Dog-Friendly Guide to Boston: Best Dog-Friendly Activities in Boston
If you plan on traveling to Boston with your dog, then you need this guide to all of the fun things to do with your dog in Boston. Read on for a comprehensive list of dog-friendly attractions, delicious dog-friendly dining and all the puppy-focused fun you can handle in Beantown.
7 Best Dog-Friendly Activities in Boston
There are hundreds of dog-friendly places in Boston, Massachusetts where dog-owners are encouraged to bring their puppies. Here are the best dog-friendly activities to do with your dog in Boston the next time you’re in town.
Dog-Friendly Hiking in Boston
There are dozens of hiking options to enjoy with your dog in the Boston area. Here we’ve listed some of our favorites. The best part is that you don’t have to drive very far to find them.
- Blue Hills Reservation - One of the largest parks in the state, boasting more than 7,000 acres, Blue Hills is the perfect spot to get some space and roam with your pup. Be sure to pack a bag with water and treats, as some of the trails take a long time to hike.
- Castle Island - The scenic Castle Island is a loop that is not only a dog-friendly path, but also a dog-friendly beach, perfect for your dog to jump in the water and cool off after a long walk.
- Belle Isle Marsh Reservation - The Belle Isle Marsh Reservation offers new views for a hike with your furry friend. This urban nature preservation includes views of a marsh, wildlife, and an observation tower. Pets are welcome on-leash at the reservation.
- Middlesex Fells Reservation - Covering Malden, Medford, Melrose, Stoneham, and Winchester, Middlesex Fells boasts more than 2,200 acres and relatively close to Boston. This is the go-to place for people with dogs, or if you don’t have a dog and just love seeing them! Dogs are welcome both on, and off-leash.
- Back Bay Fens - At the Back Bay Fens you can enjoy a great walk, without having to leave the city. With ball fields, historic structures, and statues, there’s something to see in every part of the path. The park allows leashed dogs all year round.
- Mystic River State Reservation - The Mystic River State Reservation is open year-round, perfect for dogs who don’t mind walking in the cold weather (or snow). It’s a great spot to walk for dogs who don’t mind strolling nearby a body of water. Don’t miss the 18,000 square foot dog park that was built along the river path, located on the grounds of Andrew Middle School.
- Neponset River Reservation - An easy hike, the Neponset River Reservation spans 3.2 miles and great for all skill levels. You and your leashed friend can enjoy the views and wildflowers that grow along the path.
- Cutler Park Reservation - At Cutler Park Reservation you can take your dog for a stroll along the largest freshwater marsh in the middle of the Charles River. Soak in views and many different kinds of birds like blue herons and hawks on the pet-friendly trail.
- Alewife Brook Reservation - Cambridge, Arlington, and Somerville dogs will love this trail – it’s also in walking distance from the Alewife train stop if you don’t have a car. With 120 acres, it’s one of Boston’s urban wildlife reservation and features great pet-friendly walking trails.
Dog Beaches and Dog-Friendly Swimming in Boston
The Boston area is blessed with great dog-friendly beaches and swimming. Here are our favorite off-leash beach options in the Boston area. Remember that off-leash play requires your dog to be friendly, under your control, and within sight.
- Provincetown Town Beaches - The resort town of Provincetown lies at the northern tip of Cape Cod, and it's gorgeous beaches are among the most dog-friendly in the state. Just a few miles down the road is Cape Cod National Seashore, a 40-mile stretch of Atlantic Ocean beaches, and dogs are permitted everywhere except designated bird nesting areas and lifeguarded beaches.
- Sandy Neck Beach - Beautiful Sandy Neck Beach is a 6-mile-long spread of soft sand on the south end of Cape Cod Bay near the base of the Cape Cod Peninsula. The locale is excellent for swimming, sunbathing, and beachcombing. You and your canine can freely explore the miles of hiking trails in the area. Nickerson State Park in nearby Brewster is another natural area with dog-friendly hiking trails.
- Plymouth City Beach - The historic city of Plymouth is on the west side of Cape Cod Bay on the central Massachusetts coast. The beach’s 3 miles of golden sand offer idyllic rest and fun recreational activities. Enjoy hiking with your canine friend along 13 miles of trails through pine and oak woodlands at Myles Standish State Forest. The nature trail at Brewster Gardens is another great place to go for a walk with your dog.
- 40th Pole Beach - The lovely shoreline of 40th Pole Beach is on the northwestern corner of the island. It’s a great beach for dogs and families because there are few waves and the water is warm during the summer months.
- Singing Beach - Tucked away on the North Shore of Essex County’s Cape Ann, Singing Beach spans roughly half of a mile. This quaint beach is famous for being home to a historic bathhouse that dates back to the early 1900s.
- Nahant Beach Reservation - Also nestled in Essex County is the cozy town of Nahant, which boasts 67 acres of protected beach areas. This beach reservation permits dogs from the latter half of September to the end of March, though service animals can visit year-round.
- Revere Beach - This historic beach resides in a city of the same name. Established in the late 1800s, Revere Beach has the bragging rights of being the first public beach in the United States. There’s a paved walkway near the beach, so you and your pet can take long walks without getting too sandy.
Best Places to Walk Your Dog in Boston
There is no shortage of terrific walking spots in Boston for you and your dog to enjoy. Here are the best places to walk your dog in Boston.
- Friends of Christopher Columbus Park - This 4.5-acre neighborhood park is a lively place to walk your dog. Situated between Boston Harbor and the Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Greenway, Friends of Christopher Columbus Park is considered a gathering spot for the community and offers a scenic backdrop for many types of fun. Take a stroll through the Memorial Rose Garden where your pup will enjoy the many scents along the way, before relaxing on the benches by the Rose Kennedy Fountain.
- Peter’s Park - Peter’s Park is a neighborhood park located in the South End. The park covers five acres of land that your dog will love to roam with you. Spend some time walking past the art installations and through the gardens, or take a quick break in the sitting area. Head over to the fenced-in, off-leash dog park for some extra fun for your four-legged friend.
- Fort Independence Park - Fort Independence Park, also known as Castle Island, is a popular walking, running and dog walking destination. With 22 acres of land to explore, your dog will never get bored and have plenty of space to burn energy. On a warm day, walk along the water and down the pier to cool off with the ocean breeze. Bring a blanket and relax on the grass, or head down to the beach and lounge in the sand.
- Friends of Ramler Park - This beautiful park was founded in 1999 after a donation of land from David Ramler and his family. Friends of Ramler Park is a cozy half-acre park situated between the Museum of Fine Arts and Fenway Park. Enjoy a pleasant stroll on the walkways with your dog while you take in the fountains, structures, custom bird-themed fence and pergola. There is plenty of lush green space to stop and give your pup a rest.
Dog-Friendly Restaurants in Boston
Boston is home to some of the best food in the world. Fortunately for dog-owners, many of the restaurants in Boston are also dog-friendly. These dog-friendly restaurants in Boston all feature outdoor patios, or dog-friendly dining rooms, where dogs and diners alike can enjoy a delicious experience.
- The Friendly Toast - The Friendly Toast is the spot for your Sunday morning cravings. The Back Bay landmark welcomes patrons looking to satisfy their sweet tooth with waffles or French toast. You can also indulge in a salty breakfast with eggs benedict, quiche or avocado toast. The experience doesn’t have to end there, because the Friendly Toast’s menu is the same for dinner.
- Area Four - If President Obama can make a stop at Area Four for some wood-fired, handmade pizza, you and your pup should, too. The Cambridge spot boasts an enticing menu and a dog-friendly deck. We recommend the prosciutto american with fresh mozzarella, baby arugula, tomato, hot honey and post-oven prosciutto.
- Bistro du Midi - Everyone’s got a sweet spot for French cuisine, and dogs are no exception. At least, that’s probably what you’ll gather from your pup’s pleading eyes when you sit at the Bistro du Midi’s patio for a meal in the sun. The Back Bay locale has views of the Public Garden, where you can take your best friend for a walk after indulging in a tasty croque-monsieur or a chocolate soufflé.
- Cambridge Brewing Company - Say “cheers” to an evening with your pup at this Cambridge brewpub patio where you can grab a pint in good company. Great food also awaits, from smashed patty double burgers to Buffalo chicken tenders and pomegranate duck. This place is ready to cater to all your brunch, lunch and dinner needs.
- Banyan Bar + Refuge - Not only does Banyan Bar + Refuge boast one of the dreamiest patios in Boston, it is also one of the most dog-friendly spots! Dogs always receive celebrity treatment upon arrival,) and the staff go out of their way to accommodate seating that will be enjoyable for you and your pooch.
- The Salty Pig - Order a plentiful charcuterie board and maybe even sneak a few pieces of meat down to your pup as you enjoy a meal outside on Salty Pig’s Back Bay patio. Families love stopping here after taking their dog for a walk on the Southwest Corridor. At night, the restaurant’s outdoor space is adorned with twinkling white lights.
Dog-Friendly Attractions in Boston
There are dozens and dozens of fun things to do with your dog in Boston. Below we list just a few of our favorite dog-friendly attractions in Boston.
- Boston Commons - Boston Commons is a sprawling, beautiful park where all are welcome. Grab a coffee and take a stroll through green lawns and crisscrossing pathways. Dogs on leash are welcome all throughout the park, and off-leash dogs are available in designated off-leash areas. There are also many areas where dogs gather to play, so be on the lookout.
- The Freedom Trail - In a city so rich in history like Boston, a tour is a must. Luckily, the city offers one of the most famous trails in the world. The Freedom Trail is a 2.5-mile-long dog-friendly path through downtown Boston with stops at 16 locations that are critical to the history and establishment of the United States.
- Beacon Hill - Want a slice of quintessential New England? Head to Beacon Hill. This quaint and charming neighborhood is one of Boston’s oldest. With cobblestone streets and picturesque architecture, it’s a great area to explore. As the name implies, Beacon Hill is in fact on a hill, so wear comfortable walking shoes and be prepared to get your steps in.
- Boston Public Garden - The Boston Public Garden is America’s first botanical garden! And it’s a must-see for a few sniffs and a leg lift. Designed in the style of an English landscape garden, the garden features several statues, an abundance of trees and flowers, and a four acre pond with swan boats. Dogs are welcome on leash.
- The Greenway - The Rose Kennedy Greenway is a 15 acre and 1.5 miles park that stretches through the heart of the city, from the North End to Chinatown. It’s a great way to get from one part of Boston to the next. This fun park is home to a variety of food trucks, a carousel, art murals, interactive installations and seven different water fountains. There’s also a seasonal beer and wine garden worth checking out.
Dog-Friendly Shopping in Boston
Though it's up to each individual store whether you can bring your dog inside, dog-owners will find dozens of dog-friendly stores in Boston. Here are just a few places to shop with your dog in Boston.
- SoWa Open Market - Located in the South End of Boston, the SoWa Open Market is a street festival featuring over 200 artisans and vendors. It’s got the best of New England food, art and music. You can find everything here from handmade apparel, jewelry, produce, and even baked goods and sweets. There’s a farmers’ market, food truck bazaar, and beer barn, which make it a great spot to spend the day shopping and eating.
- Newbury street - The Newbury street area and browse stores like Urban Outfitters, Anthropologie, Crate and Barrel, Louis Boston, and Moxie for clothes, housewares, and accessories. Shop for it all with your dog by your side!
Dog-Friendly Breweries in Boston
It’s no secret that breweries and dogs are a popular combination, especially in the warm weather months. Finding a taproom to bring your four-legged friend to during the winter, however, is a bit more challenging. Luckily, Boston has many beer makers who are as crazy about canines as they are about beer. Below, we’ve highlighted a number of them with spacious taprooms that welcome dogs all year long.
- Trillium Brewing Canton - Trillium’s spacious and open taproom is ideal for playful pups, and hand-crafted Alehound Dog Treats made from spent grains are always on hand.
- Castle Island Brewing - Castle Island Brewing loves furry friends, so they decided to allow dogs in the taproom seven days a week. Like other breweries, they’re expected to remain on-leash and need to be comfortable with crowds and children. The taproom staff loves four-footed visitors and always has plenty of treats.
- Percival Brewing - Dogs are also welcome at nearby Percival Brewing, whose large taproom and chill vibe provide a perfect place for pets and their owners to bond. They also provide small-batch beers with big taste, a rotating art gallery, and an on-premise coffee roasting business.
- Mayflower Brewing - Mayflower Brewing in Plymouth is so crazy about dogs that they actually named a beer after one of them, a rescued German Shorthaired Pointer named Otto that belongs to head brewer. He can usually be found waiting in the taproom by the treat jar. In addition to allowing dogs inside, Mayflower often hosts fundraiser events with groups like Survivor Tails Animal Rescue, a non-profit volunteer organization that rescues, re-homes, and rehabilitates unwanted, abused, and neglected dogs and cats.
- Fort Hill Brewery - A long-standing affection for canines, as well as a renovated and expanded taproom makes Fort Hill Brewery a fan favorite among its region’s craft beer loving dog owners. They even hold an annual Barks & Brews event every June that raises money for animals in need.
Where to take Your dog in Boston
Our list of top dog spots in Boston is getting pretty big, but we’ve hardly scratched the surface of all the fun things to do with your dog in Boston. The following list of dog-friendly activities in Boston includes pet-friendly hotels, the best Boston dog parks, and dog-friendly day trips you can take with your furry friend.
Dog-Friendly Hotels In Boston
Hospitality in Boston extends to all visitors, especially canine guests. Hotels across the city are ready to pamper your pooch with a variety of amenities, from dog treats and toys to doggie daycare, special menus and even spa treatments.
- Hotel Commonwealth - Hotel Commonwealth is an elegant 4-star hotel situated opposite Kenmore subway station and offering easy access to the sights and sounds of Downtown Boston. Your furry best friend is welcomed with a doggie treat on arrival, and you can have dog bowls and beds waiting for you in your room if requested.
- XV Beacon Hotel - XV Beacon Hotel is a luxurious boutique hotel set within a 1903 beaux-arts building with a rooftop terrace overlooking Beacon Hill. The elegant and sophisticated guest rooms have modern amenities but still retain historic charm with flat-screen TVs, fireplaces, rainfall showers, and complimentary toiletries. XV Beacon Hotel warmly welcomes your canine companion to stay with you, without any extra pet fees.
- Seaport Hotel - Seaport Hotel is a modern, 4-star, waterfront hotel situated within the Seaport District. Guests at the hotel can enjoy the heated indoor swimming pool and gym, or enjoy fine dining in the bistro or relaxed snacks in the café. The rooms and suites at Seaport Hotel are spacious, and your dog can stay with you for an additional pet fee.
- Boston Omni Parker House Hotel - Boston Omni Parker House Hotel is a magnificent, 4-star, dog-friendly hotel, set within a 19th-century building. This refined hotel offers traditional décor throughout and comes complete with a classic cocktail lounge, a fitness center, a stunning rooftop ballroom, and an on-site restaurant serving English inspired cuisine.
- The Colonnade Hotel - The Colonnade Hotel is a modern, high-end hotel located opposite the Prudential Center skyscraper and within walking distance of the Symphony Hall. This hotel is particularly dog-friendly with complimentary dog bowls, pet beds, dog food, as well as dog walking, dog sitting and grooming services available via the Concierge.
- Hyatt Regency - Hyatt Regency is a polished, 4-star hotel situated right in the heart of Boston City Center. Hyatt Regency is a dog-friendly hotel where your dog can stay with you for an additional pet fee. You and your pampered pooch will only be a 5-minute walk from Boston Common, where you can always exercise your dog on-leash. There are also designated areas where dogs can run off-leash during permitted hours.
Best Dog Parks In Boston
There are so many dog parks in Boston, it can be difficult to decide which one to go to bring your furry friend. Fortunately, we’ve listed the best dog parks in Boston, including all the details you need to plan a visit.
- Peters Park - One of the most popular dog parks in Boston, Peters Park is the first park in the city to allow dogs to have fun without being attached via a leash to their owners. There’s plenty of space for your pooch to have fun, and its popularity means he’ll soon make new friends.
- South Boston Bark Park - South Boston Bark Park is heaven for energetic pooches. It has separate areas for large and small dogs, along with benches so you can relax while Rover frolics. Lined with gravel, the park also has tunnels, trees, and rocks to keep your dog entertained..
- RUFF North End Dog Park - If you want to keep your dog clean, then RUFF North End Dog Park is the best dog parks in Boston for you. The entire space is covered with antibacterial turf, and the park has a cutting-edge irrigation system that cleans out waste every evening.
- Fresh Pond Reservation Dog Park - Fresh Pond Reservation Dog Park features two ponds where your dog can splash about to cool off in summer. It also has a great fenced-in area where your dog can run around off his leash.
- Zero New Washington Dog Park - Zero New Washington Dog Park is one of the most well-equipped dog parks in Boston, at least from your pooch’s point of view. It has tunnels, ramps, drinking fountains, and spaces for agility walks. It also features benches and gazebos, so you have a spot to relax while Fido has his fun.
- Danehy Park - Danehy Park is a place to take your whole family, including the pooch. It spans 50 acres and has an area where your pooch can round around off-leash. There’s also a water spigot available so your doggie can stay hydrated and cool while having fun. The park also hosts a carnival every year.
- Richmond Street Dog Park - Richmond Street Dog Park is one of the great dog parks in Boston that’s pretty awesome for humans too. The park allows dogs to roam off their leash and is completely fenced-in, so you won’t have to worry about Rover getting distracted and running off. It has garbage cans and even poop bags are available, but it’s still a good idea to bring some with you, just in case.
- Carlton Court Dog Park - One of the smaller dog parks in Boston, Carlton Court Dog Park is still great for your pooch to roam around off his leash. The park is open from sunrise to sunset. It offers a water spout so your furry friend can stay hydrated while engaged in all that activity. A nice plus is that the ground is covered with a cushy material, similar to what’s used on tennis courts. It will make life so much easier on your doggie’s joints.
- Mansfield Street Dog Park - Another one of the smaller dog parks in Boston, Mansfield Street Dog Park is still a great place where doggies can frolic to their heart’s content. The ground is covered in gravel, which makes clean-up relatively easy, but can be hard on sensitive paws. It has a double-gated entry to keep your pooch safe, along with benches so you can relax while Rover makes new friends.
Dog-Friendly Day Trips from Boston
Would you like to see more of Massachusetts? There’s no reason to leave your best friend behind on these dog-friendly day trips from Boston.
- Salem, MA - Salem is one of the most dog-friendly towns around the North Shore. Start off your day in the famous Witch City by grabbing some homemade treats and toys at one of many (super cute) local pet shops downtown. Then, hop on the dog-friendly Salem Trolley or Salem Historical Tours, stop by the Salem Dog Park, or stroll through Salem Willows Park along the coast.
- Lynn, MA - With over 30 miles of scenic trail, Lynn Woods is the second largest municipal park in the whole country! Take your pup on a nature-filled hike by the reservoirs and enjoy historic sites like Dungeon Rock, the Rose Garden, and the Amphitheater.
- Gloucester, MA - Stage Fort is the historic site of Gloucester’s first settlers in the 1600s. Today, it features beautiful trails along the coast, a baseball field, cooking areas, picnic benches, and even a seasonal restaurant. Between Half Moon Beach and the rocky pathways by the ocean, it’s a fun seaside park worth wandering with your pooch!
Dog-Friendly Guide to Boston: Frequently Asked Questions
With so many dog-friendly things to do in Boston, you’re bound to have a few questions. We do our best to answer them here. Please let us know in the comments if we missed any, or if you know of any dog-friendly places in Boston that we missed.
Is Boston Common Dog Friendly?
Yes. The Common allows well-behaved dogs to be off leash between 6am and 9am and again from 4pm to 8pm. Dogs are allowed in the park on-leash throughout the day.
Is the Freedom Trail Dog Friendly?
Yes. All you need to enjoy this free attraction is your dog's leash and a good pair of walking shoes. The 2.5- mile red brick trail will lead you right to 16 of Boston's most historic sites, so you don't even need a map!
Where Can I Buy Puppies For Sale In Boston?
If you live in Boston and you’re looking for a puppy for sale, the best place to go is PuppySpot. Contact them today to connect with your very own Puppy Concierge, who will help you find your new best friend, or you can search by breed and take our Breed Match Quiz to find the perfect furry companion. Don’t forget to share your Wet Nose Moments on social media using #PuppySpot.