Doggie date night #1: Lake Nokomis


By this time of the summer, the “ohmydog, the weather isn’t trying to kill me anymore!” novelty of being outside can wear off, and it gets easy to fall into a rut: you and your partner take your pooch to the dog park and then to your favorite dog-friendly patio, night after night, all summer long. And it’s lovely, and you enjoy it, but isn’t it time to shake it up? Winter always comes too soon, so you’ve got to get out there and soak up the best of summer while you can.

Which is where we come in! We’re bringing you Doggie Date Nights, a series dedicated to dog-friendly dates for you, your pooch, and your sweetie. Check out date #1 below, a fabulous night at Minneapolis’s Lake Nokomis.

DOGGIE DATE NIGHT #1: Adventures at Lake Nokomis

Drive over to Lake Nokomis (or walk, if you’re lucky enough to live close) for this three-part adventure. There’s no bad time of day for this particular date, and the three components can be done in any order you fancy.

Walk Around the Lake: This is pretty self-explanatory, sure, but the walk around Lake Nokomis is one of the prettiest in town: wide walking/running trails, plenty of grass and trees for your pooch to claim as her own, quaint bridges spanning pretty blue streams, and a fabulous view of the Minneapolis skyline. It’s a gorgeous three-mile tour, and as a bonus, it’s far less crowded and noisy than Calhoun.

Dinner at Sandcastle: Dinner at this local gem is not to be missed (neither is breakfast, available Saturdays and Sundays in August). Whether you’re in the mood for cheese curds or ceviche, this beach-adjacent, dog-friendly, walk-up joint has got you covered. The food is locally sourced and made on-site whenever possible, so it’s fresh and delicious. Plus, they serve Summit (and other delightful boozy beverages)! The patio is full of picnic tables, so it’s super easy for you, your partner, and your pooch to make some friends if that’s what you’re into. Having too much fun to sit down? No worries. Their Grab-n-Go window serves ice cream, select snacks, and non-alcoholic drinks.

(Photo: Sandcastle)

Rent a Canoe: There’s a fabulous beach at Nokomis, but dogs aren’t allowed on it. That doesn’t have to keep you from enjoying the water, though! During our research, we watched a family of five rent a pair of canoes from Wheel Fun Rentals — and then marveled as their gorgeous Viszla hopped into one. The Wheel Fun attendant helped steady the canoe while everyone piled in, so we feel pretty confident about the dog-friendly nature of this activity. Paddle your way out to the center of the lake, listen to the planes overhead, and have your honey read you some poetry while you pet your noble beast. Or, you know, you can just chat.

(Photo: Sandcastle)

(Top photo:

Do you have a dog-friendly date night you’d recommend? Do you want to be featured in the Doggie Date Night series? Hit us up at or leave us a message in the comments section!