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Boston's Best Pet-Friendly Outings

Sometimes all of your other friends are busy. And other times, as you're about to leave home, your dog gives you that sad, "you aren't leaving, are you?" look that you just can't resist. Instead of feeling guilty going out, why not bring your dog with you? Check out some of the best pet-friendly outings around Boston.

(Photo Credit: Boston Water Taxi)

Boston Harbor Islands Dog Cruise
60 Long Wharf
Boston, MA 02196
(617) 633-9240

A perfect activity for dog lovers in Boston is the Island Romp for Dogs & Dog Lovers, hosted by City Water Taxi of Boston. A 25-minute Boston harbor cruise boat takes Fido and family to one of the harbor islands where leash-free fun awaits. There is room to run and play, hiking trails and time for a picnic lunch on this uninhabited island. Board at Long Wharf, Columbus Park or at Scups Restaurant. Boarding times are usually 11 a.m. on Saturdays, but special arrangements can be made. Allot three hours for the cruise experience. The company requests that only fully socialized pups attend.


Callahan State Park
Millwood Street
Framingham, MA 01701
(508) 653-9641

This 820-acre daytime park located a short 20-miles from Boston in the still-preserved countryside section of north Framingham includes nearly seven miles of marked trails. The park is used for horseback riding, cross-country skiing, fishing, hiking and more. A walking-trail map is downloadable from Callahan State Park's web page. The park is located on Millwood Street, across from the golf course.


Freedom Trail
Tremont and Temple Streets
Boston, MA 02111

This world-famous tour is a 2.5-mile walk through the historic streets of Boston featuring 16 official sites designated as part of the Freedom Trail. The trail is marked by a red line, made of bricks, on the sidewalk. This is a self-guided tour, and dogs are welcome to join walkers. Sites include Faneuil Hall, the Boston Common and the Old North Church. Dogs are not allowed inside of certain sites, so if you aren't comfortable tying them up outside, you may want to skip this one.

dog training
Photo Credit: ThinkStock

The Back Bay Fens
City of Boston Parks & Recreation Department

1010 Massachusetts Ave., 3rd Floor
Boston, MA 02118

An on-leash, dog-friendly stroll gives you access to The Back Bay Fens from either the Fenway, Boylston Street or Park Drive. The walking paths are a perfect two miles in length, where people and pups can pass the Museum of Fine Arts, several universities and the Gardner Museum. There are some grass-covered open areas as well, perfect for playing and picnicking with your pup on sunny days.

Related: Doggy Day Trip to Boston's South Shore

(Photo credit: ALAIN JOCARD/AFP/Getty Images

Salt Pond
50 Doane Road
Eastham, MA 02642
(508) 255-3421

Well worth the two-hour drive from Boston is the Cape Cod National Seashore, where dogs are welcome (on-leash) at all National Seashore Beaches year round. Dogs are not welcome within the confines of lifeguard-protected beach, but walkers are permitted to walk through the lifeguarded areas into the non-protected area of each beach. Dogs must be leashed at all times, and this rule is strictly enforced. Dogs are also welcome on dirt fire roads inside of the Cape Cod National Seashore, and on the Cape Cod Rail Trail. Dogs are not allowed on the bike trail between Salt Pond Visitor Center and Coast Guard Beach, in Eastham, nor on town-controlled (non-seashore) beaches. Parking lots fill quickly, and are a bit pricey, so get there early. There is no shelter, so be sure to bring a tent or umbrella to make your own shade, and plenty of bottled water to quench Fido's thirst.


Gansett Cruises
Bowens Wharf
Newport, RI 02802
(401) 787-4438

Just a quick drive from Boston, Newport's downtown area is popular with dog owners. Many outdoor restaurants allow dogs to accompany patrons, including two dog-friendly establishments on Thames Street: O'Brien's Pub and H2O. Jump aboard a Gansett Cruise with your leashed pooch for 90 minutes of four-legged fun in stunning Newport Harbor. Dogs are permitted on-deck, and they also get a blankie and a treat. After the cruise, check out Newport's historic cliff walk if your dog is of the high-energy variety (this is a rather long walk past the famous Newport mansions).

Related: Doggy Day Trip: Newport, RI

Kathleen Mueller moved to Massachusetts as a toddler and has lived in many communities throughout the Bay State. Currently splitting her time between Worcester county and Cape Cod, she enjoys spending time at the beach with her dogs, reading, and taking scenic drives in New England. Kathleen is a frequent contributor to check her out at

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