At 12 square miles and over 50,000 residents, the city of Brookhaven is a big dog in the northeastern metro area, just 10 miles from the heart of Downtown Atlanta. As an incorporated city, though, Brookhaven is still just a pup: the city was created in 2012 to give local residents more control of the future of this enclave in Dekalb County. Brookhaven has a number of vastly different neighborhoods brought together into a bustling community, so you and your fur-family will have a wide variety of fun. Explore freely: Brookhaven was named the safest city inside the Atlanta perimeter in 2018.
There’s a natural pet food store right in Brookhaven, The City Dog Market, where you can sniff out a plentiful array of healthy food and treats. If they don’t have what your finicky friends need, dash over to the Whole Dog Market in Sandy Springs, just a few miles away. Whole Dog specializes in handmade rawhide treats sourced humanely from a Georgia farm. They’re so delicious that your pups might forgive you for the self-service dog wash station. (But you probably shouldn’t tell them that there are six veterinary practices within five miles of Brookhaven.)
With such a prime location just inside the I-285 perimeter, Brookhaven residents have both the hubbub of downtown and the peace of the outer suburbs nearby. It’s easy to spend a sophisticated day in the city, maybe strolling the trail, parks, outdoor galleries, and food trucks of the Atlanta Beltline. Or, maybe you’d rather be shopping at the dog-friendly Grant Park Farmers Market on a Sunday afternoon. There’s always the popular Piedmont Dog Park and the miles and miles of landscaped trail in Piedmont Park.
When it’s time to play, Murphey Candler Park's 135 acres are just begging for your attention. The largest green space in the city of Brookhaven, Murphey Candler Park is a must for any sunny weekend. The 2-mile loop trail around the lake is a scenic way to work off some energy. Keep an eye on the calendar, as well: Brookhaven Parks and Rec hosts occasional pet- and adoption-themed festivals and opens the Murphey Candler Pool for “Doggy Dip Days” prior to closing for the season. Just a few miles north of the park, the Perimeter Mall area has more than a dozen dog-friendly restaurants with outdoor seating.
At the edge of Historic Brookhaven, the old Atlanta neighborhood that donated its name to the new city of Brookhaven, lovely Brookhaven Park offers both on- and off-leash fun. You’ll find a trail and walking area for the more reserved pups in your pack. But, the Brookhaven Dog Park provides an off-leash fenced play area for pups who are eager to make new friends. The park’s neighbors get (justifiably) grumpy about left-over messes, so be sure to clean up. After some play time, it’s an easy walk to the Peachtree Rd. branch of Mellow Mushroom Pizza Bakers, a homegrown Atlanta-based chain with its own funky style where your furry friends are welcome on the patio.
The community of Sandy Springs has lots of shopping and dining options, but if you pass through to the north end of town, the Chattahoochee River and its tributaries make for some stunning scenery. The Big Trees Forest Preserve offers 30 acres of nature trails open for on-leash exploration, with streams and creeks to ford as you forget how close you are to the big city. A few miles farther along are the Morgan Falls Overlook Park and Morgan Falls River Park, with two beautiful views of the river. The Overlook Park has walking trails for on-leash exploration, plus playground and picnic areas for your other family members. The River Park has views of the historic Morgan Falls Dam from a fenced dog park for some serious off-leash play.
The dog-friendly dining options around Buckhead Village, just 10 minutes south of Brookhaven, are plentiful indeed. Whether you want to savor some noodles on the lovely patio at Bangkok Station, down some pizza and beer and Blue Moon Pizza, or spice it up at Red Pepper Taqueria, your pups can join you at the outdoor seating. Then, walk it all off around the lawns and ballfields of Frankie Allen Park. You can follow the creek down to Sunnybrook Park, Garden Hills Park, and the larger Alexander Park with its wide paved paths. As you explore the city, though, keep your fur baby close: local police will issue tickets for any dogs spotted off-leash.