Are you dreaming of a getaway with your furry companion by your side? Look no further than the picturesque landscapes and pet-friendly locales of North and South Carolina. 

From charming coastal towns to breathtaking mountain retreats, the Carolinas offer endless opportunities for unforgettable adventures with your pet. 

Here are some of the top pet-friendly travel destinations in the Carolinas, along with essential tips for packing and preparing for your journey.

Asheville, North Carolina

Asheville, North Carolina is known for its vibrant arts scene, craft breweries and stunning mountain scenery. It’s a paradise for both humans and pets, alike.

Start your adventure with a hike along the Blue Ridge Parkway, where you will be treated to breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains. Many of the overlooks along the parkway are pet-friendly, allowing you and your furry friend to soak in the scenery together.

After you hike, head downtown to explore the bustling streets of Asheville. Many shops, galleries and restaurants welcome pets on their patios, making it easy to enjoy the city’s vibrant atmosphere, while keeping your furry companion by your side. 

Be sure to check out the Battery Park Book Exchange & Champagne Bar, a unique bookstore where you can sip champagne while browsing through thousands of books, with your pet by your side. 

When it’s time to rest, Asheville offers a variety of pet-friendly accommodations, including cozy cabins, bed and breakfasts and even luxury hotels. Whether you prefer to stay in the heart of downtown, or escape to a secluded mountain retreat, you are sure to find the perfect place to relax and unwind with your pet. 

In addition to the essentials for your pet, don’t forget to pack a lightweight backpack or carrier, especially if you plan on doing a lot of hiking or exploring in crowded areas. This will allow you to easily transport your pet if they get tired, or if you encounter any challenging terrain.

Charleston, South Carolina

Charleston, with its rich history, picturesque streets and stunning waterfront, is the perfect destination for a pet-friendly getaway. 

Start your visit with a leisurely stroll through the historic district, where you will discover beautifully preserved architecture, charming gardens and hidden courtyards. Many of the city’s historic sites and landmarks allow leashed pets, including Nathanial Russell House and the Aiken-Rhett House.

After exploring downtown, head to the Waterfront Park for a scenic walk along the Charleston Harbor. This waterfront park features walking paths, fountains and plenty of green space for you and your pet to enjoy.

If you are feeling adventurous, consider taking a pet-friendly boat tour of the harbor, where you can soak in the sights and learn about Charleston’s maritime history.

When it comes to dining, Charleston offers a wide-range of pet-friendly options, from casual cafes to upscale restaurants. Many establishments have outdoor seating areas where pets are welcome, allowing you to enjoy delicious low-country cuisine, while your furry friend lounges nearby.

If you are planning to spend time outdoors in Charleston, be sure to pack sunscreen for both you and your pet, especially if you will be spending extended periods in the sun. Look for pet-safe sunscreen, specifically formulated for dogs and cats to protect their sensitive skin from harmful UV rays.

Outer Banks, North Carolina

The Outer Banks, a string of barrier islands off the coast of North Carolina, is a paradise for beach-loving pets and their owners. With miles of pristine coastline to explore, you and your furry friend will have plenty of opportunities to soak up the sun and the surf.

Many beaches along the Outer Banks are pet-friendly, including Nags Head, Cape Hatteras National Seashore and Corolla Beach. Be sure to check local regulations and leash laws before heading to the beach, and always clean up after your pet to help keep those beautiful beaches clean, and pristine.

In addition to beach activities, the Outer Banks offers a variety of pet-friendly attractions and activities, including hiking trails, historic sites and outdoor dining options. Consider visiting the Wright Brothers National Memorial in Kill Devil Hills, or taking a scenic drive along the Cape Hatteras National Seashore for stunning views of the coastline.

When visiting the beach with your pet, pack plenty of fresh water and a portable bowl to keep them hydrated, as saltwater can be dehydrating for dogs and cats. You may also want to bring along a beach umbrella or tent to provide shade for your pet during breaks from the sun.

Greenville, South Carolina

Nestled in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, Greenville is a dynamic city with a thriving arts scene, outdoor recreation opportunities and pet-friendly amenities. 

Start your visit with a hike or bike ride along the Swamp Rabbit Trail, a 22-mile greenway that winds through scenic parks, along the Reedy River and past charming downtown areas. 

After exploring the great outdoors, head downtown to enjoy Greenville’s vibrant culinary scene. Many restaurants and cafes in downtown Greenville have outdoor seating areas where pets are welcome, allowing you to enjoy a delicious meal wile your furry friend relaxes by your side.

In addition to outdoor activities and dining options, Greenville offers a variety of pet-friendly accommodations, including hotels, vacation rentals and bed and breakfasts. Where you prefer to stay in the heart of downtown, or escape to a quiet retreat in the mountains, you will find plenty of options to suit your needs.

If you are planning to spend time outdoors in Greenville, be sure to pack insect repellent to protect both you and your pet from mosquitoes, ticks and other pests. Look for pet-safe insect repellent, specifically formulated for dogs and cats to ensure their safety while exploring the great outdoors. Make sure you are administering your pet’s monthly flea, tick and heart worm preventative. 

Lake Lure, North Carolina

Escape to the tranquil beauty of Lake Lure, a hidden gem nestled in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. This picturesque lake offers plenty of opportunities for outdoor recreation, including kayaking, paddle boarding and fishing.

Many vacation rentals and cabins in the Lake Lure area are pet-friendly, allowing you to enjoy a peaceful retreat with your furry friend by your side. Choose a cozy cabin overlooking the lake, or a spacious vacation home surrounded by wooded trails, where you can relax and unwind in nature’s embrace. 

When you are ready to explore, head to Chimney Rock State Park for a scenic hike with stunning views of the surrounding mountains and Lake Lure below. Leashed pets are welcome on designated trails throughout the park, allowing you to enjoy a day of outdoor adventure with your furry companion.

If you plan to spend time on the water with your pet, be sure to pack a life jacket, specifically designed for dogs. Even strong swimmers can benefit from the added safety and buoyancy provided by a pet life jacket, especially in unfamiliar, or challenging conditions.

Additional Packing Tips

  • Food and Water: Pack enough food and water for your pet’s entire stay, along with collapsible bowls for easy feeding on the go.
  • Bedding: Bring along your pet’s favorite bedding and/or blanket to provide them with a sense of comfort and familiarity.
  • Leash and Harness: Ensure you have a sturdy leash and harness to keep your pet safe during walks and outings.
  • Identification: Make sure your pet has proper identification tags with your updated contact information, as well as a recent photo, in case they get lost. Consider contacting your veterinarian prior to your trip, to have your pet microchipped.
  • Medications: Do not forget any medications or supplements your pet may need, along with a copy of their medical records.
  • Toys and Treats: Keep your pet entertained with their favorite toys and treats to enjoy during downtime. 
  • Poop Bags: Be a responsible pet owner and always clean up after your pet! So, don’t forget to pack plenty of poop bags.


With the abundance of pet-friendly attractions and accommodations, North and South Carolina are perfect destinations for a memorable getaway with your furry friend. Whether you are exploring charming coastal towns, hiking scenic trails or relaxing by the lake, you are sure to create unforgettable memories together. So, pack your bag, leash up your pup and begin an adventure of a lifetime in the Carolinas. 

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