The Wag: Road trip does mountain mamma and this dog a world of good

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Puppy Stout, Columnist

Puppy Stout brings his column, The Wag, to the Williamson Herald from The Tennessean where it has appeared for well over a decade. We are delighted to welcome Pup. He will regale you with his adventures in his own voice. His mom, Vicki Stout, helps him paw the keyboard at times, but it IS Puppy Stout doing the talking, aka barking.

Have you been thinking about taking your people on a road trip? As you know, the journey is as much fun as the destination. You can open the window and put your head out, feel the wind and then nap as needed. 

I can only bark for myself, but in my world, a trip is tops.  

For those of you who love to travel, listen up. I have a great place for you to take the family. Now is a perfect time to go, but then this fall would be, too.

The place? Highlands, North Carolina.

Mom and I went last week. The temps here at home were in the 90s; up there in the mountains of western North Carolina, the high every day was 70 to 72. It’s perfect weather for BDWs (big-dog walks). For the adventure-minded, take your people hiking. There are many trails, even waterfalls.

The place to stay? The Park on Main. Oh, dog, it doesn’t get any better than this. It’s a small hotel (Mom calls it a boutique hotel) right along Main Street in Highlands, a small town that reminds me of Franklin when I was just a pup.

The hotel has only 24 suites; every room is a suite! We had a living room, complete with a TV and small fridge, and a bedroom. Each had its own flat-panel TV, enabling you to control the remote either from the sofa, or the bed and watch whatever you choose.

Every suite is pet-friendly. It’s a slice of luxury there in the mountains. I had an Orvis bed, my own dog towel, a water bowl, bottle of water and a big treat upon arrival.


You can walk to all the shops that line both sides of Main Street. Most have water bowls out on the sidewalk, and all of them welcome dogs. The whole town welcomed us with open paws.

It’s truly pawsome.

The shops range from clothing, which I don’t care about, to an outdoor store, where you’ll want to hang out and shop.

And you won’t believe this: Most of the restaurants are welcoming pets on their patios. Tables are beneath big umbrellas, should it rain.

I forgot to tell you that one of the best things about The Park on Main is the folks there always have a foster dog in residence who’s looking for a fur-ever home. The dogs come from the local shelter. The doggie hangs out in the lobby greeting guests and napping behind the desk on an Orvis bed.

Hotel staff treat the dog like royalty. The lucky guy or gal stays as a foster in the hotel until someone adopts him or her. Guests who don’t have pets, who just come to the hotel because it’s so cool, often fall in love with the current foster dog and end up adopting that fur baby.

Mom and I have stayed at lots of pet-friendly places, but we have never encountered the foster-to-adopt program. That alone is reason enough to go. About 60% of guests bring their dogs.

Let me bark to you again, Highlands is super. And the Park on Main is a win-win for people and pooches alike.

Fall break, when the leaves are turning and the air is crisp, would be a great time to go. I suggest you hit your mouse to make a reservation ASAP.

Your people will thank you.

Happy trails to you.



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