By Pat Dillon
Special to TravelWisconsin.com
Traveling with your pet wagging along doesn’t mean he has to be curled up in the car while you stop to wet your whistle.
Here are some spots that throw dog-lovers a bone with a canine welcome mat. Due to Wisconsin laws prohibiting animals in establishments that cook on-site, most of these are for diners on the deck—some with great views.
The Kiltie Drive-In in Oconomowoc has been serving up Kiltie burgers and custard for generations, delivered old school-style—to your window by carhops.
Stop in with the kids while vacationing the “Lake Country” and your whole family, including Spot, can sit at outdoor picnic benches while taking in this local and longtime drive-in tradition.
Local to Madison, Michael’s Frozen Custard is a year-round drive-in that features monthly custard flavors so popular, it’s been written up in the New York Times and featured on the Food Network.
What takes Michael's to the next level is their custard treats for canines. Drive through or hang with your pet on Michael’s outdoor patio.
On Madison’s east side, the climate is local and boho. Take in the art galleries and eclectic shops along Williamson (Willy) and Atwood Streets, many of which are dog-friendly, and then stop at One Barrel Brewing, where you and your canine pal can sit inside together while you tip back a micro-brew.
Dine across the street at Alchemy, and your dog can sit at your feet within their outdoor sidewalk seating. Take a stroll down State Street, where outdoor seating is friendly to pets, from the State Capitol all the way down to University Mall.
Boaters traveling up or down the Yahara River-connected lakes with their dog in tow will find a deck-welcome spot for Fido, and a classic Wisconsin supper club menu, at Springers of Lake Kegonsa in Stoughton.
Highway 51 slices the state in half and skirts centrally located Wausau, the perfect Northwoods-bound pit stop for some sightseeing in its historic district.
Stop for a gourmet coffee or glass of wine at Vino Latte in Weston or Wausau, and no need to keep Rosco in the car. He’s welcome to join you on the deck, which only enriches this Wisconsin River-laden family-style road trip.
Travelers to the Fox River Valley will appreciate Menasha’s dog-friendly The Source Public House. While this holistic restaurant sources menu items from local farmers, its commitment to quality is even farther reaching.
Your pup will be served organic dog treats while you dine on the deck.
Take in the river view with your dog by your side, as you enjoy happy hour and they enjoy a complimentary water bowl.
The shores of Lake Superior are home to the Ojibwe people, whose stories are scattered throughout the Northwoods.
On your way up, stop in Washburn, just south of The Red Cliff Reservation near Bayfield, and enjoy a naturopathic menu at the Good Thyme Restaurant & Catering. Spot is welcome to sit on the deck or stretch under a shady tree in the adjacent backyard.
Looking for more dog-friendly destinations? Check out seven southern Wisconsin breweries!