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Doggy Day Trip: Southern Maine

Most Bostonians don't realize just how close the southern Maine towns of Kennebunkport, Kennebunk, Wells, and Ogunquit are from the city.  If you're sick of the same old scenery, this dog-friendly day trip is less than a two-hour drive and it's well worth the ride.Editor's note: Please follow local leash laws and ALWAYS clean up after your pet.

Start off your morning with a walk:

(Photo Credit: Steve Saleeba)

Goose Rocks Beach

King's Hwy
(Dogs allowed until 8 am during peak season)

Walking a nearly three-mile stretch of gorgeous white sandy beach is the perfect way to unwind from the car ride. The beach is sheltered by an offshore reef known as Goose Rocks. The views are nothing short of breathtaking. Dogs are required to be on leash.

The Late-riser option:

Gooch's Beach

Beach Ave
(Dogs allowed until 9 am during peak season)

In the morning, Gooch's is for pooches. It's where all the cool dogs hang out. Park on the small bridge on Beach Ave. next to Seagrass Lane and walk down to the beach (parking in front of the beach is mostly resident). Dogs mush be leashed or under voice control. Also, you might want to bring a towel if your dog likes to swim.

Grab breakfast or coffee
(Photo credit: FRANCOIS GUILLOT/AFP/Getty Images)

Chase Hill Bakery

21 Western Avenue

You are certain to work up an appetite walking (or running) along the beach. Head over to Chase Hill Bakery on the Kennebunk line. This cozy roadside patio and a delicious assortment of baked goods makes for a great place to gear up for the rest of your day.

The To-Go Option:

Dock Square Coffee House

18 Dock Square

This small shop right next to the river offers a great selection of coffees. There are a few options for pastries as well. Get takeout and head across the street to the bench on the bridge.

Parking and Shopping

Free on-street parking on the Kennebunk/Kennebunkport line is limited to 2 hours. There's a parking lot across from Dock Square that charges a reasonable $3 per hour.

Several downtown shops set up water bowls outside their doors. Many welcome well-behaved pets inside. Of course, it's best to ask before entering.

(Photo Credit: Scalawags)


24 Ocean Avenue (Second Floor)

If you brought your dog along, you really have no choice but to stop at Scalawags. This adorable retail pet store offers all kinds of doggie apparel and accessories, from collars and leashes to toys and treats.

Take your dog on a whale watch or a lobster tour
(Photo Credit: First Chance Whale Watch)

First Chance Whale Watch

4 Western Avenue
Cost: $20-$48

If your dog doesn't have the attention span to spend 4 ½ hours on a whale watching cruise, try the 1 ½ hour lobster tour. First Chance Whale Watch allows well-behaved dogs on their cruises. Reservations are recommended. Check the website for cruise times.


(Photo Credit: The Clam Shack/Facebook)

The Clam Shack

2 Western Avenue

We have yet to meet the dog that doesn't like fried seafood. So, if you don't mind the begging that's bound to take place (or you don't mind sharing), grab a plate of fried clams or a lobster roll.

Gran's Chowder House

24 Ocean Ave

We updated the lunch section after finding this awesome little take-out place. Wicked cheap ($3.50/cup) award-winning clam chowder, a very reasonably-priced eclectic sandwich menu, and blueberry soda!?!? Gran's tucked away on the first floor in the same plaza as Scalawags.

Double insider tip: There are restrooms right outside. So, it's an obvious stop for relief. Also, due to heavy foot traffic, we recommend avoiding the tables directly in front of the rest rooms.

Afternoon Activities

(Photo Credit: The Animal Welfare Society)

Kennebunk Dog Park

36 Sea Road

Head over to Kennebunk's popular fenced-in dog park with plenty of shade for you and plenty of fun for your dog.

Carson Trail

Rachel Carson National Wildlife Refuge
Headquarters Access Rd off Rt 9

Much less crowded than the dog park, the winding Carson Trail is a one-mile hiking loop that wanders through the woods along serene salt marshes.

(Photo Credit: Steve Saleeba)

World Within Sea Kayaking

(@ The Ogunquit River Inn & Suites)
17 Post Road

Doggie Paddle around the Ogunquit River in one of the company's rental kayaks and Paddle boards. Well-behaved pooches are allowed on board. Tides and weather affect their hours. Check the website or call for details. To find them, just pull into the Ogunquit River Inn and Suites parking lot and look for the big golden pineapple.

Breaking New Grounds

3 Harbor Lane
BNG On Twitter

Detour for some afternoon tea. It's a little out of the way, but if you're looking to kill time before dinner, head down to Ogunquit and check out Breaking New Ground. This coffee and tea shop is tucked away at the end of Perkins Cove. Grab some tea and get comfortable in one of the many Adirondack chairs overlooking the ocean. You and your pooch may never want to leave.

Dinner Time

drake's island beach
Dogs playing on Drake's Island Beach (Photo Credit: Steve Saleeba)

Drake's Island Beach

Drakes Island Rd (Parking on Foster Lane)
(For parking, turn right @ end of Drakes Island Rd. and Proceed to end.)

Dogs are allowed back on the beach after 6pm. So why not grab some takeout from Wells House of Pizza, Mike's Clam Shack (both on Rt 1), or Billy's Chowder House (Miles Rd., Wells); bring a blanket, and enjoy a beach picnic. Follow up dinner with a nice evening stroll down the beach.

If you prefer a more formal sit-down, Café Prego in Ogunquit center has an outdoor patio that's dog friendly along with free parking, great pizza, and gelato.


Outside Area at Scoop Deck
Outside Area at Scoop Deck (Photo Credit: Scoop Deck)

Scoop Deck

6 Eldredge Road

Don't let the lines intimidate you. They move fast. Choose from a huge assortment of flavors. Ask inside about their $0.75 doggie specials. You can choose from leftover hot dog or a doggie bowl of ice cream (scooper's choice). You will have to leave your dog in the car while you're ordering, but there's a large grassy area with picnic tables where you can eat your ice cream together afterward.

(Photo by Getty Images)

In Case Of Emergency

Here's a list of Veterinarians in the area

Kennebunk Veterinary Hospital

149 Fletcher Street
(207) 985-4277

Homeport Veterinary Practice

232 Arundel Rd.
(207) 967-2517

Wells Dog and Cat Hospital

418 Sanford Road
(207) 646-8323

Post Road Veterinary Clinic

746 Post Road
(207) 646-7200


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