To kick off this series where we talk about the best dog parks around the US, I thought I would start with a tribute to one of my favorite cities in America: Austin, Texas. Not only does it's natural beauty grab my attention but the city's noticeable love for our four legged friends makes it very inviting. You can't go anywhere in Austin without seeing a pup in tow; restaurant, shopping, and even your neighborhood bar are all very welcoming to dogs of all shapes, size, and breeds. So, it's not surprising that you can find such incredible off-leash dogs parks just minutes from downtown.
Where Austin got it right was focusing the city around its popular lakes and rivers. (Side note: those from outside of Austin will tell you these aren’t much more than streams, but we lovingly call Lady Bird Lake and Lake Austin by those words anyway!) The reason why I focus on Red Bud Isle above all others has a little bit to do with the hot summers and my bulldog, Mackey. In the heat of the summer, it’s important to find a spot where our furry friends can cool off, not to mention finding some shade for us humans too! RedBud Isle encompasses both with incredible trees and several pockets where your pet can jump in the water and cool off, making this off-leash dog park an incredible location no matter the temperature.
Also, back to my stubborn bulldog, Red Bud Isle has a few shallow spots too, for the less adventurous dogs who also would like to cool down. My bulldog likes to wade into the shallow parts and watch others dogs run, jump, swim, and fetch tennis balls. And if your dog needs more running around than relaxing, there is also a huge open space where you can aimlessly throw the ball and run all the energy out of your pup!
So, what makes the best dog parks? For Red Bud Isle, I think it’s the combination of the wide-open spaces for playing, the shady spaces for relaxing, and the surrounding lake for a cool dip on a warm afternoon. If you’re every in Austin with your dog, make sure to stop by and let him or her see the sites too! It’s just a quick 3.5 miles from the middle of downtown.
I would love to know about your favorite dog parks! Let me know what makes your dog park the best as I’ll be writing about parks all over the country and would love to include yours!
Photo creds: http://www.austinparks.org/, walkyourdogaustin.com