One of the first places Lola and I plan to visit is Virginia’s Blue Ridge .

We are both ready for some long walks along Roanoke’s extensive greenways and some adventurous hikes through the cool forest trails of the Blue Ridge Mountains. The Roanoke Valley Greenways stretch for more than 30 miles and connect to great hiking trails at Mill Mountain . Note that the greenways are popular for cycling so keep to your side of the path and stay alert.

Pack a picnic—and plenty of water for you and your pooch—and hike up to the Roanoke star atop Mill Mountain, located just a few minutes from downtown. You and your pup can share your visit via the Roanoke Star Cam, catch the gorgeous view of the city and the entire valley from the overlook or grab a nearby picnic table to enjoy your lunch.

I have so many favorite places to visit in VBR that it’s hard to choose, but I definitely want to get back to Black Dog Salvage to peruse all of the vintage treasures and cool upcycled creations—and of course, to visit the resident dogs, Molly and Stella. One of my other favorite places, Chateau Morrisette’s gorgeous winery hasn’t yet reopened, but when it does, I will feature a spotlight on this magnificent property and its homage to the black dogs in the Blue Ridge! And they are offering curbside pick-up if you want to pick up a couple of bottles to enjoy on your own.

My German Shepherd, Lola, is a big girl and a barker to boot, so hotels don’t work well for us. We generally are more comfortable in a cabin of some sort and Virginia’s Blue Ridge has plenty of options. If you like to camp or glamp, check out Explore Park where you’ll find some really cool accommodations from cabins to yurts, glamorous tents and RV sites. The park offers a wide range of activities from zip lines and tubing to disc golf and it  even has its own Twin Creeks Brewpub in the historic Brugh Tavern! If your dog is quieter than mine, I love the pet friendly rooms and the Pampered Pooch package at the Peaks Of Otter lodge . And you can do some great hiking on the property, from the easy around-the-lake stroll to the challenging Sharp Top hike.

For great recommendations on pet friendly accommodations, activities, restaurants, craft breweries, wineries and more, go to the pet friendly section of VBR’s website .

Chateau Morrisette Winery Photo by Chateau