Knoxville is well known for its top-notch Southern hospitality to visitors. However, the Tennessee city has become incredibly pet-friendly in recent years, too. Nowadays, you’ll find many pet-friendly hotels in Knoxville, with options for all budgets.
In addition, most restaurants and bars with outdoor seating will welcome your four-legged friend and even include some petting and freshwater.
You can also enjoy plenty of fun activities with your fur child, including an abundance of green spaces, nature trails, and many other outdoor attractions equally enjoyable for human and animal companions.
So if you’re traveling through Tennessee with your fur baby, check out our ultimate guide to pet-friendly Knoxville.
10 Best Pet-Friendly Hotels in Knoxville, TN
Staybridge Suites Knoxville West
Staybridge Suites is one of the best pet-friendly hotels in Knoxville West. They permit two pets of any size to stay, and you can leave them in the room unattended, providing they remain in their crate. The fee is $50 per pet per stay, so it’s a fab choice if you stay in Knoxville for a week or more.
Another reason we like this hotel is that it’s surrounded by large grassy areas and a small lake where you can walk your fur child. What’s more, the hotel is within walking distance of the lovely Turkey Creek.
The hotel offers a fab breakfast buffet and a complimentary evening social on select nights with snacks and beer. There is an outdoor pool for your enjoyment and a small fitness center. Various room types are available. We particularly like the studio suites with a sofa, fridge, toaster, and dishwasher.
Book your room here.
The Hilton in the city center is one of the top pet-friendly places to stay in Knoxville for those looking for a central location. They allow two pets per room, weighing up to 75 pounds. The fixed pet fee of $75 per pet per stay works out better value for more extended stays.
The upmarket hotel has an outdoor pool with sun loungers, a large patio with fire pits, and a fully equipped gym. Plus, the onsite restaurant serves an excellent buffet breakfast.
The hotel is just a few blocks from the Tennessee River, where you can take your furry friend for a gentle stroll. The light and airy rooms have excellent city views, and select rooms have couches. All rooms have coffee-making amenities and luxury toiletries.
See the options and book your stay here.
TownePlace Suites Knoxville Cedar Bluff
TownePlace Suites in Cedar Bluff is one of the best pet-friendly hotels in Knoxville for short stays. They charge $25 per night for up to two pets of any size. The hotel has a small outdoor pool, gym, and laundry/dry cleaning services. They also offer guests a continental breakfast buffet every morning.
There are some superb pet-friendly restaurants nearby with alfresco seating outside. If you’re traveling with a feline, you can take them across the road to Chesapeake’s Seafood Restaurant for a real treat!
The studio-style rooms feature a kitchenette with a stovetop, microwave, refrigerator, and coffee machine. Therefore, it’s a perfect choice if you like to give your fur baby home-cooked meals. The suites either have an armchair or sofa bed, plus a desk and an ensuite with a bathtub.
See the rooms for yourself on Booking.com.
La Quinta Inn & Suites Knoxville Central Papermill
La Quinta in Knoxville Central Papermill is hugely pet-friendly, letting guests bring up to 2 pets with no extra charges. In addition, the hotel is a short walk from the riverside pet-friendly Lakeshore Park, which is a gorgeous place to go for your morning or evening strolls. Here, you will also be within walking distance of many excellent eateries.
The rooms have carpeted floors, microwaves, refrigerators, and single-serving coffee machines. I recommend booking the Deluxe King Room with a sofa, coffee table, and more floor space. See the available rooms here. The hotel also offers free parking, laundry services, and access to their outdoor pool.
Residence Inn by Marriott Knoxville Cedar Bluff
Residence Inn Cedar Bluff is easily another of the best pet-friendly hotels in Knoxville, allowing guests to bring two pets up to 75 pounds, and you can keep them in the room unattended. The pet fee is $50 for 1 to 5 nights and $100 for longer stays.
The hotel serves an excellent breakfast buffet, and there are lovely outdoor patios with cozy seating and heaters to enjoy. The spacious studios have a large, L-shaped sofa, plenty of floor space, cozy carpeted floors, and a small table.
Check out the options here.
Holiday Inn Knoxville N
Suppose you’re looking to stay on the city’s outskirts, closer to nature. In that case, you’ll find this Holiday Inn — the best pet-friendly lodging in Knoxville North.
The hotel accepts two pets up to 80 pounds for an additional fee of $35 per stay. In addition, they have select pet-friendly rooms on the first two floors, and you can leave your furry friends unattended in the room while you go out.
The hotel, on Merchant Drive, is a short stroll from many restaurants and bars, including Austin’s Steak & Homestyle Buffet, which serves all the classic Southern dishes. It’s also very close to the off-leash dog park at Victor Ashe and various other small parks and recreation areas.
The rooms have soft lighting, carpeted floors, and air conditioning. They also include many amenities, such as a tea/coffee maker, microwave, and satellite TV.
You can check rates and learn more by clicking here.
Red Roof Inn PLUS+ & Suites Knoxville West
Pets can stay for free at all Red Roof Inns, so this is an excellent option if you’re looking to base yourself in Knoxville West. However, the motel only allows one pet per room, so is only one of the best pet-friendly hotels in Knoxville if you have a solo kitty or pup.
Knoxville’s Red Roof Inn is situated in the heart of Cedar Bluff, surrounded by plenty of restaurants and shops. There is a large outdoor patio and pool onsite and many grassy areas. The rooms are modern and stylish, with wooden flooring, a high-quality work desk, a small fridge, and a microwave.
Find out more and book your room at Red Roof here!
Americas Best Value Inn Knoxville East
Americas Best Value Inn in Knoxville East is a pet-friendly accommodation that charges no additional fee for bringing cats or dogs. You can bring up to two pets of any size, but you are not permitted to leave them in the room alone.
The Inn typically assigns the ground floor rooms to guests with pets. The air-conditioned rooms have modern designs with wooden floors, soft lighting, and a small fridge for keeping your fur baby’s food chilled.
There’s an outdoor pool, laundry machines, and complimentary parking. There isn’t a restaurant on-site, but there are plenty of eateries a short walk from the motel. Check out Cracker Barrel Old Country Store, which has pet-friendly outdoor seating.
Check availability and book your stay here.
Crowne Plaza Knoxville Downtown University
Crowne Plaza is another of the top pet-friendly hotels in Knoxville downtown, situated close to the university, art museum, and many other attractions.
They allow two pets of any size per room for a $35 fee per stay. However, you cannot leave them in the room unattended here.
The hotel is very close to the pet-friendly World’s Fair Park, Morningside Park, and the Tennessee River, giving you plenty of options for leisurely strolls. In addition, the hotel has an indoor pool, fitness area, lavish restaurant, and pub-style bar.
Many rooms have an armchair or small sofa, desk, TV, and mini-fridge. The rooms have a modern yet warm design, with hardwood flooring and dark wood furniture.
Check for the available options here.
Drury Inn & Suites Knoxville West
Drury Inn in the West Knoxville district welcomes cats and dogs to stay for a daily fee of $40. Up to two pets are allowed in one room, with a combined weight of 80 pounds. However, this hotel does not let guests leave their pets unattended in the room.
The 3-star hotel offers a daily breakfast buffet to all (human) guests, and there is a hot tub and small indoor pool on site. The standard rooms are surprisingly spacious, and the suites have a lounge area with a large sofa, desk, and coffee maker.
Ready to book? Reserve your room (free cancellation) at the Drury Inn.
Guide to Pet-Friendly Knoxville, TN
Now that you know the best pet-friendly hotels in Knoxville, you’ll be eager to plan an epic itinerary.
You’ll find many pet-friendly Knoxville outdoor areas and natural attractions, including dog parks and walking trails.
You can also treat your four-legged friend to a trip to the dog bakery or the pet spa!
Pet-Friendly Activities in Knoxville
Lakeshore Park in Knoxville West is a 185-acre general recreation public park where you can walk your dog or cat. It’s a great place to take kitties in particular, as pets must be kept on their leash, so your feline will be safe. There’s a vast open grass area, several walking trails, and some splendid riverfront viewpoints.
Dogwood Park at Victor Ashe Park is a must-visit pet-friendly Knoxville attraction for dogs of all breeds and sizes. Dogwood Park is a one-acre off-leash area with ramps, tunnels, and jumps to keep your canine entertained for hours. There is also a lovely doggy fountain so your pup can stay refreshed. If you’re traveling with a cat, there are other parts of Victor Ashe Park where dogs must be leased and thus are safe for felines.
Tommy Schumpert Park is an ample green space on the city’s outskirts that has a dedicated dog park. What’s good about this dog park is that there are separate areas for large dogs and small pups, keeping everyone safe and happy. What’s more, there is a dog swimming area, jumping dock, water fountain, and dog waste stations.
House Mountain is an excellent pet-friendly alternative to the nearby Smoky Mountains. House Mountain State Natural Area is a short 20-minute drive from Knoxville and features a fun hike up to the summit. Although the walk is short, it’s moderately challenging. Still, you’ll experience incredible vistas from the top and can take some fantastic photos with your fur baby there.
Forks of the River has a staggering 50 miles of interconnected trails, forested areas, and splendid river views. Therefore, you’ll find many superb walking routes here, and leashed pets are always welcome.
Ijams Nature Center is located next to Forks of the River in South East Knoxville. It is a pet-friendly nonprofit nature center with wetlands, rock formations, and 10 miles of trails. Moreover, you can rent canoes, kayaks, and SUPs here, making for a fab activity if you have a water-loving canine. Alternatively, there are many small streams for your pet to refresh and play in.
Activities & Attractions
Knoxville Botanical Garden and Arboretum consists of 47 acres of landscaped gardens and lawns, walking trails, historic stone walls, and timeless buildings. As pets are allowed into the botanical garden, you can explore it with your four-legged friend, and it’s free entry, too. However, you’ll need to keep them on their leash at all times.
Southside Garage Food Truck Park is a hip food truck park located in the South Landing area of South Knoxville. They have a large selection of local craft beers, and the food trucks rotate. It’s an excellent place to spend a relaxed afternoon with your pup or kitty as they have a large patio, plenty of grassy areas, and a feel-good vibe.
Knoxville’s Perfect Blend Scavenger Hunt Tour is a unique way to explore Knoxville’s sights. What makes it even better is that you can bring your fur baby along. On this scavenger hunt tour, you’ll see landmarks like Bijou Theater, Blount Mansion, and Krutch Park as you complete challenges and solve puzzles. The fun walk lasts around 2 hours, and you’ll explore about 1.6 miles around the city center.
Pet-Friendly Restaurants in Knoxville
- Tomato Head in Market Square is one of the best pet-friendly eateries Downtown. They have lots of covered outdoor seating, and the staff will even bring your pet a water bowl. Head here for a tasty brunch.
- Downtown Grill & Brewery is another pet-friendly restaurant to check out in the city center. They have front and back outdoor seating, friendly staff, and mouthwatering food. Come here for a creative sandwich washed down with a local craft beer.
- Aubrey’s in Strawberry Plains is a farm-to-table restaurant, always cooking with the freshest ingredients. Highlights include Famous Strawberry Salad, Grilled Salmon Tacos, and Buttermilk Fried Chicken. They are open from 11 am to 10 pm, with daily specials and a large pet-friendly outdoor patio.
- Cool Beans Bar and Grill in downtown Knoxville is a trendy pit stop for food, beer, and fun. They welcome pets to dine on their outdoor patio. They have over 25 rotating beers and a pub-grub-style menu with burgers, sandwiches, and loaded fries.
- Crafty Bastard Brewery is a must-visit for pet owners as they let you bring your four-legged companion inside and out. Plus, they are passionate about helping animals in need and periodically host fundraisers for Small Breed Rescue of East Tennessee. They have over 20 beers (most available on draft), and usually, there is a food truck outside.
- Next Level Brewery is another craft brewery worth stopping off at. They will warmly welcome your pet inside, where you’ll find a fantastic atmosphere and over 15 craft beers on tap.
- River Dog Bakery – As with many Tennessee cities, Knoxville has a pet-friendly bakery where your pup can enjoy a tasty treat. River Dog Bakery makes a wide selection of fresh-baked dog treats containing human-grade all-natural ingredients, including doggie donuts and brownies. Some are also suitable for felines; just ask the friendly staff.
- Scruffy’s Cat Cafe – Scruffy’s Cafe is Knoxville’s own cat cafe full of gorgeous, friendly cats, all available for adoption. Unfortunately, you cannot bring your cat with you, but it’s still well worth a visit for any cat lover. The cafe also has its own merchandise line, of which all profits go to the rescue cats.
- Dogwood Grooming – This is not just a standard groomer; it’s a full-service spa for canines and felines alike. They have been running for over 20 years, are experienced in bathing and grooming cats in the most stress-free way possible, and will treat your fur baby like royalty.
- Central Veterinary Hospital – We hope nothing happens to your fur baby while you are away. However, it’s always best to research local vets when traveling with pets. Central Veterinary Hospital is one of Knoxville’s longest-running animal hospitals, with three branches throughout the city.
We found Knoxville to be one of the most welcoming cities in East Tennessee for both humans and animals!
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Thanks to the locals’ warm hospitality and easy-going nature, spending a weekend or longer in Knoxville TN with a cat or dog is easy. What’s more, you certainly won’t get bored as there are endless parks, trails, and nature spots to explore with your fur child.
Remember to let us know how pet-friendly you found Knoxville in the comments below! 🐾
Tuesday 22nd of November 2022
This was so helpful! I really appreciate you taking the time to make this. It's so hard finding places that accept fur babies :)