Hire a dog sitter? Or take Buddy to the kennel? If you're a pet parent who wants to vacation in New England, you can skip that dilemma!
There are dog-friendly hotels, resorts, and destinations throughout the New England region: in the mountains, on the water and in the city. But there's a big difference between places that permit pets and those that treat dogs like they're footing the bill. If you want to not only include but indulge your dog, here are six spots where your furry, freeloading family member would love to vacation.
Maine's Inn by the Sea Pampers Pups
Visit Maine's Inn by the Sea in Cape Elizabeth, and you may feel a little out of place if you don't have a leash in your hand! Well-behaved dogs are everywhere... bouncing along the boardwalk with salty breezes ruffling their fur... sitting at a breakfast table by the bar... lazing on the patio while their owners sip drinks. Sea Glass—the inn's fine dining restaurant—is just about the only place on the property off-limits to dogs, and Crescent Beach at the end of the boardwalk is even open to dogs in the off-season (October through March).
Known for its natural setting and eco-conscious practices, Inn by the Sea was one of the first resorts in Maine to welcome pets, and it's still one New England's most luxurious places for dogs to kick back. Dogs stay free in designated pet-friendly rooms equipped with water bowls and cuddly L.L. Bean dog blankets, and they enjoy Maine-made turn-down treats after a day of exploring local dog-friendly parks, trails, and beaches. Don't let your dog read this over your shoulder, or he'll be giving you that hopeful look and resorts, tail wag when I mention that Inn by the Sea has an entire menu of extra dog amenities, from grooming services and pet massages to gourmet room service dining. Book the INNcredible Pets package, and your pampered pup will even go home with his own personalized L.L. Bean dog bed.
Dogs Dig the Island Vibes at the Darius Inn
Do your best friend's ears perk up when you say "beach"? You might get her spinning in circles when you mention there's a New England island where all of the beaches are open free to leashed dogs. And when I tell you dogs ride free on the Block Island Express Ferry (in approved pet carriers), you may get excited, too, about the idea of taking your dog to Rhode Island's laidback and wildly scenic Block Island.
Just a short walk from the ferry dock, the seasonal Darius Inn offers five pet-friendly suites with colorful, beach chic decor and private porches. There is a $50 fee per pet per stay in addition to room rates, which include breakfast and happy hour. A beach is just steps away across the street, and pet-sitting is available if you want to head out for some fun while your waterlogged dog sleeps off a perfect day of outdoor play.
Dog Mountain Should be on Every Dog's Bucket List
Dog Mountain—and the Dog Chapel—in St. Johnsbury, Vermont, is the one place in New England every dog lover should vow to visit. And take your dog! Built for all creeds and all breeds by the late Stephen Huneck, this sanctuary and its surrounding 150 acres on a mountaintop are a place to let your pup off his leash to run, swim and roll in the lush grass. Inside the chapel, grieving pet parents post loving tributes, and visitors are reminded of the vital role animals play in our lives.
The grounds are always open free to the public, and sales of Huneck's dog-themed works of art in the gallery sustain this remarkable attraction. Dog Parties, held several times each year, offer visitors a chance to meet other dogs and their owners.
Pet-friendly accommodations are available at a number of hotels, inns, and campgrounds near Dog Mountain.
Wilburton Inn Goes Beyond Dog-Friendly
The Wilburton Inn in Manchester, Vermont, doesn't just welcome dogs. This dog-loving mansion hotel hosts dog-themed events throughout the year including Cavapalooza and the annual Howl'oween Doggie Slumber Party and Canine Costume Ball. Year-round, it's $40 per dog per night to invite four-legged family members to share your inn room or $125 per stay if you opt for one of the property's vacation homes. In honor of four-legged innkeeper Jetson, Cavalier King Charles Spaniels always stay free.
Fairmont Makes Dogs Feel Like Fat Cats in the Big City
For years, guests who stepped inside the elegant lobby of Boston's Fairmont Copley Plaza hotel were greeted by none other than Catie Copley. Catie was not the posh hotel's owner or general manager: She was one of two resident canine ambassadors.
Although the hotel said a sad "goodbye" to Catie in 2017, the Fairmont Copley Plaza remains not only Boston's most dog-friendly hotel (leashed pets of all sizes are welcome to stay for just $25 per night), it's a New England destination for dog lovers who are not traveling with pets but who crave canine companionship. Black Lab Carly Copley, can be "booked" by hotel guests who'd like to take a dog on a walk or run in the city. Walk packs include a biscuit to reward the hotel's most beloved staff member.
Dogs Feel at Home at Vermont's Woodstock Inn
Does your dog like to be the first on the block to sniff out new locations? Then head to Vermont's enduring Woodstock Inn, which has recently begun quietly welcoming pets of all types and sizes. Director of Sales & Marketing Courtney Lowe says the pet-friendly policy is "very popular," particularly with guests staying for extended periods. Families with pets pay a one-time fee of $125, regardless of the length of their stay.
Restricted to one wing of this classic, four-season inn in order to separate furry guests from human guests who may have allergies, the Woodstock Inn furnishes select rooms with Orvis dog beds and bowls. Dogs love returning to their own cozy digs after a day of exploring Vermont's only national park: Nearby Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historical Park welcomes leashed dogs on its trails.