Houston, Texas, also known as H-Town, is a fun place to live and to visit. Our family has lived here for about four years, and while we love to travel out of town, we recently decided to stay close to home and enjoy a staycation in Downtown Houston with our Dalmatian, Jackson.
A visit to Downtown Houston requires very little planning ahead of time – even when traveling with a dog because everything is so accessible and dog-friendly. We wanted the opportunity to enjoy a fun adventure without the worry of whether Jackson would be welcomed or not.
After a search of dog-friendly hotels, we selected the JW Marriott Houston Downtown location to be our home away from home for our 24-hour stay.
Centrally located in the downtown area, the JW Marriott is not only pet-friendly, but also modern and luxurious. Convenient to downtown shopping, dining, and parks, the hotel is within walking distance to the area’s popular attractions and downtown destinations.
Upon arrival, we were greeted by Sir Griffin, the hotel’s official Pet Director (and local pet celebrity), who happily shared all of his favorite dog-friendly downtown hangouts with Jackson and even posed for pictures.
The JW Marriott’s employees were wonderful and made us feel comfortable and at home right from the start. During our quick check-in with the front desk, Jackson even received a special doggy treat.
Our room was a spacious and elegantly appointed room with a king size bed, just like Jackson has at home. While our drive to the hotel was only about 40-minutes, we were ready for a quick snack and ordered room service, which was easy to do through the hotels iPad system. Our room service attendant was kind and even enjoyed some quick play time with Jackson, who happily brought him his ball for a little game of fetch.
If you’re anything like me, you are always on the lookout for a good dog park, and Downtown Houston doesn’t disappoint.
We spent our Friday evening at Historic Market Square Park. Just steps from our hotel, this green space is full of fun things to do. The park offers two dog runs – one for small pups and another for larger fur-kids. Jackson enjoyed some free time running around with several other dogs and splashing up some fun in the canine drinking fountains. This park is well-lit, which makes it nice when out and about in the evening hours.
Market Square Park hosts outdoor events throughout the year such as blanket bingo, movies, and concerts. While we were there, the Backyard Jams Concert Series was in full swing. We enjoyed listening to The Wheel Workers while dining at Niko Niko’s, a Greek restaurant in the middle of the park. This pet-friendly location offers free dog treats – Jackson really enjoyed his!
Also close by is the “Houston is Inspired” mural, which is a fun Instagrammable location that represents H-Town’s art scene. It is a favorite amongst tourists and locals strolling through Market Square Park. We made sure to get a photo of Jackson there!
First thing Saturday, we ventured out for an early morning walk before it got too hot. Just a few blocks away we found another great Instagrammable location – a series of six differently painted walls that all have a Houston or Texas theme to them. Jackson was happy to pose in front of two of them.
Right around the corner from the Houston murals is Discovery Green, a pup’s paradise for fun! While the park does require your dog to be leashed, there are plenty of beautiful places and water features in the park to explore and enjoy. Jackson romped around their dog run, made some new friends, and enjoyed a fun game of fetch before we headed back to the hotel to pack.
Before heading home, we took a seat on Local Food’s colorful patio for brunch. Our waiter happily brought Jackson a refreshing bowl of water and wished him a good morning. We had a delicious meal under their awnings and cooling fans. I shared my watermelon with Jackson and he was thrilled to be able to greet all the passersby as they walked past.
Overall, we had a wonderful dog-friendly staycation in Downtown Houston and plan to return again soon!
What dog-friendly staycations have you had? Where did you visit? We would love to hear all about your adventures in the comments below!
Disclosure: Our stay was made possible by Downtown Houston.
Hey y’all! My name is Julie and I am from Houston, Texas. I am married to a wonderful guy named Andrew and we have three amazing dogs: Heath, a blue Weimaraner, as well as Jackson and Bennett, two very spotty Dalmatians. Currently, I work as a higher education Public Relations Coordinator and am a graduate of Bethany College with a BA in communications and WVU with an MS in Integrated Marketing Communications. I am the fun-loving dog mom behind the scenes of the Instagram account @jackson_the_dalmatian. I hope you’ll follow along with our daily adventures!