Top Five Reasons To Vacation in
Portland With Your Dog
Vacationing is about seeking out new experiences and creating
memories with your loved ones. Dogs are bona fide members of the family and
leaving them at home is a doggie-downer. The good news is that Portland has a
dog-friendly vibe that welcomes your Rover to stay and play.
Dog-centric Festivals and Events
The Portland community host’s regular tail-wagging events
where social dogs can rub noses and help raise money for local animal causes.
Bark in The Park, July 16 and August 26, invites you to
take your dog to the ball game with the Sea Dogs and Planet Dog. Baseball fans
and their dogs can strut their stuff in the Hadlock Field parade lead by
Slugger the Seadog and watch the action from the barking bleaches.
Martinis for Mutts,
August 24, is a high-tail happy hour for Animal Refuge League hosted
by The Portland Regency and HappyME. The dog-friendly Regency rooms allow
guests to extend their cocktail date with an Old Port sleepover.
Paws for a Cause,
August 27, is L.L. Bean’s summer salute to dogs for The Coastal Humane Society.
Participants can help raise funds in the 5k Freeport run and dog walk followed
by afternoon family fun with agility demonstrations and dog antics.
11, is Planet Dog’s canine carnival in Deering Oaks Park with fun activities
for Fido and the whole family.
Ales For Tails, October 8, is Animal Refuge League’s harvest hound festival at Thompson’s Point. Dogs
can wag to the beat of local music while their 2-legged partners sip local
micro brews and sample food truck fare.
The Bayside 5K9,
November 6, is Portland Trail’s dog-friendly race where runners get to compete
with their leashed best friends. Costumes are encouraged.
Dog-friendly Casco Bay Adventures
Pack a picnic and cast-off with your four-paw mate on a
Casco Bay Lines ferry to one of Portland’s many island communities or take the
Mailboat Cruise. You can purchase tickets for your family and your salty sea dog
in the dog-friendly Casco Bay ferry terminal. Portland Discovery Land and Sea
Tours, located on Long Wharf, welcomes mellow mutts to do a scenic lighthouse
cruise and soak-up a little maritime history.
Portland boasts miles of tongue-hanging coastline where
beach dogs can get their paws sandy and paddle around. From Labor Day to
Memorial Day area beaches offer extended beach hours with off-leash play at Portland’s
Eastern Beach, South Portland’s Willard Beach and many Scarborough Beaches. During
the busy summer season, many area beaches provide beach dog hours around
sunrise and sunset. Be sure to follow the posted rules and only leave paw
Portland Trails, a non-profit land trust, offers a vast
network of over 70 miles of wooded trails, coastal paths and green space that
you can sniff-out with your dog. On a hot day, your dog can dip their paws into
a stream, river or the ocean depending on the trail. PortlandTrails.org has an
interactive map to help you pick your hike. The Eastern Promenade Trail can be
accessed near Portland’s Ocean Gateway’s dog-friendly Visitor Center and delivers
views towards Fort Gorges and access to Eastern Beach.
Sometimes hotel website dog policies sound a little
gruff but they are just trying to find the middle ground and keep all their
guests happy. Call ahead to book and get the inside scoop; there is often a
little flexibility on weight restrictions. The Westin Hotel, in Portland’s Arts
District, welcomes dogs with treats and Heavenly dog beds. Inn By the Sea
located on the shores of Cape Elizabeth has led the way as a dog-friendly seaside
resort with over-the-top pampering and a doggie menu. See other properties that accept pets here.
When you are traveling with your best friend, remember to
pack all your dog’s essentials – collar with ID tags, leash, pick-up bags,
food, medications and a vaccination certificate so you can just relax once you
Local writer, Deb
Collins, has a Maine dog-centric business. She loves exploring Maine with her
Labrador retriever, Ted, and writing about everything dog. For more
dog-friendly Maine adventures visit happymestuff.com