Don’t Press Paws on Travel
Traveling With Your Dog in Southwest Idaho
Traveling can be tough when you’ve got a furry friend along.
Planning for dog-friendly accommodations, activities and meal spots can be overwhelming. That’s why we did the hard work and put together a list of the best dog-friendly spots in Southwest Idaho.
Boise loves dogs, and boasts more dog owners than almost any city in the US. Strolling through downtown Boise, you’re sure to meet plenty of playful pups. Run or walk your dog along the Boise Greenbelt, which stretches 25 miles through the center of the city along the river. Most downtown businesses are pup friendly, but here are our favorites:
Payette Brewing Co.
Payette Brewing’s taproom and beer garden are full of happy hounds and happy people. There’s six brew pups on staff to make you and your dog feel welcome. Their newly revamped beer garden is a quintessential Boise chill-out spot: shaded picnic tables, a huge fire pit, bocce ball court, hop garden, a stage for local performers and rotating food truck fare. You’ll love their 12 Gauge Barrel Aged Imperial Stout, and your pup will love the attention from Payette’s dog-loving staff.
Hops & Bottles
It’s hard to tell what the folks at Hops & Bottles love more — beer or dogs. This bottle shop and beer bar has a roomy patio, dog beds and bowls, and plenty of free treats on hand. Your pup will have lots of company because this place is a dog magnet. It’s a local favorite for humans, too. Craft beer lovers will be in heaven, with 300+ beers and 20 taps to take home or savor in the easygoing pub atmosphere, as well as local wines.
Delicious locally-sourced food, happy dogs, and music — that’s what you’ll experience most days on Fork’s patio. Fork is located on Boise’s vibrant 8th street, in the middle of downtown. Dogs are welcome on the patio, where they’ll be provided with water bowls while you enjoy your meal. And your pup wouldn’t mind if you happen to slip them a cast iron seared lamb lollipop on the sly. Fork is open for brunch, lunch, and dinner. You might just end up wanting to stay for all three.
Inn at 500
You and your pooch can round out your Boise visit with a stay at the Inn at 500. This upscale boutique hotel provides a range of pet-friendly accommodations, from standard rooms to spa suites and penthouses. The Inn at 500 is smack dab in the middle of downtown, and its stylish room designs are inspired by Boise’s cityscape. It’s the perfect place for you both to chill out after a busy day in the city.
Locals’ Tip: For off-leash play, check out Dog Island. Dog Island is a spacious, grassy, tree-filled dog park enclosed on three sides by water in Ann Morrison Park, just twenty minutes’ walk from the heart of downtown.
Garden City is the spot for water-loving dogs and beer- and wine-loving humans. Your pup will love exploring the greenbelt, tree-lined pathways, and riverside parks. Check out Westmoreland Park, ideal for a game of fetch or a dip in the river. Across the river you’ll find Boise Whitewater Park, where you’ll see kayakers and river surfers catching the waves. Take a leisurely stroll and explore the trendy breweries, wineries, restaurants and art galleries that make Garden City the hottest new place in the Boise area.
Telaya Wine Co. is right next to the Boise River along the Boise Greenbelt, and its open-air patio offers a scenic view of both. Telaya serves handcrafted local Idaho and Washington vintages. Don’t miss out on their award-winning Turas. When you and your pup visit, you’re sure to meet some of the dogs of Telaya — a rotating staff of eleven adorable hounds, like Brix (the head of security), Blanca (the tour guide), and Butters (complaint department). Telaya’s just as obsessed with dogs as you are.
Cinder’s patio has fire pits, gorgeous murals, and a laid-back atmosphere that invites you to kick back and enjoy the day. Book a tasting online and savor a flight of dry viogniers and earthy tempranillos. We recommend the 2019 Dry Gewürztraminer, a unique aromatic varietal with overtones of white tea and apricot. Frequent music nights, urban art, and a casual vibe make this a favorite neighborhood spot.
Western Collective is a lot more than just a brewery. With a gorgeous enclosed patio perfect for friends and pups alike, you’ll have a great time any time of day. Swing by in the morning for gourmet donuts and delicious house coffee blends. Pop in during the afternoon to sample one of their famous alcoholic slushes, like the “Huck It Slush” with huckleberries, lemonade and prosecco. Drop by in the evening and sample their delectable beers, from their California Reject Hefeweizen to their Barrel Aged Gravity Check Barleywine.
As you might have guessed from the name, the Riverside Hotel sits on the lush banks of the Boise River. Its Sandbar Patio & Grill offers a comfy view of the greenbelt and river. Take a dip in the pool in the evening and then catch a set at one of the hotel’s three live music venues. Their newly refurbished guest rooms are pet-friendly.
The heart of Idaho’s wine country is Sunnyslope. With vineyards and orchards as far as the eye can see, the Sunnyslope area offers tons of room for you and your pup to play. Wine enthusiasts will love the Sunnyslope Wine Trail — 15 wineries and vineyards where you can taste to your heart’s content. The Snake River winds through the scenic farmlands. Check out Marsing Island Park, a cute spot on the river that your dog will love to explore.
Indian Creek Winery
If you look carefully, you can find someone hiding in the design of Indian Creek Winery’s labels — owner Tammy Stowe’s dog, Dahlia. The only thing better than a glass of their 2018 Viognier is their five acres of gardens. There are bowls of water for your pooch on hot days, and even a pond they can hop in while you enjoy a sumptuous tasting flight. Staff will greet your pooch with a treat and a belly rub. You might end up coming back for more at one of Indian Creek’s classic “wino arts and crafts” events.
The perfect picnic: a charcuterie board, an award-winning riesling, and a contented pup. That’s what you’ll find at Sawtooth Winery. Enjoy stunning views of the vineyards and the Owyhee mountains, the outdoor fire pits, and flights of luscious chardonnays and rich syrahs. Do I need to say more? Sawtooth Winery is a place to chill out and forget about the world for a while — with your best friend by your side.
There are some great AirBnBs in the Sunnyslope area, and they make for the easiest travel. Your pup will appreciate a little extra room to run around. One standout is the No Hat Bunkhouse in Homedale. This two-bedroom guesthouse has a full kitchen and washer/dryer, so you’ll get all the comforts of home. Hang out on the front porch and watch the sunset over the Owyhee Mountains. Depending on the season, you can pick fresh vegetables from the garden or gather some fresh eggs for breakfast. For the adventurous, we recommend the Snake River RV Resort. This scenic park is on the shores of the Snake River and can accommodate RVs, SUVs, and tent camping.
McCall, Donnelly & Cascade
Welcome to doggy heaven. There’s nothing your dog will love more than the alpine meadows, stunning lakes and dense pine forests of McCall, Donnelly and Cascade. There are so many beautiful hiking trails that you’ll have trouble choosing which to explore. Local dog-friendly favorites include Blue Lake Trail outside Cascade and Thorn Creek Trail at Brundage Mountain Resort in McCall. Hike or nordic ski with your pup along the trails of Ponderosa State Park near McCall. If you’ve got a water-loving hound, head down to Lake Cascade State Park or check out one of the dog-friendly public beaches on the shores of Payette Lake.
Salmon River Brewery
Imagine it: you’re sitting on a roomy patio that overlooks Payette Lake, chowing down on a black-n-blue elk burger and sipping on a pint of Dark Villain Imperial Milk Stout. Salmon River Brewery in McCall is dog-friendly and human-friendly — a laid-back brewery with some of the best craft beers in the state. While you peruse the rotating seasonal tap selection, the staff are sure to greet your pup with plenty of scritches.
The perfect place to cozy up with a slice. Hometown Pizza is a can’t-miss local favorite, secret sauce recipe and all. Dogs will be provided with water on the patio, and chilled water on extra hot days. With both a front and back patio, you and your furry friend will have plenty of space to stretch out after a long day in nature. Be careful, though — your pup might be too busy begging for a slice of Potato Baconator pizza to settle down.
Cafe 6 Three 4
Talk about a hidden gem. Whether you’re looking for a quick coffee, a hearty breakfast or a leisurely lunch, this is the place to go. The Idaho waffle (a savory potato waffle topped with egg, gruyere and house rosemary gravy) will have both you and your hound drooling. Their secluded patio and friendly staff will make your dog feel right at home.
Bear Creek Lodge
After a long day on the trails, you’ll both be ready to curl up next to the fireplace. Look no further than Bear Creek Lodge near Brundage Mountain. Their dog-friendly cabins have incredible views, cozy fireplaces, vaulted ceilings, private decks and deep jetted tubs, making for an idyllic cabin experience. Take a stroll around the roomy grounds and pond before you round out the night making s’mores around the outdoor fire pit.
North Shore Lodge
Twenty-six miles east of Cascade, on the shores of Warm Lake, you’ll find your next dream destination — North Shore Lodge. North Shore boasts ten well-appointed cabins, each of which can accommodate between 2 and 10 people. Not only can you bring your pooch, you should bring along some friends and family for an incredible weekend getaway. The on-site restaurant serves made-to-order breakfast, lunch and dinner throughout the day, or you can cook up something tasty in your cabin kitchen. It’s seconds from your cabin to the lakeshore, and minutes to some of the best hiking spots in Idaho. Swimming, boating and s’mores in the summer: snowmobiling and big cozy fires in the winter. You and your pup will be in paradise.