BringFido's Guide to Cape Cod

Posted by Billy Francis

Cape Cod on the coast of southeastern Massachusetts is a dog-friendly gem. Visitors to this peninsula can drive from one end to the other in around two hours, pausing along the way to let Fido roam off leash on dog beaches, join you on delightful pet-friendly patios while you taste New England delicacies, and spend the night in lodgings that go all out for canines. From unique floating homes to historic lighthouses, this quirky corner of the country has a lot to offer pups and their people.

Things to Do

“Nothing beats a Cape Cod sunset.” Photo by BringFido/Claudia

Take a cycle tour of the coast, shop until you drop and play golf with your canine caddy on a dog-friendly adventure around Cape Cod.

Cycle Cape Cod National Seashore

Explore the scenic sights around Provincetown with a bicycle and trailer rental from Gale Force Bikes. Start by pedaling to Dog Beach, a popular pooch hang-out with minimal waves and a slope into the water to help cautious canines get their paws wet. Then, continue your adventure around the coast to Herring Cove, which is home to miles of dog-friendly beaches. Finish up your adventure on two wheels at Pilgrim Bark Park, one of the best dog parks in the country. This fenced space is also an outdoor art gallery filled with sculptures designed by local artists.

Bag the Swag

Mashpee Commons invites dogs and their owners to shop until they drop. The wide sidewalks mean you can keep your distance from other shoppers and there’s a large green space along the way to visit with your furry best friend. Swing by Hot Diggity for pet clothing, dog toys and organic pet food, and be sure to pick up some gear with a signature dog logo for yourself from The Black Dog General Store. Fuel your day with brunch at Cape Cod Coffee, or head to Bobby Byrne's Restaurant & Pub to celebrate a successful day of shopping with Fido.

“My sailing face.” Photo by BringFido/Annamaria

Water, Water Everywhere!

Take to the water with your four-legged travel companion and explore the wonders of the Atlantic together. Bay Lady II Sailing Tours sails across Provincetown Harbor and into Cape Cod Bay. Join Captain Bob Burns and the crew of the Bay Lady II for a two-hour sail towards the Bluffs of Corn Hill or around Long Point Light. Or, go whale spotting in a private pet-friendly vessel provided by SeaSalt Charters. For a different perspective, Hy-Line Cruises will take you and your pooch along the Cape Cod Canal, a National Historic Civil Engineering landmark.

Old King's Highway to Yarmouth

Route 6A, also known as Old King's Highway, is the best way to get around Cape Cod’s pet-friendly sites. This historic 62-mile road passes through the peninsula’s busiest spots as it winds from Bourne to Orleans. After departure from Bourne, you'll soon arrive in Sandwich, MA. Here, you can take a quick break at Dexter Grist Mill. This historic landmark was built in 1637 and is still operational today! Four-legged visitors can wander over the bridge, relax on the grass and enjoy views of Shawme Pond. Then, hit the road again to Barnstaple for a walk on the trails at Old Jail Lane Conservation Area. Continue to Dennis, where you can climb Scargo Tower with your pooch and enjoy views from 30 feet in the air. Before you reach the end of the road in Orleans, let Fido loose at nearby Brewster Dog Park.

“That is one big pond!” Photo by BringFido

Let There Be Light

There are more lighthouses in Cape Cod’s Barnstable County than in any other county in the U.S. Pay a visit to one of the most historic at Nauset Light Beach. This impressive structure is part of Cape Cod National Seashore and was relocated to its current location in 1923. Pets are welcome to explore the grounds on a leash. Afterwards, dive around the dunes at Marconi Beach in nearby Wellfleet and finish off your day with a movie in the open air at the dog-friendly Wellfleet Drive-In Theatre.

Putt with your Pooch

Cape Escape Adventure Golf invites you and your pooch to play 18 holes of mini golf in a nautical setting with authentic fishing boats, a live koi fish pond and beautiful waterfalls. Leashed pups can also hang out with the owner’s pooch at this largest mini golf course in the Lower Cape. After hitting a hole-in-one, go for a stroll along part of the paved Cape Cod Rail Trail which extends 22 miles along a former railroad from Dennis all the way to Wellfleet through the towns of Harwich, Brewster, Orleans and Eastham.

Floating Homes in Woods Hole

While away an afternoon in Woods Hole with your furry best friend and marvel at the epic floating homes on a walk through the harbor together. Keep the coastal walk going all the way to The Knob, where pet-friendly trails follow along the shoreline and offer impressive views of Quissett Harbor and Buzzards Bay. Finish up your trip at another of Cape Cod’s historic sites, Nobska Lighthouse, where you can enjoy panoramic views of Woods Hole, Vineyard Sound, and the Elizabeth Islands.

Places to Stay

I don’t share my seats.” Photo by

From a hotel with a dog park to a home on the waterfront, the Cape’s many pet-friendly lodging options may make your choice of where to stay a difficult one.

Balcony Rooms with Views

Surfside Hotel and Suites greets human guests with a refreshing welcome drink and Fido with a special treat at check-in. This oceanfront hotel evokes the spirit of Cape Cod with its outdoor pool and private beach where dogs are welcome to make a splash. Book a pet-friendly room with a balcony for your pooch to enjoy the view of the bay beyond.

Fido’s Own Private Beach

Located minutes from Lighthouse Beach, Slate House is a luxurious pet-friendly Airbnb situated in a private oasis that overlooks Frost Fish Creek. Reserve a stay any time of year and enjoy a warming fireplace, fire pit, hot tub, screened-in lounge and huge windows that welcome an abundance of light inside. Visiting canines will love the private dog-friendly beach just a short stroll away.

A Cape Cottage

After a day of exploring Yarmouth, collapse with your canine at this cute cottage. Inside, a nautical theme runs through the property, and there are hardwood floors for easy cleanup and cozy corners for an afternoon nap. If you’d rather relax outside, head to the large fenced backyard that includes a fire pit and deck. There’s even an outdoor shower to rinse sandy paws after a day at the beach.

“Is this where we walk off into the sunset?” Photo by Reach Resort

Dogs on the Dune

Dune Crest Hotel is situated atop dune cliffs within 12 acres of Cape Cod National Seashore. From treats in the lobby to a fenced-in dog park with agility equipment, Fido will feel welcome here. Dog-friendly rooms feature balconies with panoramic views of Provincetown and Cape Cod Bay. You can also walk your leashed pup at the beach of the national seashore located in the hotel’s backyard.

Pet-Friendly Provincetown

Gabriel’s, A Provincetown Hotel is a warm and welcoming place to hang your dog’s leash after a packed day of discovering Cape Cod. Located downtown, the hotel is just a short walk away from the quaint town’s pet-friendly restaurants and attractions. If you’d rather have a quiet day at the hotel, kick back in the expansive courtyard with three levels of gardens, a goldfish pond, a waterfall, and two fire pits. At check-in, dogs receive bowls and blankets to use in their cozy room.

Fun in Falmouth

Bask in the beauty of this waterfront home in Falmouth. People and pups who love playing on the water can launch the house kayaks or SUPs into Jenkins Pond from the dock and paddle together. Back on dry land, clean up in the outdoor shower and head inside this light-filled home with funky decor and hardwood flooring. At dinnertime, cook up a meal in the kitchen and eat on the outdoor deck. Then make s’mores for dessert at the waterfront fire pit area.

Dog-Friendly Restaurants

“Push the boat out, guys!” Photo by @valbenoit74

If you like dinner with a view and seafood too, book a week of meals at these pet-friendly restaurants in Cape Cod.

Marina Views

It doesn’t get much more quintessentially Cape Cod than Sesuit Harbor Cafe, overlooking Northside Marina. Get a taste for the Atlantic with menu items like boiled lobster, fried clams or baked stuffed cod. This cash-only establishment is right on the water and has access to a small private beach where Fido is welcome to paddle after lunch.

Good Luck at the Black Cat

Fido shouldn’t be put off by the name of this popular pub in Hyannis. In fact, The Black Cat Tavern is one of Cape Cod’s most popular restaurants for doggy diners. Find a table on the cute pet-friendly back patio and your pooch will be served a refreshing bowl of water. You can enjoy items from the raw bar or order a bowl of delicious New England Clam Chowder and a locally-brewed craft beer.

“Who are you calling “foul mouth?” Photo by

A Feast in Falmouth

After a day of hiking around the pet-friendly trails in Beebe Woods behind Highfield Hall & Gardens, join the dog lovers at Añejo Mexican Bistro for Tex-Mex done right. Grab a table on the patio and order from menu favorites like mahi-mahi tacos, mouthwatering enchiladas and more. Thanks to the incredible food and welcoming atmosphere, be prepared to wait for a table.

A Provincetown Institution

Find a seat on the beach at The Canteen in Provincetown. Like the classic seafood shacks that once lined the peninsula, this New England eatery serves lobster rolls and other delightful dishes from the ocean alongside Cape Cod brews. Dogs are welcome to join their owners on the bustling backyard patio.

Wine or Beer?

Buster Brown is the faithful Field Spaniel who keeps people company while they tour Cape Cod Beer in Hyannis, MA. Be sure to order a pint of the Buster Brown Ale, named after the brew dog, mascot and model. If you plan your visit for early October you can take part in Buster’s annual birthday “pawty.” People who prefer wine can visit Cape Cod Winery in East Falmouth instead.

“This plate was clean before I got here!” Photo by BringFido/Elizabeth

Eat a Sandwich in Sandwich

Enjoy a sandwich in Sandwich at Captain Scott's. Fido is welcome to join you at one of their five pet-friendly outdoor tables while you sink your teeth into a lobster roll, swordfish sandwich or Cape Cod Reuben. If you have any room left, wander around the corner to Shipwreck Ice Cream for dessert and order your pooch a pup cup, too.

Your Dog’s New Favorite Place

Waydowntown is a big hit among the Cape Cod canine community. Stop in for breakfast, lunch or dinner on the beach during your next New England adventure. The menu ranges from soups and salads to sandwiches and pasta. Don’t worry if the weather shifts, Waydowntown has been known to let dogs dine inside, too.

What are your favorite dog-friendly things to do in Cape Cod? Leave a comment or tweet us @BringFido!

Banner photo by iStock/LagunaticPhoto.