This is a guest post from Gigi Chow of Wet Nose Escapades.
Situated on the murky Mississippi River near the Gulf of Mexico, New Orleans is often described as the most unique place in America.
Coined the “Big Easy” or NOLA (for short), New Orleans is a rich blend of many cultures, including French, Spanish, African, and Native American. Visitors from near and far flock to this dynamic destination for jazz music, Creole cuisine, Mardi Gras, and the famous French Quarter.
But what is it like visiting New Orleans with a dog? Can you take your dog to the French Quarter? Are there many dog-friendly dining options, and where can you stay with a dog? Keep reading to find out more about visiting New Orleans with a dog!
Dog-Friendly Sightseeing in NOLA
#1 Experience Bourbon Street
The #1 attraction in New Orleans is Bourbon Street in the French Quarter, and yes, you can experience the blocks of beads-throwing craziness with your dog.
However, taking your dog here can be tricky (or even unsafe at times) due to loud music, throngs of tourists, and intoxicated partygoers. As the heart of the city, Bourbon Street is adorned with neon lights, Spanish balconies, and spectacular live music.
Even though Bourbon Street is the most lively at night, you should not walk your dog around here at this time as his paws will likely get stepped on, either by a clumsy tourist or partygoer who has had a little too much Fat Tuesday.
Because the madness can also be overwhelming for your dog to experience, the best times to go are in the morning, daytime, or early evening (before everyone comes out to play).
#2 Go Mansion Hunting on St. Charles Avenue
Crowned as the “Jewel of America’s Grand Avenues,” the gracefully oak-lined St. Charles Avenue is flooded with gorgeous historic mansions (from Queen Anne to Greek Revival styles) dating back to the 19th and 20th centuries.
Spanning over several miles of luxurious homes, St. Charles Avenue makes a very peaceful and relaxing walk with your dog. If you have a small dog like Roger, you can also explore the thoroughfare by the streetcar, which allows small dogs inside carriers (although not strictly enforced from my experience).
Since we’ve spent so much time in this city in the last few years, Roger has explored St. Charles both by foot and streetcar. The streetcar can be a bit of a bumpy ride, so I wouldn’t recommend it if your dog is prone to motion sickness.
#3 Take Pictures of Jackson Square from Washington Artillery Park
Jackson Square is the famous park where history was made with the Louisiana Purchase, in which the state officially became a U.S. territory in 1803.
Dogs are not allowed inside Jackson Square, but they can still pose for pictures with this amazing National Historic Landmark in the backdrop. The prime location for a photo shoot is Washington Artillery Park, the elevated outdoor space right across from the square with sweeping views of the Mississippi River.
Dedicated to the soldiers of France, Spain, the Confederacy, and the U.S. in 1976, the artillery park made headlines recently when the city removed the cannon from the site in an effort to eliminate racist-affiliated monuments and street names sparked by the George Floyd protests.
#4 Grab Beignets at Cafe Du Monde
Established in 1862, this iconic French Market coffee stand almost needs no introduction. Open 24/7, Cafe Du Monde serves up mouthwatering powder-sugared fritters known as “beignets” and freshly made cafe au lait. Besides being a landmark of the city, Cafe Du Monde has coffee and beignet mix sold virtually everywhere in the world.
With ample covered outdoor seating, this bustling coffee stand is a New Orleans experience that can be easily enjoyed with your dog. Even though Roger has dined onsite several times, our favorite spot to enjoy these goodies is actually on the steps of the nearby Washington Artillery Park.
#5 Stroll along the Moonwalk
From Washington Artillery Park, just walk down the steps towards the river and you’ll hit Moonwalk Riverfront Park.
A walk along the Mississippi River with your dog is a must in New Orleans. After all, the Mississippi is the second-longest river in North America, and only second to the Hudson Bay in terms of the largest drainage system.
From steamboats to street performers, the mile-long Moonwalk is always one intriguing scene. We’ve met many different people and their dogs on this walk since it’s a popular spot for both locals and visitors.
Dog-Friendly Parks in NOLA
Besides Moonwalk Riverfront Park, there are a plethora of dog-friendly parks in New Orleans with many of them equipped with poop bag stations for easy cleanup after your dog. Here are two of Roger’s go-to parks:
New Orleans City Bark Dog Park: Within the massive New Orleans City Park, Bark Dog Park is in an elite class of dog parks where you must register for a permit to enter. For visitors, the permit is $10 for one week or $15 for two weeks. With nearly 5 acres of free-roaming and separate zones for small and big dogs, the price of admission to this clean, meticulously maintained dog park is worth it.
Lafayette Square: Located in the Central Business District, Lafayette Park is the second oldest public park in the city. Dedicated to Revolutionary War Hero Marquis De Lafayette, this dog-friendly park takes you on a walk of history with its marvelous statues and monuments. With our apartment being only a few blocks away, Roger quickly became a regular here. It’s also a wonderful place to people-watch – expect to see occasional weddings, live music, and festivals.
Dog-Friendly Dining in NOLA
One of the biggest draws to New Orleans is obviously their food culture. It’s no debate that the city’s world-renowned Southern cuisine is incomparable, with influences from Creole, Cajun, and soul food. Be sure to come here with a big appetite and try authentic gumbo, crawfish etouffee, jambalaya, po-boy, shrimp and grits, and muffaletta – the list goes on.
Like in most cities in the U.S., dogs are only allowed to dine in outdoor seating at restaurants here (except for service dogs). Luckily, finding a good place to eat with your dog is rarely difficult since this city boasts plenty of dog-friendly dining options.
One of the most popular spots to dine with your dog in the French Quarter is Cafe Amelia. The food here is top quality with tasty Southern classics like shrimp and grits, gumbo, Cajun catfish, and muffaletta. Besides the food, the best part is really their romantic dog-friendly courtyard, which boasts 150 years of history as the Princess of Monaco Courtyard and Carriage House.
Other dog-friendly options are Cochon and sister restaurant Cochon Butcher. Located in the Warehouse/Lower Garden District, Cochon and Cochon Butcher are spearheaded by award-winning chefs Donald Link and Stephen Stryjewski.
Cochon is the more trendy and upscale eatery serving plates of seafood and sirloin steak while Cochon Butcher presents a more laid-back, hipster vibe with sandwiches of cured meats, sausages, and fresh cuts. Both restaurants offer a taste of good ol’ Southern cooking along with outdoor seating for dogs.
Check out more recommendations for dog-friendly New Orleans restaurants.
Dog-Friendly Accommodation in NOLA
Hotel Monteleone (214 Royal Street) is a luxurious dog-friendly hotel in the heart of the French Quarter. For a $100 non-refundable fee and a $25 per night charge, your dog can experience the royal treatment at this fabulous historic hotel.
Upon check-in, your furry traveler will receive Monte’s Pet Package, which includes a sleeping mat, monogrammed water & food bowls, a chew toy, gourmet treats, poop bags, and a brochure of dog-friendly attractions in the city!
This historic hotel also offers a special in-kennel dining menu for dogs, featuring a Bow Wow Burger (beef patty with chopped carrots, peas, and quinoa), Doggone Diet (white rice and boiled chicken), and Puppucino.
Sheraton NOLA (500 Canal Street) is another dog-friendly hotel in the French Quarter, just 4 blocks from the Mississippi River. A maximum of one dog (max. 40 pounds) per room is welcome for $75 per stay.
While dogs are allowed in common areas, they must be leashed or in a carrier. Dogs cannot be left alone and must be under the supervision of the owner at all times. There is a pet relief area with poop bag stations onsite.
The Kimpton Hotel is always dog-friendly, and their New Orleans location in the Central Business District is no exception. At Kimpton Fontenot (501 Tchoupitoulas Street), dogs are welcomed by name with no limit, breed, or size restrictions, and there is no additional charge for pets or deposit required. Furry travelers are provided with a plush dog bed, water bowl, food, mat, and poop bags.
Hope you enjoy visiting the Big Easy with your dog! Be sure to share your experience with us.
About the Author
Since 2016, Gigi Chow has been living the nomadic life with her ultra-bossy Yorkshire Terrier Roger Wellington who has flown on 60 flights across more than 20 countries. She is the creator behind the dog travel website Wet Nose Escapades: A Yorkie’s Guide to Healthy Dog Travel, which is narrated by Roger W.
Besides looking for dog-friendly activities wherever they go, they also teach dog “pawrents” how to travel with their dogs. Whenever this dynamic duo is not traveling internationally, they are exploring domestically back home in the U.S.