The A.W.E.S.O.M.E Awards – Austin, Texas

pet friendly austin petcentric places award

The rain washed out our weekend, but we still had an amazing week in Austin.  The city is packed with tons of pet-friendly destinations and we could probably spend a month here checking them all out without visiting the same place twice.  Here are our favorite stops from the week.

Awesome Hotel: Decker Creek B&B&B – Not only the best pet-friendly lodging in Austin, Deck Creek may just be the best pet-friendly lodging in the country.  Be sure to book well in advance!
Awesome Run: Turkey Creek – Turkey Creek is the only place we’ve found with trails that are specifically designated as off leash.  The creek and the surrounding area provide a beautiful backdrop for a run or hike with your dog.
Awesome Pet Store: Lofty Dog – Usually it’s a battle just to get to the register with Eko trying to eat his treats before we leave the store.  At Lofty Dog well behaved pets (and Eko) are welcome to hang out off leash while you shop in peace.
Awesome Restaurant: South Austin Trailer Park –  Only in Austin will you hear “trailer park” and “great food” in the same sentence.  With a bunch of different trucks to choose from, you can’t go wrong grabbing lunch here. Your dog can beat the Texas heat lounging under the picnic tables with some ice cold water from one of the public jugs.
Awesome Park: Zilker Park – Zilker Park is a triple-threat, you can take your dog on-leash around the paths, you can let your dog off leash in the wide-open designated off-leash area and adventurous dogs are more than welcome to hop on a canoe with you at the boat rental shop.
We had a unbelievable trip in Austin, but it’s time for us to finish up our Texas three-step with a visit to Dallas.  Stay weird, Austin, and stay pet-friendly!

Decker Creek Bed and Breakfast and Biscuit: A Dog Friendly Austin Paradise

Before we even set foot/paw in our cabin at Decker Creek Bed and Breakfast (and Biscuit) I knew we were going to have a great stay.  When I made the reservation with Pat, one of the owners, I let her know I would be traveling with my dog.  “Of course you are,” she replied in a voice which made it sound like I would have been crazy not to bring Eko along.  And she was right.

dog friendly austin

Our front porch was the perfect spot to kick back after a hard days adventuring

With just about every possible dog-friendly amenity you could imagine, Decker Creek was an amazing place to spend our week in Austin.  Usually we’re excited to leave our hotel each morning to search for adventure, but Eko was always reluctant to hop in the car at Decker Creek.  With dozens of acres to roam, a stream to splash around in and a full agility course on site, why would a dog ever want to leave?  Our cabin had a fenced in backyard, an outdoor shower and even some homemade dog treats.  Best of all, Eko was welcome at breakfast, so while Pat, Byron and I ate, Eko was free to romp with their dogs.

Put simply: life is good at Decker Creek. Especially if you’re a dog.

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Homemade treats for all! What can I say, my cookie hand is faster than my camera hand

dog friendly hotel austin

Eko was free to run his heart out

pet friendly hotel austin

Or just kick it with me out back on the hammock

dog friendly hotel austin

Pet photographer Jay Herman snapped this awesome photo which captures just how much fun Eko had at Decker Creek. You can check out more of Jay’s work here.

Decker Creek is about twenty minutes outside of Austin, but if you’re traveling with your dog there is nowhere you would rather stay.  We’ve stayed at some amazing places, but as far as Eko’s concerned, Decker Creek is tops.

There are only two cabins on Decker Creek’s property, so if you’re visiting Austin with your pup make sure you book in advance!  And make sure you say hi to Pat, Byron, Beau, Shiva and Razor for us!

Let’s Play!


With a face like that, who wouldn’t want to play with Eko?  Austin people, grab your dogs and bring them down to Zilker Park this Saturday at 10 am.  We’re meeting at Pride Rock, aka the rock in the above photo.  We also have a ton of great giveaways, so come on out for a fun time.  If you don’t like fun, then this is not the event for you.


Special thanks to the people at Austin Offleash for helping us get this organized!

Dog Friendly Austin: A Few More Turkey Trot Shots

I love running with Eko, but that almost always means I have to put him on a leash.  The trail at Turkey Creek is the first place we’ve visited that explicitly has an off-leash policy.  The rolling trail crosses the creek at multiple points and it is a beautiful place to go for a run or hike with your dog.

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While I stuck to the trails, Eko torpedoed up and down the slopes

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Eko had fun splashing at the world’s smallest waterfall

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And he made me take this photo so that he could tell all his lady friends he once jumped up a waterfall

Turkey Creek is a great place to go if you’re looking to ditch the pavement and ditch your leash.  It is absolutely worth the short drive from downtown.

If any Austinites haven’t gotten their caffeine fix this morning, come meet up with Eko and me at Mozart’s Coffee.  We’ll be hanging out between around 9 – 10.

Eko Ain’t No Jive Turkey


We are running around the off leash trails at Turkey Creek and having a blast.  I can’t imagine a better place to go for a run with your dog.  You won’t be able to catch us here, but look for us downtown later this afternoon.  I’ll have to find somewhere to clean Eko up after our romp.

Lofty Dog – Not Your Average Pet Store

Some things never change – the sun rises in the east and Eko is always looking for some treats.  He especially loves jerky.  In fact, if you were trying to rob my house and you brought along some jerky, I’m pretty sure Eko would help you load the van.  Word on the street was that Lofty Dog was the place to go in Austin to get Eko his fix.

dog friendly austin

Translation: It’s an awesome pet store

“The Uniquely Austin Pet Experience” sounds like the name of a Journey cover band, but Lofty Dog’s slogan is not just lip service.  Eko and I were greeted at the door by Jackson, an employee who also happens to be a dog.  Next, the human employees told me I could let Eko off leash – something which I’ve not been able to do in any other pet store.  So while Eko and Jackson hung out, I got to take a look around.

dog friendly austin

If someone makes one of these with a Ridgeback on it, I will give you all my money (FYI: All my money = $37.43)

dog friendly austin

For the dog who loves Chinese food, Lofty Dog sells Kung Fu Fido

dog friendly austin

Jackson practiced some of his own Kung Fu on Eko’s head

The staff at Lofty Dog was great, and I really appreciated how laid back they were about having Eko off leash.  Picking up supplies is much easier when you aren’t attached to a dog who wants to eat everything out of your hand.

Lofty Dog is definitely one of my favorite pet stores that we’ve ever visited, so if you’re in Austin be sure to swing by.  You can pick up some great products and your dog can pick up some Kung Fu training from Jackson.  

Dog Friendly Austin: Zilker Park

Our attempt at visiting the Kite Festival may not have worked out so well, but we still had a great time exploring Zilker Park by land and by sea.  Here are a few more photos from yesterday’s outing.

dog friendly park austin

Soaking up the sun

dog friendly park austinEko implored me to row just a little closer…

dog friendly park Austin

Hello Austin!

Zilker Park also has a large (unfenced) off leash area that is a perfect place for dogs to run off some energy.  If you live in Austin and are around this weekend, come meet us at the Zilker Park off-leash area at 10 am this Saturday.  We’ll be hanging out for a couple hours and we have some giveaways for the first fifty humans/dogs that show up.  It should be a lot of fun – hope to see you there!

Not Quite The Kite Festival


Right around the time we got to the park in Austin and didn’t see a single kite I began to wonder why anyone would have a festival on a Monday.  That’s when I double checked and saw that the festival was actually yesterday!

Many adventurers would have collapsed in despair, but Eko and I instead did the sensible thing: we rented a canoe.

Now we’re out on the water with a beautiful view of downtown.  Not too shabby.  We’ll be checking out the rest of the park once we get back to shore.  If Eko doesn’t tip the boat over, I’ll post some more photos later.