Retreat to the Black Hills of South Dakota: A Pet-Friendly Getaway

Life on the road is better with pets! Whether you’re traveling from afar or planning a staycation in your own backyard, our pet-friendly travel guide provided by the Hotel Alex Johnson ensures your next vacation will be paws-itively unforgettable.

*A friendly reminder that the locations listed below have some rules in place while still offering a wonderful travel experience for visitors and their pets. Please always clean up after your pet, and always have your dog on a leash (unless otherwise stated).

So, pack your leash and get ready to explore the beautiful Black Hills with our list of pet-friendly activities!

1. Hotel Alex Johnson

If you’re looking for fancy yet comfortable accommodations in a downtown location, then the Hotel Alex Johnson is the place for you! Our pet-friendly hotel boasts a charming and historic location while keeping you close to everything that matters most; a downtown location in Rapid City, SD, minutes from the area’s best hiking trails and near major attractions. At The Alex, we go the extra mile to provide amenities that you and your pet will absolutely love. Ask for our Pampered Pooch Package and receive plush accommodations, including a dog bed, food bowls, and delicious homemade peanut butter and yogurt-dipped dog biscuits. Go ahead and bring along your furry friend and let us spoil both of you!

2. Downtown Rapid City

Take a stroll through downtown Rapid City and explore pet-friendly activities, outdoor patios, and a variety of shops. Many surrounding restaurants and pubs offer outdoor seating areas for you and your pup. While you’re here, head over to the Shops at Main Street Square, where your pets are welcome inside the stores. After shopping, grab a sweet treat for the both of you at Silver Lining Creamery and enjoy the Main Street Square fountain views from the spacious patio.

3. Hiking Trails

When it comes to outdoor activities, the Black Hills of South Dakota has the ulti-mutt dog-friendly hiking trails and parks your pup will surely love. Trails such as M-Hill (Hanson-Larsen Memorial Park), the Stratobowl, or even Canyon Lake Park can be explored within an hour, while Custer State Park and Spearfish Canyon provide an all-day adventure. Whichever trail you choose to hike or park to visit, you are guaranteed beautiful scenic views any time of the year.

*Please remember to always clean up after your dog wherever you go.

4. Bar K-9 Dog Park & Bar

Where can you let your dog run wild indoors while you sip on a cold brew? The Bar K-9 Dog Park & Bar, of course! The Bar K-9 located inside the Rushmore Mall provides a safe, controlled environment where dogs can play and interact with other well-behaved furry friends. While your pup plays, head over to the bar and grab yourself a cold beverage. They also make pup-approved beer, too!

5. Local Breweries & Pubs

Bottoms pup! The Black Hills offers a variety of breweries, each with unique flavors but with one thing in common: they all love pets! The only rules are that your dog remains on their leash and be friendly and respectable (no barking). Stay local with Paddy O’Neill’s Irish Pub, Lost Cabin, and Zymurcracy Beer Company, or take a day trip to Crow Peak Brewing in Spearfish, SD, or Jacob’s Brewhouse & Grocer in Deadwood, SD.

6. Reptile Gardens

For travelers looking to take a walk on the wild side, pay a visit to Reptile Gardens in Rapid City, SD. The park is one of the only dog-friendly attractions in the Black Hills. Leashed and well-behaved dogs are welcome in all areas except the Safari Room. You and your pup can enjoy the beautiful landscaping, check out the interesting reptiles, and see most (if not all) of the shows offered at the park. Don’t forget your camera!

7. Historic Deadwood, SD

Head north to Historic Deadwood, SD, where pets are welcome in and throughout the town. Feel free to wander on Main Street, visit the unique shops (many are dog-friendly), and most dining options that offer patio seating welcome you and your best friend, too.

8. Spearfish Canyon

For travelers and their pets who are a little more adventurous, head to the Northern Black Hills and spend the day exploring Spearfish Canyon. Known as a hidden gem in the Black Hills, the Canyon is nothing short of stunning views, waterfalls, hiking trails (most are pet-friendly), and thousand-foot-high limestone mountains. The Canyon is a must-see any time during the year, but the Fall season is notable when the foliage turns to beautiful shades of yellow, gold, and red.

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