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How to spend 36 hours in Waterloo Region with your dog

a woman and her dog high-fiving in front of a colourful wall mural in downtown Kitchener

Photo: @dogfriendlykw

by Dog Friendly KW| July 2021

We’ve spent the last year learning about the countless dog friendly places you can visit with your pup across Waterloo Region. With three cities and four townships sprawling the region, there are endless activities for you and your dog to enjoy. From patios to outdoor adventures – here’s how to spend 36 hours in the Waterloo Region with your dog (or dogs?!)

Friday Evening 

If you’re from out of town, you’ll likely want to get settled in at your dog friendly accommodations. We recommend the Courtyard Marriott in St. Jacobs. They are not only incredibly dog friendly, but are located close to Highway 7/8 with many amenities close by to make your stay incredibly simple.

a whippet lying on a bed in a suite at the Courtyard by Marriott Hotel in St. Jacobs

Photo: @dogfriendlykw

Once you’ve checked into your hotel you’ll be starving, so head to Uptown Waterloo to Beertown Public House for dinner. Beertown is a local fan favourite because they have a dog friendly patio, a huge line up of incredible craft beers, and a wide variety of options for vegans, vegetarians, gluten free folks and omnivores alike!

Justine of Dog Friendly KW sitting on the patio at Beertown Waterloo with her dog Willa on her lap, with two colourful entrees placed in front of them

Photo: @dogfriendlykw

If you’ve still got some energy after your dinner, take a stroll in Uptown Waterloo and visit some of the dog friendly shops like Harmony or Words Worth Books. If you’re not much of a shopper, walk over to Waterloo Park to enjoy a stroll around the pond. 

Willa, a whippet breed of dog, inside the jewellery store Harmony in Uptown Waterloo

Photo: @dogfriendlykw

Saturday Morning 

Rise and shine! You’ve got a big day ahead of you – feed your dog their breakfast and get ready to head Downtown Kitchener. Start your day at Cafe Pyrus, the original vegetarian and vegan cafe in town for breakfast and coffee. Cafe Pyrus has a great dog friendly patio located on King St right in the heart of downtown. They love when fur-legged visit, and if you ask nicely, they’ll even bring your order out to you since your pup can’t go inside. We highly recommend the breakfast griller! 

large mixed breed dog sitting in front of Cafe Pyrus in downtown Kitchener

Photo: @dogfriendlykw

Once you’re full of delicious eats, you won’t want to miss the Downtown Kitchener Art Walk. This self-guided walk is a collaboration between the Downtown Kitchener BIA and the Kitchener-Waterloo Art Gallery. Download the digital guide to your phone and get ready to take some pooch-perfect pictures with pieces created by local artists! Be sure to show off your pup using the hashtag #DTKartwalk .

large mixed breed dog in front of a colourful wall mural outside in Goudies Lane in downtown Kitchener small whippet dog standing on a mural painted on the street in downtown Kitchener a female hi-fiving her dog in front of a colourful mural in downtown Kitchener

Saturday Afternoon & Evening

If you’re anything like us, all you want after a long walk is a beer! Head up to Elmira to visit Rural Roots Brewing Company which is dog friendly inside and out! Pair your pint with a tasty snack off their small (but delicious) snack menu. They also sell popcorn by donation with proceeds going to Woolwich Community Services.

Marshall, a large mixed breed dog, on the patio at Rural Roots Brewing in Elimra

Photo: @dogfriendlykw

By now, you and your pooch are probably due for a rest. Head back to the Courtyard to get some rest and freshen up for a stroll around the Village of St. Jacobs and dinner! 

Since your hotel is so perfectly situated near the Village of St. Jacobs, head into the village for a walk through the most dog friendly village in Waterloo Region. St. Jacobs is full of dog friendly options, and many businesses have signs on the door inviting your pooch in. You’ll want to make sure you stop by Living Fresh (our favourite) and Spoil The Dog Bakery (soon to be your dog’s favourite). Be sure to check business hours to avoid disappointment. 

two whippet dogs standing inside the Living Fresh floral shop in St. Jacobs  two whippets lookig into the camera and standing inside the Spoil the Dog Bakery in St. Jacobs

Once you have worked up an appetite, head for dinner at no other than The Village Biergarten. The Biergarten has a beautiful patio that is completely dog friendly. Their menu includes options for anyone with dietary restrictions and they serve up amazing drinks. By now, you and your pooch are wiped! Grab some beers from Block Three Brewing to enjoy from your hotel room before falling into a deep slumber. 

Willa, a whippet breed dog, on the stairs going up to the main doors at the Village Biergarten in the Village of St. Jacobs

Photo: @dogfriendlykw

Sunday Morning 

Take your time getting up this morning – yesterday was a big day! Once you are ready to start your day, check out of your hotel and head off to scenic Downtown Galt in Cambridge. By now, you are probably well overdue for some caffeine and breakfast. Hang out at the dog friendly patio at Monigram Coffee Roasters and enjoy a light breakfast and a local brew (coffee brew of course).

a female and her dog outside the entrance to Monigram Coffee Roasters in Cambridge

Photo: @dogfriendlykw

Now that you are fully caffeinated, it’s time to walk around beautiful downtown Galt. Explore along the river and marvel at the European-esque architecture of this beautiful area of Cambridge. Fun fact: this area is so picturesque, it’s been used to shoot a number of films and TV series, including The Handmaid’s Tale. Be sure to snap some cute pics of your pooch and tag #GaltLove. 

three dogs, one sitting and two standing, along the mill race area beside the Grand River in downtown Camgridge - Galt

Photo: @dogfriendlykw

Before you start to make your way home, you won’t want to miss the chance to stop at the Old Galt Bottle Shop – a dog friendly, craft beer bottle shop. Enjoy a brew on their patio or grab some bottles to take home! As you make your way back to the highway, stop by the Sheave Tower in Blair for a short walk to see this local monument – and of course, take more pictures of your pup!

And there you have it! An action packed weekend in Waterloo Region for you and your four-legged best friend! Be sure to tag @dogfriendlykw in all of your posts so we can see you out on your adventures with your pup and don’t forget to check out the Dog Friendly KW Business guide at www.dogfriendlykw.com for more places to visit with your pup! 

large mixed breed dog sitting on a walking bridge that leads to the rad Sheave Tower in the forest in the village of Blair a whippet dog standing inside the Old Galt Bottle Shop in Cambridge, by a wall that has the businesses name on it, and a small table and chairs against the wall

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picture of two women in toques and dressed for winter, outdoors and posing with their dogs who are also dressed for winter in front of a wall mural in Waterloo Region

Mackenzie Drinkwater and Justine Sparling are the humans behind Dog Friendly KW. Friends for almost twenty years, these two love to scout out new places to take their three dogs (Willa, Alydar and Marshall) on adventures.

They are always working to grow and educate the local dog friendly community through their podcast (locally produced by Midtown Radio), Instagram and the Dog Friendly KW Business Guide

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