There are lots of reasons to visit Charleston, SC these days. It has graced the top city lists for human travelers numerous times, but did you know it is also a top city for our canine companions?
If your dog does not know he or she is a d-o-g, and prefers to hang out with you, then Charleston is your town! Below are some of Brick’s favorite places. He wants you to know that Charleston can get pretty hot in the summer, so please never leave your dog in a vehicle - not even for a minute. Also bring along poddy bags and plenty of water.
Here we go! We find it is helpful to put a southern gentleman’s bowtie on Brick when he is stylin around town.
1. 2nd Sunday on King - This happens on, you guessed it, the 2nd Sunday of the month on King Street. Here you will find the who’s who of the doggy world with just about every breed represented. I counted over 30 Westies one day marching with their own bagpipers! You may catch a glimpse of South Carolina’s state dog, the Boykin Spaniel - we know two that are named Lady Sybil and Lady Mary from Downton Abbey.
Tip: The City of Charleston posts printable 2-hour parking passes for nearby garages.
2. James Island County Park - All the cool dogs go here! This park has a dog park on steroids - complete with a beach, lake to swim in, hosing off area, and big dog/little dog divided areas. Check the website to see if there is a Yappy Hour happening during your visit - and you can listen to live music, have refreshments and make new friends just like Fido! Tip: The park admission is $2 per person. If you live in the area, get the Gold Pass and enjoy year-round savings.
3. Charleston Farmer’s Market - This happens on Saturdays from 8am - 2pm mid-April through November, and several holiday dates in December. We try not to miss this one - you can’t beat the produce, especially the tomatoes from John’s Island or fresh South Carolina peaches. The artisans and food vendors are top-notch, so come hungry and ready to shop. You will want to check out the mainstage for local musicians and also the corner near King and Calhoun where the local street dancers put on amazing shows. Bring some cash in case you want to tip them for an especially outstanding performance. One day Brick was enjoying a show, and in his excitement accidentally unplugged the boom box! He was quite embarrassed as everyone pointed at him and called him a d-o-g!
4. The Pitt Street Bridge - I am always surprised at how many dog people don’t know about this treasure. It is located in the old village area of Mt. Pleasant at the very end of Pitt Street. It used to be an old trolley route to Sullivan’s Island. It doesn’t connect anymore, but it is a mecca for dog walkers. The views don’t get any better than this - it is hands down the best place to watch a sunset with views of downtown Charleston. It is a great place to people watch - there are kayakers, folks fishing, kids jumping off of something I wouldn’t jump off of, and of course dog after dog after dog!
5. Colonial Lake - This beautiful city lake at Broad and Rutledge Ave. is surrounded by some of Charleston’s finest architecture. Bring along a sandwich and enjoy the stroll - you are sure to meet many friendly locals, and of course their four-footed companions. Some of the more athletic breeds show off their swimming skills - there is an access area on the Rutledge Ave. side of the lake.
Sallie Lacy lives in Charleston with her Standard Poodle, Brick - oh, and her family too! She has trained support dog puppies, and provides local dog training services. She also is Technical Director for The Gracie and Lacy Show.