Ahhhh, the Big Easy. Birthplace of Jazz and home of Mardi Gras. If there’s another place on earth like it, we haven’t seen it. But how pet friendly is New Orleans? We’re happy to share our tips for a visit with your furry travel companion.
Buster and Ty with Louis Armstrong
New Orleans is a fantastic destination for people and pets alike. It’s filled with dog friendly hotels, restaurants, and things to do. They even have a dog parade, Barkus, during Mardi Gras!
A laid-back attitude permeates the city’s atmosphere. If your dogs are well behaved, they should be able to tag along for most activities. Just be sure to ask permission before bringing them inside any businesses.
You can even take small pets on the New Orleans Regional Transit Authority (NORTA), which operates streetcars and buses throughout the city. They just require that pets travel in a carrier and the carrier must fit on your lap. Check out their trip planner for help navigating the city easily.
We hope our pet friendly guide to New Orleans inspires you to plan an amazing trip with your dog to the Big Easy.
READ MORE ⇒ Pet Friendly Public Transportation In The U.S. And Canada
The Do’s And Don’ts With Pets In New Orleans
New Orleans is loaded with pet friendly hotels, restaurants, shops, and parks. Unfortunately, a lot of the activities that we think of as “fundamentally NOLA” aren’t pet appropriate.
Visiting with our dogs provided the opportunity to explore parts of the city we never had before! And the places to see — as well as the ones to avoid — quickly became clear.
Do spend a day exploring the French Quarter.
The French Quarter is New Orleans’ historic heart, known for its vibrant nightlife and colorful buildings with cast-iron balconies. It is a fun area to walk around with marching bands in the streets, wonderful architecture, and dog friendly shopping.
This is where you’ll find Jackson Square, where street performers entertain crowds in front of St. Louis Cathedral. And quieter streets leading to peaceful residential areas and the French Market (which is not dog friendly).
The French Quarter | By Brendon McLaughlin
Don’t stroll though Jackson Square with your dog.
Dogs are not allowed in Jackson Square. But it’s still nice to walk the edges admiring all the street art for sale. And enjoying St. Louis Cathedral from different perspectives.
Do visit Café Du Monde.
Established in 1862, and located across the street from Jackson Square, Café Du Monde is a New Orleans must! They’re open 24/7, except for Christmas day. And the French-style beignets and chicory coffee make the perfect breakfast … or lunch … or dinner.
Dogs are not allowed in the covered seating area, but there are tables were you can sit with your pup along the side, just outside the fence. Or grab a seat on a park bench in the nearby plaza.
Don’t walk your pet on Bourbon Street after dark.
The French Quarter quintessential New Orleans, with Bourbon Street’s jazz clubs, Cajun eateries, and a raging bar scene. It’s not a place for dogs, unless they like intoxicated people stepping on them.
Instead, get a picture of your dogs displaying their beads early in the morning. Just after the street cleaner goes through!
Then look for a table at Café Beignet in Musical Legends Park. It’s a lovely place to sample beignet while enjoying a bit of live music.
“Fats” Domino at Musical Legends Park | Photo by Brendon McLaughlin
Do take your dog to Louis Armstrong Park.
Located just north of the French Quarter, this Louis Armstrong Park is a quiet sanctuary just a few blocks from the crowds and commotion of Bourbon Street. Enjoy the opportunity to get some grass between your toes, watch the ducks floating in the pond, and pose your pooch for some fun photos.
Louis Armstrong Park | By Brendon McLaughlin
Don’t count on sticking to your diet.
There are so many outstanding, dog friendly restaurants in New Orleans, it’s hard to narrow down a list. Fortunately, having your dog along means you’ll get plenty of exercise between meals. Here are a few places to try during your visit:
Broussard’s Restaurant & Patio – The beautiful lush patio at Broussard’s is as popular as its unique blend of Creole, French, Caribbean, Indian, and Spanish cuisines. Leashed dogs are allowed at the outer tables, as long as the patio is not reserved by a private party.
Café Amelie – Set among lush gardens in the historic and elegant Princess of Monaco Courtyard, this full-service restaurant offers seasonally and locally inspired foods. Leashed, well-mannered dogs are welcome in the courtyard.
Dat Dog – How could we not include a restaurant with “dog” in its name! In this case, however, the “dog” refers to “hot dogs.” Dat Dog’s artfully crafted cuisine of hot dogs, sausages (including vegetarian, vegan, and fish), burgers, and chicken (fried, grilled, or tossed in buffalo sauce) are a thing of beauty. Pets are welcome in the outdoor seating areas.
Herbsaint isn’t just one of the best dog friendly restaurants in New Orleans. It’s one of the best restaurants in the city. When making your reservation, be sure to let them know you’re bringing your dog and ask for a table outside.
READ MORE ⇒ Taking Your Dog To Pet Friendly Restaurants
Do drive to City Park.
You can see much of New Orleans on foot, but it’s well worth the drive to visit City Park. Covering 1,300 acres, it is recognized nationwide as the archetypal urban green space. It’s also home to the New Orleans Museum of Art, botanical gardens, sculpture garden, and so much more.
Leashed pets are welcome to enjoy the entire grounds with you. So, plan a picnic on the lawns under the 600-year-old live oak trees. Take a stroll around Big Lake. Or stop for a snack at Morning Call Coffee Stand, located at the intersection of Canal Boulevard and City Park Avenue.
Don’t forget to secure a permit to “City Bark.”
“City Bark” is the beautiful 4.5 acre, fenced dog park in City Park. But the dog park requires a permit (or a temporary permit for visitors) to ensure all dogs are properly vaccinated. So you’ll need to stop at the Park Administration building between 8am and 5pm, Monday through Friday with your dog’s vaccination records. Or download the permit application online. For just $10, your dog can play at City Bark all week!
There are on-site restrooms, separate areas for small and big dogs, water fountains (both human and canine), rinse stations, and shade pavilions. After a couple of days walking nicely on leash and waiting patiently while you eat, your dog will appreciate the chance to romp. And he or she might even make a new best friend.
Do mosey down Magazine Street to the Garden District.
Magazine Street, which is strewn with stores and restaurants, runs to the famous antebellum mansions of the Garden District neighborhood. The area was originally developed with only a couple of houses per block, each surrounded by a large garden.
Over the years, those parcels have been subdivided and now most blocks have a couple of early-19th century mansions surrounded by smaller, gingerbread-decorated Victorian homes.
Don’t be afraid to take a ghost tour.
This city has a history full of hauntings and ghost-related tales! For a fun way to learn more about the history of New Orleans, book a pet friendly ghost tour. The guides at NOLA Ghost Tour will share stories about mobsters, pirates, voodoo, and more.
Be sure to call before booking your tickets to let them know your dog will be joining you. The host will help you choose a tour that visits places that allow dogs. (Pets are not allowed in New Orleans’ St. Louis Cemetery or Layfette Cemetery.)
READ MORE ⇒ America’s Best Pet Friendly Ghost Tours
Do visit Rodrique Studios New Orleans.
George Rodrigue is an American artist famous for his blue dog pieces, which can be seen all over New Orleans on murals, pianos, canvases, and all sorts of unique mediums. Located on Royal Street in the French Quarter, the New Orleans gallery has a variety of George Rodrigue original paintings, jewelry, and publications. And leashed dogs are more than welcome! It’s a great spot to pick up a meaningful souvenir or gift.
Don’t miss sunset at The Fly.
Tucked behind Audubon Zoo, across the Mississippi River levee, The Fly is a waterfront portion of Audubon Park. Bring a blanket and savor one of the most beautiful views of the sunset in New Orleans!
Do enjoy views of New Orleans from the water.
Some of the best views of New Orleans can only be seen from the middle of the Mississippi River. Since 1827, the Canal Street/Algiers Ferry has carried passengers from the French Quarter to the historic neighborhood of Algiers Point. The short trip is only $2, and dogs do not need to be in a carrier.
On the other shore, stroll the Jazz Walk of Fame in Algiers, get lunch at one of the nearby cafés and pubs, take a walking tour, or get some exercise on the Algiers Bike Path. Then return on the ferry, which runs from 6am to 8:30pm weekdays, and later on the weekend.
Don’t underestimate the weather.
December through April are pleasant months to visit New Orleans. Hurricane season runs from June 1st to November 30th, and the heat and humidity during the summer can be stunning.
If you are visiting during summer, keep in mind that humans and pets could easily be overwhelmed and become dehydrated after a long day of exploring. Bring a portable water bowl, and pack a water bottle for your furry family members.
Also, pack your dog’s booties and continue checking the pavement temperature throughout the day. If you can hold the back of your hand to the sidewalk for five seconds or more, it should be safe for your dog to walk on. Learn to recognize dehydration and heat stroke in dogs to ensure your pet’s safety.
READ MORE ⇒ Recognizing Dehydration And Heat Stroke In Dogs
We found plenty of fun, pet friendly things to do in New Orleans! Have you visited NOLA? Are there any Do’s or Don’ts you’d add to our list?
Planning a trip on the Great River Road? Mark these 15 pet friendly stops on your map! ⇒ Great River Road – Pet Friendly Stops From Minneapolis To New Orleans
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