Strolling outdoors on a Sunday afternoon with your cat (donning her harness and leash, of course!) gives both you and your cat some fresh air and sunshine. What cat wouldn’t love to lie in the cool grass and chase bugs under a blue sky? Parks across the country, like these five fabulous cat-friendly locales, are refreshing and inspiring places to go with your cat.
1. Golden Gate Park, San Francisco
This 1,017-acre park is filled with lush gardens, expansive greenbelts and paths that meander for miles. Though several of the attractions in the park, such as the Strybing Arboretum and the Japanese Tea Garden, do not allow pets, the rest of it is free game. Explore the Dutch-style windmills at the western end of the park and let your cat tiptoe through the tulips. Watch the model yachts sail on Spreckels Lake, or just pack a lunch and spend a lazy afternoon together.
2. Liberty Park, Salt Lake City
Liberty Park, a 100-acre park in Salt Lake City, features the 17-acre Tracy Aviary, a bird park that houses more than 400 birds. Cats are not allowed inside the aviary, but you and your cat can enjoy the remaining 83 acres. Walk around the lake or under the stone-pillared arbors, relax among rolling knolls and look for birds in the trees that landscape the park. You and your cat can watch the kids play in the children’s park, or watch the water flow through the Canyon Fountain.
3. Jackson Park, Chicago
Jackson Park is a 600-acre oasis just outside the urban bustle of Chicago. Featuring walking trails and lakefront beaches, this park was originally built for the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition. Several structures remain from the exposition, such as the Osako Gardens, which are classic Japanese gardens that feature a teahouse and rock gardens. A flock of feral monk parakeets call the park home, so you and your cat can spend the day scoping for the birds and gazing into the park’s many reflecting pools.
4.The Riverwalk, San Antonio
One of the top entertainment destinations in Texas, The Riverwalk winds alongside the San Antonio River. Quaint footbridges crisscross the river, while boats navigate downstream, treating cruisers to sights not seen from land. Shops, restaurants, attractions and entertainers line the shores, along with shady botanical gardens to relax and beat the hot Texas heat. You and your cat can investigate the park-like atmosphere or pass the time watching locals and tourists.
5. Freedom Trail, Boston
Take in some history with your cat by navigating the 2.5-mile red-brick walking trail in Boston, Mass. The pathway leads to 16 nationally significant historical sites, such as the Boston Common, the USS Constitution and the Bunker Hill Monument. It comprises a one-of-a-kind collection of parks, museums, churches and cemeteries that tell the story of the American Revolution.
These locations provide beautiful journey opportunities you can take with your cat. You might have similar historic or nature reserves to explore in your own area, so step out and see what gorgeous scenery awaits you and your cat.
Wendy Bedwell-Wilson is a freelance writer in Hawaii.