Like many other parts of the country, Florida has been experiencing an intense heat wave this Summer. The weather has been 90 to 95 degrees Fahrenheit every day for weeks on end!  We really needed a break from the Florida heat so we took a last minute trip to dog friendly Boone, North Carolina. Boone is in North Carolina's High Country, in the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains.

We had initially planned a fabulous vacation in New Hampshire and Vermont, but Mother Nature refused to cooperate! First, the Canadian wildfires impacted the air quality all across the Northeast. We were elated when the fires were finally brought somewhat under control and air quality in New England improved.  

We thought we were in the clear, but wait! No sooner did we think our vacation was saved, when raging floods hit Vermont, as well as parts of New Hampshire! Sadly, we had to cancel that trip and search for another dog friendly vacation destination with cool weather. 


At first we considered the North Carolina High Country to be a "consolation prize". We figured at least we'd have cooler weather up there, even if there wouldn't be much to do. But we couldn't have been more wrong. The Blue Ridge Mountain area of North Carolina took our breathe away! And we found out there was plenty to do, and lots of dog friendly activities in the North Carolina High Country.

Icy with a Blue Ridge Mountain view in the distance

Not only was the weather in the High Country in the 70's and low 80's, but the landscape is absolutely stunning. It's also extremely dog friendly! There are miles and miles of gorgeous Blue Ridge Mountain hiking trails that allow dogs. There are many charming restaurants and coffee shops with dog friendly outdoor patios, and other places that welcome dogs.


There are many pet friendly hotels and vacation rentals in the Boone area that will welcome your dog.

Townplace Suites, our Dog Friendly hotel in Boone, NC

We stayed at the Townplace Suites, which is owned by Marriott. It was close to everything, right at the North end of the town of Boone. I really liked that it had a kitchenette and dining table, and check out that closet in the above photo! 

Another dog friendly hotel in Boone that looked really nice is the Holiday Inn Express, which was at the other end of the town.

The town of Boone is largely a college town, home of the Appalachian State University. It's an adorable, funky little town with thrift shops, coffee and donut shops, the charming Mast General Store (a Must see!), and an energetic vibe. 

If you're looking for something a bit more upscale and quieter, nearby Blowing Rock or Highlands might be more your speed. Banner Elk is also a wonderful town to visit. There are several charming little towns up in the High Country that are a short drive from each other, so whichever town you stay in you can easily visit the others.

This Explore Boone Guide has great information on Dog Friendly Accommodations in Boone, as well as Restaurants, Shops, Hiking trails, and Dog Parks where your dog will be welcome! 


The night life in Boone isn't really hopping, considering it's a college town, but we found a few restaurants we loved. 

The Red Onion for dinner was my favorite. They had a delicious veggie pasta dish I loved. My husband had a coffee rubbed steak dish that was delicious. The restaurant has it's own parking lot, which you'll appreciate in the town of Boone, plenty of indoor seating, and the most charming covered patio dining area out front!

Macado's is an adorable pub style restaurant with a pretty extensive menu. We had delicious sandwiches here and great service. The place is large with plenty of seating, as well as a bar area that looks really fun.

Carolina Pizza Co is a really nice little pizza joint with quite a large menu. As really picky-about-our-pizza native New Yorkers, we were pleasantly surprised at how good the pizza was. We loved this place, just what we needed after a day of hiking! The food was great and so was the service. Such nice people! Very reasonably priced, too. 

Another place you just have to visit in the town of Boone is the Mast General Store. Mast is a wonderful old fashioned looking general store, complete with creaky wooden floors and barrels of "penny" candy which you can gather into little baskets and purchase by the pound. 

I loved browsing in this store, buying old fashioned candies I haven't seen in ages, cool tee shirts, handmade soaps, local honey and other goodies.



There's no shortage of beautiful dog friendly hiking trails in the North Carolina Blue Ridge Mountains! We stayed for a week, but there were so many nearby mountains and trails and other places we didn't have time to visit.

We had such a blast hiking with our Husky, Icy and our recently adopted Silky Terrier, Jessie.  Icy will be 14 years old next month (Yikes!) and we had no idea if 4 year old Jessie had ever hiked before so we weren't sure how this hiking trip would pan out.

Icy did great! We were so proud of her, and honestly quite relieved that she was able to handle the hiking so well and thoroughly enjoy it. Jessie was a bit unsure at first but she quickly got the hang of it and was clearly having a great time. It was a wonderful bonding experience for all of us.

One of the best hiking trails for us was the Boone Fork Trail Loop. It's listed as being an easy 5 mile trail, but honestly there were several parts that were not so easy, especially if you have dogs with you!  

It took two separate days to complete the 5 mile loop. We did half of it the first day and half the second day, with a day in between to rest our muscles. The dogs seemed to need a down day too. It was a bit rugged in a few spots.  Here's a video with highlights from hiking the Boone Fork Loop Trail, which is a great place for hiking with dogs!

Grandfather Mountain, Banner Elk, NC

Grandfather Mountain, at a 5,946 foot high elevation, is considered the Mother of all mountains in North Carolina! It's located in Banner Elk, NC, a 13 mile drive from Boone. It's a massive mountain park with lots of hiking trails, some of them very challenging, camping areas (permit needed), a wildlife habitat, and the BIG draw, the Mile High Swinging Bridge! 

Grandfather Mountain allows dogs, pretty much everywhere that is outdoors. Much of the mountain is free of charge. However, special attractions like the swinging bridge and wildlife habitat are not free.  Access to the area with the swinging bridge was $22 for adults, but let me tell you I think it's well worth the experience!

Grandfather Mountain, Banner Elk, NC. Mile High Swinging Bridge

The Mile High Swinging Bridge, Banner Elk, NC

At Grandfather Mountain, dogs are even allowed on the Mile High Swinging Bridge! There was a guy with his English Mastiff, a huge dog, walking across the bridge. Personally I wouldn't take my dogs on that bridge, I think it would be too scary for them. The bridge really does sway noticeably. I'll be honest, I was actually a little scared walking on that bridge! But I'm so glad I went because the views from that bridge are stunning. The views and experience of it were well worth it.


We didn't make it to the town of Blowing Rock, and we didn't get to see the actual rock, the Blowing Rock, but we saw videos and it looks gorgeous!  We ran out of time, and had to choose the few places we most wanted to see.

The town of Blowing Rock is named after an interesting rock formation with beautiful vistas of the Blue Ridge Mountains. The town of Blowing Rock is really quaint, and they clearly love their flowers! It looks like folks in that town must have green thumbs because all the videos and photos show beautiful flowers and gardens around the town!  

The Blowing Rock is an actual rock that juts out over the Blue Ridge Mountains. There is a charming legend behind it the rock itself and how it got it's name. 

One day a Chickasaw maiden, daydreaming on the rock, spied a Cherokee brave wandering in the wilderness far below and playfully shot an arrow in his direction. The flirtation worked and soon he appeared before her wigwam, courted her with songs of his land and they became lovers, wandering the pathless woodlands and along the crystal streams. One day a strange reddening of the sky brought the brave and the maiden to The Blowing Rock. To him it was a sign of trouble commanding his return to his tribe in the plains. The maiden implored him not to leave her, but the brave, torn by conflict of duty and heart, leaped from The Rock into the wilderness far below. The grief-stricken maiden prayed daily to the Great Spirit until one evening with a reddening sky, a gust of wind blew her lover back onto The Rock and into her arms. 

According to area locals, there is a mysterious wind pattern at the blowing rock that "causes it to snow upside down"! I'm not sure what creates that and I hate to be a buzz kill, but I'm sure this wind pattern is rooted in science.  We will make a point to visit Blowing Rock on our next visit to the area. 

The weather in the North Carolina High Country was glorious! It was a wonderful respite from the extreme Florida heat and humidity. I wish we could have stayed a whole month!

My dog Icy was as sad as we were to leave the cool weather in the Blue Ridge Mountains!

Goodbye North Carolina Blue Ridge Mountains! We can't wait to visit you again!

I'm excited to share my new ETSY store with you! It's called Nature and Critters. True to it's name, I sell nature and animal inspired photos and design works that are in 
Printable, Digital Download format. I hope you'll stop by my store and check it out!

Digital Download Designs available in my ETSY store

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I'm excited to share some wonderful new supplements for dogs that I was given by Native Pet. Native Pet creates dog supplements that contain whole food ingredients. I've been using these products for several weeks now, and I'm really impressed!  This line of natural supplements for dogs by Native Pet seems to be taking the pet industry by storm!

I was given these four Native Pet products to try for my own dogs, Icy and Jessie. 



Native Pet Organic Pumpkin powder supplement supports dogs digestive regularity and firm stool. It provides digestive relief and supports a healthy digestive system by providing bowel movement regularity and assisting absorption of essential nutrients. This pumpkin supplement is working so well for both my dogs! Both Icy and Jessie really need pumpkin in their diets. When we run out of it ….. well, let’s just say it’s not pretty! It’s really helping both of their digestive systems and it’s so easy and convenient to add to their food.


The Probiotic powder creates a thriving environment for healthy flora. It promotes dogs complete gut health and digestive wellness. Icy has always had a sensitive stomach. The slightest change in her diet, one too many treats, or well meaning guests who insist on giving her just a few bites of BBQ can really upset her delicate tummy! I’ve been adding this dog probiotic to Icy’s food and it’s been great! Even after a week long hiking trip with lots of treats and unfamiliar foods, she hasn’t had a single upset stomach since I started giving her Native Pet dog probiotic supplements! As you can see in this short video, it's easy to add to my dog's food.


Native Pet Calming chews for dogs promote calm and emotional balance. These clean chews provide a calming effect for fearful dogs. They’re great for dogs that are anxious during thunderstorms, fireworks, travel, or trips to the Veterinarian. My dogs are terrified of thunderstorms and fireworks. In Florida we’ve been getting frequent thunderstorms, so I’ve been giving them these supplements for dog anxiety. They love the taste and they really help ease my dogs anxiety! Here's a short video of me giving my dogs the Calm treats at the start of a thunderstorm. The first few seconds you can hear the thunder in the background!


The Yak chews are long lasting small dental chews that are stink-free and mess-free. They’re made with yak’s milk, as well as cow’s milk, and are high in protein, easily digestible, and long lasting. I had never tried, or even seen Yak treats for dogs, but I tried them and both Icy and Jessie really like the Native Pet YAK CHEW dog treats!  

I love that the pumpkin and probiotic supplements are in powder form. It's easy to just mix them into my dogs food. I don't have to worry about whether or not they've eaten a tablet or chew, or spit it out behind my back! If they've eaten their food, I know they've had their pumpkin and probiotic supplements.

Each container comes with a little plastic scooper, making it easy to measure out the proper amount needed for each dog.

It's also great when we travel. It's easy to measure out the amount I'll need for each travel day, put it in a plastic bag, and pack it up in their travel bag. On our recent hiking trip I packed both supplement powders in small plastic bags. They took up very little room in the dogs bag and it worked out perfectly!

Also, this last year or two I've found it difficult to find canned pumpkin at the grocery store. For some reason my local stores have all been frequently out of it! I need something more reliable, and the Native Pet Pumpkin Supplement for dogs fits the bill.

This post is sponsored by Native Pet®. I am being compensated to share information about Native Pet's products. I am excited to share my experience with these wonderful dog products with you! 


Their Love Language is Dog! That's how Native Pet describes themselves.

Dissatisfied by pet supplements they found for their dogs, they developed their own proprietary formulas.

Native Pet is committed to developing formulas and formats that offer the best, most innovative nutrition to directly benefit the health of pets. They "put in the work to do things right".

"Our dogs are family — the center of everything. We do everything with them, and anything for them. So it’s only natural that we’re just as over-the-top when it comes to the health of our pets." - Dan and Pat, Native Pet founders 

I think we can all relate to that, right!?


No Additives and No Fillers

Native Pet never uses additives or fillers. They target no more than 5 inactive ingredients (the industry average is 20+!). Their products are never injected, molded, or "de-natured".

Vet Developed

Native Pet works with a Board-Certified Vet Nutritionist to create supplements that give pets all the nutrition they need. (there are only 40 Board Certified Veterinary Nutritionists in the entire USA!)

Whole Food Ingredients

Native Pet uses ingredients like Wild-caught salmon, grass-fed beef, and organic chicken.

Other Native Pet Supplements For Dogs:

Supports a dog's seasonal allergies and immune system. Helps alleviate occasional discomfort like red eyes and sneezing.  Get Native Pet ALERGY Chews for dogs on Amazon

Specially made for senior dogs to help support joint flexibility and mobility. Supports normal inflammatory response and relief from daily activity. Get Native Pet RELIEF Chews for dogs on Amazon 

Packed with Omega 3 fatty acids to promote skin, coat, and joint health. Get Native Pet OMEGA OIL for dogs on Amazon

Promotes healthy bladder function. Supports normal bladder function, urinary tract health, and healthy kidneys. Get Native Pet BLADDER CHEWS for dogs on Amazon

A healthy meal topper that provides extra nutrition and adds delicious, organic chicken or beef to their diet. Helps support joint strength, immune support, and heart health. Get Native Pet BONE BROTH for dogs on Amazon  

See the full line of Native Pet's supplements for dogs.

Visit Native Pet's blog with tons of helpful articles about dog health and nutrition, and helpful tips for dog parents!

Which of these Native Pet products do you think would benefit your dog? Leave us a comment, we Love hearing from you! 🐾❤️