It can be tempting to just pack up with your pup and hit the road, but you can’t guarantee that everywhere you go will welcome your dog. There’s no need to add extra stress to traveling with your dog. Instead, plan ahead and start your research with a dog-friendly travel guide. By identifying some dog-friendly places and adding them to your trip itinerary, you can make sure you and your pooch will be welcome wherever you decide to go, stay, or eat. If you’re planning to head to the “The Constitution State”, use this Connecticut dog-friendly travel guide to kick off your research:
Dog-Friendly Attractions in Connecticut
When traveling with your dog, it’s a lot more fun when you can find activities you can both do together. Take a look at some of these dog-friendly attractions in Connecticut and see if any of them fall along your path:
The Cascades at Lake Mohegan
The Cascades at Lake Mohegan is located in Fairfield. It features a waterfall and a creek called “the cascades” that lead into a lake. Plus, it has a trail surrounding the whole area. The best part? It’s a dog-friendly recreation area.
So, your dog is welcome to join you on-leash or off-leash as you both explore and take in the beautiful sights. They may even want to jump in for a swim! You’ll want to bring your own cleanup bags, but you won’t have to carry them around because there are plenty of waste bins throughout the park.
Should your travels bring you near the town of Mystic, carve out some time to explore Mystic Seaport. You can explore the historic shipyard and the recreation of the 19th-century village. You can also walk through nine different gardens or just take a leisurely stroll along the Mystic River.
Your dog is welcome to join you as long as they are leashed. Although you can’t take them into buildings or on board the historic ships, there are plenty of areas to explore on the museum grounds.
Before leaving Mystic, be sure to stop by Mystic Knotwork to check out the hand-tied knots and rope pieces. This is one of the first and oldest knot shops in the United States and your dog is welcome to join you inside the store as long as they are leashed. In addition to nautical knot decorations, bracelets, wedding knots, reception gifts, and more, they also have a selection of handmade knotted dog toys. They can even create a customized dog toy for your precious pup!
Jonathan Edwards Winery
If you enjoy wine and your travels bring you near Stonington, spend an afternoon at Jonathan Edwards Winery. Your dog is welcome to join you in the outdoor tasting area as you try delicious wines and you both enjoy the beautiful scenery. You can bring your own snacks to enjoy and you can also select something from their small snack menu that includes local cheeses, charcuterie, and more.
Moosup Valley State Park Trail
If you find yourself near Moosup and need a break to stretch your legs, consider stopping at the Moosup Valley State Park Trail. It’s part of the Rails-to-Trails Conservancy and is a beautiful place to walk your dog. They’ll have to remain leashed, but you’ll have plenty of gorgeous sights to enjoy and places to explore along this 5.8-mile trail.
Black Rock State Park
Black Rock State Park is located in Watertown and features rolling hills surrounding Black Rock Pond. There are plenty of hiking trails available in addition to fishing spots, swimming areas, and more. Your dog is welcome to join you as long as they are leashed.
Books & Company
If your travels take you near Hamden and you want something a little slower and low-key, Books & Company is a great stop for any book lover. This used book store also has a coffee shop and they are dog-friendly. Your pup can browse books with you and there are plenty of places to sit and relax. Drinks and snacks are available in the coffee shop and your pup may even receive some treats too!
Dog-Friendly Hotels in Connecticut
After a long day of fun and exploration, you and your dog will want some place to stay and get a good night’s rest. It can be hard to find a dog-friendly hotel on the fly, especially since most dog-friendly rooms require a reservation. Start your research with these dog-friendly hotels in Connecticut:
Ethan Allen Hotel
The Ethan Allen Hotel is located in Danbury. This hotel boasts a laid back atmosphere in a luxurious, elegant setting. Plus, they allow two dogs of any size to stay with you. There is an additional pet fee, which is $50 per stay. Although your dog is welcome to join you, they cannot be left unattended at any time. You’ll also want to book your reservation early as the pet-friendly rooms can go fast, especially during peak travel seasons.
Homewood Suites by Hilton Stratford
If your travels will bring you near Stratford and you’ll need a place to stay, consider the Homewood Suites by Hilton Stratford. In addition to a great location with shopping, restaurants, and even beaches within 10 miles, you’ll also get to relax surrounded by classic New England charm. This hotel allows one dog up to 100 pounds or two dogs up to 100 pounds. There is an additional pet fee, which is $25 per night for one dog and $40 per night for two dogs.
Madison Beach Hotel
If you’re looking for something more beachy, and your travels will take you close to Madison, check out the Madison Beach Hotel. This hotel is also owned by Hilton and is part of their Curio Collection of hotels. It’s located right along the shoreline and still has plenty of entertainment nearby.
Plus, it’s dog-friendly and the dog-friendly rooms are located on the ground floor. They even open right up to the beach! You’re welcome to bring two dogs up to 75 pounds with you. There is an additional pet fee, which is $50 and is charged per dog, per night. If this is where you want to stay, be sure to book early as the dog-friendly rooms are limited and they tend to go fast.
Dog-Friendly Restaurants in Connecticut
Eating out with your dog can be a mixed bag. Not every restaurant is dog-friendly. Sure, you can bring your own food and stop at fast food drive-thrus and convenience stores, but then you miss out on the local flavor. Plus, that can get boring quickly. Instead, keep an eye out for some of these dog-friendly restaurants during your travels and plan to stop by if you find yourself near one of them around mealtimes:
Stowe’s Seafood is a local classic and favorite of West Haven. It’s a must-stop if you’re a seafood lover. Their menu features all the classics of a New England crab shack. Your dog is welcome to join you as you eat in the outdoor seating area. But, Stowe’s gets busy and it closes in the early evening, so if you want a taste of this local place, you’ll want to show up early.
This popular hangout is located in Guilford and is truly “The Place”. It’s only open in the evenings during the summer, so if your travels bring you nearby during the operating season, be sure to stop in for a taste of steaks, seafood, and more. It’s an open-air environment and your dog is welcome to join you! There is also a bring your own anything kind of vibe where you are welcome to bring drinks, sides, or whatever else you want to go with your order.
Captain Scott’s Lobster Dock
If you head near New London, Captain Scott’s Lobster Dock is a must-stop. You order from a window and then enjoy your food at picnic tables, so your dog is more than welcome to join you. This place offers fantastic seafood fare, including Lobster Bisque and other delicious delicacies. Plus, it won 1st place in 2018’s Best of Reader’s Choice, so you know it’s a favorite of locals and travelers alike.
Flipside Burgers and Bar
Flipside Burgers and Bar is located in Fairfield. They’re known for their delicious burgers and dog-friendly outdoor patio tables. They even have a dog menu! So, you can choose a burger, tacos, or something else for yourself and chicken or other dog treats for your dog from their menu. They even have ice cream for dogs!
Should your travels take you near Norwalk near a mealtime, consider stopping by Brendan’s 101. This place features classic pub fare as well as the notorious New England seafood. Not only is it located in a historic setting, but it also has dog-friendly patio seating. So, you and your dog can relax and enjoy the beautiful scenery while you try out some of the local flavors.
Traveling with your dog doesn’t have to be stressful. Planning ahead and using a dog-friendly travel guide to assist in your research can help make for smoother sailing throughout your trip. Here’s to safe travels, happy trails, and wagging tails on all of your adventures!