There’s never a bad time to get outside with your best friend, but sometimes if it’s not the weather holding you back, it’s the confusion over where you and your dog can go. Let me tell you, there are plenty of places that you and pup can enjoy together in the Boston/ Cambridge area (and beyond). Dogs are becoming as ubiquitous as tattoos; suddenly it seems that everyone’s got one! And, to keep the tattoo metaphor going, businesses are a lot more accepting of the zeitgeist and are opening their doors with a smile. Here are some places that you and pup can go:
Boston Harbor Islands Dog CruiseExplore the islands with your best friend! Boats set sail on Saturdays from May- December for a three hour cruise to the Boston Harbor Islands designed specifically for you and your four-legged friends. The cost is $35 per person, $10 for children 10 and younger, dogs sail for free! For reservations, call 617-633-9240 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Well adjusted social hounds only please! For more information, please call 617-633-9240 or email email@example.com.
Callahan State Park
Though technically in Framingham, if you and your fur baby are up for a 20 mile trip you can see some beautiful countryside, including nearly 7 miles of unmarked trails. Download a walking map at Callahan’s website (www.mass.gov) and get out there and explore!
Or maybe you want to stay in Boston proper, and even get your learn on a bit. How about playing tourist for awhile (unless you ARE a tourist, in which case: Welcome; we’re so glad you’re here! Please don’t ask us to pahk our cahs in Hahvahd yahd; that’s a felony)? The Freedom Trail will take you on a 2.5 mile walk through the historic streets of Boston. The tour is self-guided, so you can go at your own pace. Just follow the red line (not the train, the red bricks that line the road) to traverse through Fanueil Hall, the Boston Commons, and the Old North Church. You’ll want to check if pups can enter certain spots, but since it’s self-guided, you can always make your own way that works for you. I know that I didn’t get to see Mount Rushmore when driving cross country because Albie the beast wouldn’t have been able to get further than the parking lot. Wall Drug, South Dakota, on the other hand, was very welcoming. My point being, sometimes you gotta go where the leash tugs, but this still covers a lot of beautiful ground. And, if you’re in this area, check out Fish & Bone on Newbury- it’s a fantastic dog apparel and treats store!
In the same area as the Commons, this is a supremely beautiful area. Cobblestone streets, brownstones, and little alley ways feel almost European. Around the holidays, this becomes a simply magical place to walk your dog. Drink a hot chocolate, hold that leash, and think happy thoughts while you take in the beauty of Boston.
There are tons of dog-friendly beaches in Boston! South Boston offers L & M Street Beaches for dogs to enjoy between 7 am and 7 pm. Pleasure Bay and Carson Beach are also options, especially for a nice winter stroll. Squantum Point Park in North Quincy also welcomes dogs to its shores. Victory Road Park in South Boston is rocky but popular with dogs and owners. Check mass.gov websites for more information.
5 miles north of Boston can feel like a lifetime away. This is a gorgeous and picturesque park offering both leash and off-leash areas for your dog. Worth the drive. http://www.mass.gov/eea/agencies/dcr/massparks/region-north/middlesex-fells-reservation.html
The Boston Harborwalk
This walk will take you along the Boston waterfront from the Charlestown Navy Yard, the North End, downtown Boston, Seaport and South Boston. This is another beautiful walk, with tons of things to explore. http://www.bostonharborwalk.com/placestogo/
Boston Commons and Boston Public Gardens
Iconically Boston, these are the most beautiful parks in possibly any city (OK, NY, sit down. Central Park IS gorgeous. Yes, Seattle, you have many attributes too…) OK. These are the most beautiful parks in Boston! Walk, picnic, look at the swans and check out the duck tours. There is so much to see and do in this area.
Castle Island in South Boston
A lovely and popular place for a walk or run. This boasts an off-leash area for the particularly well behaved (i.e. not Albie) and is full of nooks to explore. There is even a beach if splashing is your pup’s idea of a good time. https://plus.google.com/106722500058580475456/about?gl=US&hl=en-US
Apple Picking in New England
It’s maybe too late for this now, but in general, many places in New England will allow you to bring your dog. Just call ahead and confirm.
The Back Bay
You and Spot can hit the Back Bay from Fenway, Boylston Street, or Park Drive. These paths will all take you to a 2 mile stretch that will take you past the MFA, Gardner Museum, and other gorgeous university buildings. Isn’t Boston so pretty?
The South End
While you’re canvassing Boston and checking out how gorgeous everything is, make it to the South End and be sure to check out Polka Dog Bakery for some local treats. That store is amazing! http://www.polkadog.com Also, grab lunch at the South End Buttery, a dog-friendly bakery owned by dog-lovers. http://www.southendbuttery.com
Rose Kennedy Greenway
This is exquisite. An organically-maintained public park, food trucks, a carousel! So much to see and do here. There are 300 free events here annually and most are dog-friendly! http://www.rosekennedygreenway.org
Harold Parker State Park
Again, 20 miles north of Boston becomes another world. Here, a huge state park offers lovely forest, lakes and more for you and your doggy to see. http://www.mass.gov/eea/agencies/dcr/massparks/region-north/harold-parker-state-forest.html
3 different open air markets combine for an unbelievably fun Sunday. Check out the food trucks, farmer’s market, vintage market, and open-air booths South of Washington. Dogs welcome. http://sowasundays.com
Christmas Tree Farms
‘Tis the season to cut down a tree! Tons of Christmas Tree places will let you bring your dog. Call ahead and make sure that the one you choose will allow your sweet pup. http://pickyourownchristmastree.org/MAxmastrees.php
Cambridge is so beautiful. I love Harvard Square. This is a beautiful area to walk your dog and sight see. You’ll both feel smarter just from the proximity of all that metaphorical and literal ivy.
North Point Park by the Charles River
While you’re hanging out in Cambridge, definitely check out this gorgeous view from the Charles. This can be a difficult place to find, but is worth the trouble. Consider walking, taking the MBTA green line to the Leachmere T-stop or parking in the garage at the Cambridge Side Galleria or Science Museum across the street.
Eating in Cambridge
Cambridge also boasts many dog friendly restaurants. Among them are: Cambridge Brewing Company, b. Good, Mr. Bartley’s Burger Cottage, Red House, and Grendels Den Restaurant and Bar. Honestly, though, this only touches on the restaurants that welcome your leashed dog. Almost any eatery that offers a patio allows non-service dogs to join their owners, although some may insist that your dog stays on the outside of the divider (as inside the barrier is technically inside the restaurant and those rules apply).
Beyond this, did you know that all these stores are dog friendly as well? Marshalls/ TJ Maxx/ Homegoods; Bed, Bath & Beyond; Home Depot,; Lowes; Michael’s; JoAnne Fabrics; Petco; PetSmart; Pottery Barn; Macy’s; Barnes and Nobles; Restoration Hardware; GAP; Bloomingdales; LUSH; Urban Outfitters; Anthropologie; Free People; Foot Locker; Bebe; Nordstrom; Old Navy; Sak’s Fifth Avenue; Tractor Supply Co. and Bass Footwear.
And did you also know that even non-service dogs are allowed on the T, water taxis, and buses (as long as it’s not rush hour)? Well, they are! The MBTA allows leashed pets to ride!
So now you have no reason not to get out there with your pet! As always, be sure to follow leash laws and pick up after your dog. Not only is this courtesy, it’s Massachusetts law.
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Julie Bee loves taking adventures with her gigantic dog and more regular sized kid and posting pictures of said adventures on Instagram. She resides in a very tiny, picturesque mountain town where she is a Special Education teacher. She can sometimes be found reading poetry behind microphones but more often is on the couch watching reruns of Parks and Rec, 30 Rock, and Gilmore Girls.