- Virginia Johnson
Fido’s Virginia—a play on the Fodor’s travel series— tackles the subject of what to do with your four-legged friend when vacationing in the Old Dominion. Rather than leave Tess or Jack in a boarding kennel at home, you can have her or him with you. You just need to do some planning and have realistic expectations. Ginger Warder’s book gives guidance on what are dog-friendly places to go and things to do in Virginia’s different regions.
Want to travel to Mr. Jefferson’s stomping grounds? Charlottesville has many wineries and tons of history. Some sites accept canine visitors and some do not. This book helps readers find hidden, dog-friendly gems. For example, Chris Greene Lake Park allows you to swim with your dog or play ball in an off-leash area. Blue Mountain Brewery in nearby Afton has handcrafted ales and lagers served with homemade pretzels and bratwurst with dog-friendly, patio seating with a view of the Blue Ridge. In horse country, Keswick Vineyards’ Yappy Hour hosts tastings outdoors from April to October to benefit local animal rescue groups.
Fido’s Virginia has suggestions for places to go with dogs, from the beaches to the mountains. Each regional section also has listings of “Best Beds”—dog-friendly hotels and resorts, along with critical contact information (poison control, local 24-hour pharmacies, and emergency vets when available), dog-sitting services, and not-so-dog-friendly places to visit that are worth getting that sitter.
While not exhaustive, this cheerful guidebook is well worth a read for vacationers or day-trippers who don’t want to or can’t leave the furry ones at home but still wish to have a good time. Regions covered include: Virginia Beach; the Eastern Shore; the Historic Triangle (Williamsburg, Jamestown, Yorktown); Richmond, Charlottesville; Northern Virginia (“Following in Washington’s Footsteps”); Shenandoah National Park; and the Roanoke Valley and Virginia’s Blue Ridge. The opening chapter gives a nice overview of statewide facilities, such as national/state parks, hotel chains, and rest stops, that welcome dogs and tips on Pet-iquette. It’s inspiring to think of what you -can- do with your dog on vacation.