Austinites love their dogs, so it isn’t uncommon to see canines at bars, restaurants, and stores around town. The team at Pauly Presley Realty wanted to highlight all of the dog friendly spots around Austin, so they put together “The Definitive Guide to Austin’s Dog Friendly Businesses” and shared with us 5 of their favorite spots from the list:
Hill of Life / Sculpture Falls
I’m not sure where Austin’s Hill of Life got it’s name, but I surmise it might be a play on words for a name that would better describe its features: “Hill of Death”! This is the most grueling of entrances to the Greenbelt, but it is a great spot for dogs and dog owners alike to get some exercise!
The Hill of Life is a steep, rocky trail that starts in a residential neighborhood in West Austin and winds 1/3rd of a mile down to the green belt, covering 300ft of elevation change. At the bottom of the trail sits Sculpture Falls, a swimming hole and small waterfall, that is an oasis for Austinites in the hot summer months. The Hill of Life is certainly a challenging hike if you are not regularly an active person, but if you take it slowly, the hike is achievable for all ages and skill levels. During the summer months, the swimming hole area is packed with hundreds of people and dozens of dogs, all enjoying the flowing water of Sculpture Falls.
We chose Hill of Life as a one of the best dog friendly spots in Austin since it is a great place for both you and your pup to get some exercise while hiking and swimming. Dogs are supposed to be on leash while on the Hill of Life trail, but can be off leash while swimming at the falls.
Hill of Life Address: Camp Craft Rd, Austin, TX 78746
This is most certainly the best bar in far south Austin, located on Manchaca Rd. just south of Slaughter Lane. The saloon was converted from an old 1950’s residential property into a sprawling area with multiple bars, food trucks, bar games, volleyball courts, and live music. The huge outdoor space is a favorite for dog owners since there is plenty of room to hang out. Dogs must stay on leash at all times.
The saloon is packed on weekends and busy on most weekday nights. The bar checks ID when you enter the parking lot, so all patrons must be 21 to enter, and children are not allowed on the property.
Moontower Saloon Address: 10212 Manchaca Road, Austin TX 78748
Lady Bird Lake
Lady Bird Lake borders the south side of downtown Austin, stretching across most of the city. The lake was built in 1960 and is actually a dammed section of the Colorado River that covers 416 acres. Lady Bird Lake is a popular recreation spot for aquatic activities like canoeing & kayaking, as well as walking and biking on its shores. The trails around the lake attract thousands of Austinites who want a nice area to walk their dogs near downtown. On trails, dogs must stay on leash, with the exception of certain areas of Auditorium Shores on the south side of the lake.
Dog owners also love to take their furry friends into the water in canoes, kayaks, and stand up paddle boards. Humans are not permitted to swim in Lady Bird Lake, but it is a common sight to see dogs swimming alongside their owner’s canoes in the water.
Auditorium Shores Address: 800 W Riverside Dr, Austin, TX 78704 (Some parking is available at this address, but on busy days you may need to park away from the area and walk in.)
Yard Bar offers a novel business model unlike anything else in Austin. The bar is more than just a bar– it could be better described as a dog park with food and drinks. Dogs can visit the dog park / bar by paying an annual fee ($150 for one dog + $25 for each additional dog.) Monthly, 5-day (doesn’t expire) and one-time passes are also available.
Yard Bar attracts dog lovers of all kinds– I even found mentions of pug meetups that happen regularly at the bar!
There is a short list of rules for the dog park that can be found on Yard Bar’s website, but the common sense rules apply here: only bring your dog here if it is well behaved, vaccinated, and fixed. Good news: there are no breed restrictions at Yard Bar, so bully breeds will get their fun in the sun too! There is also a special area just for small dogs, if chiweenies are more your speed.
Yard Bar Address: 6700 Burnet Rd, Austin, TX 78757
Banger’s Sausage House & Beer Garden
Banger’s is one of many bars on Austin’s popular Rainey Street. Rainey used to be a residential neighborhood until it was rezoned for commercial use, so entrepreneurs started buying up all of the houses and turning them into bars and restaurants. Now, nearly every “house” on the street has a bar inside.
Banger’s is known primarily for three things: beer, sausage, and a massive patio. They have a huge selection of craft beers, and a large menu of specialty sausages. Banger’s made our dog-friendly list because they take good care of their patrons’ pups by offering a small off-leash dog park and special sausages just for dogs. You will always see dogs on the patio here!
This “sausage house and beer garden” also hosts regular live music on their backyard stage, so check out their event calendar for concerts and special events.
Banger’s Address: 79 Rainey St, Austin, TX 78701
Hill of Life Photo By: @brittkiss
Moontower Saloon Photo By: @moontowersaloon
Lady Bird Lake Photo By: @wyatt.the.greatpitty
Yard Bar Photo By: @yardbar
Banger’s Photo By: @bangersaustin
Featured Photo By: Rebecca L. Bennett