A Dog-Friendly Travel Guide to Washington, DC
You can take Fido all over our nation’s capital.
Capitol Hill Hotel
The Capitol Hill Hotel offers a Hounds on the Hill program for visiting dogs that includes dog beds, treats in the lobby, bags for your walks, and even a personalized bowl. Pet-friendly rooms are all on the first floor, but be aware that housekeeping won’t service your room with your pet inside—and a $100 fee applies for your stay.
You can’t go wrong with a Kimpton Hotel when your dog is your travel companion. This hotel group has a reputation for its pet-friendliness and for good reason, given their wide array of complimentary pet-related amenities. These include multiple sizes of dog beds, food and water bowls, bags for your dog-walking needs, old newspapers, door hangers to alert staff, a concierge list of dog-friendly places to go, and a nightly wine reception that welcomes dogs as well as people. (There are pet-free floors for anyone with allergies, too.) Kimpton’s got a collection of properties in all of DC’s hottest tourist neighborhoods; T+L particularly recommends the Hotel Monaco in Penn Quarter.
The Liaison Capitol Hill
A short jaunt from Union Station, The Liaison is also an extremely pet-friendly hotel. Hotel staff will happily provide you with dog beds, bowls, and even toys totally free of charge. You can also bring dogs out on the patio of the hotel’s restaurant, Art & Soul.
The W Washington DC
For an especially stylish canine, consider a stay steps from the White House at the W Washington DC. This hotel offers an array of pet-friendly amenities, including toys, treats, beds, bowls, clean-up bags, leashes, wee pads, vet and grooming services, and dog-sitting or dog-walking services. Dogs are also welcome at the W’s brand new patio bocce bar. That said, the hotel charges an extra $25 per day for pets, on top of a $100 non-refundable cleaning fee.
A strong option on Capitol Hill is Ambar, where you and your dog can people-watch on the busy Barracks Row. Ambar is noted for its Balkan cuisine, including phyllo pies, braised cabbage, kebabs, tons of sausages, calamari, drunken mussels, and more.
Art & Soul
You might want to hit up Art & Soul for celebrity chef Art Smith’s southern-style cooking, but out on the patio your canine companion can indulge in a feast, too. This restaurant—located inside the Liaison Capitol Hill—offers a Pooch Patio Menu with dishes like beef and rice with gravy, grilled and sliced sirloin, peanut-banana frozen treats, and a frozen beef bone. They’ve even got some meaty (and alcohol-free) Bowser Beer.
Chef Liam LaCivita’s year-old Woodley Park restaurant Bar Civita recently launched a new patio menu specifically for your dog. While you dine on pasta on the 50-seat patio, your dog can choose from a menu that includes peanut butter oatmeal dog biscuits, Bowser Bacon with turkey and oats, sirloin, and frozen treats. They’ve also got water bowls on hand.
The Capitol Hill location of Bayou Bakery—chef David Guas’ fine tribute to New Orleans—is an ideal spot for dining with your dog, given its ample outdoor seating and dog bowl availability. Grab a beignet or muffaletta and relax.
Dogs are welcome on the patio at chef Robert Wiedmaier’s Belgian stalwart Brasserie Beck. This restaurant offers an excellent selection of Belgian beers and classic dishes (with frites, bien sur) for human guests, and dog bowls upon request for canines.
Beyond chef Rob Weland’s hot new patio menu—which includes poppyseed gougeres and smoked potatoes with ramp and spring onion aioli—there’s another distinct advantage of snagging a table at Garrison: pups are welcome and water bowls are available.
Grab a seat alongside your pup on the patio at Pinea, an elegant Italian-inspired restaurant at the W Washington DC. Chef Barry Koslow serves a menu full of temptations, whether it’s the crispy crab croquettes with Calabrian chili aioli, saffron linguini with lobster, or lamb chops with eggplant caponata.
Rasika West End
Rasika has long been one of DC’s finest restaurants, and this spinoff location carries on that mantle in the West End. Even better, this location offers patio seating, where your pup is welcome to sit beside you while you dine on the best modern Indian food in the city.
Get your fix of local craft beer out on the patio at Bluejacket, an excellent bar and brewery in the Navy Yard near Nationals Park. While you imbibe, your dog can hydrate thanks to the water bowls that Bluejacket provides.
Every Monday, Cantina Marina hosts a doggy happy hour—with a free buffet of dog treats—from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. This laidback Southwest Waterfront bar also brings in a local dog rescue a few times a month to help other pups find homes. But even if it’s not a Monday, you can always bring your dog to drink beers and eat nachos on the dock—this friendly staff might even have some extra treats on hand.
Dacha Beer Garden
One of DC’s best beer gardens, you’ll find a dog or two in the crowd at Dacha on any given day. Grab a picnic table and be prepared to make new friends in this social and dog-loving crowd. Just make sure to heed Dacha’s garden etiquette, which asks that you take your dog out for a walk before coming in.
DC Dog Parks
If you’re looking to take your dog off-leash for a good run, DC has established several public dog parks in neighborhoods across the city. Check here to find one nearest you.
The largest park on Capitol Hill, Lincoln Park features monuments to both President Abraham Lincoln as well as the civil rights activist Mary McLeod Bethune. Many Washingtonians bring their dogs here, too, though pets should always be on leash and cleaned up after.
Meridian Hill Park
On warm days, you’ll find Washingtonians sunbathing or drum-circling in the beautiful Meridian Hill Park overlooking downtown DC. Dogs and their owners are welcome, too, though once again pets should be on leash.
Rock Creek Park
There’s much to explore—and miles of trails—at Rock Creek Park, the national park that lies right in the heart of Washington, DC. Dogs are allowed inside the park, though they must remain on-leash and on established park trails.
The United States National Arboretum
The National Arboretum is a welcome break from the city, with its beautifully maintained gardens full of azaleas, magnolias, boxwoods, and more. Dogs are welcome inside the park—though not the administration building or the indoor National Bonsai & Penjing Museum—and must be leashed and kept out of the garden beds. Owners should clean up after their pets, too.