We think this might be the decade of the dog! Little by little, dog-friendly amenities are becoming the driving force behind many consumers’ decisions to buy or rent a home in North Carolina. Landmark Realty Group is a pet-friendly company and dogs are welcome in our offices and in many of our vacation rentals. Our real estate agents would also love to help you find a home both you and your pup will love. And we completely understand your desire to bring your pup with you on all of your adventures, and your desire to live in a dog-friendly community. That’s why we’ve compiled a list of dog-friendly activities in North Carolina so you know what you can do with your pet when you move to the Tar Heel State.

Wanting to bring your furry family member with you as much as possible is completely understandable. After all, dogs are part of the family, too, right? A professional real estate agent can help you find a North Carolina home that’s perfect for you and your dog. This article will help you find things to do with Fido and more. This guide will outline all of the dog-friendly activities in North Carolina, so you don’t have to worry about leaving your dog at home. You can take them to places in Highlands, Cashiers, and more.

Things to Do with Your Pet in North Carolina

things to do with your pet in north carolina landmark real estate

There are so many things to do with your pet in North Carolina. If you moved here because of the dog-friendly communities, you made the right choice. Landmark has homes for sale throughout Western North Carolina. From homes with large backyards, homes near parks, animal clinics and dog-friendly neighbors, our professional real estate agents can help you find what you are your furry family member are looking for.

Here are some dog-friendly activities in North Carolina to take advantage of:

  •         Discover waterfalls with your pup in the Highlands-Cashiers plateau area.
  •         Visit the Biltmore Estate in Asheville. It’s a great dog-friendly day trip from Western North Carolina.
  •         Check out the North Carolina Arboretum
  •         Walk around downtown Highlands. Many of the stores and restaurants are dog-friendly.
  •         Visit the Gold City Gem Mine in Franklin, which is a short drive from Cashiers and Highlands
  •         Combine art with nature at the North Carolina Art Museum Park

5 Amazing North Carolina Places to Take Your Dog

There are so many places to take your dog in North Carolina. To make it easier, we’ve narrowed it down to five dog-friendly towns we think you’ll love.


Cashiers, North Carolina is located at 3,484 feet and it’s one of the most dog-friendly cities in North Carolina. If you’re looking for some impressive mountain vistas and your dog loves hiking, Cashers could be a match made in heaven for you and your pup. If a home for sale in Cashiers sounds like a good fit for you, Landmark’s team of professional real estate agents can help you explore the warm and friendly gated communities tucked amid Silver Run Falls and Panthertown Valley National Forest. When you want to go into town to get a gourmet cup of coffee or to grab a bite to eat, you’ll also be happy to know that the city of Cashiers is home to a variety of dog-friendly restaurants and other establishments. Sometimes, the most dog-friendly activity is simply going for a walk with your furry loved one and including them in your daily routine. Cashiers offers that, and beautiful natural surroundings. What more could you want?


Like Cashiers, there are many hiking trails near Highlands and many chances for you and your pup to enjoy the fresh mountain air and scenery. And while Cashiers is more spread out, Highlands has a more walkable downtown and main street. In addition to pet-friendly restaurants, there is a dog park, mountain trails, places to get some treats for Fido, and more. The area is also known for its abundance of waterfalls. If your dog hasn’t seen a waterfall before, they’ll be in for a treat.

Lake Glenville

Buying a home in Lake Glenville means you’ll always feel like you’re on vacation and the lake views will never get old. Swimming in the lake is one of the most beloved dog-friendly activities for all breeds and ages. You can also take your furry family member out on the lake for some fun. It may take a few tries for them to get used to it, but once they do, they’ll love going out on the boat, kayak and more. To be extra safe, make sure you bring along a doggy life vest. Don’t forget the extra towels, too!

Sapphire Valley

Sapphire Valley is a popular place to take your dog. There are a variety of dog-friendly activities. From fishing in the Horsepasture River to hiking to winter snow sports, when you purchase a home for sale in Sapphire Valley, it’ll be easy to try them all. Overall, Sapphire Valley has a more relaxed pace and people who live here enjoy a slower lifestyle. When you need to go into town or if you want to attend a dog-friendly event, Cashiers is about a 15-minute drive away.

Lake Toxaway

You’ll love living in this exclusive community and so will your pup. Play on the private lake and go for walks and take in the charming atmosphere and serenity that only a North Carolina backdrop can provide. Lake Toxaway has everything you and your furry friend need.

Are Dogs Allowed on Blue Ridge Parkway Trails?

 are dogs allowed on blue ridge parkway trails landmark real estate

Another thing we love is getting to enjoy the great outdoors with our furry family members. It’s one of the most popular dog-friendly activities in North Carolina. Pair hiking and breathtaking scenery with spending quality time with Fido and you’re well on your way to a memorable day in the Western North Carolina mountains. Dogs are allowed on Blue Ridge Parkway Trails and more!

Secret Falls in Highlands, NC

Highlands is already a very dog-friendly city in North Carolina, but if you and your family pet are feeling adventurous, there are a handful of hikes and waterfalls to bring your pup on that are sure to wear them out for the day. Secret Falls is our favorite hike. True to the name, it’s not one of the most well-known hikes, but the “secret” is starting to get out. The hiking trail is a 1.4-mile roundtrip, and the bottom of the hike features a beautiful swimming hole and waterfall that you can typically have all to yourself. If your pooch loves swimming, this is the perfect hike for them.

Panthertown Valley in Cashiers, NC

Panthertown is a great place to bring your dogs for one reason: diversity! You can find trails that accommodate any dog’s activity level. Pet parents of puppies all the way to seniors can appreciate the outdoors with trails as short as .31 miles, or trails up to 5.52 miles. For the very adventurous campers (and their furry, four-legged friends) you can hop on and off trails with ease and turn the trip into an overnight hike. Panthertown Valley has a hike for everyone and every dog.

Blue Ridge Parkway

We saved one of the most popular hikes for last. The Blue Ridge Parkway is one of the most fun things to do with your pet in North Carolina and it’s known for some gorgeous scenery. If you’re staying in Highlands, Cashiers or Sapphire, the Blue Ridge Parkway is roughly a 2-2.5-hour drive, depending on where you get onto the Parkway, making this more of a dog-friendly day trip in NC than a one-stop activity. All dogs can enjoy the many beautiful overlooks that the Blue Ridge Parkway offers, but your dog should be in good health and have a reasonable amount of stamina before taking on any Parkway hikes. If your dog enjoys being out in the middle of nature, or they are good riding shotgun on winding mountain roads, they’ll enjoy these outdoor dog-friendly activities in North Carolina.

Dog-friendly Vacations in North Carolina

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At Landmark Realty Group, we are proud to be a sister company to The Park on Main hotel in Highlands, NC. The Park on Main is a pet-friendly, boutique hotel in Western North Carolina that welcomes your dogs warmly, with open arms, because they believe they are just as important as the rest of their guests.

Your furry friend will be welcomed at check-in with a goody bag made for them. The hotel even has its own small dog park down the road for your pooch to run around in and enjoy. Besides the dog park, there are a variety of dog-friendly activities in North Carolina for you and your pup to enjoy. If you have any questions, our Landmark real estate agents and Park on Main staff are happy to help.

The best part about The Park on Main hotel is that it doesn’t sacrifice cleanliness for pet-friendliness. The hotel is spotless and maintains the amenities of a luxury hotel while still embracing its guests’ furriest family members. The Park on Main is also right on Main Street in Highlands, which is a hot spot for fine dining and shopping, so you are in walking distance to many town highlights.

Landmark Vacation Rentals also offers homes to rent in Cashiers, Highlands, Sapphire Valley and other cities throughout Western North Carolina. They all offer something different. If you’re not sure which area you want to live in, you can rent homes in the towns you’re interested in so you can get a feel for what living there would be like. It will also give you an idea of how dog-friendly the area is and you and your furry loved one can discover the dog-friendly activities each area offers.

In addition to the Park on Main, staying at a Landmark vacation rental gives you more options for your next North Carolina vacation. Staying in a rental home means more amenities such as a full kitchen, more privacy and more space for you and your pup!

What Activities Can You Do with Your Dog?

There are so many activities you can do with your dog, and North Carolina is the perfect place to do them.

Here are some things to do with your pet in North Carolina:

  •         Teach them a new trick
  •         Discover your new favorite hiking trail with Fido
  •         Stay at a dog-friendly hotel, like the Park on Main
  •         Visit a dog park. Mr. Pickles dog park in Highlands comes to mind.
  •         Walk through downtown Highlands
  •         Introduce them to a waterfall, if you haven’t already
  •         Take them to a dog-friendly store. There are tons in Highlands!
  •         Teach them to play fetch
  •         Teach them to play Frisbee
  •         Go camping

How Can I Have My Dog Have Fun at Home?

how can i have my dog have fun at home landmark

Keeping your dog busy indoors can be an exhausting challenge, but we’re here to help with some dog-friendly activities you can do inside. For rainy or snowy days, or just days when you feel like staying in, here are some dog-friendly activities to try with your furry friend next time you’re both stuck indoors:

  •         Play a game of find the treats. It’s easy! Hide treats around the room and ask your dog to “Find the treats!” To put a spin on it and to really challenge your dog, try telling them to stay in another room while you hide the treats.
  •         Teaching your good boy new tricks is a great way to stimulate him or her mind and it also helps them feel more confident. Try teaching them how to put their toys away. It gives them something to do and it helps you clean up!
  •         Play hide and seek with Fido. If they don’t know the “stay” command yet, this could be a good opportunity to teach them. To play hide and seek with dog, tell them to stay and then go hide in a room. When you’re ready, tell your dog to come find you. This game seems easy to us, but dogs get so excited to play hide and seek with their owners.

Homes in North Carolina that are Dog-Friendly

If you’re looking for your next forever home, we have plenty of options with big backyards for Fido to enjoy. Whether you’re buying, selling or renting a property, we are here for you and your pet every step of the way.

Let us know if a pet-friendly North Carolina home sounds like the right fit for you. We have homes for sale throughout the Highlands-Cashiers plateau. Our team of professional real estate agents knows the Western North Carolina area like the backs of our hands, and we are passionate about sharing this slice of paradise with you. Browse our Featured Homes at your convenience and contact us to get started looking for you and your pet’s next dream home!

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