Finley’s Road Trip: Stop and Sniff- Part 2

Hopefully you’ve had a chance to chew on our Stop and Sniff- Part 1 post, where I shared my some of favorite stops on our initial Tin Sheets to the Wind trip. For Part 2, we head further south for our next two dog friendly stops where we had the opportunity to take long walks and drink lots of water. How could it get any better!

Fountain of Youth Archeological Park- St. Augustine, Florida
We all know that we (dogs) will drink just about anything. Dirty puddles, check. Stagnant and scary-smelling creeks, check. We’ve all indulged at least once in a sip from something that made your people cringe in disgust. Needless to say, I’m not super picky; however, when I find something I like, I am sure to drink as much as possible (it’s 10pm and you don’t think I can’t finish the full bowl of water you just put down, think again). So, my visit to the fabled Fountain of Youth was a nice surprise, as I got to drink from multiple bowls and fountains. Since 1904, visitors to St. Augustine, the oldest city in America, have been drinking from the Fountain of Youth, supposedly discovered by Juan Ponce de Leon in 1613. While history later revealed that it didn’t quite happen that way, the park has been welcoming visitors for over 100 years and dogs for at least some of that time.

An archeological park with lots of historical information and cool things to sniff, you can pose with the Ponce de Leon statue, walk through the site of a settlement from 1565, watch a blacksmith at work, climb to the top of the Spanish Watchtower and check out the views, and even enjoy a 20-minute show inside the air-conditioned planetarium. One note of caution for my fellow canine friends that don’t like loud noises, there are cannon firings scheduled throughout the day. Be sure to have your people check for times to ensure you’re not in the area during the firings.

After you’ve worked up a good thirst exploring the park, head to the Spring House which houses the famous Fountain of Youth. Flowing directly from the Floridian Aquifer and containing more than 30 minerals, the people thought it had a noticeable smell and taste of sulfur, but I didn’t mind at all. I was thirsty and the room gave some reprieve from the sun, so I took my time and polished off three cups of water. After we’d all had a few sips, we headed outside and I tasted the water from a nearby fountain and the Fountain of Pooch, a “Pet Refreshment Station”.  Fountain of Pooch- love it!

Lots of things to sniff and sip, the Fountain of Youth Archeological Park is a great place to learn about some of our country’s history and maybe find your eternal puppyhood. In regard to dog friendliness, this place gets two paws up from me! Now if someone could just do something about the humidity…

Biltmore Estate- Asheville, NC
Walk? Did someone say walk?!? Our visit to the Biltmore Estate involved a whole lot of walking, something that we dogs are always excited about, even when we’re exhausted. The Biltmore Estate has a 250-room house, the largest in the U.S., and thousands of acres of gardens and trails to explore. Imagine all the plants, grass, and trees that need to be sniffed! Dogs are welcome anywhere on the grounds, outside of buildings (sorry, no house tour for us canines).

Though we’re not allowed in any buildings, there are thousands of acres that can still be explored. Designed by famous landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted, co-designer of New York’s Central Park, there are several gardens and paths just waiting to be sniffed and explored. After your people have made you pose in front of the house (which they will, I promise), drag them over to check out the Walled Garden with tons of brightly colored gorgeous mums in the fall and the Rose Garden. If you feel like you haven’t had a long enough walk yet, you can continue through the Spring Garden and further out to the Azalea Garden, which has one of the finest displays of native azaleas in the country. Beyond the gardens is Woodland Trail that ends at the Bass Pond, complete with a beautiful waterfall. If you’re quick enough, you might even be able to sneak in and take a quick dip to cool off. Not saying that I tried this…

Though the ticket price is a little steep at $65, once you are on the property, you can walk all day or check out some of the restaurants and the winery. A neat piece of history and a great way to get lots of exercise and enjoy beautiful views and more sniffs than you shake a stick at…stick, did someone say stick…I give the Biltmore two paws up!