For those of us who feel like a summer vacation without your dog is like leaving a member of your family behind, traveling in Maine is a dream come true. Throughout the Pine Tree State, many tourism businesses don’t just permit dogs they welcome furry guests with open arms and treat them like Very Important Dogs (VIDs).
Whether you’re a dog-loving local craving a stay-cation or an out-of-state visitor looking to discover the best of Maine, your dog will be grinning from ear-to-furry-ear at the wonderful dog-friendly vibe. As the summer season heats up, many of the beaches reduce their dog hours to accommodate people but often early in the morning and as the sun goes down, there are still dog-friendly hours for your fur-kid to get their beach fix. If you’re dreaming of vacationing with your dog this summer, you’ll like the sound of the following destination properties. From the sandy beach region of Southern Maine to the more rugged Midcoast, these well-appointed places welcome dogs and offer a tail-wagging home-away-from-home to launch your summer adventures.
Some accommodation’s dog policies will sound a little gruff, but most hoteliers and innkeepers are just trying to find the middle ground and keep everybody happy. It’s always best to call ahead when you’re making your dog-friendly reservations. Make sure there are appropriate rooms available for your discerning rover and get the true inside woof on fees and other caveats. Sometimes hotels will offer flexibility on weight restrictions and other guidelines but do your part and be a good dog ambassador so that Maine’s dog-friendly culture continues to flourish.
The York Harbor Inn offers a luxurious historic 1730 dog-friendly house located a half mile from the main resort property where all guests check-in. The seven-room Harbor Crest house accommodations offers spacious rooms with king-size beds, jacuzzi tubs, gas fireplaces, plush dog beds and canine accoutrements. Harbor Crest is in close proximity to York Village, the legendary Wiggly Bridge, Fisherman’s Walk and Harbor Beach.
WHERE: 480 York St., York. yorkharborinn.com
DOG-FRIENDLY AMENITIES/SERVICES: dog beds, feeding bowls and treats.
This castle-like historic Kennebunkport landmark sits proudly on the Atlantic Ocean and Kennebunk River and is renowned for its dog-centric hospitality. Dog guests can explore the extensive park-like grounds, frolic on the private hotel beach, dine on the restaurant patio with views to dog-friendly Gooch’s Beach and enjoy an easy stroll down to Kennebunkport’s Dock Square. The end of October closing weekend dog-lover’s party is a sell-out event where the hotel literally goes to the dogs with fancy dress parties and pool time.
WHERE: 140 Ocean Ave., Kennebunkport. colonymaine.com; 207-967-3331
DOG-FRIENDLY AMENITIES/SERVICES: Dog blankets, water stations, outdoor shower facilities, private beach, dog sitters available on request. Dog fees apply.
This charming historic bed and breakfast is located a mile from dog-friendly Kennebunk Beach. Resident Innkeepers, Sarah and Eric Lindblom, welcome dog guests with a tennis ball and personalized cookie. The five luxurious dog-friendly rooms all have their own private entrance and the inn’s communal garden patio is a tranquil place to hang with your furry best friend. A short walk will lead you and your dog to treats and gifts at Scalawag’s Pet Boutique and other Kennebunkport Dock Square and Lower Village shops.
WHERE: 5 Pearl St., Kennebunkport. captainjefferdsinn.com; 207-967-2311
DOG-FRIENDLY AMENITIES/SERVICES: Dog sheets, towels, dog bowls, dog sitters available on request. Dog fees apply.
A luxurious coastal destination “green” resort with designated dog-friendly rooms, extensive landscaped organic gardens and panoramic ocean views. Recognized as one of the first luxury hotels to welcome dogs of all sizes, with over-the-top pampering for over 20 years. Dogs can dine Al Fresco on the seaside decks or inside at the fireside bar. Guests have direct access to Crescent Beach with dog-friendly hours in the off-season. Guests receive a comprehensive list of nearby walking trails and dog-friendly beaches.
WHERE: 40 Bowery Beach Road, Cape Elizabeth. innbythesea.com; 207-799-3134
DOG-FRIENDLY AMENITIES/SERVICES: Water bowls, beach towels, blankets, signature cookie turndown service, gourmet dog menu, dog massages, dog sitters available.
A recent 50 million dollar makeover of the former historic Eastland Park Hotel has transformed this Portland landmark into a boutique hotel with accommodations worthy of the uptown dog. A short city stroll through the Art’s District brings you to the cobblestoned historic Old Port with dog-friendly stores, outdoor dining and access to Casco Bay. Deering Oaks Park is just down the hill with manicured grounds, a fountain and a Saturday Farmer’s Market.
WHERE: 157 High St., Portland. westinportlandharborview.com; 207-775-5411
DOG-FRIENDLY AMENITIES/SERVICES: Signature “Heavenly” dog beds, treats, dog bowls, doggie bag dispenser. Ask about weight limit.
A family owned luxury historic inn in the heart of Freeport. Dog-friendly accommodations include Carriage House rooms with fireplaces and two-bedroom townhouses with direct access to the gardens and pathways. Dogs can dine on the patio at the Broad Arrow Tavern and even enjoy fire-pit time. You and your dog can window shop through Freeport Village, pose beside L.L Bean’s signature boot icon and sniff-out Pet Pantry’s range of dog gear and treats. Nearby, Wolf Neck State Park is perfect for a coastal nature walk.
WHERE: 162 Main St., Freeport. harraseeketinn.com; 207-865-9377
DOG-FRIENDLY AMENITIES/SERVICES: Dog bed, dog bowls and clean-up supplies. Dog fees apply.
An eco-friendly outdoor destination set on over 100 acres on Runaround Pond, in Durham, just 15 minutes drive from Freeport. Perfect for the adventure hound looking for a wilderness get-away with two privately situated fully furnished yurts with upscale “glamping” amenities. Owned by Bob Crowley, winner from Survivor TV series, and his family. Sniff out the hiking trails and paddle through nature on the bordering pond. Minutes from Bradbury Mountain State Park with an extensive trail network and panoramic picnicking views.
WHERE: 430 Auburn-Pownal Road, Durham. maineforestyurts.com; 207-400-5956
DOG-FRIENDLY AMENITIES/SERVICES: Dog bowls, a natural playground, celebrity photo opportunity with Survivor Bob and outward hound tips.
A quintessential midcoast resort nestled on 550 rugged coastal acres, 60 minutes from downtown Portland. Nine dog-friendly cottages are scattered around the expansive grounds with a nine-hole golf course, lighthouse and a bowling alley. Salty dogs can swim off the shoreline, stroll around the grounds and savor waterfront dining on the Ledges Pub patio. Off-site adventure dogs will want to visit nearby Reid State Park and treat their owners to a lobster roll at Five Island Lobster Company.
WHERE: 29 Kenyon Road, Phippsburg. sebasco.com; 877-389-1161
DOG-FRIENDLY AMENITIES/SERVICES: VIP dog welcome gift and treats, dog bed, dog placemat and bowls, clean-up supplies and a resort dog map. Dog fees apply.
A sprawling Boothbay Harbor retreat located on 57 acres of shoreline amidst tall spruce woodlands. The inn’s welcoming dog and companion experience has been shaped by dog-loving innkeeper, Joe Paolillo. The inn’s casual restaurant, Bogies, is named after Joe’s beloved former canine companion and his latest four-paw pal is always at his side. A variety of luxury dog-friendly accommodations are available including rooms with ocean views and outdoor access. Rent a kayak and paddle into Boothbay Village with your salty seadog.
WHERE: 88 Grandview Ave., Boothbay Harbor. sprucepointinn.com; 207-633-4152
DOG-FRIENDLY AMENITIES/SERVICES: Dog bed, dog bowls and treats.
A midcoast retreat set on 387 acres, on a picturesque mountainside retreat with panoramic views over Penobscot Bay, a private sandy beach and hiking trails to a lake. The designated dog-friendly, one to three bedroom, luxury cabins have white pine interiors, fully equipped kitchens, barbecues and screened porches for a bug-free woodsy happy hour. An easy 20 minute drive from Camden where you can stroll through Harbor Park, have a picnic by the Megunticook River waterfall and watch for windjammers.
WHERE: 67 Atlantic Highway, Northport, visitpointlookout.com; 800-515-3611
DOG-FRIENDLY AMENITIES/SERVICES: Welcoming staff and plenty of room to romp and pose with wildlife bronze statues. Dog fees apply.
When you’re traveling with your dog it is always best to plan ahead and pre-book dog-friendly accommodations and get the scoop on what to expect. Remember to pack all your dog’s furry essentials and paperwork so you can just relax once you arrive.
– Current Vaccination Certificate
– Collar with Rabies tag and ID tag with your cellphone number. If you’re staying in one place, a vacation tag with your temporary address is a good idea.
– Leash – good to always have an extra one in the car.
– Dog food and treats – always bring a little extra and store in a dog-proof container.
– Water and bowls – Maine-Made Squishy Bowls are perfect for backpacks.
– Canine first aid kit –e.g. medications for conditions or allergies, tick and bug repellent, antiseptic wipes, gauze pads, self-adhering paw bandages.
– Doggie bags – leave no trace
– Clean Dog bed – many places provide one but having their own familiar bed helps a dog feel at home.
– Dog crate – if your dog has grown up with this.
– Beach towels and a grooming brush
– Favorite toys