The Best Ways to Travel Around Cape Cod with Your Pet

Looking for a way to travel with your furry friend this summer? You’re not alone. Sixty percent of American households own pets, and more vacationers than ever before are choosing to take them along on vacation. Cape Cod, a haven for outdoor fun and relaxation, has always been ahead of the curve in offering pet-friendly options.

Here’s how to travel to Cape Cod with your pet like a pro.

Where to Stay
Provincetown is by far the most pet-friendly patch of the Cape - in fact, Dog Fancy magazine once hailed it America’s most dog-friendly town. Several hotels welcome pets, and shops throughout the downtown leave out water bowls and dog treats. The Lands End Inn is a gorgeously decorated B&B that is both close to the heart of town and offers fabulous seaside views. Several of the room are pet-friendly, including the large Mission Oak room and floral-inspired English Garden room.

Nearby, the Pilgrim House on Commercial Street offers a newly renovated boutique setting that will accommodate smaller furry friends (under 35 pounds). And Surfside Hotel & Suites excels at human and pet hospitality. The waterfront resort is a modern getaway with a pool, outside bar, and evening fire pit. For the dogs, there are treats at check-in, an outdoor dog shower, and access to the nearby private beach (with owner).

In Eastham, the Ocean Park Inn is a family-friendly resort with an outdoor pool, access to bike trails and beaches, bbq grills and picnic tables. Many rooms allow dog and cat visitors (call to book in advance).  Inn at Swan River in West Dennis is a pet-friendly retreat close to beaches, golf, tennis, fishing, and bike trails. The Inn also boasts a large pool and larger rooms for families.

For a complete pampered pet experience, the Lamb and Lion Inn goes all out. Sure, it has all you want in a luxury Cape Cod inn - including a solar-heated salt water pool, suites, nearby hiking trails and a spa - but it also caters to Fido. Named one of the "Top 12 pet-friendly properties in the world" by CNN, the innkeepers are armed with pet-friendly recommendations for their guests, including ferries to the islands, whale watching, and outdoor dining.

Want to be close to your pet, but also have some alone time? Provincetown Pet Resort & Supply offers doggie daycare, cage-free dog and cat boarding, and premium pet supplies close to the center of town.

Long Beach Walks
The Cape Cod National Seashore is open to leashed dogs year-round—with rules. You’ll need to maintain a distance from shorebird areas and lifeguard-protected beaches. For more specifics, visit the website or Salt Pond Visitor Center for a guide to pet-friendly spots. Most other beaches welcome dogs during off season, typically between Labor Day through Memorial Day.

Run Free at Dog Parks
There are several dog parks around the Cape where you’ll find locals and visitors sipping a coffee while their pups romp around and play off leash. They include Falmouth Dog Park, Fresh Pond Dog Park in Dennis, Mashpee Dog Park, Pilgrim Bark Park in Provincetown and Yarmouth Dog Park; most are open from dawn to dusk.

Take to the Trails
Want to go for a run or bike ride? Bring your dog for a little exercise too! The 22-mile Cape Cod Rail Trail retraces the path of the former Cape Cod Railroad along a smoothly paved path and welcomes leashed dogs. There are plenty of places to stop along the way for a snack or picnic. The Cape Cod Canal bike paths and Shining Sea Bikeway from North Falmouth to Woods Hole are other scenic options.

You can let your pooch get all their sniffs in along Cape Cod's many wooded nature trails, including Beebe Woods in Falmouth, Lowell Holly Reservation in Mashpee, Long Point Trail in Provincetown and Nickerson State Park in Brewster. Many offer refreshing kettle ponds for your dog to cool off in after a long walk.

Mealtime
When it’s time to eat, there are pet-friendly options on the Cape Cod dining scene.

Well-behaved pooches are allowed on the outdoor deck of Bleu Restaurant at Mashpee Commons, and on the lively outdoor patio at nearby Lanes Bowl & Bistro. Stop into Hot Diggity Dog at Mashpee Commons beforehand to buy your pup a healthy treat to snack on while you dine. Alberto's Ristorante in downtown Hyannis offers sidewalk tables where your pup can join you as you dine, and Sesuit Harbor Cafe in Dennis welcomes dogs at picnic tables on their lawn overlooking the water.

Furry friends are the star of the show at Cape Cod Beer’s monthly Yappy Hours, a doggie social at the Hyannis brewery where you can hoist a beer while the dogs meet and mingle (dogs must be friendly and on leash, and owners must be over 21.) Yappy Hour is held the second Tuesday of every month from 4 to 6 pm. We say cheers to that!

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