At Explore Gwinnett, we take our dogs seriously. Maybe too seriously, come to think of it. There aren’t many offices who can claim 28 dogs (amongst just 12 team members) of all shapes and sizes, including an adorable golden retriever named Murphy with 400 Instagram followers, or a pint-sized beagle named Cooper who can claim BuzzFeed fame.
Cooper, a chill ten-year old, was touted for her (begrudging) willingness to don Disney attire as part of her family’s annual Cooper Calendar, thus generating our top BuzzFeed headline ever: “Meet Cooper, the adorable beagle who loves getting dressed up like all of your favorite Disney characters.”

Yup, for real.

So we take our love of dogs, things to do with our dogs, and places we can eat, drink or sleep with our pooches quite seriously. Our visitors ask about recommendations for dog-friendly hotels, restaurants that welcome pets, and more than ever, festivals that allow or even celebrate pets. And for those who are wondering, we are talking just dogs here. Explore Gwinnett offices are definitely not cat country.

So, in no particular order, here are a few of our favorite pet patios. (A complete list can be found on our website at

If you are heading over to Norcross or Peachtree Corners with your pooch, think about the patios at Noble Fin, Ba Bellies, Ten Bistro, 45 South Café or Iron Horse Tavern. If you are in the mood for a beer (and well, who isn’t?), pets are welcome at Gwinnett’s first brewery, Slow Pour Brewing in Lawrenceville, and the rest of the Square is full of pet-loving folks as well, including Universal Joint, Boulder Creek Coffee and Strange Taco Bar.

Likewise, the bustling Parsons Alley in Duluth rolls out the pet red carpet on their patios. Pet favs include Maple Street Biscuit Company, Pure Taqueria, Dreamland BBQ, Good Word Brewing, Epicurean Café and Kurt’s Euro Bistro. Over in Lilburn, dogs are “patio welcome” at both Three Blind Mice and 1910 Public House. Dog lovers staying or playing in North Gwinnett should head to Sugar Hill Bakery, Rico’s World Kitchen or Parma.

The best part about all these dog-friendly patios is they also happened to be located at many of our favorite, and seriously delish, destinations.

We’ve got great dog-friendly cities and downtowns, as well as a couple dog-centric events (Run for the Rescues Festival and Woofstock, aka “Pet Party in the Park”) that draw thousands annually.

The City of Duluth’s “Chattapoochee Dog Park” is consistently recognized as one of the top dog parks in metro Atlanta, and no matter where you live, there’s one near you – check out Rock Springs Park, Rabbit Hill Park, Harbins Park, Graves Park, Settles Bridge Park, Pinckneyville Park and Ronald Reagan Park for starters. My unofficial research (ummm…Google) shows Gwinnett County has more (and way cooler) dog parks than our neighbors.

On a final note, if you haven’t seen the new copy of our Explore Gwinnett magazine, it’s hot off the press! You’ll get the inside scoop on 18 can’t miss dishes, cool + quirky festivals that we love, Heart + Seoul of Gwinnett’s dynamic Korean scene, and a great feature by James Beard award-winning writer Wendell Brock on ‘A Beer Lover’s Guide to Gwinnett.” Visit to order free copy, or pick up at one of our 40+ distribution points countywide.

—Lisa Anders

Lisa is the Executive Director of Explore Gwinnett, Gwinnett’s official tourism office, and also serves as Gwinnett’s Camera Ready/film liaison representative to Georgia’s film/TV industry.