As summer’s heat and humidity give way to the cooler, crisper days of autumn, our thoughts turn to this “season of mists and mellow fruitfulness.” We anticipate the pleasures of fall: kicking through colorful fallen leaves, harvest festivals, and spending quality time with dogs. Here are 10 ideas for dog friendly fall activities across the country to fetch memories of this special season.
For a true taste of fall in the Northeast region, visit an orchard to pick apples.
Well-behaved dogs on leash can enjoy the shade as you pluck McIntosh, Golden Delicious or Empire apples at Drew Farm in Westford, Massachusetts.
Twenty-five varieties of apples are ready to be picked in Lee, New Hampshire at DeMeritt Hill Farm, where pet parents can rent or buy a leash for their dog, and at Nashoba Valley Winery in Bolton, Massachusetts, dogs are allowed in the orchard’s public area as well as the picnic grounds.
Haunted Hotel Stay
Wonder if your dog would bark at a ghost? You just might have the chance to find out at one of the many dog-friendly Mid-Atlantic inns that are also reputedly home to some otherworldly residents.
The welcome mat is always out for both Fidos and phantoms at Battlefield Bed & Breakfast Inn. The farmhouse, built in 1809 in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, has become a frequent haunt of Civil War re-enactors and the specters of the soldiers they portray.
During a stroll along the 30-acre property, your four-pawed pal might sense the presence of one of the many casualties who was cared for in the establishment’s 1820s barn, which was converted into a field hospital during the three days of combat that turned the tide in the War Between the States.
In New York, it’s been rumored that the spirits of the legendary Algonquin Round Table may still hold court at The Algonquin Hotel, and while you may not stumble across the spirit of Dorothy Parker during your stay, you and your pet might meet the hotel’s resident Directfurr of Guest Relations, a rescued cat named Hamlet.
If you’re looking to scare up a little Howl-o-ween fun with your four-legged friend in the East North Central region of the U.S., head to the Chicago Botanic Garden for the Spooky Pooch Parade and join the line of costumed tail-waggers who will promenade and possibly win prizes.
In Ohio, fashion forward Fidos can don disguises at the Crocker Park Halloween celebration during the annual Pet Costume Contest, which will raise people’s spirits while raising funds for the Cleveland Animal Protection League.
Costume-clad canines will also take center stage at Wisconsin Humane Society’s Ozaukee campus during the organization’s annual Halloween Howl, complete with a bone dig, tricks for treats, bobbing for hot dogs and much more.
Frolic with your dog in the fall foliage as you watch Mother Nature’s palette transform from green into gold and red during a hike on a walking trail in the West North Central region.
Songbirds will tweet a welcome as you embark on the Luce Line State Trail in St. Paul, Minnesota, while the rush of water will applaud your arrival when you take a trail that leads to Minnehaha Falls in Minneapolis.
Many busy beaches in the South Atlantic region that restrict dogs to off-hours during peak summer season welcome four-legged visitors in the fall.
Romp together in the surf at the Dog Beach at Hollywood Beach in Hollywood, Florida, leave paw prints in the sand at two beaches on Seabrook Island in South Carolina, and doggie paddle at Jekyll Island Beach at Jekyll Island, Georgia.
Flea Market Shopping
If you want to take your dog shopping in the East South Central region, you can mull over the merchandise on display at more than 1,000 vendor booths at the Great Smokies Flea Market in Kodak, Tennessee or Flea Traders Paradise Flea Market and Mall in Sevierville, Tennessee.
Your barking buddy can help you sniff out bargains at more than 550 vendor booths at the Derby Park Flea Market in Louisville, Kentucky.
Like Shaggy and Scooby-Doo, you can get into the ‘spirit’ of the season by going on a ghost tour with your four-pawed pal in the West South Central region–definitely one of the most memorable dog friendly fall activities!
Dogs will enjoy ‘digging up’ the mysteries of the past on a Sisters Grimm nightly ghost walk, with costumed tour guides taking budding ghostbusters on a candlelight stroll past sites where specters lurk in the city of San Antonio, Texas.
In New Orleans, you can visit the resting places of the dearly departed whose spirits may still be earthbound during Bloody Mary’s cemetery walking tour.
You and your dog can get goosebumps in the city known as the Valley of the Vapors as the veil lifts between this world and the next during the Haunted Hot Springs Tour in Hot Springs, Arkansas.
Nothing says autumn more than an evening around a campfire.
The Mountain region boasts some of the most beautiful and iconic parks in the country, and the fall months mean prime canine camping season here.
Although the national parks are generally restrictive in terms of trail access, facilities like Grand Canyon’s Mather Campground welcome woofers. National forests typically are more dog friendly with trail access as well as camping options to enjoy the beauties of this region.
Raise your glass in a toast to your tail-wagging chum as you and your four-pawed pal drink in the beauty of autumn in the Pacific region during a visit to a dog-friendly winery.
Among the many establishments that cater to both connoisseurs of the grape and their canine companions in California is Mutt Lynch Winery in Windsor, which often shows its dogged devotion to paws causes by hosting events benefiting animal charities.
Spoiled Dog Winery on Whidbey Island in Washington, where Australian Shepherds Blue and Sami greet guests.
Westport Winery in Aberdeen, Washington, where pups can play in an off-leash winery dog park while their pet parent partakes of the grape inside the winery, or enjoy an on-leash stroll with their human in the botanical gardens.
Autumn is the prime season for viewing thanks to shorter days and pleasant temperatures. If you and your four-legged travel companion can get away from the city lights, look to the autumn sky and try to pick out Sirius, the dog star.
To dog lovers everywhere, it is no surprise that this star is the brightest in the night sky—a celestial tribute to our autumn travel companions.