This article is a part of our On The Road series, sponsored by Tall Tails and Kurgo. I adopted my dog, Nora, in 2016 from One Tail at a Time in Chicago. She was a rescue from Alabama, a state with a high euthanasia rate. As we come up on our five-year anniversary this summer, we’re celebrating with the ultimutt road trip. Follow along with our yappy trails as I take Nora on a solo road trip to see the ocean.
Pup’s job is ruff, and it’s time for a vacation. For the dog who’s short on PTO (maybe because he keeps snoozin’ on the job), de-stress with a weekend getaway to dog-friendly Madison, Wisconsin. The perfect distance from both Minneapolis or Chicago, this city is paradise for the pups (and humans) who live for beer and cheese.
Pack Your Bags
It may only be a night or two, but pup still has needs. You know he can’t sleep without his favorite stuffie. For a night away, we love the Tall Tails Everyday Tote Bag, which is the perfect size for toting his food, treats, and toys with plenty of pockets for all the extras like a bone for the road and his meds. For any blanket hogs, don’t forget to pack his own Tall Tails Fleece Blanket (win one here!) so you don’t need to share yours (and to help him feel comfortable in a new space)! In case pup isn’t the biggest on sharing a bed, the Kurgo Loft Wander Dog Bed conveniently rolls up, and is perfect for weekend getaways.
Save 20% at Kurgo with code NORA20.
Where to Snooze in Dog-Friendly Madison
While we’ve seen pup sleep everywhere from the sidewalk to halfway off the couch, you’re not as talented as he is. You’re in luck, since Madison has plenty of dog-friendly accommodations that’ll have you so comfy, the weekend may turn into more.
A block away from the University of Wisconsin – Madison, Graduate Hotel is the perfect spot to stay if you’re a Badgers fan (or not). Located a stone’s throw away from Lake Mendota, we already see you and pup on a stroll along the lake through campus. This hotel also features other great amenities, like a gorgeous rooftop and complimentary bike rentals. There’s a $25/night fee to add pupper to your reservation.
Located in the old Mautz Paint Company building, Hotel Indigo offers you a comfortable stay with some landmark Madison architecture. Leash up and walk pupper over to the Capitol Square a few blocks away to enjoy what Madison has to offer, like concerts or the farmers market!
Pets of all shapes and sizes are allowed–limit of two–with a $50 pet fee ($150 for over 7 nights).
Where to Drink in Dog-Friendly Madison
Known for their beers, you bet Madison has plenty of dog-friendly spots to choose from.
Next Door Brewing
Located only a few blocks away from Lake Monona, Next Door Brewing is all about that patio, pups, and pints life. While their beers are great for the humans, they recently launched barley dog treats made from the spent grain in the brewery. Proceeds from the dog treats go to support Underdog Animal Rescue, a local shelter. Your philanthro-pup insists on helping others.
Smack dab kitty corner from the Capitol Square, Genna’s centrally located lounge welcomes doggos inside and out. With regular events like open mics, Bachelorette watch parties, and more, there’s something for everypuppy. They do note that they tend to get a bit less dog-appropriate as the night goes on, so maybe tuck pupper in bed before curfew, ‘kay?
Where to Play in Dog-Friendly Madison
UMadison sports teams aren’t the only ones playing in Madison; there’s plenty to do for you and pupper around town. With great dog parks, trails, and more, check out the best places to play in Madison.
Warner Park Dog Park
For the water dog in your life, you need to check out Warner Park’s dog park. There’s over 35 acres of green space for pupper to romp, run, and swim with the best of ‘em. If he’s not tired from his hardcore play sesh, there’s over 200 acres of trails in Warner Park for him to explore.
Make sure to check the City of Madison guidelines on dog parks.
Indian County Lake Park
A bit out from Madison, Indian County Lake Park is one of the largest parks in Dane County. It’s worth the drive, with nearly 480 acres of hikes through rolling hills and open fields. The real perk, though, is the non-fenced, 42 acre open field off the blue trail, where dogs are allowed to run free while you both enjoy views of the glacial lake.
Devil’s Lake State Park
Devil’s Lake State Park is in Baraboo, a little under an hour northwest of Madison. This park has plenty to do. Of course, there’s the lake, but also over 25 miles of trails, and if you want to extend your trip a bit, even pet-friendly campgrounds. Nora and I personally loved the East Bluff and Devil’s Doorway trails for a short, but moderately difficult hike. Nora couldn’t get enough of the gorgeous views of the lake and the interesting rock formations.
Madison has plenty to do; what’s your favorite thing? Tag us with #SidewalkDog on your Madison adventure!
Featured photo: Tiffany Tran
Safe and enjoyable travels for you and your pet are Kurgo’s passion. As the founders put it, “We never create a product unless we think it solves a real need, is original or a major improvement on what’s on the market, and can stand the test of time.” Their products come with a lifetime guarantee, which means you’ll never have to leave your BFF behind.
Tall Tails got their start in infant bedding, so you can rest assured that every product is crafted from durable, non-toxic materials and designed for easy cleaning. This means they’ll keep looking smart and stylish wherever your pet’s “dreamy place” might be. And you’ll feel good knowing your precious pet is happily napping in the most baby-safe bed, blanket, or throw you can find.
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, then enter our drool-worthy giveaways.
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