Dog-Day AFTERNOONS Vacationing is about seeking out new experiences and creating memories with your loved ones, including your four-pawed family members. The good news is that Greater Portland has a dog-friendly vibe that welcomes your Rover to stay and play. Photo: John Bald
FESTIVALS AND EVENTS The Portland community hosts regular tail-wagging events where social dogs can rub noses and help raise money for local animal causes. Here are just a few: • Bark in The Park, July 16, August 26 • Martinis for Mutts, August 24 • Paws for a Cause, August 27 • Woofminster, September 11 See a complete list at visitportland.com/ dog-friendly-vacations. 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 down the bay and back. You can purchase tickets for your family and your salty sea dog in the dog-friendly Casco Bay ferry terminal. Portland Discovery Land & Sea Tours, located on Long Wharf, welcomes mellow mutts to do a scenic lighthouse cruise and soak-up a little maritime history.
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. 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 dogs 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. ACCOMMODATIONS The Visitor Guide accommodation grid on pages 77-87 indicates which hotels are dog-friendly. 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. TheWestin 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. 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.