BringFido’s Best of Alabama

Posted by Lauren Barker

Looking for the dog-friendliest things to do in Alabama? Well, you've come to the right place. The editors at BringFido have dedicated themselves to digging up the most dog-friendly places to visit in the Yellowhammer State, as well as the rest of the country. In the latest edition of our book, Ruff Guide to the United States, you'll find our collection of the best places to stay and play with your dog in all 50 states. You can order a copy today for just $10.00 (a savings of 63% off the retail price) when you use the discount code BEST.

Read on to learn about some of the Alabama attractions that rose to the top of our list this year.

Best Dog-Friendly Brewery

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Avondale Brewing Company in Birmingham wins best in brew for Alabama. This popular hangout loves to host hopheads and their hounds for big games on the huge outdoor screen. Beer aficionados can order a flight of highlights such as Sour Pash, Mosey Lager and Pale Dorado. While dogs aren’t allowed to crowd surf during live music events, your pooch is welcome to roam around the expansive astroturfed space the rest of the time. Bring him inside to relax in the spacious brewery if it starts to rain. Pair your pour with a handheld from the on-site food truck, Avondale Burger Co.

Pick up a six-pack to go and have a private tasting in your room at Residence Inn by Marriott Birmingham Downtown.

Most Dog-Friendly State Park

Photo by @swayze_the_heartbreaker

Perched along the Gulf Coast, Gulf State Park, the most dog-friendly state park in Alabama, boasts 28 miles of trails and boardwalks through nine distinct ecosystems. After a long hike, your pup can cool off in the dog pond at Lake Shelby, which also features plenty of green space to run leash-free and shade trees to rest beneath. The dog pond and park are located at the Shelby Lake picnic area, so don’t forget to bring lunch. Fishing, geocaching, and kayaking are also popular activities to try with your pooch.

Spend the night in a safari tent at the Outpost Campground of Gulf State Park Campground, the most dog-friendly campground in the state. If you need more space or amenities, bring the whole family to Lucky Dog Beach Cottage and enjoy the hot tub, fenced yard, and barbecue grill.

Most Dog-Friendly Attraction

Photo by @thelifeofcooleyy

If you’re making plans for a Gulf Coast road trip, don’t miss the most dog-friendly attraction in Alabama, Fort Morgan State Historic Site in Gulf Shores. Furry history buffs will be greeted with treats at the main entrance and are welcome on tours, where they can learn what life was like for soldiers stationed here during the Spanish-American War, World War I, and World War II. While you’re there, take memorable pics of your pooch next to cannons and other historical artifacts. Admission includes entry to Fort Morgan Historic Site Bayside Beach, where leashed canines can take a stroll through the surf.

Kick off your shoes at the Barefoot Gypsy, a stylish home with a fenced backyard within walking distance of Fort Morgan and the beach.

Most Dog-Friendly Campground

Photo by @winstontheenglishsetter

Bring your tent or RV to one of the 496 pet-friendly sites at Gulf State Park Campground, or spend the night with your pup in a primitive safari tent at the park’s Outpost Campground, accessible via the Hugh S. Branyon Backcountry Trail. Perched along the Alabama Gulf coast, the most dog-friendly campground in Alabama, part of Alabama’s most dog-friendly state park, boasts miles of trails to explore with Fido, a dog pond at Lake Shelby and an off-leash green space. Dogs are welcome at the campground for no additional fee.

Best Dog Park

Photo by BringFido/Jenna

Alabama’s best dog park, Beneful Dream Dog Park in Alabaster is a state-of-the-art park with synthetic turf that allows safe play whatever the season. Fido can cool off in the summer at the water splash pads, featuring colorful balls that spray water in the air. Then, he can duck and dive through tunnels and hoops and join you for a game of fetch on the miniature football field. While your best buddy is making new friends, get your steps in on the paved walking course that winds around the fenced space and “paws” to catch your breath on one of the benches.

For more fenced fun, reserve a stay at nearby Castle Cottage. This spacious home with hardwood floors and a grassy backyard is named after Beatrix Potter’s second home, which is why Peter Rabbit and her other popular characters can be found throughout.

Top Trail to Hike With Your Dog

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Located in the heart of Birmingham, Ruffner Mountain Preserve spans over 1,000 acres and offers four-legged visitors the chance to explore 14 miles of trails that weave through a biodiverse urban forest. While the city around it grows, the preserve remains a place for visitors to escape the hustle and bustle. The Overlook Trail via Quarry Trail, the top trail to hike with your dog in the state, is a great place to start exploring with your pooch. This easy hike is under three miles and leads to a great view of the Birmingham skyline beyond the forest.

After a day of hiking, bring your best friend back to this modern home which features a light and airy living space, hardwood floors throughout, and a nice fenced backyard for off-leash roaming.

Best Pet-Friendly B&B

Photo by The Kate Shepard House Bed and Breakfast

The Kate Shepard House Bed and Breakfast in Mobile invites dogs and their owners to spend the night in historic surroundings. Built in 1897, the best pet-friendly B&B in the state took 13 railroad cars to deliver all of its components from Knoxville, TN to its current location. Original features like stained glass windows, glistening chandeliers, and fancy fireplaces still light up the property today. Fido will be greeted upon arrival by Beaux, the resident Chow Chow, and will likely meet other pups lounging around the common areas with their owners. In the morning, wake up to pecan praline French toast and take a walk to nearby Washington Square.

The Kate Shepard House welcomes dogs for an additional fee of $50 per pet, per stay.

Can’t Miss Dog Event

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Since 2009, yellow Labs in the Yellowhammer State have taken part in the Mutt Strutt to raise money for Hand in Paw, a nonprofit organization that trains volunteer handlers and animal therapy teams to work with local medical centers, schools and human service organizations. Held in April, the can’t miss dog event includes a competitive 5K race and a not-so-competitive 1-mile fun run. After the race, pick up Fido’s bandana and your T-shirt, listen to live music and visit booths at Mutt Strut Vendor Village while you wait to see who wins the coveted “Slowest Dog” award and the “Best Human + Dog Costume.”

Collapse into bed with your canine in your cozy pet-friendly room at Drury Inn & Suites Birmingham Lakeshore Drive.

Ready for a Road Trip?

Life’s “ruff.” Photo by Linda Segerfeldt

If our Best of Alabama preview left your dog drooling for more, we hope you check out our book - Ruff Guide to the United States. Remember to use gift code BEST to get a copy for just $10. Happy Travels!

What's your favorite place to visit in Alabama with your dog? Leave a comment or tweet us @BringFido!

Banner photo by @winstontheenglishsetter.