By Kari Smith
Planning to visit Lynchburg, but can’t bear the thought of leaving your pooch at home?
As dog lovers, we look for travel options that can involve our beloved pets. Fortunately, the dog-friendly Craddock Terry Hotel and Event Center (1312 Commerce Street) in downtown Lynchburg offers pet-friendly accommodations with a non-refundable $50 fee. If you are lucky, you will be greeted by the hotel’s adorable resident wire-haired fox terrier, Penny Loafer, when you check in.
If you are looking to give your pooch an extra special treat, Penny Loafer’s Pampered Pet Package will spoil both you and your pup. The package includes accommodations (deluxe or premium), pet fee, a canine spa day with shampoo and grooming at Fur Kidz Pet Boutique, and two bike rentals with pet carrier. (Please note that this package is only available Wednesday through Saturday, must be booked 72 hours in advance, and accommodates pets up to 50 pounds.)
The Craddock Terry also features a fitness center, 24-hour gift shop, free parking, and high-speed internet. Continental breakfast is served in your room, delivered to your door in a vintage wooden shoeshine box, a nod to the boutique hotel’s history as a shoe factory. If you would rather not stray far from the hotel, dine onsite at one of the hotel’s two award-winning casual and fine dining restaurants, or request room service.
If the weather is nice, hop on your bike, put Fido in the pet carrier, and head over to My Dog Duke’s Diner and have lunch on the patio with your pup. Or, snap on a leash and take a walk to stretch those puppy legs – it’s just a 5-minute walk away from the Craddock Terry. Duke’s Diner serves breakfast all day (7am – 3pm) and features a specialty drink menu. Skip the coffee shop in the morning, and have a cappuccino or chai latte, or hot and iced fresh brewed coffee here instead.
Breakfast options include classic favorites such as French toast, omelets, and eggs, plus specials like The Lynchburg – country-fried sausage, scrambled eggs, pimento cheese, and a toasted English muffin. Lunch options are include a variety of sandwiches and handhelds – including my favorite, the Cuban Press, which features pulled pork butt and shaved ham on ciabatta bread topped with Swiss cheese, pickles, and a flavorful horseradish-mustard aioli. Don’t forget the impressive cocktail menu! For breakfast or brunch, choose from their Bloody Mary options, or have a mimosa or Peach Bellini. With lunch, choose a refreshing Grapefruit Rose Mule or a traditional Screwdriver, served by the glass or pitcher. If you prefer to eat offsite, Duke’s offers curbside pickup, and delivery.
For dessert, head over to MayLynn’s Creamery food truck (4925 Boonsboro Road, Lynchburg) and grab a sweet treat for yourself, and a free ice cream for your pooch. (Check their website for seasonal availability before visiting.) Dogs are not permitted inside their downtown location (1016 Jefferson Street Suite 1, B St, Lynchburg), but give them a wave from the door, and they will do their best to come outside and take your order.
Just minutes from the Craddock Terry is Percival’s Island Natural Area, with trails perfect for dog walking. The 1.5-mile-long island features a paved trail that runs the length of the island, and is the perfect spot for both you and your pup to stretch your legs and get some exercise while taking in serene views of the James River.
For a historical treat, head over to Thomas Jefferson’s Poplar Forest retreat house, where pets are welcome on the grounds. Pets (not including service animals) are not permitted in the buildings, but convenient temporary kennels are available for your pets to hang out in while you are touring the beautifully restored architecture and artifacts inside the Poplar Forest house. Visit the museum shop for locks, which are available to kennel users at no charge.
For an off-leash experience, check out Lynchburg Dog Park (515 Monticello Avenue) for a romp in their fenced area, or for a trail walk.
Travel for dog-lovers does not have to mean boarding your pup, bring Fido along on your next visit to dog-friendly Lynchburg!
Kari Smith is a Virginia native whose love of writing began as a child, writing poems and songs. In 2006, her dream became reality when she moved to Nashville, Tennessee to sing and record her own original compositions. She continued on to pursue writing magazine articles and blogs to chronicle and share her personal adventures and interests. Besides teaching music and performing in the Richmond, VA area, she also enjoys riding horses, raising goats and chickens, and gardening.
Find out more about Kari HERE