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The namesake of its county, Laurens is a beautiful city in South Carolina that may not seem all that impressive at first glance. Give the city time, however, and you’re sure to be won over. With scenic views and friendly faces at every turn, it’s easy to see why dog lovers are crazy about this locale.
Though, admittedly, there isn’t much to do within city limits, Laurens is in close proximity to other dog-friendly cities, and can be a welcome reprieve from some of the overpopulated cities in the great state of South Carolina. It maintains a country vibe without all the danger of classic country music: losing your wife, your truck, your house, and worst of all, your dog. No worries here, your humble hound will be safe at your side!
A hop and a skip from Laurens, you’ll find yourself in the neighboring Greenville county which is home to Simpsonville, and more specifically, the Simpsonville Dog Spot. A sponsored dog park within a family park, your children are sure to have a great time here -- furry or otherwise. With two large fenced areas to keep large and small dogs separate, it’s easy to see this park’s merits.
As mentioned above, the nearby city of Simpsonville is doggone crazy about… well, dogs! With the recently installed dog park, you could spend any number of hours here. However, while you’re in the area, you should definitely visit downtown Simpsonville, where you’ll find the Ice Cream Station. A hot local dog spot, many locals bring their pups in to socialize with pup pals and people pals alike. Get yourself a nice ice cream cone on a hot and sunny day, and if you’re lucky, they may be offering their dog-friendly frozen treats that day! Be sure to stop in!
Shuffle on over to Scuffletown Road, an area in Simpsonville that can’t be missed if you have a dog that’s gotta take a dive. If that’s the case, then pitter patter your paws on over to Astro Air Dogs Dock Diving Tank. Sponsored by Astro Kennels, this is the first permanent, regulation-sized diving tank in the state. Bring your pup to take part in their competitions and strut their stuff, or take some of the classes offered if your dog’s a newbie! There are private and public classes, so there’s something for just about any precious pup’s precocious personality!
For another stop in sensational Simpsonville, take your beloved barker down Fairview Road, the area in Simpsonville with the most hustle and bustle. You’ll have your pick of restaurants, but if you’ve got a bit of an eclectic taste and want to bring Fido alone, there’s one option that sticks out above all the others. Make your way to the Mad Cuban Cafe, which has a beautiful outdoor seating area with two tables, so you and your pup have a bit of privacy. The restaurant serves authentic and classic Cuban dishes, and you can’t miss out on some of their tropical drinks!
The definite next stop on your doggy to-to list is the central area of Mauldin in Greenville County, and just down the road from our other stops. Here, you’ll find another restaurant with delicious offerings, this time including vegetarian and vegan options. Chicora Alley serves a fusion of Southern and Caribbean food, so if you’re looking for something unique, this is just the place. Best of all, there’s an outdoor seating area for you to chow down with your doggy, and it’s just a short drive from Conestee Dog Park, a place your pup will beg to go to!
Last but certainly not least on our doggy to-do list is an area previously mentioned! Conestee, a small area in Greenville proper and just over county lines from Laurens, is home to Conestee Dog Park, as well as the Lake Conestee Nature Park. The dog park houses two large fenced areas for small and large dogs where your pup can run off-leash. If you’re looking for a bit more of a hike, Lake Conestee Nature Park offers several hiking trails that are dog-friendly. Just be sure to bring plenty of drinking water and doggy waste bags in case of accidents.
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