Picture your ideal summer day; Birds chirp you awake sometime in late morning, the sun warming your cheek as your eyes flutter open. Brunch at your favorite spot: some coffee, a mimosa or two. Assuming the weather is just right, the entire day would be spent outside, lounging or hiking or swimming under an endless blue sky as a gentle breeze keeps things from getting overly sweaty.
“But who will watch the dog?” You inevitably ponder as the above description sets your imagination in motion. What if your ideal summer day included your dog? Not as a hindrance, but as a central figure in the day’s events. Read on to find out what that day might look like.
First: Brunch, of course. While a restaurant with a menu for both humans and dogs hasn’t popped up anywhere in Colorado yet, YS has dug up the next best thing. Whet your puppy’s appetite by tying him or her up to one of the outdoor tables at the Walnut Cafe (two in Boulder, one in Lafayette), as you sip on a specialty coffee drink and devour a plate of spicy pumpkin waffles or, for the more lunch-inclined brunch goers, a vegetarian sloppy Joe.
Your four-legged friend deserves a treat after panting over the occasional dropped omelet and scratch behind the ears from enthusiastic passersby. Good thing a doggie deli exists — at P.C.’s Pantry, right in downtown Boulder.
Meatloaves? Biscuits? Cakes? Check, check, check. Let Spike munch on a treat and bag a few for later, because where you’re going next, he’ll definitely need some snacks.
The Chautauqua Trailhead: 10 miles over eight separate trails in the southwest corner of Boulder. Dogs must be leashed, and their poop must be scooped. Those are the only rules when enjoying nature’s bounty with your pup. Just make sure to look out for black bears, mountain lions, coyotes and snakes. They might not love Spike as much as you do.
After an afternoon of gallivanting along Chautauqua, cool off at the Union Reservoir Dog Beach in Longmont. It costs six bucks to park your car, but the view afforded by Calkins Lake is well worth the fee.
Once your canine is sufficiently soaked and dirty and an overall nightmare for your backseat, lay down that towel and swallow the idea of tomorrow’s car wash, because it’s inevitable. While your smelly, wet friend dries and drips tongue sweat all over, head to a grocery store to snag some food for your a cookout, because that’s where this day is heading: a picnic with your pooch (and whichever other humans are tagging along).
What better way to cap the perfect summer day than with a cookout at a calm lake near a leafy park with your best (nonhuman) friend by your side? Harlow Platts Community Park, Boulder: a playground, soccer field, tennis courts, volleyball court and a disc golf course. But let’s be honest. You’re there for the charcoal grill and the scornful looks from the picnickers who decided to keep their dog at home and regret that decision as they watch your dog sit by loyally as you grill up some meat. Right?
Pet Friendly BoCo
Avery Brewing Company, Boulder — Seasonal brews, year-round brews, hops, malt, yeast and 29 different craft beers in all. And a dog-friendly patio.
Apeizza e Vino, Lafayette — Pizza and wine, a phenomenal combination, and what this restaurant’s moniker translates to. It’s Italian food that won’t severely damage your checkbook. Patio seating is available, so your cane (dog in Italian) can tag along while you indulge in an Italian escape for the evening.
The Rib House, Longmont — Merry Ann and Tracy Webb have been serving up plates of Kansas City style BBQ ribs since 2001. Located in a quiet, leafy part of Longmont, it’s the perfect spot to satisfy your smoked meat itch while your dog scans for fruit flies and waits for BBQ drippings.
Parks, Trails, Miscellaneous Outdoor Activities:
Spring Canyon Dog Park, Fort Collins — Situated on nearly 3 acres of land within the Spring Canyon Community Park, this off-leash dog park is the place your pup daydreams about when cooped up inside.
Davidson Mesa Dog Park, Louisville — One of Louisville’s two off-leash dog parks, and it’s absolutely stunning. An open patch of legal land for your panting pal to roam and enjoy right at the foot of the Rockies. It’s essentially dog park Heaven, if you believe in that sort of thing.