The Best Pet-Friendly Things to Do in Eureka Springs, Arkansas
Feeling a little wanderlust? Curious about the little corner of the world called Eureka Springs? If the itch to travel includes searching out things to do with your dog as an essential part of the fun, you’ve come to the right place. And discovering things to do with your dog in Eureka Springs may be just the hidden getaway you’re searching for.
Satisfying your wanderlust
In our family, the ideal escape includes unscheduled days to explore beautiful scenery, outdoor dog-friendly experiences, unique shops, and great local restaurants. All made more fun with our red Goldendoodle dog named Chloe along with us. We gravitate to little out-of-the-way places or at least places away from the crowds. Maybe you do too. That’s why Eureka Springs, Arkansas has been a three-time getaway for our family—furry family members included. There are plenty of pet-friendly things to do in Eureka Springs. Plus, the area has a unique blend of historic charm, outdoor recreation, beautiful views, unique shops, and pet-friendly restaurants to explore.
I travel not to go anywhere, but to go. I travel for travel’s sake. The great affair is to move.~Robert Louis Stevenson
If you’re feeling a little wanderlust, here are some ideas for pet-friendly things to do in Eureka Springs including where to stay, where to eat, and what to explore. But before we get started on our dog-friendly itinerary, you may be interested to know more about this little town tucked away in the hills of Arkansas. So we’ll fill you in…
About Eureka Springs, Arkansas
Located in Northwest Arkansas, Eureka Springs is a small mountain town surrounded by nature—rivers, lakes, and the Ozark Mountains. (Also, as its name suggests, there are natural springs that flow throughout the town.) There is an eclectic charm to the historic downtown area that has an abundance of artistic shops, Victorian architecture, and dog-friendly patio restaurants. In fact, the entire downtown is on the National Register of Historic Places. Plus, if you and your dog enjoy hiking, canoeing, paddleboarding, and other outdoor experiences, there are nearby lakes and rivers including the White River, Beaver Lake, Lake Leatherwood, and Kings River.
How to get to Eureka Springs
Eureka Springs is a 45-minute drive from Branson, Missouri, 50-minute drive from Rogers, Arkansas, just under four hours from Kansas City, Missouri, and just under five hours from St. Louis, Missouri. (Roadtripping? You could explore both Eureka Springs and KC. Here is our companion post, 17 Best Things to Do with Your Dog in Kansas City.) For an idea of how to get to Eureka Springs from your starting point, take a peek at this map:
It’s worth mentioning that once you’ve arrived in the area, the Eureka Springs Trolley is a great mode of transportation. The trolley offers several stops in the downtown area as well as at other points of interest. However, it does not allow pets.
Hints for a happier trip by Happy-Go-Doodle: Because of its winding roads and mountainside streets, be prepared for your electronic mapping devices to get confused. Try to avoid driving into the Eureka Springs downtown area at night. While the curvy roads and hills are picturesque during the day, at night the roads swirl through town like spaghetti swirls around a fork. Also, if you or your dog are prone to carsickness due to hills and curves, have a plan in place before you go.
Where to stay with your dog in Eureka Springs
We’ve found that cabins are a great dog-friendly lodging option for us. Most of the cabins where we’ve stayed have ample outdoor space for leashed dog walks and simply for enjoying the outdoors. We’ve stayed at two cabins in the Eureka Springs area: Can-U-Canoe Riverview Cabins and Sugar Ridge Resort Cabins. Both offer beautiful views and both places welcomed Chloe as family.
Two Eureka Springs cabins that are pet-friendly and have beautiful views
On our most recent adventure to Eureka Springs, we made Can-U-Canoe Riverview Cabins our home away from home. We stayed in “The Fishing Moose” cabin that overlooks the White River. If you enjoy peacefulness, private decks and living areas with great views, an outdoor hot tub, and beds that are luxuriously comfortable, this could be your bliss.
Sugar Ridge Resort
We’ve also made Sugar Ridge Resort our home away from home. The private cabins, which sit on top of a mountain ridge and overlook Beaver Lake, have incredible views from every space—deck, living room, and bedroom. Dogs are welcomed, and we enjoyed taking Chloe out for leashed walks. Plus, our cabin had a hanging porch swing on the deck. Bliss.
Typically, there is an additional pet fee when staying in dog-friendly cabins. If you’re considering renting a cabin, we recommend a quick phone call to get specific details about additional pet fees, limitations on the size of dog that’s allowed to stay, and any other guidelines or rules.
Other dog-friendly places to stay in Eureka Springs
While we haven’t had a chance to try out other pet-friendly places in the Eureka Springs area, according to BringFido.com there are over 46 dog-friendly resorts, hotels, and cabins. You can find information about pet-friendly lodging at Bring Fido: Pet-Friendly Eureka Springs.
Where to eat: Dog-friendly Eureka Springs restaurants
If you enjoy going out to eat and taking your dog along with you, there are several dog-friendly restaurants in Eureka Springs, Arkansas. A couple of our favorites include dinner at Local Flavor in Eureka Springs’ downtown historic district and lunch at Eureka Grill.
Local Flavor Cafe in downtown Eureka Springs
Local Flavor Cafe’s dog-friendly patio is tucked among the trees and a canopy of twinkle lights. The server brought Chloe a water bowl and Chloe made herself at home by my chair. Local Flavor Cafe’s menu is eclectic and creative!
Eureka Springs Grill in downtown Eureka Springs
Eureka Springs Grill made Chloe feel at home as we sat at a table under the trees with a patio umbrella for extra shade. Chloe appreciated the water bowl the server gave her and we enjoyed the relaxed atmosphere. The salmon ceasar salad with a pat of herb-butter is my personal favorite.
Things to do: Dog-friendly adventures in Eureka Springs and the historic downtown area
Historic downtown Eureka Springs, with its Victorian architecture and winding roads, feels like a step back in time. (I hope the tinted photos in this blog post help convey the charm.)
There’s a unique mix of boutiques, bath and body shops, antique stores, bakeries and coffee shops, classic touristy souvenir shops, and art galleries.
If you have a limited amount of time, here are a couple of shopping recommendations.
The Bathhouse Soapery and Caldarium is one of our favorite shops in downtown Eureka Springs. The charming “apothecary boutique” offers hand-blended bath and body soaps, lotions, and more. Not far away, you can grab a hot or iced coffee at Eureka Daily Roast for another treat.
We’ve talked about indulgences for you, but what about for your dog? That’s where Blackie’s Backyard gift store comes in. The pet store has a great mix of dog-friendly supplies, dog treats, and unique gifts for both dogs and humans. And, from chatting with the owners, it’s easy to see just how much they love dogs as family.
Eureka Springs Dog-Friendly Trails
After a day exploring the Eureka Springs downtown area, you and your dog may be ready for some outdoor adventures near the water. Here are some of the dog-friendly activities that we discovered.
Lake Leatherwood has 25 miles of hiking around a spring-fed lake. We took the Beacham Trail that circles around the lake and passes over the Lake Leatherwood dam. The nature trail stays fairly close to the lake and has varied terrain. It was an easy hike for our pack—both human and canine.
Canoeing and paddleboarding in Eureka Springs
Ready to get on the water? Bring your canoe, kayak, or paddleboard along. If you don’t own outdoor watercraft, you can always rent it from an outdoor outfitter while you’re in the area.
We rented canoes and paddled down the White River in Eureka Springs. Chloe was our captain and guide dog.
Helpful hint from Happy-Go-Doodle: Check the weather radar before you go and watch for pop-up storms. You don’t want to get caught in a thunderstorm on the river…for your own safety and for the safety of your dog.
Take time to enjoy the view
Finally, after exploring Eureka Springs, you and your dog may be ready for a little R&R. Dog-friendly getaways are a great time to just enjoy the view and hang out with your furry friend. Our canine companions are great reminders of the importance of living in the moment and enjoying the little things.
Whether you’re looking out at the view from a porch swing in Eureka Springs or looking up at the stars from the porch at your own home, life is always better with a dog by your side.
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What’s your favorite thing to do with your dog?
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