Hitting the Town with Your Four-Legged Friend Has Never Been Easier
You know that look your dog gives you when she can tell you’re about to leave the house? She follows you to the front door, cocks her head and stares at you with those big, soulful eyes. “Please, Mom. Take me with you,” they seem to say. That’s when your heart melts and you wonder if you should cancel your plans and stay home with your pooch. But guess what? You don’t have to choose between being a shut-in and abandoning your four-legged BFF. These days, more and more of our neighborhood haunts are welcoming our beloved furry friends. That’s especially true during the warmer weather months when so much of our eating, drinking and recreating happens outdoors.
From bars and restaurants serving fresh water and treats, and cafes where cats rule the roost to off-leash dog parks where pups can stretch their legs, the Towson area is full of pet-friendly destinations. Here are some of our favorites.
Village Square Café
Located in the peaceful Village of Cross Keys, Village Square Café has one of the dog-friendliest patios around. “We’re not curbside, so there’s not traffic or smoke,” says owner Roseann Glick, who opened the café with her husband, Robert, in 2008.
Village Square provides dog bowls and water, but the pet-friendliness doesn’t end there.
“We had one customer who used to come in with her Lab named Jackson,” Roseann says. “And she’d ask, ‘What’s good for the dog?’ So we would prepare sausage at room temperature, or grilled chicken, diced up and not too hot. We’re dog people, so we understand.”
Incidentally, Village Square Café also has great food for humans. The menu includes breakfast fare, soups, salads, sandwiches, pizzas and weekend brunch. They’re open for dinner Thursdays-Saturdays and also serve beer and wine.
66 Village Square, Baltimore, Maryland, 410.433.2233, VillageSquareCafe.com
Lake Roland Park
Formerly known as Robert E. Lee Park, Lake Roland Park’s name isn’t the only thing that’s changed in recent years. As Kurt Davis, president of the Lake Roland Nature Council, attests, the 503-acre park, which surrounds lovely Lake Roland, contains “exceptionally diverse ecosystems including wetlands, meadows and hardwood forests.” In addition, the park’s facilities include the Lake Roland Nature Center; multiple trails for hiking, biking, running and strolling; two picnic pavilions; a new children’s playground; and an area to launch kayaks and canoes. It’s also home to Paw Point, a 1-acre, membership-only dog park.
“Each membership allows entry for up to two licensed and vaccinated dogs to the facility. There is a code-controlled gated entrance and access to Lake Roland for dogs who enjoy the water,” says Davis.
1000 Lakeside Drive, Baltimore, Maryland, LakeRoland.org
Charles Village Pub & Patio
Don’t be fooled by its name—CVP is located right here in Towson. In fact, it’s been here since 1985. Known for terrific burgers, sandwiches, pub fare and libations, CVP also has the only year-round heated patio deck in the neighborhood.
“Towson is a very walkable community,” says Jeff Stintz, who handles CVP’s marketing. “And now, many of the hotels and apartment communities in the area are pet-friendly. We thought it was important to be a part of that movement, too. Now our patrons don’t have to choose between hanging out with their friends or hanging out with their pooch. CVP features two shaded patio areas, and we place a number of water bowls around, in case your buddy needs a drink. Also, if Fido prefers hot dogs over burgers, we’ve got it covered.”
In fact, CVP offers a free hot dog to any pooch who wants one. Can’t beat that!
19 W. Pennsylvania Ave., Towson, Maryland, 410.821.8155, CVPTowson.com
Hampton National Historic Site
Brush up on 150 years of history with a visit to this National Historic Site, which allows you to traverse its beautiful outdoor environs with your on-leash pet. The scenic grounds and gardens of the 62.4-acre park are open daily and offer plenty to explore, including dozens of historic structures, a falling garden, several state champion trees and lots of wildlife. With the OnCell app, available via the website, you can take a self-guided tour and learn the history behind the park grounds, gardens and outbuildings—all while getting lots of great exercise with your four-legged friend.
Call ahead to check hours of operation, and be sure to check the historic site’s calendar for special programs and events.
535 Hampton Lane Towson, Maryland, 410.823.1309, NPS.gov/hamp/index.htm