Dana, North Carolina is a residential community just outside bustling Hendersonville in the middle of canine paradise. Scenic Asheville is less than 30 miles away and offers dog-friendly shopping, dog parks, trails, and even the dog-friendly Biltmore Estate. You'll find ample veterinary and pet care services in Dana's adjacent towns and a laid-back, outdoorsy local culture in which dogs are people, too.
In recent years, this part of western NC has blossomed as a center for the arts and a hot-spot for independent breweries. If beer is what brought you to town, rejoice: you can bring Rover with you to the Sierra Nevada Brewery’s patio seating and to several microbreweries in Asheville. Closer to Dana, Hendersonville has two dog-friendly breweries, including Sanctuary Brewing where animal rescue is part of the business plan. Dogs are always welcome to join you for a tasting and vegan food at Sanctuary, but you might want to check the calendar so as not to accidentally crash the weekly Yoga with Cats event.
If you're hoping for some outdoor adventure in western NC, the odds are definitely in your favor. More than 10,000 acres of the Dupont State Forest await just 22 miles south, with 83 miles of dog-friendly hiking trails and 6 waterfalls. If the scenery looks familiar, that's because the Dupont State Forest was the major filming location for the 2012 film The Hunger Games.
Speaking of waterfalls, here’s a fun fact: Dana sits on the
Continental Divide, so streams flow towards the Atlantic on one end of town and
the Gulf of Mexico on the other. (Rover might like to consider his options when
he picks a spot to do his business.)
Just 13 miles from Dana, the town of Chimney Rock has plenty of fun on tap. That includes the dog-friendly patio at the Hickory Nut Gorge Brewery (this close to Asheville, there’s always a brewery) as well as the outdoor riverside dining at the retro Old Rock Cafe. Then, enjoy a truly unique view at Chimney Rock State Park, where rock formations like the Devil’s Head and a 400-foot waterfall look out over Lake Lure. There’s a well-worth-it entrance fee. Chimney Rock Park offers 8 dog-friendly (leashes, please) hiking trails, and while 6 are reached by trailheads within the area covered by the entrance fee, two trails have trailheads outside the boundary which are reachable at no cost.
The Mountain Bridge Wilderness Area lies just 30 miles south of Dana and offers one of the state’s most elaborate and well-marked trail systems; leashes and backcountry skills are required, and remember the drinking water. For a safe but challenging adventure, focus your exploration on the two state parks within Mountain Bridge: Jones Bridge State Park and Caesar’s Head State Park. Caesar’s Head alone has 60 miles of trails, including the 4-mile round-trip Raven Cliff Falls Trail, a must-see unless Rover is afraid of heights: it leads to a suspension bridge and scenic overlook at the 420-foot waterfall.