A Pet-Friendly Weekend in Halifax, North Carolina
Every year, our family (dog included) makes the drive to Halifax County, North Carolina for our annual vacation. Whether you’re cruising on I-95 toward another destination or looking for the perfect weekend getaway, there is something for everyone in Halifax County! It’s North Carolina’s “cradle of history” and is the birthplace of the Halifax Resolves, which are the foundations of the Declaration of Independence. Also, Halifax is a dog’s paradise because it’s home to Lake Gaston, Medoc Mountain State Park, the Roanoke Canal Museum & Trail, and the Visitor Center’s Dog Run. Natural beauty and a pet-friendly vibe…what’s not to love?
The Days Inn Hotel in Weldon
We stayed at the Days Inn hotel in Weldon, near the Roanoke Canal Trail. Our dog was welcomed with open arms, and our guest rooms came equipped with all of our creature comforts (Wi-Fi and basic kitchen necessities). The continental breakfast, lounge, patio deck, and outdoor pool were added perks.
Halifax County offers prime access to the best natural and historic attractions in North Carolina. Visit downtown Weldon or tour a variety of museums. Grab a paddle and kayak with Fido down the Roanoke River or hike the Roanoke Canal Trail. Partake in more water sports at Lake Gaston. Although there are no pet-friendly restaurants in the area, ordering takeout is always an option. Jersey Mike’s, Don Juan’s Mexican Restaurante, and Chick-fil-A are solid alternatives.
Where to Stay and Eat
What to Do
Visitor Center Dog Run
The Halifax County Convention & Visitors Bureau opened a free dog run at the Visitor Center when they noticed that a large number of people travel with their dogs. The park is open daily from sunrise to sunset and has been getting “two paws up” from pooches and their owners alike. The run is separated into two sections: one half is for large mutts and the other half is for small pups. Fresh water and s cleanup stations are available. As an added bonus, dogs can run around unleashed. Owners must supervise their companions, so tables and chairs are provided. Relax and have a picnic while Fido revels in playtime and exercise.
Roanoke Canal Museum and Trail
We spent quality time at the Roanoke Canal Museum in Roanoke Rapids, which is known as North Carolina’s “longest” museum. A series of exhibits explain how the original canal was built and how it turned the Roanoke River into a trade route during the 19th century. Later on, the canal was transformed from a highway of commerce to a hydroelectric power resource. We were impressed by how well the original construction of the canal was preserved. Since our dog was not permitted inside the museum, we rented bikes (for free) at the Visitor Center and explored the Roanoke Canal Trail. We enjoyed a scenic ride as our dog jogged alongside us.
Our family loved fishing and swimming at Lake Gaston, which is a 20,000-acre body of water that borders North Carolina and Virginia and is bound by the Kerr Dam and Gaston Dam. The lake was well stocked with bass, crappie, and catfish. Amenities at the Lake Gaston Day Use Park include a fishing pier, boat ramp, and swimming area. Recreational, cultural, and educational opportunities are available. Even our dog had a blast!
Medoc Mountain State Park
We connected with nature by spending quality time together at Medoc Mountain State Park. Ten miles of hiking trails flank the creek that runs through the park; some trails lead to Medoc Mountain. We saw equestrians on bridle trails, mountain bikers on terrain trails, and anglers and paddlers in the creek. Grab your camera and boots and take advantage of the interpretive programs and guided hikes that the rangers offer. The 34-site campground at Medoc Mountain State Park has RV-friendly spaces, a bathhouse, and picnic tables. Dogs are allowed, but they must remain leashed.
Historic Halifax State Historic Site
We stepped back in time and experienced the lives of early revolutionaries at the Historic Halifax State Historic Site. We learned that the date on North Carolina’s flag (April 12, 1776) signifies the state’s adoption of the Halifax Resolves. Historically, this was the first official action for independence by any colony. We watched an audiovisual presentation and toured various structures, including the Sally Billy House, Burgess House, Owens House, Tap Room, Eagle Tavern, Halifax County Jail, and Clerk’s Office. Dogs are permitted on the grounds of the Historic Halifax Site, but they must remain leashed.
Lasting memories were made during our vacation in Halifax County, North Carolina. We are thankful that Halifax County welcomes people who travel with their beloved pets. We took a chance by bringing our dog with us, trying new experiences and activities, and expanding our historical knowledge. We’ve grown stronger as a family because we stepped outside of our comfort zones. We’ll be back, Halifax County!