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Official Tourism Site for the Greater Portland Region of Maine


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Convention + Visitors Bureau
Official Tourism Site of Greater Portland Maine
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207-772-5800 |

Dog Friendly Vacations

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.

1. 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.

Woofminster, September 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.

2. 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.

3. Dog-Friendly Beaches

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 prints.

4. Dog-Friendly Trails

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. 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.

5. Dog-Friendly Accommodations

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 arrive.

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

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207-772-5800 |