Activities For Dogs In North Carolina On Nice Days

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Introduction

When it comes to nice weather, North Carolina ranks near the top of the list. Between its warm temperatures and moderate precipitation, it provides residents and visitors alike a place that rarely dips below freezing even in the depths of winter and more often finds itself hovering in the 60s and 70s for a majority of the year - making it perfect dog and human weather. So what do you do with all these nice days in the Old North State? Get outside! All you need are a few ideas (which we'll detail below) and some good old-fashioned dedication and you'll be blooming like a Dogwood in no time.

U.S. National Whitewater Center

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0 Votes
Sunny Day
Moderate
Normal
1 - 6 hrs
Items needed
Leash
Dog Bags
Towel
Doggy Life Vest
Activity description
Of all the places you can find adventure, the U.S. National Whitewater Center is easily one of the best in the country. They offer both land and water-based activities including rafting, climbing, zip lining and ropes, but that doesn't even count the activities they allow dogs to participate in, such as hiking trails, kayaks, and stand-up paddleboarding, plus they're allowed on most parts of the grounds including the outdoor restaurant, so you can grab a drink and a bite to eat before, during, or after your adventures. It's all outside, which makes it perfect for a nice day, is only moderately priced at around $60 a day for all activities (or a steal at $200 for a yearly pass), or you can even get a single activity pass for just $25. Plus, it can eat up a few hours or an entire day if you so choose, leaving you tons of options to pick from.
Step
1
Plan your trip
The USNWC is west of Charlotte, meaning that anyone on the coast will still have a decent drive to get there. If it's a trek, we recommend making the most of it by getting a full day pass and taking in as much as your dog is comfortable with so you can get your time and money's worth. If you know they'll be a bit more limited, try to take advantage of the Center's other opportunities, such as their outdoor restaurant, so you can enjoy more beautiful weather with your dog even if you aren't being entirely active. We also recommend calling ahead to check availability for your chosen activities and making sure you have the proper gear in advance, such as a doggy life preserver for water-based activities. Most employees have a good idea of what you'll need, so call ahead and get clarity before you depart.
Step
2
Show and glow
Once you've got everything planned, head on over to the facility. If you plan to do multiple activities, try to gauge your and your dog's thirst, hunger and energy levels so you can get the most out of the day. Think about starting with more strenuous activities, then winding down as the day goes on, refueling with food and drink, resting a bit, then heading back out for more fun. There is a ton of space to check out even right outside the center where you can watch rafters cruise by in the man-made channels below. Make sure to check in with activity-based employees to ensure you stay on track time wise and get to see and do all you have planned. And most of all, enjoy! Your dog may not be great or comfortable at everything you try, but the more often you do, the better you'll both likely get at it. If live close or have the time, come back for several visits and try everything you can. You never know what you and your pooch will like best until you try them all!
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Benefit Local Barkers

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Sunny Day
Cheap
Easy
1 - 4 hrs
Items needed
Leash
Dog Bags
Activity description
While there are certainly plenty of dog-friendly places you can take your dog, why not see something new and benefit some local rescues and charities in the process? There are plenty of events that go on through early spring to late fall that all have the ability to take advantage of nice weather and provide tons of entertainment, all for a good cause. Most of them are inexpensive and easy to attend so you'll be able to help whatever cause is supported, have something to do, and do it all without breaking the bank. Plus, each different event caters to different interests, so if you don't like one, chances are you'll be able to find another pretty easily.
Step
1
Pick and plan
The first step of this process is identifying some potential events and picking which one best suits your dog's comfort level and your own interests. For example, if you're into baseball, The Durham Bulls (MiLB) host Bark in the Park once a year, an event that allows you to bring your dog into the stadium, march around on-field before the game, and even provides temporary dog-sitters for you while you use the bathroom or get food. Of course, you need to have a dog that's well-behaved and comfortable with big crowds to attend. For those who prefer to be a bit more active, there's also the Tails in Town and Strut Your Mutt 5k, which is a combination half-day event and 5k walk that benefits local animal shelters. There's also Woofstock, which provides raffles, activities, food, and music, all of which help to benefit the Blue Ridge Boxer Rescue. Pick an event that suits both you and your dog, then take the next steps to register or buy tickets.
Step
2
Attend and enjoy
If the hardest part is also the most fun part, you're in good shape. The next step is literally just attending the event. If you've chosen to do a walk/run or other traditional charity event, make sure to check in with organizers so all necessary information is shared before the start of the event. If it's more of a festival-style event, check out all the booths that are set up, as they may have some new, tasty, or just plain cool offerings available. Don't hesitate to socialize and meet some new canine and human friends. These types of events are usually great for networking so you can find out other nearby events and meet other like-minded people.
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Goodnight Museum Park

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Sunny Day
Free
Easy
60 - 180 min
Items needed
Leash
Dog Bags
Activity description
While you can take your dog to just about any park, it's not often you can take them to an art park, let alone one run by a museum. At the Ann and Jim Goodnight Museum Park in  Raleigh, you can tour several outdoor art installations scattered throughout the park and take several beautiful, natural and landscaped paths that snake through the park. It's the perfect spot for a nice day, can take up just a little or a lot of time depending on how much of it you want to see, and best of all, did we mention it's free and open daily (including holidays) from dawn to dusk?
Step
1
Get some art in the park
While several other parks of this type require registration and adherence to rigid rules and hours, this park is open every day from dawn until dusk and it's only rules are to be respectful of the park and installations by picking up after your dog and keeping them leashed and well-behaved so others can enjoy it as well.
Step
2
Enjoy the beauty
It takes little planning outside of finding a time to go, but offers tons of open space, wonderfully landscaped areas, lots of natural beauty, easy access parking, and detailed maps so you can take in as much as you like. If it all sounds simple and sweet, that's because it is. If you have any doubts, go seek out their multi-site five-star reviews.
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More Fun Ideas...

Bark in a State Park

North Carolina is absolutely chock-full of gorgeous natural parks and trails. Do yourself a favor and check out Chimney Rock State Park and Crowders Mountain State Park. Both offer hikes from difficult to easy and tons of landscape changes so you'll never get bored.

Try Your Paw at Flyball

If you and your dog are the active types, seek out Turbo Paws Flyball in Charlotte. It's a new drag race-type sport with lots of hurdles and running that goes along with fetching and placing balls. It's high energy, super fun, and if your dog takes well to the classes, they also have a competitive team your dog can try out for.

Get Summery at Summerfield Farms

During the summer months, Summerfield Farm hosts Music Mondays, where you can grab dinner and listen to some great local music, and Terrace Thursdays, where you can catch great views from atop a refurbished barn. There's lots of outdoor seating for you and your pup, cold drinks, good grub, and some space to run nearby if need be!

Conclusion

If your heels aren't full of tar by the time you're done reading our nice day guide, let alone actually getting out and doing some of them, you're not trying hard enough. There are plenty of other activities available beyond our list but we've done our best to try to pick the best of the best before sending you out to seek other resources. Don't forget to check out our Rainy, Cold, and Hot North Carolina guides as well, as some activities work equally well regardless of the weather (especially if you're brave souls)! And above anything else, go have some fun! Nice days are meant to great, so don't forget to make a date with the Tar Heel State.