Massachusetts Dog-Friendly Travel Guide

massachusetts dog-friendly travel guide - english bulldog in a carTraveling with your dog can be a lot of fun, and it can also get complicated because every place you want to go may not be dog-friendly. That’s where a dog-friendly travel guide can come in handy. If you plan ahead, you can make sure dog-friendly options are on your itinerary. Use this Massachusetts dog-friendly travel guide to help plan a trip both you and your pooch can enjoy!

14 Dog-Friendly Activities in Massachusetts

Massachusetts, although it is a smaller state, has a ton of colonial history and is jam-packed with things to do and see. You may be tempted to stick to Boston because there is so much to do and see there, but don’t be afraid to branch out and explore the rest of the state too. Here are some dog-friendly activities in Massachusetts to consider for your trip:

1. Boston’s Freedom Trail

If your travels take you to Boston, the Freedom Trail is a must for anyone interested in history. This trail is 2.5 miles long and winds through the city, leading you to 16 historically significant sites. It’s marked by red bricks or a red-painted line to keep you on track. Your dog is welcome to join you as long as they remain on a leash.

There aren’t many pit stops for your pup along the trail though, so you’ll want to spend some time in the Boston Common before you get started. It’s the oldest public park in the country and there are two off-leash areas available within the park for dogs. Plus, the Freedom Trail starts at the Boston Common Visitor Center, so it’s an easy transition from the park to the trail.

2. The Boston Common

Even if you’re not planning to tackle the Freedom Trail, the Boston Common is still a great activity to do in Boston. Not only was it founded in 1634, which makes it America’s oldest park, but it also features plenty of walking trails, ballfields, the Frog Pond, and more. In addition to exploring over 350 years of history, there is always something to see in the Common.

3. Charles River Canoe & Kayak

If you’re sticking around Boston and want to have a water adventure with your pup, stop by Charles River Canoe & Kayak. They offer paddleboards, canoes, and kayaks. You can rent one and head out on your own or sign up for one of their guided tours.

Your dog is allowed on all of the rental boats and there is no extra fee for them. If you don’t have a life jacket on hand for your dog, make sure you ask for one, so your pup stays safe out on the water with you. Aside from Boston, there are also rental locations in Cambridge, Somerville, Newton, Waltham, and Medford.

4. Dog Gone Sailing Charters

Located in Provincetown, Dog Gone Sailing Charters offers dog-friendly water adventures on Cape Cod Bay. They offer a variety of trips for you and your pup including whale-watching, sunrise, and sunset sails.

There is no extra fee for your pup to come along. They just have to be well-controlled and leashed at all times. Plus, doggie life vests are available for small and medium-sized dogs.

5. Doe Orchards

Doe Orchards is located in Harvard, MA, and offers a wonderful outdoor experience for visitors, including dogs. Depending on the season, you can pick your own apples, blueberries, or raspberries, cut down your own Christmas tree, or sample local honey, ciders, and syrups. The best part is that your dog is welcome to enjoy the grounds with you! You just need to keep them leashed and pick up after them.

6. Hatches Harbor Trails

As a part of the Cape Cod National Seashore, Hatches Harbor is a salt marsh with miles of walking trails and bike trails. Dogs are welcome on a leash and the trails are usually easy to walk on due to the well-packed sand.

Plus, they offer some off-leash hours where your pup is permitted to run free. Hatches Harbor Trails offer a great experience for you and your pup and provide beautiful views of both the harbor and Race Point Lighthouse.

7. Vietnam Veteran’s Park

Vietnam Veteran’s Park is a scenic park located in Billerica that is dog-friendly. It offers several playgrounds, bike tracks, trails, and more within its 200 acres. Your dog is welcome as long as they are leashed.

Currently, you can walk this park with your pup and enjoy the scenery. There is also now a dog park. A local committee worked towards establishing the Billerica Dog Park where your pup can run off-leash and it is now open.

There is on-site parking, a fenced-in all-dog area including a pavilion for shade and rain shelter, and a fenced-in area for small dogs. There is also water available from May through October, but it is shut off in the winter. The park runs on donations, so please consider making one if you and your pup enjoy the dog park.

8. Cat Rock Park

Although it’s called Cat Rock Park, this park is definitely dog-friendly. It’s not specifically a dog park, but it is certainly friendly to dogs and is a park for use by all. This park is located in Weston and features plenty of wooded trails, open fields, streams, and even a swimming pond where your dog can run, or swim, off-leash.

However, this park is unfenced, so you will want to make sure your dog is well-behaved, gets along well with other people, dogs, and animals, knows to come when called, and doesn’t tend to run off.

9. deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum

If your travels bring you near Lincoln and you want to stretch your legs and spend some time in nature, consider a stop at the deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum. This park features over 60 large-scale, contemporary and modern sculptures.

It is the largest of its type in New England and stretches across 30 acres. Plus, your dog is welcome to join you as long as they are leashed and you clean up after them. There is an admission fee for you, but your dog can explore with you for free.

10. Dolphin Fleet of Provincetown Whale Watch

Another boat trip option in Provincetown is Dolphin Fleet. They have dog-friendly vessels where your leashed and well-behaved dog is welcome to join you for no extra charge.

Whale watch cruises are about 3-4 hours, guided by a professionally-trained naturalist, and advance reservations are recommended. The cabin has central air and heat and you can also enjoy the sundeck and walk-out platform.

11. Hilltop Orchards

Hilltop Orchards is located in Richmond and features 16 acres of prime apple trees. In addition to picking apples during the season, you can also enjoy some pressed apple cider that is made on the grounds. You can even tour the cidery!

Craft ciders, grape wines, cider donuts, jams, jellies, syrups, hiking trails, and more can all be enjoyed on the orchard grounds. Plus, your dog is welcome to join you as you wander around the gorgeous orchards; if you happen to be there in the fall, you can enjoy the fall colors and peak apple season.

12. Boston Public Garden

The Boston Public Garden is the first botanical garden in America and is located in the center of Boston. It’s famous for its botanicals, sculptures, and swan boats. There is even a historic rose garden. Your dog is welcome to join you as you explore the garden as long as they are leashed and you clean up after them.

13. Herman Melville’s Arrowhead

If your travels bring you to Pittsfield and you’re interested in literary history, consider exploring Herman Melville’s Arrowhead. The Melville Trail takes you around the grounds and throughout Pittsfield to see the places that provided inspiration for Melville’s work.

Although your dog is not allowed to join you on a tour inside the historic home, they are allowed to accompany you on the grounds and in the gift shop as long as they are leashed and well-behaved.

14. Fairmont Fruit Farm

If your travels bring you near Franklin, make a stop to explore Fairmont Fruit Farm. The farmer’s market is open year-round, and you can stop in and pick up fresh produce that is in season, free-range eggs, dairy products, various baked goods, and even products and crafts made by local vendors. In the fall, you can pick apples in the orchards and your dog is welcome to join you. There are also special events throughout the year.

9 Dog-Friendly Hotels in Massachusetts

After exploring and romping around all day, you’ll want to make sure you have a place where both you and your dog can get a good night’s rest. Here are some dog-friendly hotels around Massachusetts to help you plan out where you’ll stay:

1. The Cottages and Lofts at Boat Basin

If your travels bring you near Nantucket, The Cottages and Lofts at Boat Basin offer great views and are dog-friendly. They have special “Woof Cottages” where you and your dog can stay. They allow two pets of any size and charge an additional $45 per night.

In addition to a dog-friendly space, they also provide pet amenities including a dog bed, food and water bowls, and a basket of treats and toys. There are also dog walking services and a directory of nearby pet stores and vet clinics for your convenience.

2. Land’s End Inn

The Land’s End Inn is located in Provincetown. You’ll have to call ahead before booking to ensure pet-friendly rooms are available. But, you’re welcome to bring two pets up to 90 pounds and they charge an additional $50 per night for each pet. They even often provide a dog basket including bowls, towels, and treats, so you can pamper your pup as well.

3. Surfside Hotel and Suites

Also located in Provincetown and along the water is Surfside Hotel and Suites. They charge an additional $40 per night for pets and allow you to bring two dogs of any size with you. You’ll want to reserve your room ahead of time, so you’ll be sure to have a pet-friendly room available.

Your dog will receive some treats at check-in and water bowls are around the property in addition to a doggie shower. Plus, there is a dog-friendly private beach nearby that you and your pup can enjoy during your stay!

4. Boston Harbor Hotel

If you’ll be staying in Boston for more than a day trip, consider the Boston Harbor Hotel. They welcome two dogs up to 80 pounds and charge an additional $100 per pet, per stay.

Your dog cannot be left unattended at any time, but you can contact the hotel concierge for pet sitting if needed. Upon arrival, your dog will get a pet bed, water and food bowls, and treats to use during their stay.

5. Nickerson State Park Campground

If you and your dog enjoy camping and happen to be near Brewster, you can book a campsite at the Nickerson State Park Campground. Your dog is welcome, but must be leashed when outside your RV or tent.

The leash can be no longer than 6 feet. Practicing good campsite etiquette like this is one of the tips for camping with your dog. In addition to camping on Cape Cod, you and your dog can also enjoy the trails and ponds the park provides. With 1,900 acres to explore, there’s plenty to do during your stay.

6. Hawthorne Hotel

If you’re thinking of staying overnight in Salem, consider booking a room at the Hawthorne Hotel. This dog-friendly hotel allows up to two dogs of any size to accompany you for your stay.

There is an additional pet fee, which is $50 per night, and there are pet amenities that include a welcome toy, treats, and even treats from a local bakery. There is even a room service menu for dogs.

The pet-friendly rooms in this hotel are located on the sixth floor, so keep that in mind as you plan potty breaks for your dog. Although there isn’t a grassy relief area on site, there are walking trails across the street. Your dog cannot be left alone in your room unattended.

7. Revere Hotel

Another dog-friendly option in Boston is the Revere Hotel. It’s located in Back Bay on Stuart Street. At this hotel, up to two dogs, up to 75 pounds are welcome to join you for your stay.

There is an additional pet fee, which is $50 per stay, and dogs cannot be left unattended in your room. A grassy relief area is located on the hotel property for convenience. There are also pet amenities available upon request including bowls, treats, and a bed.

8. Aerie House

If you will need to stay overnight in Provincetown, especially if you have more than one dog with you, consider making a reservation at Aerie House. Up to three dogs of any size are welcome to join you for your stay.

There is an additional pet fee, which is $15 per night. There is a grassy relief area on the property for convenience. As long as your dog is well-behaved and quiet when you are not around, you can leave them in your room unattended.

9. Shaker Mill Inn

If you’ll need to stay overnight in West Stockbridge and want a cozy and interesting experience, consider booking a dog-friendly room at the Shaker Mill Inn. This is a bed and breakfast in the Berkshires that offers efficiency-suite lodging with a luxurious touch without the luxury price tag.

Plus, all rooms are dog-friendly except for the Rockwell, Washington, and Greylock. Up to two dogs of any size are welcome to join you at this inn. There is an additional pet fee, which is $25 per stay. Your dog can be left unattended in your room; you just need to leave your cell number with the front desk. They also offer pet-sitting services if you need them.

There are grassy relief areas and pet waste stations on the property for convenience. There are also amenities provided for pets including bowls, mats, beds, and treats. There is even a book about dog-friendly places in the area that you and your pup can visit together.

9 Dog-Friendly Restaurants in Massachusetts

You and your dog will have to eat during your travels. You may have brought along food for them, but what about snacks and food for you? Gas stations and convenience stores get boring. If you want to sit down and enjoy a meal, these are a few dog-friendly restaurants in Massachusetts to keep in mind:

1. New England Dog Biscuit Company

This stop is all about your dog. If your travels bring you near Salem, consider stopping by the New England Dog Biscuit Company. In addition to collars, toys, and other supplies, this store sells dog treats, many of which are made in the store.

2. Blunch

Blunch is located in Boston and serves breakfast, brunch, and lunch. Although they are known for their pressed sandwiches, eggwiches, and bagelwiches, there are also salads, desserts, and other options on the menu.

Dogs are welcome in their outdoor seating area and they have a bowl of biscuits by the door. It’s a great place for some local flavor with a flair.

3. Cambridge Brewing Company

Cambridge Brewing Company is open for lunch and dinner every day and is located in Cambridge, MA. They welcome well-behaved and leashed dogs in their outdoor seating area. There is a wide selection of beer on tap and food ranges from burgers and pizza to fresh seafood and plenty of options in between, so there is bound to be something everyone can enjoy.

4. Central House at the Crown

If you’re looking for a dog-friendly restaurant in Provincetown, stop by the Central House at the Crown for lunch or dinner. They offer traditional New England food and they welcome dogs in their outdoor seating area, which is a seasonal dog-friendly patio. Enjoy a rustic approach to New England classics and relax while your pup enjoys some chow of their own.

5. Top Dog

If your travels bring you near Rockport close to lunch or dinner, Top Dog is a dog-friendly local spot specializing in hot dogs and fried clams. They also offer several appetizers, sides, desserts, and more. There is an outdoor seating area with picnic tables and plenty of room for your dog to join you on a leash.

6. Village Tavern Grill & Oyster Bar

If you need some food while visiting Salem, consider grabbing a meal at the Village Tavern Grill & Oyster Bar. In addition to burgers and steaks grilled to order and smoky wings, salads, soups, and more, their menu features a variety of local favorites and is popular with locals and visitors alike.

With plenty of appetizers, a wide variety of entree options, and more, there’s something for everyone on this menu. It’s also dog-friendly. Your dog is welcome to join you at one of the sidewalk cafe tables. They even have a doggie menu so you and your pup can enjoy a meal together.

7. The Black Cat Tavern

If your travels bring you near The Cape around a mealtime, consider The Black Cat Tavern in Hyannis. Their menu features seafood, steaks, pasta, chops, and more in addition to a full bar. Plus, your dog is welcome to join you on the patio as long as the weather is good.

8. Rapscallion Table and Tap

The Rapscallion Table and Tap located in Acton is a dog-friendly eatery. They have a back patio where your dog can join you for your meal. This restaurant’s menu features a wide variety of options.

Local favorites include lobster grilled cheese, poutine, steak tip fries, land and beef shepherd’s pie, strawberry arugula salad, kumquat-glazed salmon, and more. On top of that, you can sample the seasonal and year-round craft brews that they brew in-house.

9. Sesuit Harbor Cafe

If you’re a fan of seafood and you’ll be near Dennis, think about grabbing some food at Sesuit Harbor Cafe. This local seafood restaurant is known for its grilled salmon, boiled lobster, lobster roll, baked stuffed cod, and more. They also have non-seafood options on the menu.

And, it’s dog-friendly. There is an outdoor patio with tables that overlook the marina where your dog is welcome to join you. As a note, this restaurant is cash-only, so make sure you have some on hand before you order.

With this Massachusetts dog-friendly travel guide on your side, planning a trip to “The Bay State” with your dog is a lot more fun and a lot less complicated. Headed to a different state? Check out the other dog-friendly travel guides available!