Whether you’re looking for a summer day trip, a fall foliage getaway, or a winter vacation spot, New England has so many beautiful travel destinations that are dog-friendly. Let’s just say if your dog had a bucket list, this is what it would look like.
Historic Salem is wonderfully dog-friendly. Downtown is filled with cobblestone streets, amazing local businesses, the Bewitched Statue, and dog-friendly walking tours (try the Witchwood Tours or Witch City Walking Tours). Transportation is even pet-friendly: hop on the Salem Trolley with your dog and explore one of the local oceanside parks such as Derby Wharf, Salem Willows, or Winter Island Park. Almost every restaurant with an outdoor patio is dog-friendly too, including Gulu-Gulu Cafe, Flying Saucer Pizza Company, and Village Tavern. And don’t miss the doggy menu at Longboards Restaurant & Bar!
Fair warning: if you’re looking for a spooky Halloween trip, Salem becomes quite crowded during the month of October. Be prepared for lots of traffic, long lines, and booked up hotels in the fall – you may consider leaving your pup at home.
From the bridge to P-Town, the Cape has so much to offer dog-lovers.
Provincetown, MA should be on every dog owner’s travel list. We have an entire blog dedicated to this destination – check it out here!
Falmouth, MA is another adorable area where you and your dog can have a relaxing time. Grab a cold beer and an incredible slice of pizza at Bad Marthas featuring a cozy outdoor patio with live music, karaoke, and great vibes. Are you and your dog amateur sommeliers? Check out Cape Cod Winery in East Falmouth a few miles from the ocean and relax over a few glasses of Rosé, Sauvignon Blanc, or a deep bodied red – these wines taste like the Cape. The Shining Sea Bike Way is a shaded trail to walk your dog and enjoy the beautiful views on the way to Woods Hole, complete with a few beach pull-offs to hop in the waves and cool off!
Consider taking the ferry over to the islands too – Nantucket & Martha’s Vineyard are filled with quintessential charm and lots of dog-friendly restaurants, shops, and inns. On Martha’s Vineyard, stroll the shops in Oak Bluffs and stop by Good Dog Goods for some all-natural dog treats. Then head over to Edgartown to explore the lighthouses and beaches. On Nantucket, get your paws sandy on dog-friendly Jetties Beach featuring a dog-friendly Sandbar to grab a bite & a drink at.
The Berkshires of Massachusetts are a rural escape and only a few hours’ drive from busy Boston. If you are looking for a long weekend with breathtaking views, tasty micro brews, and delicious chews, this is the vacation spot for you.
Quench your thirst! For a classic New England brewery experience, look no further than the Barrington Brewery which offers an outdoor seating area for travelers with their dogs to enjoy a refreshing beer and a delicious meal. If beer is not your “cup of tea,” head to Berkshire Mountain Distillers. Sample New England’s finest locally distilled and sources liquors among a stunning outdoor patio and garden. Or try out Little Apple Cidery in Hillsdale NY, right over the border into New York State to sit among the trees and enjoy a sweet or tart cider.
Adventure out! Try Race Brook Trail, Bash Bish Falls, the Alford Springs Father Loop, or a canoe tour for scenic views & exercise. If you’re looking for a more laid-back day, consider walking around the dog-friendly gardens of the Norman Rockwell Museum.
Portsmouth, New Hampshire
Brunch spots, boutique shops, & craft beer – Portsmouth is a charming Seacoast town that is super dog-friendly. The eclectic red-brick-paved downtown boasts many pet-friendly shops (check out Canine Cupboard & Good Dog Gallery) and greenery areas. When you’re ready to venture out of town, locals rave about Peirce Island, and understandably so! It is a gorgeous off-leash mini-paradise for your dog that stretches along the coast. Short, shady trails lead to picturesque views of the navy yard and Piscataqua bridges that are perfect for boat watching and picnicking.
The White Mountains
Head up to northern New Hampshire for some fresh mountain air. Summer, fall, winter – any time of year is great for some hiking or a drive along the scenic Kancamagus Highway. Some highlights in the area:
- Diana’s Baths are a fairly easy walk that leads to the natural pools, cascades, and slides. You & your dog can even jump into the warm swimming holes, slide down the natural “waterslides,” or sunbathe on the rocks surrounded by water.
- Some other easy hiking trails with great views: Artist Bluff Trail, the Basin, Arethusa Falls, Echo Lake State Park, and Sabbaday Falls.
- Lincoln, NH is a nice stop in between hiking to grab food & drinks at dog-friendly One Love Brewery, Gypsy Cafe, and Black Mtn. Burger Co. In the summer, Loon Mountain even allows dogs to ride up the mountain on their Gondolas!
- North Conway: take a train ride on the Conway Scenic Railroad (small, well-behaved dogs are welcome aboard!) to see beautiful New Hampshire scenery.
Cape Elizabeth, Maine
Dreaming of a quiet, seaside getaway with your dog? Enjoy oceanside trails, rocky shores, and historic lighthouses at scenic spots like the famous Portland Head Light or Two Lights State Park. If you’re feeling luxurious, stay at the Inn by the Sea – a TRUE dog-friendly beach resort where your pup will be pampered with a bed, towels & blankets, treats at turndown service, and a dog-friendly lounge with a gourmet pet menu.
Less than a half hour away is Portland, Maine – a bustling maritime hub with cobblestone streets, eclectic local shops, and scenic waterfront views. Hop aboard a boat with your pup through Casco Bay Lines, or visit one of the many dog-friendly breweries and restaurants.
Vermont is just about as dog-friendly as it gets. Without having to go as far north as Burlington or Stowe, Woodstock is a picturesque New England town filled with covered bridges and beautiful scenery (and a premiere fall & Christmastime destination). Walk through maple trees and sample Vermont cheddar cheese at Sugarbush Farm, discover spectacular views by carriage roads in Marsh-Billings Rockefeller National Historical Park, or enjoy the bustling town & beautiful photo ops with dog-friendly cafes & breweries.
Just 30 minutes away is Killington at the heart of the Green Mountains. Skiers with dogs rejoice! Stop by Base Camp where dogs are welcome in the store, on the Disc Golf Course and Mountain Bike Trails in the summer, and on the snowshoe and cross-country ski trails in the winter. For good eats with stellar lakeside views, head over to The Lake House Pub and Grille featuring a doggy menu!
Tips For Your Travels:
Flea & Tick Prevention
Tall New England grasses are home to American dog ticks, Brown dog ticks, Deer ticks, and Lone Star ticks. Make sure you check your dog after hiking & keep them up-to-date on their oral or topical flea & tick medication.
The Right Trail For You, and Your Dog
Do your research before setting out on a hike. If you and/or your dog have exercise or mobility restraints, pick an activity that is right for both of you. Most of the trails mentioned are easy to moderate, but always remember to pace yourself.
It can be a long, hot day of walking when you’re out with your dog, so don’t forget to stop for breaks and pack some extra water bottles, hiking snacks, and bowls. There are lots of inexpensive options for portable water bowls and treats that are easy to pack and carry with you.
Stay on the Path
It can be tempting to venture off the trail and explore the road less traveled by, but it’s not the best idea for your pooch. Dangers like poison ivy, ticks, snakes, porcupines, and even bears can threaten you and your pet, so stay on track!
Bring Poop Bags
This one is pretty self-explanatory. Please pick up after your dog and don’t leave waste in parks, streets, or trails!
Make sure your dog has an up to date tag on his or her collar. It’s probably ideal to list a cell phone number on your dog’s tag rather than a home phone number, this way if your dog does get separated and a good Samaritan finds him or her, they can reach you quickly on your cell. We encourage microchipping too, as collars and dogs often get separated, but that’s a different article, for another time.
Doggie First-Aid Kit
Making and bringing a first-aid kit is a good precaution to consider. You should pack veterinary phone numbers, bandages, gauze, scissors, tweezers, sports tape, rubber gloves, Q-tips, a flashlight, and an extra leash. For more information on pet first aid kits, and a checklist of items, click here.