They are called a person's best friend for a reason. Dogs bring joy to our lives, sometimes they’re our best friends. When we travel or go out to enjoy area attractions and restaurants, it’s nice to know that there are places where our beloved pup (child) is welcome to join the travel fun. Ithaca and Tompkins County is an extremely 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, shopping, outdoor dining establishments, and places to stay with your dog throughout Ithaca and Tompkins County!
Ithaca Dog-Friendly Activities
Downtown Ithaca Commons, known by locals as “The Commons” is a vibrant, cheerful, pedestrian shopping and dining area in the heart of Ithaca. Come on down with your furry friend and enjoy outdoor dining, locally owned businesses (that allow you to bring your pets in!), and catch a concert or street performer. There are numerous pet stations located around The Commons so that you can enjoy your stroll but also be mindful and clean up after them! How handy!
Here are some highlights to enjoy while you are downtown:
Indoor shopping is always the biggest question. Can I bring my dog inside? Will they allow this size dog? Well, here is a list of locally owned shops where you can bring your pets inside and they will be as warmly welcomed as you are!
Sunny Days of Ithaca
The Outdoor Store
Odyssey Book Store
One World Market
Home Green Home
Located just off The Commons, Dewitt Mall is one of the many historic buildings in the downtown area. With numerous small locally owned shops, services, and the famous Moosewood restaurant, this is everything you need in one spot.
Restaurant Row and downtown dining
Restaurant Row has gained its reputation as being the food mecca of Ithaca. With more restaurants per capita, Ithaca is a food lover's paradise! 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.
Monks on the Commons
Simeon’s American Bistro
Ithaca Ale House
Kilpatrick’s Publick House
Mama Said Hand Pies
Most Cayuga Lake Wine Trail member wineries are typically pet-friendly however, we recommend calling before you visit to double-check.
Liquid State Brewing
Come here if you want a casual beer and dinner. With their focus on small-batched brews, food trucks, and an outdoor patio, you can spend all evening here and have an experience you won't forget.
Lucky Hare Brewing
Located in Press Bay Food Hub, Lucky Hare Brewing opened this second location and has been a smash among locals since. Grab a pint, grab a bite from nearby shops and have a seat, and enjoy your findings with your pooch.
The Cellar d'Or- is a family-owned wine boutique specializing in small-production estate-bottled wines and ciders.
Six Mile Creek Winery and Vineyard
With its proximity to Downtown Ithaca, this would be a must-stop for your spur of the moment wine tasting. Having a vineyard on site, you can walk through the rows and enjoy the breeze. End your visit in the gazebo, where you and your pet can take a load off and relax.
South Hill Cider
Located near La Tourelle and Ithaca College, South Hill Cider is Ithaca’s premier Cidery. With gorgeous views looking over Ithaca, grab a bite and a small bite and sit around the fire and enjoy the serenity that nature brings here.
Greater Ithaca Area
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.
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.
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 forests and meadows of goldenrods.
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!
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 guarded beach areas, playgrounds, or inside buildings. Get some exercise with your dog and enjoy hiking the trails at state parks near Ithaca.
Cayuga Waterfront Trail
Located on the Southern Tip of Cayuga Lake, Stewart Park is the prized park of Ithaca. With unobstructed views of Cayuga Lake, this is the place to have a picnic, watch the sunset and have fun with your furry friends!
Ithaca’s only dedicated waterfront restaurant, The Boatyard Grill is the place for lakeside dining in Ithaca. With its expansive outdoor patio, this is a must dine for those who want a scenic meal with your beloved fur baby.
On the west side of Cayuga Lake, Cass Park is the place to be to have open fields, swimming and even a garden made for children! Bring your pets here for the picnic of your choosing and let your kids have fun too!
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.
Black Diamond Trail
Once known as the Black Diamond Express, a passenger line for the Lehigh Valley Railroad, has now been repurposed as a pedestrian, multi-use trail system. Starting at Cass Park in the west end of Ithaca, this trail takes you through 8.5 miles of woods, waterfalls, and countryside. If you want the perfect secluded experience with your fuzzy friend, this is the one for you!
Once you get to the northernmost part of the trail, you have arrived at Taughannock Falls State Park. 2 miles from the heart of the small town we call Trumansburg.
Talk about small town USA. This hidden gem is home to some amazing restaurants, shops, artist studios and even a brewery! Take your pet down the sidewalk and enjoy the small-town feel while only being minutes from Downtown Ithaca.
Nestled in the beautiful Village Park, the seasonal vendors bring all the fruits of their labor for your enjoyment. Bring your pet along, get some local products that are sourced from within 35 miles of Trumansburg, and venture around the park!
Cayuga Lake Creamery
One of the local favorite ice cream parlors in the area, Cayuga Lake Creamery has made a name for offering over-the-top scoops. Stop by the roadside stand and cool off with some of their incredible creations! They even make a pup sundae for your dog!
Located 5 miles outside Ithaca, Bet the Farm is a great spot to hang out and sip on a glass of wine and take your pup on a walk through the vast fields that surround the winery.
Walk your dog along the scenic trail and enjoy a picnic at Dryden Lake Park. The Jim Schug Trail is a multi-use, year-round trail. Stretching for nearly 5.5 miles, this trail is perfect for when you just need a relaxing escape from the downtown bustle of Ithaca.
Just outside of Dryden on your way into Ithaca, you will find, Hopshire Farm and Brewery. Hopshire is a family-owned establishment that boasts its vast outdoor areas and its “green” indoor space.
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 are a few with special amenities.
Located in the heart of Downtown Ithaca, the Ithaca Marriott Downtown is your ticket to easy staying in Downtown Ithaca. Being pet friendly and right on the Ithaca Commons, this is an easy stay for you and your pets.
Our Canine Concierge will make sure you're assigned to a pet-friendly room, so there won't be any unpleasant surprises at check-in. We offer a Bark Box Welcome box for all our four-legged guests. Pet-friendly rooms are equipped with a dog bed and dog bowl. We have several areas where you can walk your traveling pet just outside our doors. Enjoy your Bark Box Welcome and make sure all the members of your family enjoy their time at the Canopy by Hilton Ithaca Downtown.
The Grayhaven Motel is a charming 16-room vintage motor lodge located in Ithaca in the beautiful Finger Lakes region of New York State. The lovingly restored motel has been hosting vacationers and travelers for more than 100 years. You will find classic and spacious mid-century rooms as well as fully equipped cottages and suites with kitchenettes. Dog throws, towels, water bowls, waste bags, and treats are provided for all visiting canine friends. A fenced-in dog yard is also available for your pet to enjoy the fresh air and some outside playtime.
Pet-Friendly King rooms enjoy views of lawns, ponds, and gazebos. Most pet-friendly rooms have direct access to the outdoors featuring 70 acres of lawns, ponds, woods, and trails via private decks and dog gates. In addition to our 70 acres of lawns, ponds, gardens, fields, and forest, La Tourelle’s Buttermilk Trail connects with the Buttermilk Falls State Park trail system. Trails are friendly to dogs on leashes.
Nature meets luxury in our furnished tents, which are outfitted with hardwood floors, plush king or double queen beds, a private tented porch with rocking chairs, battery-powered lanterns, and a writer’s desk and chair. Firelight Camps is a dog-friendly property. Sharing the property with La Tourelle, their Buttermilk Trail connects with the Buttermilk Falls State Park trail system.