If you plan to bring your furry family friend with you on vacation to the Peaceful Side of the Smokies, wouldn’t it be nice to know where you can stay and what local activities are dog-friendly? What might surprise you is the number of pet-friendly activities in the area. The other thing that might surprise you, even more, is the dozens of hotels throughout Blount County that welcome your pet as another member of your family.

The Fun Stuff

Doggywood – You can’t take your family dog into Dollywood with you, and let’s face why would you? But located just outside the gates to the park is Doggywood, a doggy daycare where your dog can spend the day in comfort and playing with the other dogs while you go play in the park. Doggywood opens half an hour before the gates open and stays open for half an hour after they close.

The Smoky River Rat – if your furry friend likes the great outdoors – why not take a trip out here and enjoy a lazy float down the river together on a tube or two. What a great way to enjoy the fresh air and sunshine together.

The Great Smoky Mountains National Park – you can take your dog for hikes on the 1.5-mile long Gatlinburg Trail or the Oconaluftee River Trail. These are the only two trails in the park where dogs are allowed. However, your dog must be on a leash, and you must pick up any messes he leaves behind.

Cades Cove – Okay so your pup can’t get out of the car inside the park, but he is sure to enjoy the ride with his head stuck out of the window sampling the many amazing new odors here. The loop road measures 11 miles long and passes historic cabins and churches, along with numerous other buildings.

What About Pet-Friendly Places to Stay?

One of the more important details you should be concerned with if you plan to bring the family dog with you is finding a place to stay that allows dogs. More importantly, if you have a large breed dog, one that does not have a size restriction.  Here are three of the top places to stay in the area.

The Luxbury Inn & Suites – This hotel in Maryville allows all sizes of dog, but there is a $25 fee for small dogs and a $50 fee for large dogs. They do not allow cats.

Dancing Bear Lodge – this lodge in Townsend offers “Pet-Friendly” rooms for an additional $50 per night. According to the reviews at BringFido, Dancing Bear Lodge scores a perfect 5 out of five “Bones.”         

Townsend/Great Smokies KOA – one of the best ways to experience the peace and beauty of the Peaceful Side of the Smokies is to go camping. The KOA is like most, pet-friendly and has a dog park where your pooch can run around off-leash. There are some breed restrictions so be sure to call ahead to make sure your pup will be allowed to go camping with you.

These are just a few samples of the many things to do with your dog while you’re on vacation along with a small example of the dozens of cabins, lodges, and hotels that are pet-friendly. Everyone is welcome here on the Peaceful Side of the Smokies, even the member of your family with the waggly tail!