Looking for something to do with your best friend? And by “friend,” we mean your dog. There are lots of places in Michigan that welcome you both, giving you a chance to get some exercise or enjoy a bite together – maybe a beer or glass of wine for you and a doggy dish for your four-legged friend. (Please check with any establishments, especially wineries and eateries, regarding any procedures pertaining to social distancing.)
This summer, spend an afternoon at Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. A part of the National Parks Service, this area offers miles of groomed trails and pristine shoreline for you and your dog to explore, relax, and splash in the cool waters of Lake Michigan. Be sure to visit the website to learn which areas of the Lakeshore are pet friendly – some areas are restricted to protect wildlife such as the endangered piping plover.
Unwind in Traverse City at one of the many pet friendly dining establishments. The Little Fleet on East Front Street offers a family friendly atmosphere with food trucks and live music. The Shed Beer Garden on South Union Street has a full menu dedicated to dogs. Their options range from apples with peanut butter to crispy salmon with veggies and rice. You’ll even walk away with a complimentary souvenir dog bowl to commemorate your visit.
Let Fido burn off some energy at the Midland Dog Park. Dogs can run and explore four acres of fenced-in wooded and open areas while making friends and showing off on the agility course. If you’ve been traveling to get to your campground and have been cooped up in a vehicle, you’ll both be grateful to get outside and get some exercise. The dog park even has a separate area for smaller dogs, so they can enjoy the outdoors at their own pace with dogs their own size.
Round Barn Winery in Baroda hosts Jammin’ in the Vineyard. Every weekend in the summer, you are invited to rock out to live music; partake in Round Barn’s vast variety of wines, liquors, and beer; and grab a bite to eat from the food truck. But the best part of it all? Dogs are more than welcome!
If you’re an educator, consider signing up for their Teacher’s Hall Pass. This benefit is offered to all teachers for discounts on beer, wine, and apparel, as well as free entry to all Jammin’ at the Vineyard events. Learn more at www.roundbarn.com.
Maybury State Park in Northville gives you and your dog 1,000 acres of meadows, forests, and gently rolling hills to enjoy. There is a long, paved trail that is popular for dog walkers, as is the network of hiking trails. Just be sure to follow appropriate etiquette and clean up after your pet. Dogs are not allowed in swimming areas.
Try some Michigan craft beer following your wilderness trek by driving fewer than 10 miles south to the town of Northville. Visit the Drafting Table Brewing Co., which has a reputation for welcoming dogs inside as well as out. Your four-legged friend might even be offered a complimentary treat. Check the website, www.draftingtablebeer.com, for hours of operation.
Take your dog to the Orion Oaks Dog Park in Waterford and turn him loose on the 24-acre fenced-in area. The park also features trails, picnic shelters, restrooms, and a swimming area for canines. All dogs must be licensed and up to date on vaccines.
Or, sip a pint with your pooch by your side in downtown Detroit at Jolly Pumpkin Detroit on Canfield Street. Try one of Jolly Pumpkin’s delicious pizzas and then stroll over to the Midtown Dog Park on the corners of Canfield and Cass after you finish to let your dog work out some energy.
Upper Peninsula Region
Dogs are welcome at several of the most beautiful beaches in the U.P. Leashed pets are welcome at Miners Beach at the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore or bring your pooch and catch one of the spectacular sunsets on Lake Superior from the sandy shoreline of McLain State Park in Hancock.
Bring your dog along as you discover the forests and waterfalls of beautiful Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park. Located just west of Ontonagon, this park welcomes leashed pets on the 90-mile trail system and along the shoreline. You can also bring your dog with you as you explore Palms Brook State Park, home to the Kitch-iti-kipi spring. Dogs are welcome in the park and on the self-guided, glass-bottomed raft that allowed you to see all the way to the bottom of this natural wonder.
“Camper Perspective,” introduced in our 2019 edition of Michigan RV and Campgrounds, focuses on specific aspects that campers enjoy doing or that are a part of the camper lifestyle. We provide regional suggestions as to where you can enjoy partaking in activities that suit your interests.