8 Dog-Friendly Hangout Spots in Jax

Want to explore Jacksonville with your pooch in tow? Here are 8 local businesses that welcome man’s best friend.

RESTAURANTS

1. River City Brewing Company
This riverfront restaurant located in downtown Jacksonville welcomes dogs on the Brew House deck as long as they are small (under 30 pounds) and attended by a responsible pet owner. Dogs must also be on a leash. Reservations are a good idea since riverfront tables are limited. The servers here are pet-friendly, offering bowls of water and bones for their four-legged guests. Happy hour is on the Brew House deck Monday through Friday from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. River City Brewing Company is located at 835 Museum Circle.

2. M Shack
M Shack is a dining establishment known for their tasty burgers and mouth-watering milkshakes, but they are also a welcome hangout for furry friends! Reviewers on BringFido.com love the “nice patio area”, and also mention that they have water available for dogs. M Shack has three locations around town, so stop at the location convenient to you!

3. Orsay
Have a sophisticated palette? Touted by many as the #1 restaurant in Jax, Orsay offers French fare, hand-made cocktails and a spot for pups in their outdoor seating. Some notable dishes are the bouillabaisse, steak tartare and lamb belly. They also have an extensive wine menu. Their slogan is “Elegance without pretense.” What better place to experience fine dining in a space that welcomes your pet? Orsay is located at 3630 Park Street in Jacksonville.

4. Bruster’s Real Ice Cream
Bruster’s Real Ice Cream offers a place to cool down from the summer heat. Not only are they dog-friendly, they offer a special ice cream Sundae complete with a dog bone on top, FREE of charge for your furry companion! Stop at any Bruster’s location for a sweet treat.

BEACHES AND PARKS

5. Katheryn Abby Hanna Park and Beach
Hanna park welcomes dogs in most areas, as long as they are on a leash. This 450-acre park has beach access, a splash pad, kayak launch and a pet-friendly campground. They do ask that you clean up after your pet and obey all posted signs to help keep this natural wonder safe and scenic. Hanna park is located at 500 Wonderwood Drive in the Mayport area of Jacksonville.  

6. Ed Austin Dog Park
Ed Austin is a large family park that features four acres of “unleashed” dog roaming space. Park goers love the many shaded areas. The dog park features two spaces, one for small dogs and one for large dogs. The park is a welcome space for travelers taking a break from a long drive, as well as in-town dog owners. It’s a great place for Fido to meet new friends, whether two-legged or tail wagging! Ed Austin park is located at 11751 McCormick Road.

7. Riverside Arts Market
Enjoy great art from local artists while taking a stroll with your animal companion at the Riverside Arts Market. The arts market is a great way to support local businesses and mingle with new people. Some vendors offer bowls of refreshing water to keep your dog cool. Vendors also offer dog treats and artistic accessories made for pooches. Take a relaxing stroll with your dog on a leash or in a stroller, and be sure to clean up after your friend. The Riverside Arts Market is located at 715 Riverside Avenue.

8. Mickler’s Landing
Mickler’s Landing is one of the most beautiful beaches in Jacksonville, and your dog can experience the coquina sand and pristine dunes this beach has to offer! This family-friendly beach has grills, which are important, because even dogs love the smell of barbecue. There are public restrooms and ample beach parking. It’s one of the less crowded beaches and they welcome pups as long as they are leashed. Mickler’s is located at 110 Ponte Vedra Boulevard in Ponte Vedra Beach.

So there you have it, eight fun settings to create summer memories with your fur baby. Our beachy city is home to various businesses that welcome pets. Some key advice is to call ahead to ensure there is available seating and to keep your precious pooch safe with a leash, stroller or harness. Now follow your nose and see what Jax has to offer!

Avan Guzman is a wife and mom of three living in sunny Jacksonville, Florida. Her interests include writing, real estate, healthcare and beauty. On most days she can be found on the beach with a good book, or enjoying many of the restaurants Jax has to offer. She can be reached at avan.guzman@gmail.com