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This weekend, I saw some of the happiest couples strolling down Tremont Street in Boston’s South End. The couples looked into each other’s eyes as they meandered through a stream of people on Newbury Street. The pairs basked in the sun together amid the pink petals swirling down from the trees in the Boston Garden. These couples were six-legged couples; they were dogs and their owners glad to be outside together. As the sun heats up even more, the ocean beckons and you don’t have to leave your four-legged BFF at home. Here are some great places to Sit (and enjoy a bite to eat or a great view), Stay (pet-friendly lodging) and Play (hikes, beaches, and more play spaces) with your dog on Cape Cod.
Sit: Grab a Bite, Eat, Relax
Stop in Sandwich once you’ve crossed the bridge onto Cape Cod and visit Café Chew. Breakfast is served from 8:00 until 11:30 and includes breakfast sandwiches like The German: two scrambled farm fresh eggs topped with melted Gruyere cheese and ham in a Bavarian pretzel roll and French toast made with brioche from Pain D’Avignon (Hyannis). Should you and your pup sleep in late, stop for lunch, which is served until 3:00 p.m. The large outdoor patio is pet friendly. If you need to hit the road, you can also grab and go and don’t forget to get some pastries for the beach later.
In Falmouth, stop in for a bite at Pickle Jar Kitchen. Grab a seat on the sidewalk patio and dig into The “Patriot” Parfait: Greek yogurt, fresh strawberries, blueberry compote, layered and sprinkled with granola. Try one of their house hashes or indulge in blueberry muffin French toast served with powdered cinnamon sugar, blueberry compote, and a spoonful of Greek yogurt for breakfast. For lunch, try one of their Sammies or Specialty Sammiches that are all served with house-made garden pickles. Gluten-free bread is available as well. For dinner, definitely plan a stop at Bear in Boots. Grab a seat on the sidewalk patio and order a cocktail and the pretzel with beer cheese while you peruse the menu.
If you’re heading further out on Cape Cod, stop in Truro at Savory and the Sweet Escape 9. There is easy parking and the patio has plenty of room for you and your four-legged ice cream thief. Pick up a pie, either a pizza pie or an actual pie. They both count as dinner when you’re on vacation. You could probably eat here every day for a week and not get bored thanks to their huge menu. Be sure to save room for ice cream too.
All the way at the far tip of Cape Cod in Provincetown, pop into Wired Puppy for an amazing cup of coffee and enjoy a coffee break on the benches out front with your mellow puppy (it is amazing what a day at the beach can do to all that wired puppy energy). Bubala’s By the Bay is open for the season with some new patio art to enjoy. Grab a seat on the outdoor patio for brunch, lunch or dinner. Try some of the buttermilk waffles, Bubala’s Famous fish soup or local cod cooked in parchment.
Stay: Curl up, Relax, Stretch Out
Home is where you hang your leash and home is where your pup is. A vacation without your furry companion isn’t quite complete. Here are some fabulous dog-friendly lodging options on Cape Cod.
There aren’t many people who can say they’ve slept in a lighthouse and there are even fewer dogs that can say so. Wing’s Neck Lighthouse in Pocasset was a US Coast Guard Lighthouse until the 1940’s. The property faces West so you and your pup can enjoy views of the sunset over the water nightly. There are sleeping accommodations for eight people, a full bath upstairs, a half-bath downstairs, a kitchen, an outdoor shower, and a private residents’ beach. Wing’s Neck Lighthouse accepts most dogs, just call or email ahead and chat with owner, Christina, to arrange for a pet-friendly visit. Wing’s Neck Lighthouse reservations are by the week only. The lighthouse will give you that rustic, “old school”, New England by the sea experience that you’ve been craving.
Provincetown is at the tip of Cape Cod and you can get there by taking a leisurely drive through the entire Cape. I recommend stopping to visit a few sites and get some good bites to eat along the way. You can also get there from Boston directly on the Provincetown Fast Ferry. When you get there, The Provincetown Hotel at Gabriel’s is a dog lovers dream. Dogs and their owners are all VIPs with bowls for food and water, dog beds, organic dog treats, complimentary pick-up bags, loaner leashes, and complimentary Fido Friendly magazine at check in. The inn is right next door to the Pilgrim Monument Park, which is a great spot for playtime on the lawn and a stroll along the pathways.
Play: Run, Walk, and Fetch
In the off-season beaches are a dog’s playground, but during the busy season dogs are not always welcome. Here are some great places to run, walk, dig in the sand, and play fetch with your dog all summer long.
Falmouth’s 300 Committee is a private, non-profit land trust that preserves open spaces and has a fabulous collection of trails through cranberry bogs, around ponds, and through the woods. Head out to Beebe Woods or John Parker Cranberry Bog for a play date with some classic New England flora and fauna.
Fresh Pond Dog Park in Dennis is the perfect stop for an off-leash jaunt and a little swimming in the pond. The dog park has two fenced enclosures, a fresh water swimming area and a trail through the woods. If you want a little beach time, then grab a leash and head over to Crowe’s Pasture Conservation Area and Beach.
Truro’s Corn Hill beach has daily beach stickers for $15 and plenty of parking. It is a dog-friendly beach, but dogs must be on a leash. Corn Hill Beach is on the bay side and your parking pass will give you same day access to Head of the Meadow beach which is on the ocean side.
From Provincetown, book a sailing charter for a short trip around the bay, a sunrise/sunset sail, or days sail with Dog Gone Sailing Charters. Back in town, definitely plan a little play time at the Pilgrim Bark Park where dogs have different areas to play based on size and local artists have created some fun and fabulous structures to play on and around. You can’t come to Provincetown and not stop at Race Point Beach. It is the pinnacle of Cape Cod and one of the few places you can whale watch from the land. Dogs are allowed beyond the lifeguard protected sections of the beach and must be leashed at Race Point Beach as with all Cape Cod National Seashore beaches.
*All photos courtesy of Leah Klein.