Philadelphia isn’t just the city of brotherly love anymore: It’s the city of barkerly love, too!
Philly is famously rich in entertainment, and now many of these options include canines, which can help boost your dog’s daily enrichment and help you live a better life together.
Below, we’ll share the best dog-friendly activities in Philadelphia, tips for improving your outings, and some etiquette pointers to keep fur from flying during your adventures.
The 9 Best Dog-Friendly Activities in Philadelphia
Philly has tons of four-footed fun for your floof, whether your pup’s a rammy retriever ready to run or a couch potato cutie more interested in lounging riverside. Check out our picks for the best dog-friendly activities in Philadelphia and see which might wow your woofer.
1. Take a walk through history.
Philadelphia is filled to the brim with history, so why not enjoy it in a dog-friendly way?
Sightseeing with your floof on foot puts his brain and body at work as he trots at your side and encounters new, exciting smells. Mixing in dog walking games periodically makes for a more engaging journey as well, satisfying brainy barkers who need more of a challenge.
Learn more about Philly with your four-footer at these cool canine-friendly locations.
Old City District
About: Cruise about Colonial-era streets with your sniffer within this neighborhood that countless historical sites, including the Liberty Bell, the Betsy Ross House, and Independence Hall, call home. While most places don’t welcome pets, you can still enjoy the ambiance and architecture from the sidewalk while exercising your pup.
Address: 231 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA 19106
Phone Number: (215) 592-7929
- Stone and brick walkways and streets can be trip-hazards (and lead to bumpy dog stroller rides!)
- This is among the busiest tourist areas of the city, so expect crowds
About: Walk with your woofer in the public park area of this district and check out the grand 19th-century boathouses lining Kelly Drive and the Schuylkill River. On warm days, you can often see modern-day rowers gliding across the water, showing how much (or little) the sport has changed.
Address: 1 Boathouse Row, Philadelphia, PA 19130
Phone Number: (215) 685-3936
- Boathouses are lit up for the holidays, making this a fun destination for a nighttime stroll on milder winter evenings
- Boathouses aren’t open to the public
The Rocky Statue and Rocky Steps
About: Reenact the famous Rocky movie scene with your mutt and scale the Philadelphia Museum of Art steps. While you’re there, visit the Rocky statue, too. Expect crowds, as this site is one of the most popular in Philadelphia and a favorite for social media photoshoots.
Address: 2600 Benjamin Franklin Parkway at Kelly Drive, Philadelphia, PA 19130
Phone Number: N/A
- Countless walking trails and sidewalks to further flex your mutt’s muscles
- There is no shade or coverage, so it is not ideal for rainy or hot days
2. Grab a bite with your barker at a dog-friendly restaurant.
Chase after a cheesesteak or send your terrier’s tongue wagging over the smell of a hoagie at a pooch-friendly eatery in Philly.
That’s right: You can dine out with your doggo in the city! Some restaurants even have dog menus with dishes that won’t upset pup tummies, like grilled chicken or plain burger patties. Talk about making tasty memories!
Skip table scraps and only offer dog menu meals or pack snacks from home, like jerky or treats. Human food is too rich in salt and fat, risking dog diarrhea, plus it may contain toxic ingredients for dogs, like onions, garlic, or grapes.
Most dog-friendly restaurants have patio or sidewalk seating for pooch parents, which can be problematic on rainy days or in the winter, though many have awnings and portable heaters that eliminate such issues. Check the weather in advance or call a restaurant to be sure you and your pooch will be cozy if the forecast looks iffy.
Check out our picks for the best dog-friendly restaurants in Philadelphia and find your next favorite.
3. Cap off your day with a cold one and your canine.
What’s more relaxing than sitting back and sipping a cold beverage? Why not include your best fur friend in the fun to change things up?
Dog-friendly bars are becoming more common across the states, including in Philly, which is slowly but surely rising to join the ranks of the best cities for dogs. Most are pup-positive patio spaces, but establishments that don’t sell food sometimes invite four-footers inside, too.
Sip responsibly and never share booze with your barker, as alcohol is toxic to dogs. If you want to give your woofer something lively to lap up, offer him this non-alcoholic dog beer recipe or another water alternative for doggos.
We’ve compiled a list of the best dog-friendly bars in Philadelphia to explore.
4. Pop into a dog-friendly Philly park.
Have an afternoon to kill with your canine in Philly? Visit one of the city’s many green spaces!
Pup-friendly public parks are the jack-of-all-trades of dog-friendly destinations, as you can walk or jog with your active floof, enjoy a peaceful picnic far from the hustle of busy restaurants, or relax on a bench with your barker. These outings are perfect for puppies, adults, and seniors alike. Keep your pup leashed, and let the fun roll on!
Check out these top park destinations for pup parents in Philadelphia.
Rittenhouse Square Park
About: This lush green gem is hidden in the ritziest neighborhood in the city, providing a recreation space of winding paths, picnic-friendly lawns, and outdoor sculptures to take in with your tail-wagger. It’s also located close to shops, hotels, and restaurants – some of which welcome woofs, too.
Address: 18th and Walnut Streets, Philadelphia, PA 19103
Phone Number: (215) 683-0200
- Well-shaded by mature trees
- Check the events schedule to be sure your trip won’t be overrun with too many visitors
About: Located in Center City, this park’s officially called John F. Kennedy Plaza, though its love-themed modern moniker comes from its famous LOVE statue. You won’t get much exercise with your sniffer here, as it’s only a half acre, but its central location, selfie-worthy spots, and walking paths are well worth the trip.
Address: 1501 John F. Kennedy Boulevard, Philadelphia, PA 19102
Phone Number: (215) 683-3600
- Open 7:00 AM to 10:00 PM
- This is a popular event space, so check the social calendar in advance to skip major crowds or live music that may startle some sniffers
Penn Treaty Park
About: Found in Fishtown, this outdoor space sits on the banks of the Delaware River and is a favorite destination of area dog walkers with its water views and wide, paved paths. Some benches dot the space for relaxing after your walk, plus there are trash cans for easy cleanup.
Address: N. Delaware Avenue & Beach Street, Philadelphia, PA 19125
Phone Number: N/A
- Walking path can be too hot for paws during the day in the summer
- Some stretches lack shade, which can be a problem on sunny days
5. Cross the river with your Rover.
We aren’t talking about swimming, of course. Rather, you and your floof can venture from Philadelphia to Camden, New Jersey, crossing the famous Ben Franklin Bridge, a suspension structure whose silhouette is almost as synonymous with the city as the Liberty Bell.
The bridge’s pedestrian pathway is fully fenced and situated above the roadway, letting you escape the zoom of vehicles and keep your canine safer. It’s not the widest span of sidewalk, however, so a short dog leash is ideal. It’s also not shaded, so it’s not the best idea for an afternoon trip in the summer.
Address: 5th and Race Street, Philadelphia, PA
Phone Number: N/A
- Open 6:00 AM to 8:00 PM October to April and 6:00 AM to 9:00 PM May to September
- May close if weather conditions are poor
- Dogs must be leashed at all times and cleaned up after promptly
- It can also be accessed from the Camden side at 4th and Pearl Street
6. Take your social sniffer to an off-leash dog park.
A dog park trip may benefit four-footers looking for new fur friends and exercise.
Philly is home to plenty of pupper parks, including those with grass terrain and others with artificial grass, letting you pick what works best for your floof. Most are fully fenced, too, allowing city-livin’ sniffers to enjoy off-leash time – a rarity for many apartment-dwelling doggos.
Have fun, capture those mutt memories with a picture or two, and remember dog park etiquette during your floofy fun day in the sun.
Browse our list of the best dog parks in Philadelphia and see which match up with your mutt.
7. Shop with your pupperoni.
Setting out to make some purchases with your pup at a dog-friendly store is a great way to break up the monotony of the average mutt day and bond with your bone lover.
The most entertaining shopping trips for dogs are usually those to mutt-friendly spaces like pet stores, but you can also enjoy open-air markets and other non-dog retail areas as long as they welcome woofs. Keep your canine leashed, and don’t let him damage any merchandise.
Venture to one of these pooch-friendly stores and see what you can find with your furry shopping buddy.
Doggie Style Pets
About: This cheeky-named shop welcomes woofs at its ten Philly area locations, including Fishtown, Market Street, and Passyunk. Score everything your doggo needs, from indestructible dog toys to natural chews and food, with your best buddy allowed to come along as the barkin’ seal of approval before purchase.
Address: 715 S 2nd Street, Philadelphia, PA 19147
Phone Number: (215) 278-2275
- Open Monday to Saturday from 9:00 AM to 8:00 PM and Sunday from 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM
- Dog training, dog grooming, and adoptions are available at some sites
Northern Liberties Farmers Market
About: A weekly list of regular vendors and rotating sellers offer goods at this open-air farmer’s market in the Northern Liberties section of the city. Dogs are welcome, but please keep your pupper leashed and away from goods for sale. Fresh produce, artisan cheese, and beer are some of the fantastic products you can find here.
Address: N 2nd Street & Germantown Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19123
Phone Number: xx
- Held year-round on Saturdays from 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM
- Found along Septa routes 5, 57, T15, MFL
The Bone Appetite
About: This Chestnut Hill shop permits your pooch to come inside as you browse its assortment of growler gear, from leashes to collars to boutique eats and toys. Grooming is also available by appointment if your pup needs pampering.
Address: 8517 Germantown Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19118
Phone Number: (215) 247-4292
- Open 10:00 AM to 5:30 PM Wednesday to Friday, 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM Saturday, and 11:00 AM to 5:00 PM Sunday
- Closed Monday and Tuesday
8. Take to the trails with your terrier.
Few dog-friendly activities in Philadelphia get your pup’s body moving as much as hiking, and while you wouldn’t think an old city like Philly could house trails, it sure does!
Philly trails vary from level walkways to rugged routes in the forest, so it’s vital to research before setting out with your sniffer, as you don’t want to be surprised by a rough path with your Rover. The cool thing is you can find a trail for just about any adventure, whether you’re after a woodsy run with your ruff or an urban stroll with a senior pooch.
Check out these dog-friendly trails around the Philadelphia area.
Wissahickon Valley Park
About: More than 50 miles of trails weave throughout this 1,800-acre park dissected by the Wissahickon Creek, making it a top-notch destination for hiking with a hound. The area is heavily wooded and has natural dirt and gravel trails, so it can get (and stay) muddy after rain.
Address: 120 W. Northwestern Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19118
Phone Number: (215) 247-0417
- Open 6:00 AM to 1:00 AM April to November and 6:00 AM to 8:00 PM December to March
- Bikes and horses frequent some trails, which can be an issue for doggos
- Trail difficulty varies, so plan your course carefully to match your and your mutt’s comfort levels
About: This short stretch of pathway is part of the much longer Schuylkill Banks trail, but it’s a great portion to explore with a pup who can’t travel far. The walkway is paved and dotted with gardens and historical sites, offering several points to stop and relax before continuing a stroll.
Address: From Grays Ferry Avenue to 56th Street, Philadelphia, PA
Phone Number: N/A
- All visiting doggos must be leashed at all times
- Check the social calendar for events that may snag your plans with loads of visitors, such as free bike days on the trail
Tacony Creek Park
About: This park is tucked away from most of the city’s action but isn’t a far drive if you’re ready for some quiet time with your canine. Travel its 3.2 miles of paved trail that cuts into the forest and even crosses the creek, gifting you with excellent opportunities to try out dog photography tips while walking your woof.
Address: I Street and Ramona Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19124
Phone Number: N/A
- Open daily from dawn to dusk
- Surrounded by 300 acres of wooded park
9. Have a hound-friendly sleepover at a hotel.
Nothing is more of a buzzkill after a day of fun in the city with your floof than battling traffic on I-95 or I-76 on your way home.
So why not stay over?
Philadelphia has many hound-welcoming hotspots, including several of the best dog-friendly chain hotel options. Skip the drive, take the night off, and unwind with your woof without the stress.
Pamper yourself (and your pooch) at one of these Fido-friendly Philadelphia hotels.
About: All pups can visit this Center City site, though you’ll be charged a $75 pet fee. A portion of this is donated to an area animal shelter, and you can request plenty of pupper perks during your stay, including homemade dog treats, a pet bowl, a pet bed, and a guide for nearby pet-friendly businesses.
Address: 1 Logan Square, Philadelphia, PA 19103
Phone Number: (215) 963-1500
- Check-in is 4:00 PM, and check-out is 12:00 PM
- Self-parking costs $53, while valet services are $65
About: Located two blocks from the walkable Rittenhouse Square, this canine-friendly spot welcomes dogs of all sizes without a set pet fee. Sign a waiver at check-in committing to paying for any potential doggo damage, and you and your dog can snuggle up for the night amongst the city lights.
Address: 117 South 17th Street, Philadelphia, PA 19103
Phone Number: (215) 563-5006
- Check-in is at 3:00 PM, and check-out is at 12:00 PM
- You must leave a cell phone with the front desk at check-in to contact you if your canine’s barking or upsetting other guests
Sonesta Philadelphia Rittenhouse Square
About: Well-behaved pups, big and small, are welcome to stay at this hotel, which has no size limitations. There’s a $75 pet fee for your visit, though your doggo will receive complimentary dog treats, plus a water dish, feeding bowl, and waterproof mat for mess-free meals.
Address: 1800 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA 19103
Phone Number: (215) 561-7500
- Check-in is at 4:00 PM, and check-out is at 11:00 AM
- Limit of 2 pets per room or suite
The Must-Knows of Dog-Friendly Activity Etiquette
Venturing out with your dog isn’t all fun and games. There are some rules of decorum to keep in mind before a doggy disaster strikes.
When enjoying a dog-friendly activity in the city:
- Only visit public areas with a well-mannered, friendly floof. A public place isn’t for pups who can’t walk safely on a leash or dislike people or pets. If your mutt hasn’t mastered basic obedience commands or displays aggressive behavior, skip public areas and opt for solo fun, like trying dog cookie recipes at home.
- Don’t go out with a sick pup. Your under-the-weather woof should be resting at home to recover instead of gallivanting around the city. Not only that, but you don’t want to risk getting other dogs sick, too.
- Make sure your dog’s vaccines are up-to-date. Pennsylvania law requires all dogs to be vaccinated against rabies, so make sure your canine is current on his booster. It’s also a good idea to protect your pup against highly contagious doggo diseases like parvo and distemper that can be spread in public areas.
- Follow posted rules. Every dog-friendly activity in Philly has a list of rules to follow, whether designated hours of operation or restrictions on where woofs are and aren’t allowed to go. Don’t be a rulebreaker. Following the posted rules helps give pet parents a good name, potentially encouraging more businesses to allow barkers around the city.
- Leash your dog. Your dog needs to be on a lead in public, not only to keep him safe but to follow the law. Ideally, you’ll want a leash that’s 6 feet or less when traveling in the city, as tight quarters make longer leads more cumbersome.
- Give other people space. Some people don’t want to spend the day with a dog, and while we politely disagree with that opinion, it’s a valid one for others to have. Don’t let your dog crowd or pester others when you’re out.
- Don’t allow destructive or nuisance behavior. Your dog shouldn’t dig in flower beds, tear up lawns, or shred shrubbery in public. He also shouldn’t bark excessively or jump on other people. Ultimately, you’re in control of your canine and responsible for keeping him on his best behavior.
- Scoop your dog’s poop. Pack plenty of dog poop bags and put them to work as needed when your nature calls for your canine. You also need to dispose of them properly in a waste basket. Unscooped poop is a significant risk of spreading illness and parasites, like worms.
Add any of our picks for the best dog-friendly activities in Philadelphia to your to-do list? Is there another awesome option we missed that you and your doggo love? Tell us in the comments! We’d love to hear!