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Inspiration for Your Dog-Friendly Summer Adventures in the Twin Cities

It's officially feeling like summer in the Twin Cities! We are so lucky to live in a place with so many lakes, rivers, and parks, and summer is one of the best times of year to take advantage of all three. In this blog post, I'll share some inspiration for your dog-friendly summer adventures. Each idea includes a brief description, some photo ideas, and helpful tips to make the most of your dog-friendly outdoor adventures!

From scenic lakesides to lush trails, let these ideas guide your next pet-friendly outdoor adventure, and let me know if you need your own personal pup-arazzi to join you!


1. Beach Day

Take advantage of the sandy shores of local lakes for a fun-filled day with your dog. The calm waters and scenic surroundings provide a perfect setting for play and relaxation.

Activity Ideas:
  • Play fetch in the shallow water.

  • Let your dog dig and explore in the sand.

  • Enjoy a relaxing swim together.

Photo Ideas:
  • Action shots of your dog playing in the water.

  • Candid moments of your dog digging in the sand.

  • Sunset portraits with the serene lake backdrop.

  • Do your research to ensure the beach is pet-friendly!

  • Visit early in the morning or late in the afternoon to avoid the heat and crowds.

  • Bring a colorful beach towel, toys, and plenty of water for hydration.

A lab mix stands in the water along a riverbank smiling at the camera.


2. Paddle Boarding Adventures

Combine adventure and fun by taking your pet paddle boarding on one of the nearby lakes. This activity offers a unique way to explore the water together.

Activity Ideas:
  • Practice balance with your dog on the board.

  • Explore the lake's shoreline and discover hidden treasures.

  • Enjoy the tranquility of the water and nature.

Photo Ideas:
  • Close-ups of your dog's curious expressions as they balance on the board.

  • Wide shots to capture the peaceful lake and surrounding nature.

  • Action shots of you and your dog paddling together.

  • Ensure your dog is comfortable on the paddle board and equipped with a life jacket for safety.

  • Aim for calm weather days to make the experience enjoyable and stress-free.

  • Make sure you're following local rules for pet-friendly beaches for launch.

A woman and her dog ride together on a paddle board during golden hour.


3. Hiking in Local Parks

The parks around the Twin Cities offer numerous trails and picturesque landscapes for an adventurous hike with your dog. Explore the trails and enjoy the lush greenery and varied terrain.

Activity Ideas:
  • Hike scenic trails with varying levels of difficulty.

  • Stop for breaks and enjoy the natural surroundings.

  • Discover new paths and hidden gems in the park.

Photo Ideas:
  • Portraits of your dog on the trail with dense foliage as a backdrop.

  • Action shots of your dog leaping over logs or navigating rocky paths.

  • Candid moments of rest and hydration at scenic spots.

  • Choose dog-friendly trails and bring a portable water bowl and treats.

  • Keep your dog on a leash and be mindful of other hikers and wildlife.

  • Pick a trail that is meaningful to you and your dog or try a new one for a fun adventure!

A woman hikes with her Irish Wolfhound through the woods in the summer.


4. Boating on Nearby Rivers and Lakes

Set sail on one of the local rivers or lakes for a nautical adventure. The tranquil waters and scenic surroundings provide a perfect setting for a day on the water with your dog.

Activity Ideas:
  • Enjoy a relaxing boat ride while your dog takes in the sights and sounds.

  • Stop at different spots along the shore for exploration.

  • Have a picnic on the boat or at a lakeside spot.

Photo Ideas:
  • Photos of your dog at the bow of the boat, enjoying the wind and water.

  • Action shots of your dog wearing a captain's hat or life vest.

  • Scenic portraits with the riverbanks and surrounding nature in the background.

  • Ensure your dog is comfortable on the boat and always wears a life jacket.

  • Bring plenty of water, snacks, and a shade umbrella for comfort.

A woman and her dog sit on a row boat, as seen from overhead.


5. Chasing Waterfalls

Several parks around the Twin Cities feature beautiful waterfalls and lush green spaces, perfect for a day of exploration with your dog. The combination of water and greenery provides a stunning backdrop for an adventure.

Activity Ideas:
  • Take a leisurely walk to the waterfalls and enjoy the scenery.

  • Let your dog cool off in the mist or nearby streams.

  • Explore the park's trails and open areas.

Photo Ideas:
  • Dramatic shots with the waterfall as a majestic backdrop.

  • Close-ups of your dog enjoying the mist and cool air near the falls.

  • Fun, playful shots in the park’s open areas and trails.

  • Visit during weekdays or early mornings to avoid crowds.

  • Bring a towel to dry off your dog if they get wet near the falls.

  • Check ahead to ensure the trail is pet-friendly and obey any leash laws in place.

A black dog smiles at the camera in front of a small waterfall.


6. Urban Park Picnics

Enjoy a relaxed picnic in one of the many urban parks. These green oases in the city offer plenty of space and scenery for a laid-back day with your dog.

Activity Ideas:
  • Spread out a blanket and enjoy a picnic with your dog.

  • Play fetch or tug-of-war with your dog's favorite toys.

  • Take a leisurely walk around the park and explore its features.

Photo Ideas:
  • Cozy shots of your dog lounging on a picnic blanket.

  • Action shots of your dog playing with toys or exploring the park.

  • Candid moments of your dog enjoying treats and the outdoors.

  • Bring a variety of toys, a picnic basket, and plenty of treats for your pet.

  • Choose a spot with both sunny and shaded areas for versatile comfort.

  • Be sure to check for ticks if you're in an area with tall grass!

A dog smiles at the camera sitting on a quilt at golden hour.


7. Camping Adventures

Plan a camping trip to a nearby state park for an immersive nature experience. Camping provides a fantastic opportunity to enjoy quality time with your dog in a natural setting.

Activity Ideas:
  • Set up a cozy campsite and relax by the campfire.

  • Go on exploratory hikes and nature walks.

  • Enjoy stargazing and quiet moments in the wilderness.

Photo Ideas:
  • Cozy campfire shots with your dog relaxing by the fire.

  • Photos on the dock near the campsite enjoying the peaceful waters with your dog.

  • Action shots of your dog exploring the trails and enjoying the outdoors.

  • Pack a cozy blanket or dog bed to make your campsite comfortable for your dog.

  • Ensure your dog is comfortable and safe in the camping environment.

A woman touches her dog, both smiling at each other. They are seated on a dock together, overlooking a peaceful lake.


Are You Ready for an Adventure?

The Twin Cities offer a multitude of picturesque locations perfect for dog-friendly adventures. Whether you're hitting the beach, hiking through parks, enjoying a paddle on the lake, or camping under the stars, each location provides unique opportunities to enjoy the joy and adventure of summer with your pet. Grab your leash, some treats, and a sense of adventure, and start creating memories that will last a lifetime!


Schedule a Professional Pet Photography Session

If you want to sit back, relax, and have a professional photographer tag along to capture every moment of your summer adventure, look no further than Scruff Life Photography! I specialize in capturing the bond between people and their pets in Minnesota and beyond and I would be honored to capture your summer adventure memories! Reach out to schedule a session this summer.

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