Dog friendly places and activities in Portland, ME?
June 7, 2012 1:01 PM   Subscribe

Dog friendly places and activities in Portland, ME?

My husband and I are taking the goons on a 5 night trip to Portland/South Portland, ME in July. We're renting a house with a few friends about 1/2 a mile from Willard Beach.

What I need from you wonderful people are some suggestions on dog-friendly activities and places. I'm pretty sure the dogs are allowed on Willard Beach certain times of the day, but are there any notable dog parks, dog friendly hiking, eateries, etc. that you can point me to? They don't need to be with us 24/7, but it would be nice to get out and about with them a few times.

Also, we're leaving from Philadelphia, so any good stops along the way will also be taken under advisement.

Thanks, thanks!
posted by rinosaur to Travel & Transportation around Portland, ME (8 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Portland is super dog-friendly.

My wife and I took a long weekend in Portland, ME a couple of years ago. We didn't have dogs, but along the way we learned that her parents had just had to put down their aged and much-loved dog.

When we got there, we discovered that Portland is the most. damn. dog-friendly. city. in. the. world. Seriously we couldn't turn a corner without seeing another dog and my sweetie getting choked up over it.

So I don't have specific recommendations for you, but you'll be fine.
posted by gauche at 1:16 PM on June 7, 2012

I agree with the above. Note however that there was some drama surrounding the dog walking hours on Willard a few years back, so definitely figure out what the appropriate times are before you go.

The Eastern Prom in Portland is a nice largish lawn with park space as well as a playground. Both inner Portland and the Willard Beach area of South Portland are very walkable with nice chill spots.

Check out the Portland Trails Map. It has a filter to show which trails are dog-allowed.
posted by selfnoise at 1:26 PM on June 7, 2012

Here's a link to the walking trail in South Portland. It starts at Bug Light (park) and runs between houses all the way to Hannaford (supermarket) and way beyond. It's a great trail.

Since you're near Willard Beach, there's a fantastic ice cream shop called Scoops right on Willard Sq (also a busy bakery). Don't be lured by the nostalgia of Reds; it's tasteless soft-serve.
posted by TWinbrook8 at 1:34 PM on June 7, 2012

Here's a list of dog friendly places in Maine, including stores and restaurants, that you can bring your dogs to. Have fun!
posted by peripathetic at 2:35 PM on June 7, 2012

If you're looking at the Eastern Prom, which is a great suggestion, check the tide schedule. At low tide there's a lot of space to run around and play, but at high tide the beach is pretty narrow.
posted by monkeymadness at 3:03 PM on June 7, 2012

Novare Res Bier Cafe is pretty dog friendly on their patio/beer garden and have a ton of delicious beers. They are kind of hidden in the Old Port so just ask around if you can't find it.
posted by mbatch at 5:02 PM on June 7, 2012

The dog park at "Ocean Avenue Landfill" is the old dump, which has been capped, and landscaped. It's on Ocean Ave, quite near the Portland/Falmouth town line. It's large and your dog can have a good run. The biggest problem is dogs that take off, and whose owners can't get them to come. The Valley Street dog park is fenced, and not huge. Baxter Woods is pleasant, and not far from the Great Lost Bear, which has a very large beer selection, and an outdoor seating area that might allow dogs.

Baxter Blvd. goes around the tidal Back Cove, and is popular with dogs, people, cyclists, etc. There's a newish walking trail(Bayside trail) that adjoins it, following old RR tracks, also a trail that connects the Eastern Prom (promenade, back in the day), and the Old Port. There's a paved walking path in S. Portland, as well. Portland Trails lists dog-friendly trails. Mackworth Island has limited parking, but has Gov. Baxter's dog cemetery, and is very dog-welcoming; it's in the grant deed granting public access to the island. Also has great views.

You can take dogs on the ferry to Peaks Island, which surely still has outdoor beer-drinking opportunities. The boat ride is pleasant. Highly recommend the Umbrella Cover Museum, which has nothing to do with dogs, but is charming. (Disclaimer, the proprietor is a close acquaintance).
posted by Mom at 7:38 PM on June 7, 2012

Here's an article detailing the rules for Willard Beach that went into effect a few years ago.

Since you're coming in from the south, you can stop in Kennebunk at Gooch's Beach which allows dogs before 9am or after 5pm during the summer.
posted by mikepop at 7:10 AM on June 8, 2012

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