore, we ended the night with drinks at Wicked Weed Brewing Pub.

Day 5 - Asheville, NC

Girl and dog standing in front of Mount Mitchell sign in the Blue Ridge Mountains in North Carolina
Girl and dog sitting in the Battery Book Exchange in Downtown Asheville, North Carolina

For our second day in Asheville we hit the Blue Ridge Parkway to get some hiking in. The trails are dog friendly as long as your pup is leashed. Our first hike was on the Craggy Pinnacle Trail. This short 1.2-mile roundtrip hike leads to a great 360 view. Next, we tackled our main hike, Mount Mitchell, we parked our car near the restaurant and took the 2-mile Old Mitchell Trail to the top. We packed a picnic lunch and ate at the top after our climb. 

While I wish we had more time to check out a few more places, we decided to head back to town to get some rest before hitting up downtown Asheville for the evening. We grabbed an early dinner at a little upscale restaurant, Posana which also included a dog menu. Then we checked out Battery Books Park Exchange where we enjoyed some champagne where Apollo was allowed inside. 

Day 6 - Asheville, NC

Hole Donuts food truck in Asheville North Carolina
Girl, guy and dog on kayak on the French Broad River in Asheville, North Carolina

To end our week with Asheville we decided to have some adventure. We grabbed a sweet breakfast in the morning at Hole Doughnuts where we were able to watch the doughnuts being made. Hole Doughnuts was the only location we were not able to bring Apollo. For lunch, we couldn’t leave Asheville without trying 12 Bones Smokehouse, and it turned out to live up to the hype. 

For the latter part of the day, we booked an afternoon kayaking trip with French Broad Outfitters where Apollo was able to sit in the kayak. Then for dinner, we hit up downtown Asheville one more time for a final southern dinner at Tupelo Honey.

Day 7 - Drive to Hilton Head, SC

Girl and dog standing on the boardwalk at the Old Oyster Factory in Hilton Head, South Carolina
Views from the boardwalk of the marshes at the Old Oyster Factory in Hilton Head, South Carolina

Before leaving for Hilton Head, we made a stop at a popular breakfast spot. Sunny Point Cafe is a must on your visit to Asheville, North Carolina.

After a leisurely breakfast we drove to Hilton Head and checked into Holiday Inn Express Hilton Head Island. After settling in we drove over to Old Oyster Factory for a great seafood dinner with amazing views on the patio. 

That evening we walked from our hotel to Colginy Beach Park where Apollo visited the beach for the first time! The beaches in Hilton Head have restricted hours for dogs at certain times of the year. Make sure to double check the times before heading to the beach with your pup.

Day 8 - Drive Home

Girl and dog overlooking the lighthouse at Harbour Town Marina in Hilton Head, South Carolina

As our trip came to an end, we left Hilton Head after brunch at Skillets Cafe and Grill. Apollo  enjoyed his last vacation meal from their dog menu. 

Before heading home, we took the short drive to the Harbour Town Marina to walk around explore the town. There we climbed to the top of the lighthouse! It was a great way to end the trip before heading back home.

I hope this post inspired you to start planning a trip with your pup!

9 Comments

  • Shafinah
    Posted June 16, 2021 5:14 pm 0Likes

    Oh gosh what a dream to be able to travel with your pet! I can’t even step out of the house with mine without them behaving like the sky is falling 😂🤣

  • Lita
    Posted June 16, 2021 5:44 pm 0Likes

    This road trip seems like so much fun! My lake house is right outside of Asheville and I absolutely fell in love with Savannah! I’m sure anyone with a dog would love this trip!

  • kmf
    Posted June 17, 2021 2:33 am 0Likes

    What a great birthday present for your pup. Love all these destinations for a dog-friendly road trip in southeast U.S. Great list!

  • Sandra Whitmore
    Posted June 17, 2021 3:10 am 0Likes

    I moved to a city near Asheville from Miami 20 years ago so I really enjoyed your post. Your dog is so cute. You really got to see a lot.

  • Josy A
    Posted June 17, 2021 4:06 pm 0Likes

    It looks like you all had a fantastic trip! I love travel with pups as you know there is going to be plenty of walkies involved (and eating at dog friendly establishments is almost always better anyway!)

    All of this looks fun, but I think the Blue Ridge Parkway near Ashville is the part I would like to visit most! That scenery (and the possible walks) all look fabulous!

  • amy
    Posted July 15, 2021 8:59 pm 0Likes

    This is such a helpful post! I have always wanted to travel here but have never had the chance… post lockdown here I come!!

  • Martina
    Posted July 15, 2021 9:40 pm 0Likes

    Looks like Apollo and you had a great time. I like a good road trip with our dog. It can be challenging at times but totally worth it. I have done North Coast 500 in Scotland when he was 6 months old – that was fun and hard work equally. 🙂 I wonder where you take Apollo for his next birthday?

  • Cristina
    Posted July 17, 2021 3:27 pm 0Likes

    It seems like you had an amazing time! I would love to take my dog on a trip.

  • Nina Clapperton
    Posted September 30, 2021 5:00 pm 0Likes

    I just got a puppy so it’ll be awesome to put this trip into action!

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