Pet Friendly New York: Sheraton Brooklyn

Sheraton Brooklyn

Our room at the Sheraton Brooklyn

Finding a reasonably priced pet-friendly hotel in New York is a challenge.  Sure, there are plenty of pet-friendly hotels lining Central Park but we didn’t feel inclined to break the bank for a three-night stay at the Loew’s Fifth Avenue or Four Seasons.  We looked for our usual cheap pet-friendly standbys--- Red Roof Inn or Best Western --- but the Best Western was around $200/night and Red Roof Inn Manhattan does not allow pets.

Abby in our room

Abby in our room

I found the Sheraton Brooklyn using and booked on their site at a web rate of $145/night for a Club Room, which included breakfast, afternoon cocktails, and unlimited drinks (which probably made up the extra difference in price for us).  Regular rooms ran at $125/night, which is an absolute steal in New York.  The hotel opened in April 2011 and its sister hotel, the Aloft Brooklyn is also pet-friendly and right next door.

Sheraton Brooklyn

Our room

We loved the hotel.  Our room was quite spacious, especially given New York space limitations, with a king-sized bed, a small closet, a big desk/armoire area, and a huge bathroom.  We especially appreciated that the room had a small hallway in it, which we used to keep the dogs’ water and food bowls.  The rooms have excellent sound-proofing and we never heard our neighbors throughout our stay, which is important when staying at a hotel with our dogs, because they tend to bark if they hear lots of noise.

Chewy looking at the view

Chewy looking at the Statue of Liberty from our window

Best of all, we had a fantastic view of the Manhattan skyline, the Brooklyn cruise terminal, and the Statue of Liberty.  We woke up on our last day at the hotel to see the Queen Mary 2 (our cruise ship) docked at the terminal.

Statue of Liberty from our window

Views from our window at the Sheraton Brooklyn

Views from Sheraton Brooklyn

Views through our window (I swear!) of the Statue of Liberty, Brooklyn, and the cruise terminal

The front desk was very kind toward our dogs and the manager even saw us on the elevator one time and spent quite a while discussing pet-friendly areas around the hotel.  When we checked in, they gave us a “Let Sleeping Dogs Lie” tag to place on our door so that housekeeping would not disturb the dogs when we were out of the room.

Junior's Restaurant nearby

Cheesecake at Junior's

Junior's cheesecake

Junior's famous cheesecakes

The only negative part of the hotel is its location in downtown Brooklyn, which doesn’t have many restaurants or green space.  Prospect Park is about 4 miles away and Fort Greene Park is a 20 minute walk from the hotel.  Fortunately, there is a large open area with some grass at the MetroTech Center two blocks away from the hotel.  We usually took the dogs to the small park area two blocks away for short walks and then drove out to Prospect Park or Fort Greene Park for longer walks.  We usually had dinner in the Fort Greene area, which was about a fifteen to twenty minute walk away. Junior’s, famous for its New York cheesecake, is one block from the hotel so we did indulge in cheesecake on several nights.

Because the hotel was not that close to any of the big parks, we found a car to be essential.  Unlike Manhattan, taxis are not frequently available and car services charge an extra $15 per ride if you take dogs, meaning that a taxi ride from the hotel to Prospect Park cost us around $30 one way.  In addition, the subway shuts down in the afternoons on weekends, meaning that we had a really difficult time getting around Brooklyn until we rented a car.  We rented one from Hertz (which allows pets in cars) for $50/day and used that throughout our stay.  Parking at the Sheraton cost around $20/day, and the lot is just around the corner from the hotel.

All in all, we highly recommend the Sheraton Brooklyn as a reasonably-priced pet-friendly New York hotel option and were very pleased with our stay.


Sheraton Brooklyn New York Hotel
228 Duffield Street
Brooklyn, New York 11201
(718) 855-1900

Pet-Friendly Savannah: Parks and Cemeteries

Dogs staring at Savannah gate

Chewy and Abby at one of the many ornate gates

We never know whether a city or a state will be pet-friendly until we visit it.  For us, pet-friendly means that a city must have two important things: excellent on-leash walks and off-leash areas.

Walking in Savannah Blossoms in Savannah
House in Savannah House in Savannah
Walking in Savannah

On the on-leash front, Savannah succeeds.  The city is meant for walking.  If you’re not walking, you’re not seeing much of the city.  So, pack a comfortable pair of shoes, a sturdy leash for your dog, and head out into the Historic District.

Forsyth Park

Fountain at Forsyth Park Us at Forsyth Park
Forsyth Park

Pets and their owners haunt the large greenspace in the center of the city at Forsyth Park.  We also walked the dogs through the smaller greenspace at Colonial Park Cemetery closer to the riverfront and through all of the very green squares that intersect the city in a grid.

Bonaventure Cemetery

Bonaventure Cemetery Bonaventure Cemetery
Bonaventure Cemetery Bonaventure Cemetery
Bonaventure Cemetery

Dogs are also welcome at Bonaventure Cemetery, one of Savannah’s most beautiful attractions.

Skidaway Island State Park

Skidaway Island State Park

Skidaway Island State Park

Dogs are also welcome at Skidaway Island State Park, but the park is not particularly impressive, due primarily to the noise from construction in the nearby area, and the pathways can be quite narrow.

Skidaway Island State Park

Skidaway Island State Park

Skidaway Island State Park

It goes without saying that you must clean up after your dog and keep them on leash at all of these places.

Shots of Savannah pub

Savannah Six Pence pub (with its pet-friendly patio)

Though there are plenty of good walks with pets on leash, we found few good off-leash areas.  The small Savannah Dog Park and Beasley Dog Park were crowded and tiny.  The Beasley Dog Park was little larger than an average-sized suburban dog park.

We hope that Savannah continues to improve its off-leash areas because it has the potential to be a fantastic pet-friendly Southern city.

Pet-Friendly Atlanta: Herbert Taylor Park

Herbert Taylor Park sign

People without dogs often seem to think that dogs don’t have personalities.  But, if you’re a dog owner, you know that every dog is as unique as every person.

Dogs running

Some, for example, love fenced-in dog parks.  Our dogs don’t really like them.

Abby with a dog

Chewy gets intimidated by the large dogs running in crazy circles at the big dog parks, and Abby gets bored.

Woods at Herbert Taylor Park

Instead, they prefer woods and fields in which we can take long walks.

Leaf at Herbert Taylor Park Dog at Herbert Taylor Park
Little dogs Little dogs
Their favorite park in Atlanta is Herbert Taylor Park.  Set smack in the center of the Virginia Highlands area, it’s easy to miss unless you know it’s there.

Dogs running at Herbert Taylor

Once you enter, you could forget that midtown Atlanta is only a few miles south and Emory University is less than a mile to the west.  The neighborhoods disappear in wide pathways of pine needles and giant trees.

Dogs at Herbert Taylor Park

Dogs at Herbert Taylor Park beach

Dog owners know about this place.  In fact, most walkers at Herbert Taylor Park bring their dogs with them, usually off-leash but some on-leash, to run and romp through the woods.

Dogs at Herbert Taylor Park beach

Eventually, all the dogs and people wind up at the small beach area facing running streams and rivers to the extreme left of the park when you enter.

Dogs playing at Herbert Taylor park beach

Dogs splashing at Herbert Taylor Park

Happy dogs splash in the water and tired, wet dogs return home.


Herbert Taylor Park is located on Johnson Road.  The easiest way to get there is to take East Rock Springs Road, coming from North Decatur, and make a right onto the first major road immediately after the large townhouses on the right.  Keep going down that road and you'll see Herbert Taylor Park on your right.  (Sorry for these vague directions but it's fairly clear once you get onto the roads).

Pet Friendly Hilton Head Restaurants

"Dog friendly" sign at Bistro 13

Dog friendly patio at Bistro 17

Hilton Head is meant for dog lovers.  What with their gorgeous pet-friendly beaches and nice dog parks, we weren't surprised to find that many restaurants are also pet friendly.  We ate at three that are worth mentioning:

Our Favorite: Black Marlin Bayside Grill

Black Marlin Bayside Grill

Black Marlin Bayside Grill

The word "patio" does not even begin to describe the vast outdoor space with tiki bar and tables facing the water that is the patio at Black Marlin Bayside Grill .  Most of the restaurant patrons were outside, either at the bar or the tables, enjoying the weather under the shaded trees.  (Keep in mind that sand flies and june bugs are common in Hilton Head; we wished we  had put on bug spray before leaving the hotel.)  The bar and restaurant were obviously pet friendly as there were several other dogs at Black Marlin, from a tiny chihuahua to a tall Weimaraner.

Chewy and Abby at the restaurant

Chewy and Abby relaxing at Black Marlin Bayside

Service was, in a word, fantastic.  We never waited for water or our food and I think every waitress at the restaurant stopped by to pet Chewy and Abby.  They brought out a water bowl for the dogs and a small bowl with Milkbone treats.

Panko crusted mozzarella

Panko crusted mozzarella

Tilefish at Black Marlin Bayside Pasta
Our meal at Black Marlin Bayside Grill

We shared gooey panko crusted fried mozzarella, which was better than the usual version because the panko added a thick crispy crust.  Patrick had the grilled local tilefish, with a dungeness crab and avocado salsa, doused in a spicy chile sauce, with a creamy yucca puree and crisp Mexican style corn on the cob.  I had the Primavera Pasta with shitake mushrooms, snow peas, spinach, sundried tomatoes, and goat cheese tossed with angel hair pasta.  Everything was delicious and it was, without a doubt, our best meal in Hilton Head.  It is a bit on the pricey side . . . but, frankly, everything in Hilton Head is expensive so don't go there unless you're willing to shell out a bit of money.

The Cheap Option: Main Street Cafe & Pub

Chewy at Main Street Cafe

Chewy eyeing a sandwich at Main Street Cafe & Pub

Main Street Cafe & Pub is fine.  Just that.  It's not bad by any means but rather a fairly standard cafe with decent food, a decent patio, and nothing particularly exceptional.

Main Street Cafe & Pub

Seating at Main Street Cafe

The patio area overlooks the parking lot of a grocery store so the views are, understandably, uninteresting but, the space is quite large with ample space for our dogs to settle down.

Chowder fried green tomato sandwich
Seafood chowder and fried green tomato sandwich

The Disappointment: Bistro 17

Patrick had their "famous" seafood chowder and the fried tilapia melt and I had the fried green sandwich.  Meh.  They were fine but nothing to write home about.  On the plus side, the pricing was quite good, especially compared to many of the price-gouging restaurants in Hilton Head.

View from Bistro 17

View from Bistro 17 Patio

My first reaction to Bistro 17 was Wow.  I have rarely come across a more stunning patio.

Bistro 17 Patio

Bistro 17 Patio

Set directly on the water, overlooking yachts and power jets, the Bistro 17 patio is enclosed and heated in the winter, and opened up in the summer.  A "Dog Friendly" plaque greets visitors at the patio and when we sat down, the waitress brought Chewy and Abby water and treats in hand-painted ceramic bowls.

Bistro 17 water bowl

Bistro 17 Dog Menu
Puppy dinner at Bistro 17 Puppy meal at Bistro 17
Dog bowl, dog menu, special beef and rice meal, and Chewy eating it

It got better, though.  I knew beforehand that Bistro 17 offers a special "Puppy Menu" which I requested (actually, the waitress seemed surprised I asked for it), and ordered Chewy a Beef and Rice meal and Abby a Turkey and Rice meal.  The meals are prepared by Lucky Dog Cuisine, a local purveyor of fresh high quality dog food, and their meals are served in several other restaurants in Hilton Head, as well.  Chewy and Abby gave four enthusiastic paws up to the meals.

Brie en croute

Spinach crepes at Bistro 17

Steak en croute
Our meal at Bistro 17

Unfortunately, we were not as impressed with our selections.  Of the three items we ordered, the only one we enjoyed was the brie en croute with a berry sauce.  My spinach crepes were ordered from the lunch menu because they did not have any dinner vegetarian selections.  Cheese clogged the crepes and the spinach was barely presented in the dish.  Patrick's steak en croute was very thin and overdone, and the truffle fries didn't have any passing resemblance to truffles.

It's really too bad because this restaurant has excellent potential in pet-friendly Hilton Head.  We hope they continue to work on improving their people food so it matches the service and food given to our pups.


Black Marlin Bayside Grill
Located dockside at Palmetto Bay Marina
86 Helmsman Way, Suite 103
Hilton Head Island, SC 29928

Main Street Cafe & Pub
1411 Main Street
Hilton Head Island, SC 29926

Bistro 17
17D Harbourside Lane
Shelter Cove Marina
Hilton Head Island, SC 29928

April 2011

Hilton Head Beaches
April 27, 2011
Akila writes. Patrick takes photos. Chewy eats. Abby runs. We live, love, and travel in this world.
Chewy's Silver Screen Soiree
Chewy turns ten and we celebrate with a walk on the red carpet.
Sweet Georgia Skies
Green forests and super-high waterfalls. Chewy and Abby gave the North Georgia mountains four paws up.