IT’S A DOG’S LIFE IN PET-FRIENDLY CHATTANOOGA
Contributed by Lara Caughman, Corporate Communications Manager
We’re ardent dog lovers and adore being out and about in Chattanooga with our furry friends. Lots of Ruby Falls guests travel to Chattanooga with dogs and traveling dog lovers have oodles of reasons to love Chattanooga. Our team has some terrific tips and suggestions to make your Chattanooga getaway fantastic for your dog and stress-free for you.
Where to Stay
There are a handful of especially dog-friendly hotels in Chattanooga. Here are a few that have pet appealing amenities and locations.
The Hemingway Suite at the Crash Pad in Chattanooga is a pet-friendly suite that sleeps 4 guests and is about 8 minutes from Ruby Falls. It features a full kitchen, separate living room, and bedroom. Leashed dogs are permitted outside on the grassy grounds. The Crash Pad is just a couple of doors down from Play Wash Pint, and numerous delicious restaurants are just a short stroll away. We love, love, love that the Crash Pad was built with reclaimed and renewable resources and is LEED Platinum certified.
Don’t need an entire suite? Check out the hip, Moxy Chattanooga Downtown. This pet welcoming hotel is a fun addition to downtown, walking distance to restaurants and shopping and a quick 10-minute drive to Ruby Falls. The hotel’s “it’s 5 o’clock somewhere” vibe starts from the moment you check in and pick up your room key at the hotel bar in the lobby. Check the Moxy's schedule for their next Pups and Pints event; it's quikcly becoming a Chattanooga dog lover's tradition.
How about a room with a stunning view and Lookout Mountain right outside your door? Just a stone’s throw from Ruby Falls, the RiverView Inn is an adorable find, nestled into the hillside of Lookout Mountain. This 1930’s vintage motor court was restored and rebranded in 2018. It has direct access to the National Park Service’s greenway next to the property; a perk your dog will love! A $25 pet fee covers two dogs. Enjoy a complimentary freshly prepared breakfast daily, free parking and loads of charm. Sunrise from the rocking chairs on your private balcony is a must-see.
Dog-Friendly Restaurants and Treats for Dogs
Chattanooga has become a foodie’s dream with some pet-tastic options if you’d like to bring your dog along while you relax and grab a bite to eat.
PR and Digital Media Coordinator, Missy Montgomery recommends the Daily Ration on Chattanooga’s NorthShore. “Daily Ration is always a fun place to bring my dog Riggins; the food is locally sourced, and there are usually one or two other dogs for him to play with. The large, dog-welcoming, covered patio seating is a gem.” Open M-F for breakfast, lunch, and dinner and on weekends until 3:00 PM.
Tour Guide, Ashley McCloud’s two dogs love walking on the Walnut Street pedestrian bridge. There are plenty of benches on the bridge spanning the Tennessee River, making a perfect spot for a snack or picnic. Pick up a sandwich, salad or dessert to-go from local favorite, River Street Deli on the north side of the bridge at Coolidge Park and enjoy it on a bench high above the Tennessee River. Be sure to bring along some doggie waste bags, there aren’t any available on the bridge.
Located in a vintage service station, Universal Joint is another great option in downtown Chattanooga for food and drinks. Dogs are welcome in the outdoor seating area. Universal Joint is open for lunch and dinner, and it's a great choice for a late dinner and drinks with your pup in tow.
If you want to reward your dog with a tasty, all-natural Chattanooga treat, toy or a new accessory, head straight to Nooga Paws. Tour Guide, Katie Kelley’s dog, Bailey fancies Nooga Paws’ homemade treats. The shop is a favorite outing for Senor Operations Director, Kara Van Brunt, and her dog Dooley too. If your pup couldn’t pass up a tempting mud puddle, the self-wash stations at the shop have everything you need to save the day, including an apron to keep you dry.
Chattanooga Dog Parks and Best Places to Take Your Dog for a Scenic Walk
You could plan a Chattanooga getaway based on dog parks and beautiful places to walk your dog! There are fun options around town to fit in between your human adventures.
Tour Guide Gabby Olson’s dogs, Bear and Blue are fans of walking the Sculpture Fields at Montague Park. Besides being the largest sculpture park in the Southeast, the park welcomes leashed pets and has clean-up stations scattered throughout 33-acres of grassy fields. Download the Otocast app to hear featured artists speak about their work while exploring the art park with your dog. If your dog gets overheated easily, you may want to plan your visit for the morning or evening and be sure to bring along water and a bowl.
About 5 minutes from downtown in Red Bank, White Oak Park is the location of spacious Red Bank Dog Park with separate areas for large and small dogs. Meghan Graham, High Point ZIP Adventure Sales Lead, regularly brings her dogs Nelson and Newport to this dog park. “It’s well maintained, and most of the time there are friendly dogs to run and play with, along with restrooms, a picnic gazebo, water supplies, and benches.”
If you’re heading to Chattanooga from the north, take a slight detour off I-75 and stop at Heritage Park. Even Tour Guide Kelcie Hill’s homebody pooch, Zoe is keen on spending time at Heritage Park’s chill dog park. The dog park features separate sections for large and small dogs, benches, shady areas, water stations and a doggie playground with agility equipment. If you prefer to explore the park with your pup on a leash, you’ll enjoy the meandering walking paths, grassy areas shaded by lots of trees, picnic tables, restrooms and you’ll both love the creek running through the park.
Other spots to check out are Renaissance Park for a short walk, and Play Wash Pint for drinks, self-wash stations and a super social dog park.
Dogs at Ruby Falls
While you’re exploring the Ruby Falls Cave, your dog can enjoy outdoor time at the Ruby Falls complimentary kennels. The four shaded, covered, open-air kennels are available first-come-first-serve. Bring your dog’s bed, food, water, toys or whatever else your pooch would like to stay comfortable. The self-serve kennels are next to the zip line hut. If your dog is as an escape artist, bring a kennel lock or place your crate inside the kennel. Due to health guidelines, only service animals are eligible for consideration to enter the cave with their human parent.
Before you climb back in your car, take your leashed pup on a hike along the Hardy Guild Trail which intersects Ruby Falls property at several points. The trail is jam-packed with natural beauty and fascinating history. Bring water for your dog and ask a Ruby Falls team member if you need directions to the trail. Depending on which direction you hike from Ruby Falls, you’ll walk under the Incline Railroad, cross several impressive trestle bridges or arrive at historic Cravens House, the location of a famous Civil War battle.
Have a great time in Chattanooga. We’ll be waiting to greet you and your pooch at Ruby Falls!