Life for pet parents and their canine companions is sweet in the Peach State, with tons of dog-friendly attractions, businesses, and lush natural areas ideal for taking your dog on a road trip. Whether you're planning to escape civilization high up in the Appalachian Mountains or you fancy sunning it along Georgia's coastline, there's something for every pup in the Empire State of the South. Here are some of the best dog-friendly road trip ideas in Georgia.
Where to play
F.D. Roosevelt State Park
F.D. Roosevelt State Park is the perfect place for an on-leash adventure with your pooch. Situated near the quaint town of Pine Mountain, this state park boasts thousands of acres of verdant forests, babbling creeks, and picture-perfect waterfalls for you and Fido to enjoy.
With over 40 miles of trails to discover, F.D. Roosevelt State Park is one of the best dog-friendly parks in Georgia. One of the longest trails in F.D. Roosevelt State Park is the Pine Mountain Trail, which snakes for over 20 miles past many of the park's best natural attractions. Another popular spot to visit is Dowdell's Knob, a scenic overlook frequented by F.D.R. during the Great Depression and World War II.
While you let your pupper stretch their legs on the trails, watch out for some of the park's rare bird species, including ruby-throated hummingbirds and painted buntings. Or plan an overnight sleepover with Odie at one of the park's many campsites. If you plan to bring your fur-baby along to F.D. Roosevelt State Park, ensure you keep them on a 6-foot lead at all times. You should also bring along some doggy bags and water for your pooch.
Skidaway Island State Park
Fancy planning a seaside adventure near Savannah for you and your woofer? Skidaway Island State Park is one of the best coastal parks in Georgia. Situated next door to Georgia's Intercoastal Waterway, your fur-baby will love all the sights and sounds on offer along the park's many trails. With the Colonial Coast Birding Trail and over 300 bird species inhabiting the region, Skidaway Island State Park is a birdwatcher’s paradise.
The park consists primarily of maritime woodlands and salt marshes, with boardwalks that stretch across the beautiful boggy landscape. Over 6 miles of trails await you and your pupper, including the popular mile-long Sandpiper Trail Loop, which meanders through the park's maritime forests and over the island hammock. You'll see plenty of intriguing sights along this route, such as the Old Liquor Still Site, dating back to the 1930s. Doggos are welcome on the park's trails, but you must keep your pup on a leash at all times and clean up after them.
Piedmont Dog Park
Piedmont Dog Park is the perfect place for pet parents and their fur-babies to escape the hustle and bustle of Atlanta. Positioned in Midtown, this sprawling urban park features a 3-acre off-leash area where your hound can make some furry friends and burn off some excess energy.
You'll find separate enclosures for large and small dog breeds and a double-gated entrance in case your pup is a budding escape artist. If you’re worried about your woofer running off, consider training them to come when called. Outside the off-leash area, you’ll find shaded on-leash trails in case you fancy a longer walk.
After your dog is tired from running around in the Georgia sunshine, take them for a drink at one of the on-site doggy spigots. If you're visiting on the weekend, you can even treat your pooch to a dog popsicle from one of the onsite concessions.
This dog park has a long list of dog rules, so do your homework. Your dog must have up-to-date vaccinations, a license, and an I.D. badge. If your dog misbehaves, you'll have to remove them from the off-leash area immediately. While you and your pup may be tempted to cool off at Lake Clara Meer, swimming is prohibited.
Saint Simons Island Beaches
Saint Simons Island is great for an off-leash seaside adventure with your canine companion. You'll find this beautiful island just south of Savannah, in an area known as the Golden Isles.
Saint Simons Island is home to East Beach, one of the best dog-friendly beaches in Georgia. You'll find several designated areas where your pup can play in the sand, soak up the sun, and splash around the crystal-clear waters.
As well as being a "furrific" location for doggos, you'll find plenty of activities to keep you entertained during your visit. Avid anglers will love spending some time on Gould's Inlet. Meanwhile, East Beach is ideal for a sunset stroll to collect some of the exquisite shells that washed up throughout the day.
The beaches are also home to an array of wildlife. Sea turtles are known to nest along the beaches, so it's essential you only let your dog off their leash in specified areas.
Arabia Mountain Trails
Georgia is home to some beautiful mountains, and several are within an hour of the center of Atlanta. Arabia Mountain in nearby Lithonia is great for on-leash hiking with Fido. You'll find tens of thousands of acres of tranquil pine forests, wetlands, and streams to discover. There are roughly 30 miles of trails to explore around Arabia Mountain; however, only a few are dog-friendly, so make sure you do some research before visiting.
One of the best of the Arabia Mountain Trails is the Arabia Mountain Top Trail. This hiking path is around 1.3 miles long and takes you up to the mountain's summit, which boasts panoramas of the surrounding lakes and woodlands.
If you're looking for a longer hike, consider the popular Klondike Boardwalk Trail. This hike summits the mountain and takes you through woodlands, over a boardwalk, and by a lake that affords stunning reflections of Arabia Mountain. If you're planning to take your dog on a road trip here, ensure you keep them on a six-foot leash at all times.
Where to stay
Smithgall Woods State Park Campground
Smithgall Woods State Park is a superb spot to go tent camping with a dog. Many travelers come to this area to fish for trout in Duke's Creek and stay to discover the sublime Blue Ridge and Appalachian Mountains. You'll also find the scenic town of Helen just a stone's throw away, renowned for its unique Bavarian architecture.
The Smithgall Woods Campground is dog-friendly, as long as you keep Spot on a 6-foot leash and supervise them at all times. While there aren't many fun activities around camp, you'll find plenty to do at the surrounding state park, with tons of fishing, hiking, and nature-watching opportunities. Smithgall Woods State Park is the ideal spot for getting back in touch with nature.
Stone Mountain Park Campground
The Stone Mountain Campground affords a relaxing camping experience not too far from Atlanta. Stone Mountain Park is renowned as one of the best parks in Georgia, with over 3,000 acres of lush forests, glistening lakes, and local attractions surrounding the area's famed monadnock granite rock formation.
You'll find some exciting activities around Stone Mountain, with a few miles of dog-friendly trails that weave through the nearby countryside. Stone Mountain also boasts an adventure golf course, scenic railroad, and the longest-running laser-light show in the world.
There are over 400 RV, tent, and yurt sites within Stone Mountain Park, making it one of the best places near Atlanta to go camping with dogs. Dogs are welcome across the camp but must be kept on a 6-foot leash and be accompanied at all times.
Jacksonville North/St Mary's KOA
Roadtrippers planning on traveling down to Florida might want to make a pitstop at the Jacksonville North/St Mary's KOA. Situated just one mile from the Florida state line, this KOA is surprisingly peaceful and provides access to Jacksonville as well as the many scenic islands along Georgia's coast. The campground’s off-leash dog park also makes it an ideal place to rest your paws on your dog-friendly Georgia road trip.
During your stay, soak in the sauna and hot tub, or grab yourself an adult beverage at the tiki bar. Before heading off in the morning, treat yourself to a complimentary breakfast of waffles, pancakes, and sausage biscuits with gravy to get the day started right. The Jacksonville North/St Mary's KOA requires you to keep your dog on a 6-foot lead at all times, apart from inside the dog park. You'll also need proof of vaccinations.
Where to eat
Many of the best dog-friendly restaurants in Georgia are located in big cities like Atlanta, Savannah, Athens, and Macon. Most restaurants provide outdoor seating and complimentary water bowls.
Georgia is an excellent spot for seafood, and some accommodating eateries will offer to grill up some plain salmon so your pup can chow down. If you're lucky, you may even find a restaurant that has a special pup menu with an array of tasty treats Lassie will love.
Where to roam
Atlanta to Tallulah Falls
Take your pooch on a mountain expedition with a scenic drive from Atlanta to Tallulah Falls. Starting in the big city and heading to one of Georgia's remotest regions is sure to be an exciting adventure. The journey is about 100 miles and takes less than 2 hours — perfect if you're traveling with a canine compadre. If you're looking for a place to let your dog stretch their legs and go potty, Tidwell Park at Lake Lanier near Cummings is ideal.
Once you arrive in Tallulah Falls, take your pupper on an escapade around Tallulah Gorge State Park. This breathtaking canyon is one of the best on the East Coast, and pups are allowed to hike around the rim trails, as long as they're on a 6-foot leash. One of the best sights in Tallulah Gorge State Park is Tallulah Falls, a set of 6 postcard-perfect waterfalls that cascade through the canyon.
Tybee Island to Kingsland
You'll find plenty for puppers to do along Georgia's scenic coastline, making the drive from Tybee Island to Kingsland one of the top pet-friendly road trips in Georgia. The drive is around 135 miles and shouldn't take any longer than 3 hours. Before leaving Tybee Island, grab a bite to eat at one of the island's superb pet-friendly oceanfront seafood joints.
About halfway through your trip, you'll pass by St Simons Island Beaches, which flaunts picturesque dog-friendly beaches where your mutt can blow off some steam. If you find your journey a bit too long with your pupper in tow, consider stopping off at the Golden Isles RV Park in Brunswick for a night's sleep.
Brunswick is also close to many great tourist spots, including Jekyll Island and the Okefenokee Swamp Park. Once you've recharged your batteries, make the short drive down to Kingsland and explore the nearby Cumberland Island. A great time to visit Kingsland is over Labor Day weekend, just in time for the annual Catfish Festival.
Where to learn
World of Coca-Cola
An excursion all ages will love is the World of Coca-Cola in Atlanta. This museum showcases the world-famous brand’s humble beginnings in Atlanta. There are loads of exciting exhibits at the World of Coca-Cola, from the Coca-Cola Theater to the Vault of the Secret Formula.
At the end of your tour, you'll get to try an array of unusual and unique Coca Cola flavors at the Beverage Tasting Experience. Unfortunately, only guide dogs and service dogs are allowed inside the World of Coca Cola, so why not book a dog walker in Atlanta to entertain Tucker while you're touring the museum?
High Museum of Art
Atlanta's High Museum of Art is the perfect place to broaden your artistic horizons. The High Museum of Art is one of the best art museums in the Southeast, with over 15,000 pieces of art from around the world.
While perusing the museum's collection, you'll see works by many world-famous artists, including Henri Matisse, Claude Monet, and John Singer Sargent. The High Museum also features some fascinating historical artifacts, notably a terracotta sculpture dating back to 12th-century Africa.
Savannah Historic District
Step back in time with a visit to the Savannah Historic District. Savannah is often said to be the most beautiful city in the state, and its historic district is no exception with its ornate 18th and 19th-century buildings, some of which predate the Civil War.
While in Savannah Historic District, take a stroll around the charming Forsyth Park, or jump on the hop-on/hop-off trolley service, which will take you on a sightseeing tour of the district's best sights. Other popular attractions include the Owens-Thomas House, the Telfair Museum of Art, and the City Market.
Wrapping up your dog-friendly road trip in Georgia
Make no bones about it — when it comes to dog-friendly attractions in Georgia, you and Fido truly have your paws full! From island escapes to tranquil nature reserves, you’ll find no shortage of places to play with your pupper.