Dog-Friendly Alexandria Spots You Have to Visit

How to spend the day in Alexandria, Virginia with your dog.
By: Tori Mistick

When you travel with your dog to Alexandria, Virginia, visit Old Town to find dozens of dog-friendly shops and restaurants. This area prides itself on being exceptionally dog friendly, as you’ll quickly discover. Strangers and shop owners all stopped to say hi to me and my dog, Lucy, when we walked around.

Where to Stay: The Alexandrian

If you’re looking for stylish accommodations in Alexandria, then you’ll love The Alexandrian, located in Old Town. Before you even enter the hotel, your dog can grab a drink from the oversized dog bowl out front and sniff the complimentary bikes for guests. In the lobby, it’s just a matter of moments until you’ll be offered a dog treat. Hang out in the interior courtyard where the hotel hosts doggy happy hour in the summer months. We got great recommendations from the dog-loving front desk staff who live in the area and know first hand the best places to take your dog in Old Town.

Lucy in front of The Alexandrian Hotel

Where to Shop: King Street Area Shops and the Torpedo Factory

There are so many dog-friendly shops on King Street and the surrounding side streets in Old Town. Many of the shops have water bowls and even bowls of treats out front. There wasn’t a single store that we weren’t welcome in. Many of the shops also have great items for dog lovers, like decorative signs, pillows and ornaments.

Make sure to also take your dog to the Torpedo Factory, a converted warehouse that houses dozens of local artist studios. Dogs are welcome in all the galleries, and you’ll find a lot of great photo-ops. We encountered a few artists who were dog lovers themselves and were happy to give Lucy a treat and some ear scratches. Depending on the time of year you visit, the Torpedo Factory is also a nice break from the weather so you and your dog can cool off or warm up.

Where to Walk: Mount Vernon Trail

The Mount Vernon Trail runs along the Potomac River in Alexandria. We loved this trail because there’s plenty of grass and a few dog-friendly parks along the route. The trail is very much an urban hike and is a mix of fine gravel and paved paths. Take in a little bit of history with the historic signs along the way. There’s so much history in the Alexandria area, you can almost image George Washington walking his dog here!

Lucy in Old Town Alexandria

Where to Restock: The Dog Park

Nestled between the boutiques and restaurants on King Street is The Dog Park. This is the place to stock up on treats or find a stylish new leash or collar accessory, and Lucy insisted we go in as soon as she caught a whiff of the freshly baked treats inside. The store even has a collection of dog breed artwork that would fit right in with any dog lover’s home décor. The Dog Park is also a great place to connect with other dog lovers. I spent 20 minutes chatting with a couple who had left their dogs back home in New Jersey. The owner kindly gave Lucy more than a few treats, ensuring that we’ll be back.

The Dog Park Alexandria

Where to Go Out: The Lost Dog Cafe

If you’re visiting Alexandria with a dog, the Lost Dog Cafe is a must visit. There’s a huge dog-friendly patio around the back of the building. We loved this feature because it was away from most of the traffic and pedestrians on the main drag and allows your dog to relax.

In 2001, the owners of the restaurant formed the Lost Dog and Cat Rescue Foundation and have helped find homes for hundreds of pets since then. You’ll learn more about the foundation on the restaurant’s menu, which is full of dog-inspired puns. Many of the beers on the menu also benefit animal rescue through their foundation.