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 and flowers start bloomin’. 

But those many false starts make garden season all the more enjoyable, and Twin Cities dogs and their loyal hoomans know you have to take advantage of the warmth and beauty lest you 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 sunshine season. 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 lots of different backdrops for your lil pup star.

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.

A lil Lab lost in lavender | Image by Valentin Balan

Longfellow Gardens

Located along Minnehaha Creek, Longfellow Gardens is the ideal place for a good ol’ sniff walk. It’s also home to an array of colorful pollinator-friendly plants, plus correspondingly cute birds and bees. (Keep an eye out for hummingbirds!) As a bonus, it’s just a quick five-minute jaunt 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 pup will have loads of fun exploring the Walker Art Center’s grounds, taking in more than 40 outdoor sculptures made by artists of global renown. (Wasn’t doggo just telling you he loves Katharina Fritsch’s work?) And if it’s plants you want to see and sniff, there are garden gardens on the Sculpture Garden’s 11 landscaped acres, too.

Suns out, tongues out! | Image by @RebeccasPictures

Western Sculpture Park

If your art connoisseur is beggin’ for more, 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. Doggo hopes to get a collar that fancy one day, too!

Minnesota Landscape Arboretum

With a dog-added membership (it’s a thing!), you and your floral floof 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 Arb 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 you and woofer’s favorite places to get out and smell the roses? Let us know in the comments or in our Dog-Friendly Twin Cities Facebook Group.

Featured photo: Jamie Street

Sidewalk Dog’s mission is to help dog parents spend more time with their puppers by discovering and sharing activities they can do and places they can go—together! Sniff out our award-winning newsletter and Instagram, join our Dog-Friendly Twin Cities Facebook Group, and grab one of our Dog-Friendly Brewery Passes.

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