How Dog Friendly is Cleveland, Really?

Raise a paw if you like long walks on the beach, delicious grub you can sink your face into, and acres upon acres of wide open luscious green grass where you can fetch until your heart’s content.

Cleveland may not appear on sites like the Huffington Post or Forbes as a “top” dog-friendly city in America, but I assure you, Cleveland loves man’s best friend and has the beaches, the parks, and the restaurants to prove it.

Here are some of the most popular dog-friendly restaurants, bars, activities, parks, and more:

Dog-loving restaurants, bars, and ice cream shops

Cleveland gets it. Your dog is a social, worldly being just like you and enjoys family outings and a seat at the table.

  • Take Luxe Kitchen & Lounge, located in Gordon Square Arts District. During the warmer months, Luxe opens its fun, dog-friendly patio. Humans order off the mouth-watering Mediterranean-Italian bistro menu and pups order off the dog menu.
  • Dogs love their early morning walks and their human counterparts love an early morning cup of joe. Rising Star Coffee Roasters – said to be the best coffee in the Land, rivaling coffee houses in Seattle and San Francisco – welcomes dogs to their outdoor tables.
  • Mason’s Creamery, one of the best, most unique ice cream shops in Cleveland, is known for their small batch homemade ice cream that delivers vegan and classic flavors and one-of-a kind concoctions. They welcome dogs inside when ordering ice cream and, of course, give dogs a scoop of ice cream in a cup.
  • Brunch is best with dogs at Nano Brew’s lively outdoor Beer Garden Bar.
  • PlatformBeer Co. offers great food, 20+ house beers, and a dog-loving patio where some well-behaved pups are leash-less.

Dog-loving beaches and parks

We’re fortunate here in Cleveland to have Lake Erie and its beaches in our backyard. Several of our lakefront parks provide designated dog beaches, including:

  • Huntington Beach
  • Edgewater Park
  • Lakewood Beach Park
  • Fairport Harbor Lakefront Park

 The Cleveland Metroparks are vast, wide spread, and very dog-friendly. The parks consist of 18 reservations, over 100 hiking trails, and eight lakefront parks (including the above).

Located just outside Cleveland lives Bow Wow Beach, a dog’s dream playground in Stow, Ohio. Here, dogs can fetch on a beach, swim in a lake, and exercise on an agility course. There’s also a section for smaller dogs who want a break from the big guys.

Dog-loving events

  • Take your pup out to the ball game during the Cleveland Indians’ annual Puppypalooza.
  • Make new canine friends at the Cleveland Metroparks’ regularly hosted pack walks.
  • Soak in nature and fresh air during a scenic walk with your pup at the Holden Arboretum – one of the largest arboreta and botanical gardens in the nation.
  • Enter Cleveland’s annual downtown Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving morning with your dog and hit the streets running five miles or a 5k.

This concise list only lightly paws at the surface when it comes to showcasing CLE’s dog-friendly side. Once you arrive in the CLE, you’ll see that your furry friend is welcome all over the City of Cleveland.

Morgan Garcia