Dogs just want to have fun -- and fortunately, Denver has no shortage of places where you can take your pet. The Mile High City has dog-friendly salons, bars, stores and parks, of course. Here are ten places you and your dog will love this summer:
Denver Pet Expo August 17, 10 a.m.-6 p.m., free Denver Mart The Denver Pet Expo is an annual event that gives pet owners the chance to show off their furry friends, snag free goodies and meet renowned characters in the pet world. The 2013 incarnation is especially exciting for dog owners, since Shorty Rossi from Animal Planet's Pit Boss will be making an appearance with his pit bull, Hercules.
Washington Park Downing Street and Louisiana Avenue Denver is a city full of great parks, but Washington Park may be the most emblematic of them. The 154 acres in this urban oasis include flowerbeds, tennis courts, two lakes and several off-leash areas. Not only is this park a favorite with human residents, but it's also an ideal spot to give your dog a social life: There's never a shortage of pooches here, especially during the warm months.
Stella's Coffeehaus 1476 South Pearl Street Attention, all pastry-loving dog owners: You can have your cake (or muffin) and eat it, too. Stella's not only makes wonderful coffee and tasty pastries, but it has a large, dog-friendly porch equipped with water bowls and free dog treats. Conveniently located near Wash Park, Stella's ensures that your day can be more than just a pleasant walk in the park. Continue reading for more dog-friendly places.
File-n-Style Nail Salon and Boutique 2920 East Colfax Avenue File-n-Style offers a variety of beauty treatments, all of which can be done while your dog sits at your pedicure-pampered feet. The salon has water bowls and treats for your pooch, who is sure to rate the experience with two paws up. Now if only they could give Fido a manicure, too.
Chatfield State Park 11500 North Roxborough Park Road Wet dog is not a pleasant smell, but a little stink is a small price to pay for your dog's happiness. Chatfield not only has several off-leash areas where a canine can run wild and free, but the reservoir is also an ideal spot for your pet to take the plunge. Be sure to bring a towel -- not for your dog, but for yourself, after your furry friend shakes himself dry on you.
The Barker Lounge 475 Santa Fe Drive In the mood for a cold brew on a hot day but don't want to leave your pooch at home? You don't have to! The Barker Lounge, which is very GLBT-friendly, also allows well-behaved, leashed dogs inside the bar. That's why regulars refer to this not as a gay and lesbian bar, but rather as "the stray bar." Continue reading for more dog-friendly places.
Cherry Creek Farmers' Market Every Wednesday and Saturday through October First Avenue and University Boulevard While other farmers' markets -- notably the one in Boulder -- have banned pooches, the Cherry Creek Farmers' Market still allows you to bring your dog while you shop. And many of the vendors have water bowls and goodies for your pets (albeit not ones as fresh as those that humans get to sample). The atmosphere and friendly faces guarantee a tail-wagging experience.
Red Rocks Amphitheatre and Park 18300 West Alameda Parkway Red Rocks isn't just great for concerts; it's also a beautiful place to take your dog for a hike. Leashed dogs are welcome on all of the trails that surround the venue. A ramble around the famous amphitheater could make a day hike with your dog feel like a mini-vacation. Be sure to bring plenty of water for both you and your pup -- and be sure to leave before the concert crowds start arriving.
Buffalo Exchange 51 Broadway This upscale secondhand store lets you shop with the most fashionable accessory around: your dog! And at checkout, if you refrain from asking for a bag for your purchases, you'll be given a token that you can use to donate to shelters for your pet's less fortunate brothers and sisters.
Dog Dayz September, TBA Scott Carpenter Pool During the final two weeks of the summer season, this public swimming pool in Boulder closes to humans and opens up just for canines. Dog Dayz has welcomed more than 2,000 dogs a season in previous years. It's a chance for your pup to demonstrate how the dog paddle is truly done.
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Bone-us: Take your pup to a Starbucks drive-thru with you, where the employees give out dog treats!