Pet-Friendly Vacation in Ephrata

August 26, 2013

If you're one of the MANY people who wouldn't think of taking a vacation without your 4-legged family member, and you're considering a vacation to Lancaster, PA, then you'll want to continue reading!!   We get it, you need more than just a place to stay that accepts dogs, you also need to know what attractions & other things to do, plus places  where you can go out to eat with your dog.  We've pulled together a list of local dog parks, hiking trails, [shops, attractions and restaurants for you that will hopefully make planning your pet-friendly Lancaster PA Getaway a breeze!

This blog is all about Pet Friendly Lancaster PA 

Off-Leash Dog Parks

Ephrata Unleashed Dog Park

  • 160 Old Mill Rd, Ephrata | Website
  • Open Dawn to Dusk
  • 40,000 square foot dog park filled with drinking water fountains for you & your pup, ramps & fun agility items, benches and, of course, doggie waste stations.  There's even community WiFi provided by Blueridge Communications!

Buchanan Dog Park

  • 901 Buchanan Ave, Lancaster | Website
  • Open 6 am - 9 pm
  • There is a small and large dog area, both with splash pads, a tunnel on the small dog side, and a tennis ball tree that launches tennis balls on the large dog side.

Jim Dietrich Park

  • 4899 Stoudts Ferry Bridge Rd., Reading, PA
  • Hours
  • Jim Deitrich Park is free to use, and features three large gated areas for dogs. One area is for small dogs, one is for large dogs, and the other they use to help rotate to keep the grass healthy in all areas. Picnic tables and doggie waste bags are available on-site. However, you will want to make sure you bring your own water.

Nature Hikes / Walks

There's no better way to release some pent up energy and get a breath of fresh air than a walk or run on the many nature trails in Lancaster County. Check out the area's Rails-to-Trails (especially Ephrata's "Richard D. Winters' Memorial Trail"), the  Middle Creek Wildlife Management Area, and Nolde Forest State Park. And the counties parks and preserves also provide beautiful natural settings for stretching your legs and enjoying the outdoors with your dog.

Lancaster PA Pet Friendly Shopping

So while you're dog can't actually go IN these shops, here are a collection of places that have outdoor space that's comfortable, with plenty of benches & shade, where one parent can wait outside while the other shops-til-they-drop.

  • Kitchen Kettle Village
  • Tanger Outlets
  • Prussian Street Arcade
  • Downtown Lititz

Attractions that are Pet Friendly

And leashed pets are welcome on the exterior grounds of the Ephrata Cloister, The Amish Farm and House, Wheatland/ (President Buchanan's estate), and Landis Valley Museum.

Enjoy the experience of  Amish-style buggy rides that let your dog (provided it can sit on your lap) join you for your trot through the countryside. Check out Aaron and Jessica’s Amish Buggy Rides in Bird-in-HandAbe’s Buggy Rides in Bird-in-Hand, and the AAA Buggy Rides at Kitchen Kettle Village in Intercourse.

Covered Bridges Tour

Venture out for a drive and self-guided tour with your pet to see the charming PA Dutch country covered bridges. Or if you'd feel more comfortable with a guide accompanying you as you explore the Lancaster County backroads in your vehicle, consider the Amish/Mennonite Guided Tours.

Pet-Friendly Restaurants

With so many people out in the world who own & love dogs, you'd think that heath department personnel would be more on-board with allowing well behaved pets in restaurants, but the truth of it is, they're NOT!  Even restaurants who WANT to allow pets in their establishments are hampered by local rules and regulations (and snitches).  Basically the rule in Lancaster PA is that dogs are only able to be OUTDOORS in a restaurant and they, "must have a separate area where the animals are allowed and the servers must be separate and dedicated to that area".  In every case, restaurants expect that your pet be well behaved and under control at all times... in other words, don't be the dog owner that wrecks it for everyone else!!

Here's a list of restaurants who allow dogs to dine in their outdoor space:

  • The Deck (seasonal restaurant)
  • Weathered Vineyards Ephrata (Friday - Sunday, seasonal for pets)
  • Funck's



Stay at our Lancaster PA Pet Friendly Bed and Breakfast!

The Historic Smithton Inn is a wonderful pet-friendly bed and breakfast in Lancaster PA!!  If you're planning a trip with your four-legged family member, check to see if the Tailor's Cottage is available.  Our pet friendly suite has its own private entrance that keeps you apart from the rest of the B&B guests, while still being connected as far as amenities are concerned!

As you can see, you never have to worry about leaving your best friend at home while you're on vacation if you choose Lancaster County as your destination! Give us a call at 717-733-6094 to reserve our pet-friendly room, and find out even more about the things to do and see with your dog while you're here.


This blog is all about Pet Friendly Lancaster PA 

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