Escape: Four Fido-Friendly Finds in Texas

by Marika Flatt on July 22, 2021 in Living Texas, Travel,
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Rather than board or kennel the furry family members, bring them along! Treat the ones who stick by our side through thick and thin and enjoy a well-earned getaway with your pup. 

Texas has plenty of dog-friendly travel options. Whatever you’re looking for, guests with two legs or four will find the perfect place.

Photo courtesy Ignacio Amenábar on Unsplash

Colton House Hotel, Austin

The Colton House lobby is vibrant. Guests are sure to notice the bold yet tasteful design choices of the lobby as they are welcomed in. Courtesy photo

This elevated hotel exceeded our expectations at every turn. It’s a beautifully designed enclave right in the middle of a very bustling old part of downtown Austin, on South Congress. Built from the ground up, the hotel was four years in the making, and opened December 2020. It’s a dog friendly hotel at its best, with dogs on leashes walking throughout the property and welcomed at the front desk with packages of mini treats.

Top Marks

Colton House has become really popular with leisure travelers and stays fairly booked on the weekends. Every aspect of decoration in this hotel is extremely intentional, with the interior design being 10 out of 10! Comfortable chairs that pop with color are found everywhere, as are beautifully designed rugs and ornamental mirrors.

While many of the public spaces have energetic color schemes, the bedrooms at Colton House are more calming with neutral colors and modern design elements. Courtesy photo

Stay a While

With 80 rooms, including various sizes of suites, the hotel is also very popular with extended stay guests. There are seven 3-bedroom suites, perfect for families with a dog, that include bedrooms with different size beds, two bathrooms, a living room with flatscreen TV, a large dining room table for eight, and a full kitchen. Even the studios, which are an oversized hotel room, come with a small kitchenette and table for eating.

The Hero

The hero of the house is the Club Room just off the lobby that has a kaleidoscope of colorful furniture and artwork on the walls. Adjacent is the Library which has a board room feel but is accessible to guests when not in use. These, combined with the Parlor on the opposite end of the hotel, make Colton House Hotel perfect for those needing to work remotely.

The Club Room at Colton House provides ample space for lounging, and guests are encouraged to casually enjoy the space or book it for gatherings. The colorful design scheme and large windows provide a bright space with an open feel. Courtesy photo

Food & Drink

Simona’s coffee and cocktails on the bottom floor is open from 8am to 10pm. Start your day with a specialty coffee like the Candybar Mocha and end your day with a beautifully curated signature cocktail such as the Lady Bird featuring gin, Violet Crown elderflower, honey, lemon, and chamomile vanilla. You can also enjoy grab and go lunch items such as salads and sandwiches.

There’s no on-site option for dinner but we highly recommend ordering from Southside Flying Pizza, which has one if its five locations just up the road on South Congress. Order pizzas, salads, and delicious cheesy breadsticks, all delivered straight to the hotel.

Your pooch will enjoy little details in the suite, such as a food and water bowl and treats. The hotel even has an on-call dog walker.

The Colton House Hotel even has an on-call dog walker. Courtesy photo

Special Events

Colton House features special events for guests such as yoga either in the studio next to the fitness room or outdoors. The hotel also collaborates with Prestige Picnics to create beautifully designed special events for anything from birthdays to anniversaries to bigger parties. They will design a tablescape to remember and can host your special event in the Penthouse or on the outdoor patio which aces a view of the Austin skyline.

Texas A&M Hotel & Conference Center, College Station

As the Queen of Aggieland, Reveille would expect nothing less than the best for her pet pals. Book the pet package and your canine will also be treated like royalty. Photo courtesy Texas A&M Hotel and Conference Center

The Texas A&M Hotel & Conference Center features a pet package. As the Queen of Aggieland, Reveille would expect nothing less than the best for her pet pals. Book their pet package and your canine will also be treated like royalty – receiving welcome treats upon arrival and a special gift of a Texas A&M branded bandana. And as the royal pup’s assistant, the package also bestows on you complimentary self-parking for one vehicle. 

 Be sure to plan ahead, as this puppy package needs to be booked 72 hours prior to arrival. 

Kuhlman Cellars, Stonewall

At Kuhlman Cellars in Stonewall, your four-legged companions are welcome to enjoy the beautiful outdoor tasting area. Courtesy photo

There are over 75 wineries on Highway 290 in the Texas Hill country. If you’re traveling with your four-legged companion, we recommend heading over to Kuhlman Cellars in Stonewall, right outside of Fredericksburg, to enjoy their Wine and Food Experience ($35 per person). Sit with your favorite people and enjoy 45 minutes of education, laughs and some great wine paired with small bites. You’ll learn all about why and how these particular food choices complement or enhance the wine.

You’ll taste five wines from their female winemaker that range in retail price from $28-$48. We enjoyed the 2019 Estate White, which means it was made on property. This one is aged in stainless steel, and has hints of lemon drop, peach, pear and banana.

The 2017 Alluve is a blend of six grapes, two of which are grown on property, and is what one customer called a “porch pounder” — namely an easy drinker. This wine, paired with the Kuhlman seasoned marcona almonds, is perfection.

Inspired by the winding creek traversing the Texas Hill Country ranch, Kuhlman Cellars believes wine promotes an appreciation of life’s journey. At Kuhlman Cellars, the winemaking life is about earth, vines, people, education and tradition. Courtesy photo

The 2016 Reserve Merlot is a single varietal paired with salami and cheese. It comes from the second most-produced grape in North America, is aged 30 months in neutral oak, which means it’s used more than once, plus an additional year in new oak.

The 2017 Asteries, which means Constellation Star, is a classic Bordeaux blend. Paired with a chocolate cheesecake from Mozart’s in Austin, makes for a delightful “Kuhlmanation.”

Dogs are welcome to enjoy the property’s beautiful outdoor tasting area, although they are not allowed inside the tasting room. If you’re bringing your dog along, when you make a reservation, ask where your tasting will be and let them know that you’ll have your pup present. 

Carter Creek Winery Resort & Spa, Johnson City

 

Dogs are welcome on the Carter Creek Winery Resort & Spa property, and they make great hiking or strolling companions. Photo Brian Maass

Nothing pairs better with wine than a restful resort getaway and a four-legged friend!

Rejuvenate yourself at dog-friendly Carter Creek Winery, complete with a tasting room and comfortable villas for your special getaway. The one-bedroom villas can sleep 2 to 6 people, and open up to an expansive courtyard — perfect for social distancing — where outdoor dining is welcomed and there’s live music every Friday and Saturday evening. There are 78 cozy villas to choose from with rates starting at $159 for weekdays and $199 for weekend days.

The owners of Carter Creek Winery Resort & Spa Jim and Dawn Carter have created a shining example of Hill Country hospitality with residential-style villas, spectacular wines, craft beer, on-site spa services and more. Courtesy photo

This resort is the perfect place for a family or friend getaway because both beer and wine drinkers can be tastefully accommodated. Carter Creek provides the perfect marriage of delicious craft beer with fantastic Texas wines, so no one will be left out.

Right next door, dine indoors or out at Old 290 Brewery. A robust menu has hearty options like a warm pretzel plate, oven-baked pizzas, grilled chicken sandwiches and chicken alfredo — perfect for pairing with a craft beer from the brewery or bottle of wine from the winery.

Discover a rustic-meets-upscale oasis in the heart of the Texas Hill Country. The spacious accommodations at Carter Creek Winery Resort & Spa blend home-style comforts with luxurious amenities. Courtesy photo

Food, drink and lodging are not all the resort has to offer. Overnight guests can enjoy a break from the Texas heat in the pool, take a hike through the nearby trails or have a relaxing stroll through the vineyards. To sweeten the deal even more, dogs are welcome on the property, and they make a great hiking or strolling companion.

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Cover photo courtesy Josh Rakower on Unsplash

Marika Flatt, who would not be without her favorite four-paws, sweet Cocoa Butter,  is the Travel Editor of Texas Lifestyle Magazine and was named “Outstanding Austin Communicator” 2021 by Women Communicators of Austin. Flatt has been the voice of the Weekend Trip Tips on NPR’s Texas Standard for over three years and is a regular travel contributor to TV shows across the state.