The calendar may not officially say fall yet, but soon (hopefully!) we’ll start to feel autumn crispness here in Texas. While I love summer, by this time of year I’m ready (really, really ready) for some cooler weather–and starting to compile a list of our favorite dog-friendly day trip ideas.
During the hottest months of the summer, our dog travel gets curtailed and limited to swimming–and enjoying our air-conditioning–but when the weather turns cool, we love heading out!
Visit a Pumpkin Patch
We’re already planning a fall trip down to Elgin Christmas Tree Farm, a dog-friendly getaway near Austin that also has a huge pumpkin patch, Halloween-related activities, and rural grounds for a family picnic.
You might get lucky and even find a pumpkin patch that offers dog-friendly hayrides, like ours does!
Participate in a Dog Festival
The Halloween-themed festivals and dog parades start early so start making your costume plans now!
Every weekend from now through Halloween features festivals that aren’t just dog-friendly but are dog-centric with costume contests, parades, agility demonstrations, and much more.
Find a Dog-Friendly Maze
Autumn is synonymous with mazes so check your local area for dog-friendly mazes. We enjoyed two fun mazes!
Enjoy a Drive-In Movie
This is on our to-do list for this fall. Austin has a funky dog-friendly drive in movie theater we’ve been wanting to try called Blue Starlite (now with locations in Colorado and Florida, too). We can’t wait to give it a try when the evenings get nice and crisp!
Shop a Local Farmers’ Market
Many farmers’ markets–typically held outdoors–welcome four-legged shoppers! No farmers’ market in your area? Enjoy some fall shopping in a dog-friendly store!
Do Some Leaf Peeping
Texas might not come to mind when you think of leaf peeping–but we have some pretty fall color in October and November AND it’s usually still plenty warm for some dog wading, too!
One of our favorite places to check out the changing fall foliage is Guadalupe River State Park, just outside of San Antonio.
Gather Around a Campfire
Even if you’re not camping overnight, look for campfire opportunities, whether that means an early dinner around the fire or just the chance to enjoy the fire, as we did on our visit to Canyon of the Eagles.
Visit a Dog-Friendly Winery
With their expansive grounds, many wineries welcome woofers to outdoor areas. Across the country, you and your dog will find an increasing number of dog-friendly wineries (like Becker Vineyards, above, in Fredericksburg, Texas), perfect for a taste of the vines, a memorable picnic, and a great chance to capture the fun in photos.
Enjoy the Spirit of Oktoberfest
Whether you call it a Biergarten or a beer garden, these outdoor eateries and gathering places are the perfect place to get into the Oktoberfest spirit.
We love Auslander biergarten in Fredericksburg, Texas; it’s dog-friendly and specializes in German food that’s perfect for an autumn getaway lunch.
Enjoy Some Beach Combing
If you just think of beach getaways with your dog during the summer months, you’re missing some of the best times for sandy fun!
We love taking the dogs to the beach in October when temperatures are lower and the crowds are lighter. The sand is cooler on sensitive paws, too, so we get in long, long beach walks. And it’s a sure sign of autumn when those sand castles turn to sand pumpkins!