Violet’s Corner: Dog Days in the DC Area

Hi folks!

As you can probably glean from the title of this post, my latest and greatest guest blogger is Ms. V herself (our adorable pit bull). We both thought it would be fun to share some of her favorite things she likes to do in the area (as well as some other suggestions) in case any of her peers (and their owners) are looking for things to do.


Sweet as pie.

As I have mentioned before, because Violet is a pit-bull rescue we are careful and aware of where we bring her as to not make her uncomfortable or the people around us uncomfortable. While she is very lovable and loyal there are a few things that make her uneasy (which we assume are consequences of her previous abuse) so we’re careful to accommodate these quirks, usually taking her on outdoor adventures with us where she can roam freely and not feel too claustrophobic with too many people around her rather than bringing her somewhere in tighter quarters.

An asterisk (*)  denotes Violet’s personal favorite activities.



  • Theodore Roosevelt Island (TRI) * – Violet LOVES it here. It is really the perfect little field trip to take with your fury friend as it is right in the city, but once you’re walking/hiking through the park you’ll feel as if your miles away from the city. You can read my recap on one of our trips to TRI here.
  • Logan Circle – a great spot to bring your dog, sit on a bench, and people watch.

DC area:

  • Skyline Drive (Shenandoah National Park) * – this is a little further out than TRI, but totally worth it. You can easily make a day trip out of this or even a weekend trip as there are tons of hikes at varying levels that humans and dogs can take. We have taken Violet here several times and are even thinking about going this weekend! Read a recap here.
  • Shirlington Dog Park * – So I wouldn’t say this would be a favorite of Violet’s, but she did go here in her early days of living with us. Everything would have been fine had an overly energetic and passionate dog not rustled Violet’s feathers. 🙂  All of Violet’s friends love this place, it’s probably the most popular dog park in the area. There is even a river alongside the park that water dogs can enjoy!
  •   Del Ray Dog Park – I’ve been wanting to take Violet here for awhile on an off-peak time. It’s right across from a delicious coffee roaster, Swing’s Coffee.
  • Great Falls * – beautiful national park in Virginia. As with Skyline Drive you can easily make this a day trip as there are a number of hikes and trails you can explore. You’ll even see some water falls! Violet only wishes we’d take her back again, which we should!
  • Rock Creek Parkway Trails – while it’s never been convenient for Tommy or me to take Violet on one of these trails, a lot of our friends take their dog running or walking all the time here and rave about it.
  • Potomac Yard Park * – this runs right by our house and we enjoy talking both Violet and Ava on long morning weekend strolls here.
  • Beaches * – you’d be surprised but there are actually a lot of local beaches that are pretty close by that are dog friendly. Chesapeake Beach, Maryland has a couple local beaches that are beautiful and allow dogs – Brownies Beach and Calvert Cliffs State Park (recap here). I have also heard that Terrapin Beach Park is a fun destination to pack a picnic lunch and hangout for the day.
photo 3 (2)

Calvert Cliffs State Park.

Restaurants & Bars


  • Art and Soul/Capitol Hill location – they have a doggy patio and a doggy menu!
  • Cantina Marina – outdoor patio is dog-friendly. Servers will bring your fury friend a dog bowl and a treat.
  • Medium Rare/Barracks Row and Cleavland Park locations – patio is dog-friendly
  • Hank’s Oyster Bar/Dupont Circle and Capitol Hill locations – patio is dog-friendly
  • Justin’s Cafe * – one of our old haunts when we lived at the Navy Yard. Their patio is very dog-friendly. Side note: we rented out the space for our engagement party several years ago and Violet attended! Yup, Justin was nice enough to let our dog roam his bar and restaurant for a couple of hours.
  • Le Diplomate – dog friendly patio.

DC area:

  • Hotel Monaco’s Jackson 20 Tavern & Restaurant in Old Town Alexandria has a Yappy Hour on their patio every Tuesday night from 5-8pm May – October.
  • Lost Dog Cafe – all of their location patios are pet-friendly. The original cafe owners have been rescuing dogs and cats almost as long as they have been in business. The Lost Dog and Cat Rescue Foundation has saved the lives of over 18,000 dogs and cats.
  • Anywhere in Del Ray is dog friendly (restaurants, bars , boutiques, festivals)! For example, The Dairy Godmother sells “Puppy Pops,” frozen yogurt popsicles that come in banana and pumpkin flavors. The popular custard shop also offers baked “Squirrel” treats made from malted barley.


I have found that a number of races in the DC area are very dog friendly. As a runner myself, I wish I could bring Violet on races with me, but seeing as she hates to run…Here are some fury friend races you should look at.

Other Activities

  • Take your fury pal apple-picking, strawberry picking, pumpkin patch picking you name it! Here are some farms that we have been to that are dog friendly: Hollin Farms (recap here) and Hartland Orchard (recap here).
  • Need a wine-tasting buddy? Go to a local winery! Stone Tower Winery has a special section of the winery, the Harvest Barn, for families and dogs. Tarara Winery and Chrysalis Vineyards also welcome dogs.
  • And finally take your fury BFF to a Nationals baseball game to cheer on Bryce Harper at Pups in the Park!
Violet 2

Violet and her pal Buster at Hartland Orchards!

If for any reason you cannot take your pup somewhere (dogs aren’t allowed or you’re traveling) take a look at where you can find localized DC dog-boarding and pet-sitting options!

Hope you all have a great weekend!



1 Comment

Filed under Guest Bloggers, Life in DC, Things to do in DC

One response to “Violet’s Corner: Dog Days in the DC Area

  1. tommycomeau

    Nice idea!

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