Dog-Friendly Gardens and Arboretums in the Twin Cities

Minnesotans know that our wonderful state actually has 12 seasons—we’ve gotta get through fool’s spring, second winter, spring of deception, and third winter before we hit actual spring. 

But those many false starts make real spring all the more awesome, and Twin Cities dogs and their loyal humans know you have to take advantage of them lest you all end up snowed in again. So whether it’s fool’s spring or the real thing, we’ve tracked down some must-visit dog-friendly gardens and arboretums around the Twin Cities. Don’t forget to take Insta pics to make your dog’s followers jealous.

Lyndale Park Gardens

These lovely and extensive gardens make for a magical stroll, especially in the springtime. You should stop and smell the Rose Garden (tell pup not to leave behind any smells of his own), but those blooming beauties aren’t the only thing Lyndale has to offer! There are several gardens in the park, including the Hummingbird and Butterfly Garden, the Peace Garden, and the Perennial and Annual Display Garden. You can spend a lot of time moseying around, and there are a lot of different backdrops for your lil pup star.

Frenchton resting at chess board table at Horton Park Arboretum in St Paul, Minnesota
Resting place at Horton Park Arboretum

Horton Park Arboretum 

At St. Paul’s first (and only!) arboretum, canines are welcome to go leaf peeping along with their human counterparts. We recommend strolling around the Midway neighborhood and bringing a book, a picnic, and some treats for your Horton hang. Once you’re at the arboretum, settle in on a bench or pick a patch of grass shaded by one of the 50 unique tree species that live in this one-square-block park.

Longfellow Gardens

Located along Minnehaha Creek, Longfellow Gardens is the ideal place for a good ole sniff walk. It’s also home to an array of colorful pollinating plants, plus correspondingly cute birds and bees. (Keep an eye out for hummingbirds!) As a bonus, it’s just a quick five-minute stroll from the garden to Minnehaha Falls and the Pergola Garden

Minneapolis Sculpture Garden

It’s mostly metal on display here—not so much flora and fauna—but hey, Spoonbridge and Cherry is kind of a fruit? You and the pup will have a lot of fun walking the Walker Art Center’s grounds, taking in more than 40 outdoor sculptures made by artists of global renown. (Wasn’t the dog just telling you he loves Katharina Fritsch’s work?) And if it’s plants you want to see, there are garden gardens on the Sculpture Garden’s 11 landscaped acres, too.

Western Sculpture Park

dogs at Western Sculpture Park - dog-friendly gardens in St Paul
Eye of the Newt by Ted Sitting Crow Garner at Western Sculpture Park | About a Dog Photography

If pup enjoyed Minneapolis Sculpture Park, let her cross the river to see Western Sculpture Park, too. Part of the historic Rondo neighborhood, this park is located just west of the Minnesota State Capitol. It features pieces from artists all over the United States, including the 66-foot Grace à Toi by internationally renowned sculptor Mark di Suvero, who was awarded a National Medal for the Arts in 2010. Your doggo says he hopes to get a collar that fancy one day.

Minnesota Landscape Arboretum

With a dog-added membership (it’s a thing!), you and your pup can roam the Dog Commons On-Leash Trails at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum, a 65-acre dog trail system that includes two main trails with a linking connector. If that sounds fancy to you, it’s because it is. “This area is not ‘just an on-leash dog trail,'” their website informs. “It is about the entire experience of being outside in plant-rich landscape with an animal companion.” Paw la la!

Before you and said animal companion head over, give the Landscape Arboretum a call, and they’ll tell you what’s in bloom at that moment—like MovieFone for flowers. Just in case you want to, say, coordinate your outfits to match before snapping a few pics.

What are your dog’s favorite places to jaunt? Let us know in the comments or in our Dog-Friendly Twin Cities Facebook Group.

Featured photo: About a Dog Photography

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