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A Pet-Friendly Guide to Ithaca NY

They are called man’s best friend for a reason. Dogs bring joy to our lives. So when we travel or go out to enjoy area attractions and restaurants, it’s nice to know that there are places that our beloved pup is welcomed to tag along. Tompkins County is a dog-friendly area in New York State, and we thought what better way to support pet-owners living in or visiting the area than by putting together a pet-friendly guide to Ithaca? Enjoy miles of trails, outdoor dining establishments, and places to stay with your dog throughout Ithaca and Tompkins County.

Pet-friendly Lodging in Ithaca

If you’re visiting Ithaca with your dog, you’re going to need to stay somewhere that allows pets. Luckily for you, there are a number of hotels and campgrounds that are pet-friendly throughout Ithaca. Here’s a list to get you started.

Campgrounds

Hotels & Motels

Ithaca Dog-Friendly Activities

Once you’ve settled into your pet-friendly hotel or left work behind for the weekend, head out to these area trails and attractions with your dog and enjoy some nature while getting some exercise.

Tompkins County Dog Park

Visit the best off-leash dog park in the area at 805 Route 89 in Ithaca. This dog-friendly park allows you to let your dog burn off some of that excess energy in an enclosed yard space. There are two separate sections of the park so that large and small/older dogs can all enjoy the park with other dogs similar in size and ability. Enjoy a rotating supply of tennis balls for a fun game of fetch and give your pup a much-needed drink from one of two water spigots.

State Parks

Leashed dogs are welcomed on various trails and campsites throughout New York State Parks in the Ithaca Area. At Robert H. Treman, Taughannock Falls, and Buttermilk Falls, campsite guests and hikers are welcome to bring up to two pets with them. Pets are not permitted in the guarded beach areas, playgrounds, or inside buildings. Get some exercise with your dog and enjoy hiking the trails at state parks near Ithaca.

East Ithaca Recreation Way

As a multi-use trail, the East Ithaca Recreation Way is the perfect place for a long, safe walk with your dog. Totaling 3.55 miles in length, this former railroad bed location runs through the Cornell Botanic Gardens on the northern section of the trail and the Pine Tree Wildlife Preserve, East Ithaca Nature Preserve, and the town’s Tudor Park on the southern section. Leashed pets are welcome on the trail, but be alert and watch for bikers and runners in the summer and cross-country skiers and snowshoers in the winter.

South Hill Recreation Way

Another repurposed railroad area, the South Hill Recreation Way provides visitors and locals with opportunities for running, bicycling, cross country skiing, snowshoeing, and of course dog-walking. Leash up your four-legged friend and explore the beautiful trail, and discover the many creek crossings and small gorges along the way. The trail is open year-round.

Six Mile Creek Natural Area and Vineyard

Located parallel to South Hill Recreation Way, the Six Mile Creek Natural Area offers additional hiking opportunities with your pup. This diverse ecological area consists of everything from waterfalls and streams to forest and meadows of goldenrods. Located about a 6-minute drive down the road, you’ll find the dog-friendly Six Mile Creek Vineyard. Well-behaved, leashed dogs are welcome inside the tasting room and on the grounds. Enjoy a delicious Finger Lakes wine with your pup at your side.

Jim Schug Trail

Located in Dryden, the Jim Schug Trail is a multi-use, year-round trail. Walk your dog along the scenic trail and enjoy a picnic at Dryden Lake Park. Stretching for nearly 5.5 miles, this trail is perfect for when you just need a relaxing escape from the downtown bustle of Ithaca.

Dog-Friendly Restaurants in Ithaca

After all the outdoor recreation and wine drinking with your dog, you’re probably going to be looking for some food. Ithaca has a variety of pet-friendly restaurants to choose from, all offering fantastic food that can be enjoyed in their outdoor dining areas.

Be sure to contact the restaurants below to make sure they are allowing outdoor seating/dogs during the time of your planned visit as it is usually weather-dependent.

Ithaca Ale House

This tasty bar & grill is located just off the Commons in Downtown Ithaca and has a tremendous selection of both food and beverage menu items. With an outdoor seating area available during the warmer months of the year, Ithaca Ale House is a top choice for a big, juicy burger and a pint of beer.

Red’s Place

Offering an outdoor seating area throughout the summer and early fall, Red’s Place has a seasonally rotating menu that always satisfies. Choose from salads, flatbreads, burgers, or artisan sandwiches. Dogs are welcome to join you in the outdoor seating area when it’s available.

Mahogany Grill

Proudly touted as “the best place to eat on Aurora Street” in Ithaca, Mahogany Grill offers delicious meals for lunch and dinner. With specialty sandwiches and burgers, brilliant pasta dishes, and juicy steak options, it’s a bar and grill worth visiting time and time again. Mahogany Grill is located on The Commons.

Collegetown Bagels

An Ithaca classic and long-time favorite among locals, visitors, and college students, Collegetown Bagels is the best bagel shop in the city. Grab your bagel topped with a variety of options, a beverage from the cooler or a hot beverage from the espresso machine, and head outside with your pup to enjoy to a quick bite full of flavor. Collegetown Bagels is conveniently located just off the Commons or in East Hill Plaza near Cornell’s campus.

AGAVA Restaurant

With a large covered outdoor patio area open throughout the summer, AGAVA Restaurant welcomes you to bring your well-behaved dog along while you dine on their farm-to-table meals inspired by the Southwest. Guests rave about their margaritas and guacamole!

Monks on the Commons

Monks on the Commons is a local favorite. They have an outdoor patio area covered by a large tent where guests are welcome to dine with their dog at their side. Enjoy mouthwatering, soulful food and sinful cocktails in their warm and welcoming atmosphere. Catch a game on the outdoor TVs and savor delicious farm-to-table dishes.

When planning a trip to Ithaca, or simply looking for where you can get out of the house with your dog in the area, use our above pet-friendly guide to Ithaca to plan the perfect day out. We hope to see you and your pup out in Ithaca soon!

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