Best Dog-Friendly Activities in Seattle: 9 Ways to Knockout Canine Enrichment in the City



Kelsey Leicht

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Best Dog-Friendly Activities in Seattle

As a rain-soaked city, Seattle can be a tricky place for pup parents to keep their pooch occupied. But if you dig, you can uncover heaps of amazing dog-friendly ways to spend a day with your best fur friend. In fact, you may find that the city is a Pacific paradise for your pup in many ways.

Below, we’ll share the best dog-friendly activities in Seattle, plus some must-know etiquette tips you’ll want to embrace before heading out with your pooch.

9 Best Dog-Friendly Activities in Seattle 

seattle dog activities

Canine enrichment activities are a critical part of having a pupper in the family, as they keep your pup moving and thinking in new ways, changing his everyday routine. As one of the best cities for dogs and top dog-friendly vacation destinations, Seattle has plenty of options, whether your hound’s after high-octane hikes or leisurely lounging. 

1. Enjoy a mutt meal at a dog-friendly restaurant.

Dog standing on tiled floor

Sniffing tasty smells sure sounds like mutt heaven, right?

Your pup can enjoy doing just that with you at a dog-friendly restaurant. At some eateries, he may even get to sink his chompers into food from a dog menu!

Visiting a restaurant with your Rover provides a sensory adventure of fresh sights, sounds, textures, and, yes, smells, which will put your barker’s brain into overdrive as he absorbs every new surprise. That said, because dining out is a sedentary activity, we recommend exercising your dog ahead of time to tucker him out. If not, you may have a rambunctious  retriever on your hands before dessert!

Restaurant visits are best for confident, well-mannered woofs who don’t beg or bark excessively. They’re not ideal for puppies still learning basic commands or doggos who are people or pupper-selective.

Check out our list of the best dog-friendly restaurants in Seattle to see some of the best options available. 

2. Visit a pup-friendly public park.

Fluffy dog standing near pole on sidewalk

Public parks are a wonderful place to unwind and breathe fresh air with your woof, whether strolling down a paved pathway or picnicking with your latest dog cookie recipes. The paved walkways are ideal if your pup uses a dog stroller, making for a smoother Rover ride than the sometimes uneven sidewalk squares you’ll find around town.

Of course, you can train your dog to run with you along the many jogger-friendly routes around Seattle’s parks if your floof needs more action in the exercise department. The city’s mild temperatures make it a great place to pick up running with your ruff, along with canine sports like canicross.

Seattle’s infamous rains can sometimes make things a little soggy for a park visit, but investing in a dog raincoat can keep your canine drier and help you get out and about, even in wet weather.

Break up the day and visit one of these pooch-positive parks with your doggo.

Volunteer Park

About: Leash up your canine cutie and head to this Capitol Hill park to explore its 48 acres of gardens, greenery, and walking paths. You’ll pass cool architecture, monuments, and statues along the way. Remember to be respectful and not let your dog “water” any of these beautiful features with a leg lift. 

Address: 1247 15th Avenue E, Seattle, WA 98112


Special Notes:

  • Open daily from 6:00 AM to 10:00 PM
  • Dogs aren’t allowed within the Conservatory or Asian Art Museum

Kerry Park

About: If your floof can’t travel far on foot, this small park may be his perfect match. Featuring stunning views of the city and water, it’s a good place to exercise before soaking up the scenery from a cozy bench with your canine.

Address: 211 W Highland Drive, Seattle, WA 98119


Special Notes:

  • Open 6:00 AM to 10:00 PM daily
  • A popular lookout point, so it can be crowded at times
  • Open areas of grass are ideal for a puptastic picnic on sunny days

Discovery Park

About: Your dog isn’t allowed on the beach at this park, but it’s worth visiting to take in the amazing water views, salt breeze, and more than 11 miles of walking trails. The lighthouse provides a stunning backdrop while putting dog photography tips to use, and at over 500 acres, you’ll have plenty to discover during your park excursion.

Address: 3801 Discovery Park Boulevard, Seattle, WA 98199


Special Notes:

  • Open 4:00 AM to 11:30 PM daily
  • This area is vast and remote, so triple-check that your pup is properly secured on a lead, as you don’t want a runaway dog here

3. Order a beverage at a barker-welcoming bar.

Chihuahua wearing a red sweater vest

Indulge in a refreshing drink with your dog at one of Seattle’s many pup-welcoming bars.

Like restaurants, pup-friendly bars allow your dog to sit back and soak up new sensory experiences rather than run amidst the action, making the setting ideal for obedient barkers needing extra daily enrichment. Things can get noisy, however, depending on the bar. If your pup doesn’t mind cheering, stop into a dog-friendly sports bar on game day with your doggo decked out in his dog sports jersey to root for your team.

When sipping on a boozy beverage, limit yourself, as you’re still responsible for your Rover. Never give your dog alcohol, and don’t drive drunk.

Check out the best dog-friendly bars in Seattle and see which suits your sweet fur friend.

4. Appreciate city landmarks with your sniffer.

Dog leaning on wooden bridge in woods

Peruse local points with your pup and flex your four-footer’s body and mind. While many landmarks like the Space Needle don’t allow doggos inside, you can still pass by and view them on foot, letting your dog experience new sights and smells while squeezing in extra steps. 

Landmarks can be packed with tourists at times, so plan your visit carefully if you want to avoid the crush of crowds. We also recommend a short dog leash to navigate with your woofer in tighter quarters, just in case. Always follow posted rules, and never enter areas where dogs aren’t allowed with your pooch.

Visit one of these landmarks with your pup, snap some sniffer shots, and capture incredible memories.

Seattle Waterfront

About: Shops, restaurants, water views, and more await within this famous Seattle district, home to a collection of unique piers and walkways you can roam with your leashed Rover to discover new slices of the city. If you watch the Sound, you can sometimes spot passing whales with your woof!

Address: Off Alaskan Way, Seattle, WA


Special Notes:

  • Free parking at several nearby lots
  • There are amusement rides that can be too noisy for some doggos

Ballard Locks

About: Watch salmon and ships in action with your leashed floof at this unique landmark off of Salmon Bay, where boats and fish see safe passage. The manicured grounds include a series of salmon ladders to aid spawning fish, plus botanical gardens that make the perfect backdrop for a fluffy photoshoot. 

Address: 3015 NW 54th Street, Seattle, WA 98107

Phone Number: (206) 780-2500


Special Notes:

  • Open daily from 7:00 AM to 9:00 PM
  • The locks close for maintenance twice annually in March and November
  • The entire area (including the fish ladder) is wheelchair accessible

5. Mingle with mutts at a dog park.

Two dogs playing on pathway

Does your dog love to meet new furry friends? How about exploring a new dog park?

Seattle has many pupper play spaces to suit every pooch’s interests, whether your Rover loves getting the dog zoomies in large, open spaces or prefers scaling agility courses for a challenge. Just be sure to embrace the basics of dog park etiquette to ensure everything stays fun.

Dog parks are best for social dogs who know how to play nicely with others. They’re not recommended for pups who are dog or people-selective. They’re also not great for petite pups if a park has no designated small dog area. If your doggo falls into these categories, consider dog park alternatives.

Browse the best dog parks in Seattle on our list, including each park’s site, amenities, and more.

6. Hike a new trail with your best fur friend.

Dog and owner walking on path surrounded by trees

Break free of the confines of city life to travel the trail with your dog. 

Hiking is one of the most versatile dog-friendly activities there is, though some breeds are better hikers than others. Stockier doggos and brachycephalic breeds may struggle to keep up, especially with the elevation changes and rugged terrain on some Seattle area trails. 

Luckily, you can cater a hike’s difficulty to your doggo, like selecting a shorter paved path for a senior or a steep stretch expanding miles for a younger, more active canine. With any pooch, remember to bring dog water bottles and any other gear you may need, such as a hiking harness or saddle bags.

Visit one of these dog-friendly hiking trails and make incredible memories with your woof.

Cedar Butte

About: Bring your leashed buddy to this spot east of the city for breathtaking views and a 3.5-mile round-trip trek best for hikers of moderate experience. There’s a decent elevation gain along the way, and it’s wooded, so wear good boots and watch your step!

Address: Cedar Falls Trailhead within Iron Horse State Park


Special Notes:

  • The area is shaded considerably by trees, so it can be muddy and cool at times
  • This is a remote area, requiring you to be alert for dangerous wildlife, including cougars and coyotes

Red Top Lookout Trail

About: This 1-mile loop won’t wreck you or your ruff, but it puts up more of a challenge than you’d expect with its terrain and elevation, so it’s best for hikers with some experience under their boots. Keep your pup leashed for safety’s sake and have your camera handy, as the mountain views are next-level.

Address: Near Cle Elum in Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest


Special Notes:

  • Cell phone service in the area is spotty at best
  • The road to the trail warrants a 4WD vehicle

Burke-Gilman Trail

About: Spanning 27 miles throughout the city, this mixed-terrain route takes you through urban areas of homes, businesses, parks, and more, letting you see Seattle’s many sides up close and personal. Completing the whole trek is probably beyond the capabilities of most canines and their parents, so most will need to select the portion that works best for them, whether it’s a one mile or five. 

Address: North Seattle


Special Notes:

  • Open 4:00 AM to 11:30 PM daily
  • Cyclists frequent the route, which may be an issue for some doggos

7. Shop with your deal-sniffin’ doggo.

Yorkie standing on sidewalk on leash held by woman

Browsing aisles and window shopping may not seem inherently dog-friendly, but every step around a storefront is one less your woof is stuck at home and a chance to find a new, fun smell. That sounds enriching to us!

One of the best parts of a dog-friendly shopping trip is that you can score pup products and try them on your pooch in real time. Not sure how a dog shirt will fit? Hold it up to your pup. Unsure if he’ll like the smell of a toy? Let him sniff it before buying.

Shopping is best for well-behaved dogs that are completely housetrained, as you don’t want to risk a mid-store mess. We also recommend considering the size of the shop and your canine. For instance, a colossal Great Dane would be a literal bull in a china shop at a tiny antique store.

Venture to one of these dog-friendly shopping centers around Seattle with your bargain-hunting barker.

University Village

About: Leash up your pup and go to this menagerie of shops for a day of dog-friendly fun, fashion finds, food, and more. You and your woofer can also relax in shaded areas between bolts of buying or stretch out on patches of green space.

Address: 2623 NE University Village Street, Seattle, WA 98105


Special Notes:

  • Open 10:00 AM to 8:00 PM Monday to Saturday and 11:00 AM to 6:00 AM Sunday
  • Parking is available in 3 parking garages
  • Not all shops allow dogs, so ask before strolling in with your barker

Ballard Farmers Market

About: If you’re looking to stock up on locally sourced produce, this mutt-friendly market is the place to be, as only Washington farmers sell their harvest here weekly. Available fare changes with the seasons, so stock up on your favorite berries, carrots, and more when they’re in stock!

Address: 5345 Ballard Avenue NW, Seattle, WA 98107


Special Notes:

  • Held every Sunday year-round from 9:00 AM to 2:00 PM, rain or shine, except for Christmas Day
  • Street parking is available nearby (the meters are off on Sundays!)

Fremont Street Market

About: Tail waggers are familiar faces at this weekly outdoor market on Fremont Street; just be sure your pup’s on a short lead. More than 100 vendors sell here, giving you a bounty of options, from fresh produce to handmade goods.

Address: 3401 Evanston Avenue North, Seattle, WA 98103

Phone Number:


Special Notes:

  • Open every Sunday year-round from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM, rain or shine, unless it falls on Christmas or New Years 
  • The market moves beneath the Fremont Bridge during the winter

8. Bring your water-loving woof to a beach.

Golden Retriever lying on rocky beach

Seattle isn’t the warmest city, so your pup might not splash in the waves daily, but walking waterside on sand and stone is still fun for your floof. You can also make the day all the more entertaining by bringing along dog water toys or a frisbee

If your dog does go swimming, remember that safety is paramount. Monitor your mutt at all times and consider a dog life vest, especially if your pup is young, old, or a weak swimmer. Keeping your canine on a long leash to easily tug him back to safety is also recommended.

Pack your pooch’s towel and ride to this dog-friendly beach to make the most of your day.

Richmond Beach Saltwater Park

About: The off-leash dog area of this beach is open from November 1 to March 15, allowing your woof to run free as he chases his favorite fetch toys. Otherwise, your woof must remain tethered as you explore the driftwood, pebbles, and sand. 

Address: 2021 NW 190th Street, Shoreline, WA 98177


Special Notes:

  • Open from dawn to dusk daily
  • Beach stones can get slick in wet weather
Pet-Care Pro Tip: Consider boating with your barker!

Boating is a cool way to conquer new terrain with your canine. The activity isn’t one-size-fits-all, either, with everything from riding a ferry to teetering in your dog-friendly kayak possible. Dog boating safety is essential, regardless of which option you choose.

9. Have a sleepover at a dog-friendly hotel.

White puppy receiving belly rubs while lying on sofa

Seeing the city up close and personal with your pooch can be exhausting. Why worry about a ride home when you can stay the night at a hound-friendly hotel?

Seattle has several canine-positive accommodations, ranging from glitzy boutique places to more affordable dog-friendly hotel chains

Settling into a Rover-friendly room for the night is fine for many floofs, but if your dog has anxiety, complex medical issues, or issues with nighttime barking, a hotel isn’t right for him.

Consider one of these pup-positive spots the next time you’re looking for a place in the city. 

Belltown Inn

About: This downtown hotel lets your pup stay for an additional $25 per night. You’re limited to a room on the first two floors for convenience, ensuring you can manage midnight bathroom breaks without a piddling problem.

Address: 2301 3rd Avenue, Belltown, Seattle, WA 98121

Phone Number: (206) 529-3700


Special Notes:

  • Check-in starts at 4:00 PM
  • Each room has a 2-pet limit
  • There is no size restriction on canines

Hotel Sorrento

About: All sizes and breeds of dogs are permitted to come along with pet parents at this posh spot. Located in downtown Seattle, it’s close to plenty of woof-friendly places to explore on foot, like Freeway Park. 

Address: 900 Madison Street, Seattle, WA 98104 

Phone Number: (206) 622-6400 


Special Notes:

  • Check-in begins at 4:00 PM
  • Limit of 2 dogs per room
  • Dog food and water bowls are available upon request
  • Parking is provided via valet only for $60 nightly

The Basics of Dog-Friendly Activity Etiquette 

Two dogs interacting on grassy park

Set yourself up for a successful day out with your dog by remembering the basics of dog outing etiquette. While many of these may seem like no-brainers, it never hurts to remind the rule breakers in the room of the spoken and unspoken rules of public pupper decorum

When enjoying a dog-friendly activity with your floof:

  • Clean up after your dog. Proper dog poop disposal is crucial in keeping public areas clean and reducing the chance of spreading communicable illnesses from canine to canine, as many are transmitted through feces. Always scoop your dog’s poop and properly dispose of dog waste bags.
  • Make sure your dog is current on necessary vaccines. Washington requires all resident dogs to be up-to-date on rabies vaccination, which is the bare minimum of canine disease prevention. Other vaccines, including parvo and distemper, are recommended for protecting your pooch against other common dog ailments. Depending on your pup’s age and condition, your vet may recommend additional shots, so always ask to keep your pup safe. 
  • Never go out with a sick dog. Dog disease and sickness spread easily in public places. If your woof is under the weather, please leave him home to recover.
  • Respect public property. Don’t let your dog dig or damage property, as every dog-friendly location should look as good as it did (or better) when you leave. Digging is a particular no-no, as people or other dogs can get seriously injured stepping into a hole.
  • Follow all posted rules. Rules exist to keep dog-friendly activities up and running in peak condition. Don’t be a rule breaker. No one likes a rebel when it can result in a dog-friendly activity vanishing, ruining the fun for everyone.
  • Leash your dog where required. All dogs must be on a leash when in public within the city of Seattle unless in a designated off-leash area. Some of our favorite lead types for city life are short, chewproof, and multi-function dog leashes
  • Don’t let your dog bother other people. Barking at, jumping on, and humping others is unacceptable. Keep your canine close and away from others, especially in bars and restaurants. Not everyone enjoys a wet dog nose to the thigh while eating or drinking.
  • Never take an aggressive or anxious dog in public. Putting your dog in an uncomfortable situation is asking for trouble. Rather than risking the safety of others (and your dog), opt for at-home fun that’s more suitable to his personality, such as baking DIY dog cookies together that your pooch is sure to appreciate sampling.
  • Don’t venture out with a flea-infested floof. Pests spread like wildfire in areas where canines congregate. Don’t add to the problem by bringing these hairy hitchhikers from home. Make sure your dog is flea-free and current on flea preventative.

Do any of our picks for the best dog-friendly activities in Seattle sound like a good match for your mutt? Have you tried any before? What did you think? Is there another we missed? Share your experiences with us in the comments.

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Written by

Kelsey Leicht

Kelsey is a lover of words and woofs. She worked hands-on with dogs for several years at a boarding kennel as a shift runner and office manager before venturing into the world of writing. She lives in New Jersey with her crew of crazy canines.

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