For dog owners, there’s nothing like bringing your pup along with you on a much-needed vacation — the trouble is, finding a truly pet-friendly destination can be a challenge.
Luckily, for those with their eyes on the Pacific Northwest, there’s a charming town tucked on the shores of Lake Washington that warmly caters to both dogs and their owners.
Between canine-focused amenities, lakefront walks, and dining on outdoor patios, Kirkland is the perfect locale to share a one-of-a-kind “petaway” with your four-legged friend.
The Woodmark Hotel is the go-to destination for pups big and small in Kirkland. One of the first things you’ll spot when you arrive are the leashed patrons strolling along the many paths weaving around Carillion Point, immediately setting the tone for the hotel’s pet-friendly policy.
The hotel’s Woof, Wag & Worry Less package offers luxury accommodations for people and pups alike, complete with plush dog beds, sleek bowls, and a custom pet amenity including treats, doggie bags, and a Woodmark tennis ball. Woodmark guests also receive “Raid the Pantry” privileges every night from 10 pm to 1 am, when the lobby rolls out an array of complimentary late-night snacks appealing to both humans and their furry friends.
The concierge at Woodmark can also assist with finding suitable pet-sitters if needed. Considering the bounty of activities available in Kirkland and the surrounding area, Woodmark’s staff understands that canines aren’t always allowed to accompany the adventures of their beloved owners.
Photo: Flatstick Pub
There are plenty of food and drink options scattered around Kirkland that will gladly accommodate your furry partner in tow.
Just a short walk east from Woodmark sits Flatstick Pub, a hip local watering hole pouring Washington microbrews and offering a variety of in-house games, including mini golf. Flatstick doesn’t just allow dogs inside of its water bowl-dotted interior — the establishment encourages it. Stop by for “Yappy Hour” every weeknight from 6 to 7 pm (and all-day Sunday) for $1 off pints.
When hunger strikes, there are also restaurant patios aplenty that are dog-friendly (and many waiters have been known to fetch water for diners and their non-human companions). Woodmark’s own Carillion Kitchen, which serves up locally inspired artisan fare, offers a patio for guests and their dogs with a sweeping view of Lake Washington.
Along the plaza-style stretch of Park Lane, there are also myriad al fresco dining options for diners to enjoy a meal beside their pet while taking in the sights and sounds of the bustling pedestrian corridor. Try the homemade tortillas and award-winning margaritas from Cactus Kirkland, or the authentic Italian fare from Ristorante Paradiso — both supplying an inviting patio space with bistro tables.
Other eateries with pet-friendly outdoor spaces include Café Juanita, Hector’s Restaurant, and DERU market, which serve Italian, American comfort, and artisan fare, respectively. And to enjoy a cold one with your best buddy at your side, think Maelstrom, Flycaster, and Chainline brewing companies.
Those who decide to venture into nearby Seattle should pay a visit to Norm’s Eatery and Ale House, a celebrated dive bar, brunch spot, and dog-loving diner where your pup can chow down in the booth next to you. Along with many tasty options for people, Norm’s also has a bow-wow bakery and special menu dedicated to dogs, complete with items like hamburger buddy bowls, turkey nuggets, and bacon “pupcakes.”
Less than a block away from Carillion Point, the staff at Boo Boo Barkery & Boutique are specialists in pet spoiling. They offer spa treatments, unique gifts, fashionable gear, a vast sampling of fresh-baked treats (like canine birthday cakes), and other tasty temptations — including frosty doggy ice cream. Boo Boo also hosts regular classes for dogs to help with anxiety, healing, obedience, and more.
In an outlet mall just a few blocks north is Urban Doggie Spa, a family-owned groomer serving four-legged clients under 30 pounds. It’s Kirkland’s go-to spot for the washing, natural perfuming, and beautification of smaller dogs.
Further north, on Market Street, is another independently-owned venture named Friends Forever Pet Food. Formerly known as Dooley’s Dog House, this family-operated shop carries only the highest quality, health-focused products, many of them locally sourced. Bring your dog inside to let them sniff out the shop’s bins — so you can see exactly what gets their tail wagging.
Heading inland, Denny’s Pet World has supplied the Kirkland-area with one of the most extensive pet supply selections in the Pacific Northwest since 1974. Within its walls, patrons can find two “you-wash” dog stations (complete with shampoo, brushes, towels, and driers), an aquarium-lined cat adoption room (outfitted with custom feline furniture), and an amiable scarlet macaw mascot named Tiki Bird.
Photo: D Coetzee via Flickr / CC BY
Among Kirkland’s ample outdoor spaces is a plethora of recreational opportunities for pets and owners alike. Apart from the scenic waterfront lawns of Marina and Heritage parks, bring your pup to hike the forested trails of Bridle Trails State Park, or take them off leash at Jasper’s Dog Park.
Just east, in nearby Redmond, Marymoor Park is hailed as one of the top-rated dog parks in the country. With over 40 acres of dog-friendly terrain, it includes water access for paddlers, high brush areas for pointers, open spaces for frisbee chasers, and a special enclosed spot for more nervous visitors. It’s no wonder it’s sometimes referred to as “Doggy Disneyland.”
In the summer months, dogs can accompany their owners in paddle boarding, kayaking, or boating with Waterfront Adventures off the shores of Lake Washington. And for a totally unique pet experience offered year-round, bring your wagging matey aboard the Woodmark II — the hotel’s very own vintage Chris Craft boat helmed by Captain Rob and available for cruising tours.
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