Lisa’s List: Pet-Friendly Adventures

At Explore Gwinnett, we take our dogs (and begrudgingly, even a few cats) seriously. Too seriously. Few 10-person organizations can claim 32 dogs and cats of all shapes and sizes. Too many Monday morning conversations center on what we did with our pets over the weekend. Knowing where to go and what to do with our beloved pets while traveling is one of our team’s superpowers. With more than 40% of travelers planning to take at least one trip in the next year, we are fortunate Gwinnett is a great destination for dog families!

Our visitors often email and call asking for dog-friendly hotel recommendations, restaurants that welcome pets and, more than ever, festivals that allow or even celebrate pets. Packing the pooch for an upcoming trip? Here are our top pet-friendly Gwinnett County recommendations.

Hiking Trails:
Nothing is more appealing to pets than a long hike full of new scents and smells, preferably ending in a splashy creek swim. Yellow River Park is easily our most recommended long-hike park for visiting pups. It is scenic, forested and buffeted by riverside hills that dogs will adore scampering up and down. The 3.2-mile trail ends at a stunning terraced waterfall.

Other Recommendations:
• Pinckneyville Park
• Tribble Mill Park
• Gwinnett Environmental + Heritage Center Trails

Take your Pooch on the Hooch:
The Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area meanders through Gwinnett’s western region. The river fills with tubers come May! Chattahoochee River Tubing invites pets (life jackets required) to join their owners in a float down the mighty Chattahoochee.

Chill on a Porch With a Beverage:
Read on for a few of our favorite pet patios (visitors can find more on our website,!

If you and your furry friend head over to Norcross or Peachtree Corners, consider the patios at Iron Horse Tavern, Lazy Dog Restaurant and Bar, The Tavern at Medlock, Social Fox Brewing or Cultivation Brewing. Meanwhile, Lawrenceville’s Historic Square is full of pet-loving folks and patios like Universal Joint, Boulder Creek Coffee, Truck and Tap, Strange Taco Bar and Slow Pour Brewing, all known to roll out the pet-friendly red carpet.

Bustling Downtown Duluth’s dog-crazy destinations include Good Word Brewing, Local on North, Dreamland BBQ, Sweet Octopus and 6S Brewing. Head north to Suwanee or Sugar Hill, and dogs can find dining accommodations at Central City Tavern, Indio Brewing, Tequila Mama Taqueria, StillFire and Monkey Wrench Breweries, as well as patios and porches lining Town Center Park.

Furry friends can even shop till they drop, at least at Sugarloaf Mills’ Bass Pro Shops Outdoor World, where dogs (on a leash) are welcome to browse the 150,000-square-foot superstore!

Gwinnett is home to over a dozen (many award-winning) dog parks. Rather than cooping them up in a hotel room, head out and explore these amazing parks. Our favorite recommendations include the City of Duluth’s Chattapoochee Dog Park, which features obstacle courses and multiple pet parks. For big dog owners, Pinckneyville Park is a first on our list for one reason: lots of hills, leaving pups tired and satisfied after a long day of play.

Rabbit Hill Park is designed with long runs, ideal for chasing tennis balls, while Suwanee’s Settles Bridge Park has agility features for talented pooches. Simpsonwood Park, on the banks of the Chattahoochee, features miles of woods, creeks and expansive fields.

On a final note, visitors and residents can find more pet-friendly fun and the best accommodations at!