Our Top Dog Friendly Places in Charlotte, North Carolina

charlotte dog training dog friendly adventures Jun 04, 2024
Dog and humans with charlotte skyline

Who doesn't love bringing their well behaved dog out with them on adventures?! We sure do! We are lucky to call Charlotte, North Carolina our home and, if you haven't noticed, it is a very dog-friendly city. We’ve compiled a list of dog-friendly stores, parks, and trails within the Greater Charlotte area where we like to take our personal dogs and client dogs that we have in training so you can go out and enjoy all the Queen City has to offer.

Whitewater Center
Definitely one of our absolute favorite places to go is the Whitewater center! Open year round, this is THE place for fun outdoor recreation with your dog. Grab a drink and listen to live music on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights for their River Jam series, have your dog join you for yoga in the woods, walk the hiking trails, rent a paddleboard and hit the water together, or enjoy their new off leash area. There is so much to do here for both humans and canines!


Marvin Efird Park right off of New Town Rd, this park is a haven for nature enthusiasts and families alike. Spanning 27 acres, this community park offers multiple open fields to run your dog on, a pond, a newly remodeled playground, shaded walking trails, and a barn you can rent out (which we did when we hosted a Jay Jack seminar a few years back). This park's commitment to preserving the natural beauty of the area while providing a space for recreation and relaxation makes it our favorite park in all of the Greater Charlotte area. 

• Sedgefield Park

• Midtown Park

Freedom Parklocated in the heart of Charlotte, is a cherished urban oasis spanning 98 acres. Known as the "Central Park of Charlotte," it offers a perfect blend of natural beauty and recreational amenities. The park features a seven-acre lake, walking trails, sports fields, playgrounds, and picnic areas, making it a favorite spot of ours for team training and group classes. Throughout the year, Freedom Park hosts various events, including the popular Festival in the Park, which attracts thousands of visitors with its art, music, and entertainment.

• Carmel Road Park

• Park Road Park

Renaissance Park is a dynamic recreational destination that spans over 145 acres in southwest Charlotte, offering a wide array of amenities for visitors of all ages. The park features a top-rated golf course, expansive athletic fields, tennis courts, sand volleyball courts, scenic walking and biking trails, which meander through wooded areas and open spaces, providing a peaceful escape from urban life for you to hit some trails with your furry companion.

• Ballantyne Backyard

• Walter Y Elisha Park


Anne Springs Close Greenway is a sprawling 2,100-acre nature preserve in Fort Mill, South Carolina, offering visitors over 40 miles of hiking, biking, and equestrian trails, lakes for fishing and kayaking, and lush, wooded landscapes perfect for picnicking, hitting the trails with your dog, and wildlife observation. The Lake Haigler entrance also is home to the Canteen where you can grab some food and beverages and hang out in their lighted seating section or take in some live music on the green.

• Renaissance Park Trail

 • Bailes Ridge Nature Trail

Riverwalk Greenway Trail runs approximately 3.8 miles along the scenic banks of the Catawba River in Rock Hill, South Carolina. This picturesque trail winds through lush greenery, providing opportunities for walking, running, cycling, and enjoying the beautiful river views. You can also swing by a restaurant before or after you walk for some food and beverage, our go to stop is Grapevine for a glass of wine or beer after a KeenDog pack walk.  

• Buffalo Creek Preserve Trail

• Pharr Family Preserve Trail

McDowell Nature Preserve enjoy the scenery of Lake Wylie, forests, streams and piedmont prairie restoration as you and your pup choose a trail to explore. McDowell has over 7 miles of trails to choose from and if you’re feeling extra adventurous, spend the night on one of their 56 campsites. Don’t forget the water bowls on this trip.


Great Outdoor Provision Co. located in Park Road Shopping Center and with multiple locations across the region, this beloved dog-friendly retailer caters to hikers, campers, paddlers, climbers, and everyone in between. From top-of-the-line camping equipment and rugged footwear to eco-friendly outdoor apparel and expert advice from knowledgeable staff, Great Outdoor Provision Co. is more than just a store – it's a community hub for like-minded individuals passionate about exploring the great outdoors. 

• Lowe’s

• Home Depot

• Michaels

Sleepy Poet Antique Mall beckons visitors with its enchanting blend of nostalgia and discovery. Step into this sprawling emporium and wander through aisles with your dog brimming with treasures from yesteryear. Whether seeking a unique conversation piece for the home or simply indulging in a stroll down memory lane, Sleepy Poet Antique Mall offers an immersive dog-friendly shopping experience.

• Orvis

• Marshalls

• Home Goods

Dog Supplies Warehouse is THE place to get all your dog supplies if you just take a drive up north to Huntersville. From nutritious treats and premium food brands to durable toys and cozy bedding options, this expansive warehouse boasts a comprehensive selection of products to cater to every dog's needs and preferences. With knowledgeable staff on hand to offer personalized recommendations and expert advice, shopping at Dog Supplies Warehouse becomes a delightful experience of discovery and care.

• Old Navy

• Cabela’s

• Nordstrom

Pet Wants Clt stands out as a premier destination for pet owners seeking natural, wholesome, and locally sourced nutrition for their furry companions. With a commitment to providing only the finest quality ingredients, this pet-centric establishment offers a diverse range of freshly crafted pet food formulas, treats, and supplements tailored to meet the unique dietary needs of cats and dogs. What sets Pet Wants CLT apart is its dedication to freshness, with products made in small batches to ensure maximum nutritional value and flavor. Beyond nutrition, the store also features an array of eco-friendly toys, stylish accessories, and wellness products to enhance the overall well-being of pets.

• Moxies Mercantile

• Nordstrom Rack

• Anthropologie

Free People is a renowned fashion brand that epitomizes bohemian elegance, creativity, and individuality. With a focus on free-spirited style and a passion for self-expression, Free People offers a diverse range of clothing and accessories designed to inspire and empower women around the world. With a commitment to sustainability and ethical practices, Free People Clothing strives to create fashion that not only looks good but also feels good, empowering women to express their unique personalities and embrace their inner free spirit. Plus they welcome your dog to join in on your shopping experience! 

• Paper Skyscraper

• Park Road Books

• Blackhawk Hardware

Even though this list offers 38 different locations for you and your pup to check out, there are still SO many more restaurants, breweries, trails, parks and businesses that welcome your dog with open arms - making the Queen City an ideal place to live or visit if your dog is your adventure buddy!



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