By Sophia Rutti
School is ending, and kids are coming home, which means that summer has officially begun. It is time for kids to run off to camps, swimming pools and ice cream shops. Families are gearing up for their summer fun, but meanwhile Fido is getting left behind. In an area as exciting and dog-friendly as Northern Virginia, there is no excuse to exclude the beloved pooch from your plans. Check out this guide of dog-friendly summer fun for the whole family—Fido included.
1. Restaurants with doggy menus
In a place as forward-thinking and dog crazy as Northern Virginia, there are plenty of restaurants that allow dogs at their patios. The restaurants that really shine, though, are the ones that go above and beyond. At these restaurants your pet can not only sit outside and enjoy gazing around at the other dogs, but they can also order off their own special doggy menu. Chefs will whip up something just for your precious pooch to chow down on while you eat.
Flint Hill Public House
675 Zachary Taylor Highway, Flint Hill; 540-675-1700
6550 Little River Turnpike, Alexandria; 703-914-9280
480 King St., Alexandria; 703-842-2790
2. Dog bakeries
There’s nothing better for summertime fun than indulgence. While you may be keeping an eye on your beach body, your pet certainly isn’t. There are several area bakeries that will keep your dog happy with healthy, specialized pet fare. Take a break from the average dry kibbles and treat your dog to a snack from one of these local pet bakeries.
5157- A Lee Highway, Arlington; 703-237-5070
2772 S. Arlington Mill Drive, Arlington; 571-422-0370
Fetch Pet Bakery
305 Mill Str., Unit A3, Occoquan; 703-491-8686
The Dairy Godmother
2310 Mount Vernon Ave., Alexandria; 703-683-7767
Barkley Square Dog Bakery
311 N. Washington St., Alexandria; 703-329-1043
Chase Your Tail Bakery
305-A E. Market St., Leesburg; 703-771-3019
3. Dog-friendly wineries
With all the beautiful Virginia wine country in and around NoVA, it is a shame not to explore it in all its summertime glory. Before heading out to sip on local wines, admire the rolling landscape, or to have a picnic at a lookout point make sure Fido hops into the car. Wineries are the perfect place to let your pet take a breath of fresh air and to guide you home if you have one too many glasses. With all the dog-friendly wineries in the area, there is no reason to ever sip wine without your furry friend beside you.
Aspen Dale Winery at the Barn
11083 John Marshall Highway, Delaplane; 540-364-1722
Barrel Oak Winery
3623 Grove Lane, Delaplane; 540-364-6402
36888 Breaux Vineyards Lane, Purcellville; 540-668-6299
Chateau Morrisette Winery
287 Winery Road SW, Floyd; 540-593-2865
Early Mountain Vineyards
6109 Wolftown-Hood Road, Madison; 540-948-9005
15669 Limestone School Road, Leesburg; 703-771-1197
Stone Tower Winery
19925 Hogback Mountain Road, Leesburg; 703-777-2797
Three Fox Vineyards
10100 Three Fox Lane, Delaplane; 540-364-6073
Blue Valley Vineyard and Winery
9402 Justice Lane, Delaplane; 540-364-2347
4. Yappy Hours
Happy hour isn’t just for you anymore. Now it’s a time to take pets along and let them socialize at the watering hole while you do the same. Give you pet a crisp bowl of fresh water and enjoy discounted drinks yourself.
Hotel Monaco Doggy Happy Hour
Tuesdays at 5 p.m.; 480 King St., Alexandria; 703-549-6080
Tuesdays from 5-7 p.m.; 500 N. Pendleton St., Middleburg; 844-303-2723
Barrel Oak Yappy Hours in Middleburg
Every Thursday; 8 E. Washington St., Middleburg; 540-687-6111
Yappy Hour at Amuse Terrace hosted by Le Meridien Arlington
Multiple dates; 1121 N. 19th St., Arlington; 703-351-9170
5. Ongoing and special dog events
Potomac Riverboat Company: Canine Cruises
Certain Saturdays at 11 a.m. // You and your canine friend can enjoy a 60-minute cruise around the beautiful Alexandria Seaport. All boats depart from the Virginia dock, and the fare is $16 for adults and $10 for children under 11. All dogs ride for free but must be on a leash no longer than 6 feet at all times./ Alexandria.
Wags n Whiskers
Aug. 22, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. // If you’re an animal lover, then this is the event for you. The Village at Shirlington will be hosting an event with 60+ on-site exhibitors. The exhibitors will range from pet services and accessories to on-site adoptions. There will also be pet photos, live music and children’s activities. Kids can run around with Fido and enjoy face painting, balloon art, strolling entertainment and more. / The Village at Shirlington: 4280 Campbell Ave., Arlington.
Pups in the Park with the Washington Nationals
Multiple dates // Just because you’re headed out to a baseball game doesn’t mean you have to leave your pup at home. For just $10 per dog, you can bring your pup out to enjoy the game with you (in addition to purchasing a human ticket at for $26). You and your pup can cheer on your favorite team and meet other pups and their baseball-enthusiast owners. / 1500 S. Capital St. SE, Washington.
Pooches on Parade at the Vienna Annual 4th of July Celebration
July 4, noon-2 p.m. // Independence Day has gone to the dogs. Dress your pet up in its best costume and run with the free parade on the field. Slap on that red white and blue, register at the gazebo and get ready for the parade that kicks off at 1 p.m. / Vienna Community Center: 120 Cherry St. SE
6. Dog swims
When people think about summer, two main things come to mind: hot sun and cold water. So kids strap on their bathing suits, parents bring the sunscreen and everyone heads out to the local pool. Everyone but Fido, of course, but on some special days even Fido can come out and enjoy the iconic summer pastime of splashing around in a pool with his other four-legged pals. Here are a few places that have held doggy swim days in the past [X].