Women dining with a dog downtown on the sidewalks

A Pet-Friendly Guide to Madison, Georgia

When a pet is part of our family, we don’t necessarily want to leave them at home or board them when vacationing. It might not be possible, practical, or even affordable. Traveling with pets also comes with challenges. From accommodations and dining to shopping and activities, it could seem like options are limited for pet-friendly destinations. Luckily, Madison, Georgia, is the perfect place to travel with pets.

Things To Do with Pets in Madison

1. Enjoy a Warm Welcome

Milkbones and a water bowl outside the Welcome Center — the perfect first stop!

Our first pet-friendly destination should be the Madison Morgan County Welcome Center, conveniently located in the downtown historic district. Pets will find a full water bowl outside and milkbones for furry visitors. Plus, it’s the perfect place to begin a Madison vacation. Inside, visitors can get local travel information as well as pick up brochures for the many sights and activities available.

2. Play at the Bark Park

Chase a ball at the Bark Park.

Dog lovers will want to head over to Bill Wood Park to visit the local Bark Park, a dog park located beside baseball fields and a cross-country trail. This park offers two fenced areas — one for small dogs and one for larger ones. The aptly named Bark Park has a bench and picnic table for human visitors, water bowls for canine visitors, and plenty of shade for hot days. Hiking enthusiasts can also enjoy a short hike on the cross-country trail either before or after a Bark Park visit.

3. Enjoy a Spa Day

Pamper your pet at the Fetch House!

A spa day can be a wonderful way to celebrate a pet. We can book our beloved pets a spa appointment at the Fetch House before visiting. They might not be able to accommodate a last-minute booking for grooming services so it’s best to plan and book in advance. For ultimate relaxation, humans can book their own appointment at ZEN Relaxing Wellness Center or Pure Bliss Spa while pets are being pampered.

4. Sleep in Style

Firefly Inn | Madison Georgia Art and Culture | Visit Madison GA
Firefly Inn.

Morgan County offers many dog-friendly accommodations including Hard Labor Creek State Park (cabins or camping), Firefly Inn, Quality Inn, Deerfield Inn, or Red Roof Inn. Dogs are welcome to stay in a horse stall at Southern Cross Guest Ranch if they don’t mind sleeping outdoors. Burnt Pine Plantation also offers kennel accommodations for hunting dogs. There are plenty of options to choose from to suit any budget.

There are also local boarding options available, provided they are booked in advance. Southern Cross Guest Ranch boards horses. Winding Creek Kennels and The Lodge at Main Street Vet board dogs and cats. Both the Fetch House and The Lodge offer daycare. Call for reservations and for any vaccination requirements.

5. Dining with Dogs

Dining al fresco in downtown Madison, GA
Sit outside and stay a while.

Several local restaurants are pet friendly. Visitors can sit outside with your dog at the following downtown locations: The Sinclair, Madison Square Nutrition, Madison Produce Co., Ricardo’s Kouzzina, Madison ChopHouse Grille, Dolce Caffe, Tickled Pig BBQ, Amici Madison, Dos Amigos and the newly opened Hart & Crown Tavern. Many of these locations will also bring out a water bowl for pets.

6. Shop Downtown

Laughing Moon welcomes pets and shoppers alike.

Visitors will find that many shops in the historic downtown area have signs on the door welcoming furry friends inside to shop with their owners. Some of these shops — such as Laughing Moon — even have items for pets. A walk downtown will reveal water bowls left out for visiting pets outside many of the stores. Madison Grace Home, Barkin Dogs Shoe Co., the Madison Artists Guild and the Welcome Center are just a few locations where a bowl can be found.

7. Enjoy Parks, Barks and Recreation

Lake day at Hard Labor Creek State Park.

A visit to Madison wouldn’t be complete without a trip to a local park. Town Park is not to be missed, but Morgan County has many other enjoyable parks, too. In fact, adventuring visitors may want to rent a kayak at Hard Labor Creek State Park or a stand-up paddle board at Over Yonder Outpost in nearby Rutledge. While cats are unlikely to enjoy a lake visit, pups might appreciate being taken out on the water. Just remember to bring them a life jacket. For more leisurely options, consider opting for a short hike or relaxing picnic by the lake instead.

There’s much to do and see in Madison. A simple sightseeing tour around town could be enjoyed by human and pet guests alike. Learn about the history of the area with a free, self-guided walking tour from the Welcome Center. Visitors should remember to keep pets on leash and to clean up after them.

Traveling with a pet has never been easier! Madison welcomes human and pet guests with equal enthusiasm. Pups and kittens alike give this Georgia vacation destination two paws up.

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