To wrap up our week in Virginia, this resource should make your time (or visit) in this state even more pet-astic! The Virginia Tourism Corporation provides super event, park, and lodging tips for you and your pooch. There's even an online "pet wheel" where you can choose your dog's energy type, and it recommends some activities you both will love. Stay tuned for the continuation of Out and About in a new state after Thanksgiving week!
During the months of May to September, Potomac Riverboat Company lets you cruise with your pooch. These fun boat trips are offered during those warm months and include a 40-minute tour of Alexandria's seaport. Ships set sail every Thursday at 7, 8, and 9 p.m. Humans can come to play with the dogs or bring or borrow a pet to make the trip – people pay $12 and pups ride free.
Bring your leashed dog wine tasting at the boutique Oasis Winery along the Blue Ridge Parkway. People can sample wines from chardonnay to cabernet sauvignon, and pets can sniff around on a tour! It's open daily, year round (except Christmas and New Years) and features a three-tiered, heated deck for those wintry days, plus private wine cabanas with a view for the VIPs.
Bonus tip: Gather up at least six friends and do the I Love Lucy Wine Experience, where you get to crush grapes with your bare feet in real wine barrels! Your pooch, however, will have to sit this one out.
Forget must-sees, this is a must-stay. One of only 27 hotels in the US to receive both the Mobil Five Star and AAA Five Diamond Award in 2007, The Jefferson recently earned the Virginia Green Lodging designation from the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality for its conservation efforts. Located in downtown Richmond, this hotel will please even the most finicky pets and people — sweeten the deal with a trip to the city's first dog park, Barker Field, with your pooch in hotel-provided transportation. Luxurious, eco-tastic, and pet friendly — I'm there!
Click here to share your own tips with PetSugar's Out and About travel group – and stay tuned as our week of Virginia continues!
One of my favorite drives – second only to California's Highway 1 – is the meandering trail down the Blue Ridge Parkway. This path totals 469 miles from Shenandoah National Park in northern Virginia to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in North Carolina.
Dogs are welcomed on over 100 of the trails along the way, and the walks can vary from casual strolls over mostly flat ground to demanding hikes up mountain summits. While walking your leashed pup, you'll see a wide variety of wildlife – 54 different mammals and 59 species of birds live along the parkway, more than the entire European continent!
Around the 75-mile point, check out the three mountains – Sharp Top, Flat Top, and Harkening Hill – that make up the Peaks of Otter. You'll find days' worth of hikes for you and your furry friends, ranging from the light 1.6-mile loop of the Fallingwater Cascades National Scenic Trail to the hike up a 4.4-mile trail to the Flat Top Summit (4,004 feet).