Looking for a place to spend some quality time (and have some fun) with your furry family members? Man’s best friends will love a getaway in Greater Wilmington, Delaware and the Brandywine Valley … almost as much as you will! #VisitWilm for dining, outdoor pursuits – and even some pampering – your pooch can enjoy with you. After a full day of adventure, tuck in at one of our pet friendly hotels. One hotel is even offering a special pet-themed package … the ultimate pet-centric getaway. Read on for the details . . .
For a dog, there’s nothing quite like the freedom of romping free range and full tilt through field and forest. Throughout New Castle County, you will find a half-dozen pup parks that sport off-leash areas. The most appealing for most furry friends is Lums Pond, a Newark favorite, where the off-leash area includes tall grasses, woods and access to the namesake pond for doggie swimming.
Another favorite is the expansive Carousel Bark Park in Pike Creek which also includes a large water feature where dogs that like to swim can take a cooling dip. For well-mannered pups that have their recall skills down, Rockford Park within the city limits of Wilmington is another spot where they fetch and catch untethered.
If your canine sidekick is well socialized with other pooches but requires a little more confinement, or you just don’t want to chase them too far, there are plenty of fenced-in play areas around our area too. Talley Day Park in Brandywine Hundred and Iron Hill Park in Newark both have separate sections for small and large dogs.
On-Leash Walking and Hiking
Nearly all northern Delaware hiking trails welcome leashed pets. One of many Fido-approved routes is the trail along the scenic Delaware River in historic New Castle’s Battery Park. You can even pack a picnic for you and your pup to enjoy afterward in the park’s expansive grassy area. But keep one eye on the river as you savor your lunch … you might spot the tall ship Kalmar Nyckel cruising by or one of the large cargo ships that use the river as their highway.
To explore the road less traveled, take a trip west to the Delaware/Pennsylvania line to Beaver Valley, a section of Delaware’s First State National Historic Park. Its rolling hills, farms and miles of trails form a stunning contrast to the bustle of Wilmington. The Brandywine River runs through this section of park, offering lovely water views and a cool respite for you and your pup on warmer days. Be sure to keep an eye out for Smith Bridge, one of the region’s three covered bridges.
Another spot to check out with your hiking buddy is the Northern Delaware Greenway, Delaware’s longest and oldest off-road trail. It covers 10 miles, connecting the gorgeous and uncrowded open spaces of several parks including Bellevue State Park, Rockwood Park & Museum, Alapocas Run State Park and Brandywine Park, all worthy doggie destinations on their own. And a friendly reminder … be sure to clean up after your pet!
With all that adventuring around town and country, you and your pooch will surely work up a healthy appetite. Never fear! You can dine with your pup here too. Your doggos can join you on outdoor patios of a ton of Greater Wilmington restaurants. A few resident faves include Grain H20 in Bear; BBC Tavern & Grill in Greenville; Metro Pub & Grill in Middletown; Caffe Gelato and Grain Craft Bar + Kitchen in Newark; Brew HaHa! in Pike Creek; Iron Hill Brewery, River Rock Kitchen and Timothy’s Riverfront on the Wilmington Riverfront; Piccolina Toscana and Tonic Bar & Grill elsewhere in Wilmington; and Dew Point Brewery in Yorklyn.
Also be sure to check out Constitution Yards, a seasonal beer garden along Wilmington’s Riverfront and pet-friendly riverwalk. In addition to great brews and food, it offers a nice grassy area for pups to socialize with their people (and other pups, of course).
Dog Spas and Services
Just across the way from Constitution Yards is a doggie paradise you really must check out … Riverfront Pets. In addition to loads of fun toys and gourmet treats, this spot also offers grooming and training. If Spot happened to get a little dirty during your excursion, there are self-serve dog stations on site. In nearby Fairfax, Dogtopia wins regulars and visitors alike with daily daycare, boarding and of course, their spa services.
Pampering at the Westin
If a relaxing day at the spa just isn’t enough for your special pooch, The Westin Wilmington Riverfront is offering a Pampered Pet Package now until the end of 2021. Through a partnership with Riverfront Pets, the West is offering its V.I.P. canine guests a Westin Heavenly Dog Bed to use during their stay and a treat box that includes: a healthy snack, an aromatherapy dog toy, dog wipes, and a coupon for a self-wash at Riverfront Pets. Treat your furry family member to a weekend they won’t forget!
Even More Ideas!
Has Buddy been dropping big hints with his barking rendition of “Take Me Out to the Ballgame”? Well, in Greater Wilmington, you can take him along (on select nights). Frawley Stadium, home of The Wilmington Blue Rocks, occasionally invites dogs to their games! Check their schedule for upcoming dates.
In the summer months, Hagley Museum and Library also hosts special dog friendly nights as part of its “Bikes, Hikes and Beers” series. It’s a great way to meet other dog lovers and their four-legged best friends while taking in the lovely scenery of the original du Pont ancestral home in Delaware on the banks of the Brandywine.
What are you waiting for? Start planning now. Check out VisitWilmingtonDE.com and #VisitWilm for many more ideas for fun and adventure for the whole family. Need specialized assistance? Check out the live chat on our website!