What a perfect time of year it is to be outdoors! Our canine friends love it, too. As far as dogs are concerned nothing beats a walk, so get out and stretch your legs on Wilmington’s beautiful Riverwalk. You’ll meet interesting people and smell amazing smells—or pups will, at least.

While you’re out and about, try these pet-friendly spots for fun:

A Dog Might Smell as Sweet

Max and Bella will love Von Barkee’s Dog Spa & Bakery on Water Street. This fun spa offers dog (and cat!) grooming, treats, and pet sitting as well as special events. If you need to duck into a place where pets aren’t welcome, Von Barkee’s might be able to groom your pup while she waits.

Parks & Green Space

The River to the Sea Bikeway

is an 11-mile, on- and off-road bicycle route that follows the Historic Beach Car Line, which carried vacationers from downtown Wilmington to Wrightsville Beach by trolley. It begins at the foot of Market Street at the Riverwalk, with the Battleship USS North Carolina visible across the Cape Fear River. The bikeway then traverses the Old Wilmington, Bottom, and Forest Hills neighborhoods before crossing Independence Boulevard and passing by Empie Park.

Attractions Pets Love

Some of downtown Wilmington’s attractions welcome your best friend.

  • Museum of the Bizarre: See the Crystal Skull of Knowledge, the Fort Fisher Mermaid, Houdini’s ouija board, and a chupacabra hand with your leashed dog.
  • Ghost Walk of Old Wilmington: Pets are welcome to join the Ghost Walk for a well-behaved, spooky stroll.
  • Hollywood Location Walk: Visit locations of Wilmywood’s biggest movies and TV shows on a name-dropping stroll through downtown Wilmington. It’s fun for pets, too!
  • Tour Old Wilmington: This History Walking Tour uncovers hidden history in Wilmington’s antebellum and Victorian Eras. Dogs might learn something!
  • Riverwalk Bingo: This self-directed stroll along Wilmington’s Riverwalk is fun for both pets and people.

Bars that Are Fun for Pets

Walking your dog can work up a mighty thirst, right? Stop into these pet-friendly bars along the way:

  • The Barbary Coast
  • Cape Fear Wine and Beer
  • Duck and Dive
  • Goat and Compass (not on weekends)
  • Lula’s Pub
  • Anne Bonny’s Bar & Grill

Grab a Bite at the Anne Bonny’s Bar & Grill


You might get hungry on your pet-friendly outing to downtown Wilmington. Some restaurants with sidewalk seating (The George, Front Street Brewery, allow pets, or stop into Anne Bonny’s Bar & Grill. It’s right on the Riverwalk at the foot of Dock Street, next to the Cape Fear Riverboats ticket booth.

This spacious open restaurant has spectacular river views so your favorite canine won’t feel cooped up. While you order a beer, glass of wine, or soda, ask the bartender for a bowl of water for your pup. Anne Bonny’s wants all species to have fun downtown.

Enjoy a cocktail, sandwich or a snack while you enjoy the fresh air with your pet. Downtown Wilmington welcomes you, your pet, and the beautiful fall dog-walking weather!


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