BringFido's Guide to Long Island

Posted by Billy Francis

On New York’s Long Island, laidback Labradors can stroll through fields of lavender and pose for a gorgeous photoshoot next to the state’s oldest lighthouse. Meanwhile, adventurous Alsatians can enjoy a more energetic visit with a game of fetch in a secret dog park, take a guided tour on a pet-friendly boat charter and keep you company on an epic vineyard tour.

Things to Do

“I woke up like this.” Photo by BringFido/Dusty

From windswept island beaches to serene surroundings where you can ditch the leashes, Long Island is a long way from just being “New York’s suburbs.”

An “East Egg” Escapade

Located on the original Guggenheim Estate, Sands Point Preserve is home to six pet-friendly hiking trails. Wander through woodland surroundings to the cliffs overlooking the Long Island Sound and see where F. Scott Fitzgerald got his inspiration for “East Egg” in “The Great Gatsby.” Then, walk along the pathways that weave around Castle Gould and the preserve’s other mansions. Before you leave, visit Charlie’s Run, the preserve’s off-leash dog park, which offers two large spaces for pups to play.

Visit “Fur” Island

Boxers in Bay Shore are invited to travel with Fire Island Ferries, or on board the Davis Park Ferry from nearby Patchogue, to Fire Island, a beautiful barrier island parallel to the South Shore. Although pets are restricted March 15 through Labor Day on Fire Island National Seashore's ocean beaches (Lighthouse, Sailors Haven, Watch Hill, Talisman, and Wilderness) and within the Fire Island Wilderness, four-legged visitors can take a stroll to Fire Island Lighthouse and explore the boardwalks and paved trails year-round. After returning to Long Island’s mainland, Fido can lead the way on a variety of pet-friendly trails at Gardiner County Park in Bay Shore, which offers a different perspective of the Fire Island Lighthouse from the other side of the water.

“This isn’t the kind of dog log I usually see on walks…” Photo by @berkleythecavalier

Long Island is Off the Leash

Long Island doesn’t always mean long leashes for your furry travel companion. Start your dog park tour at Tully Dog Park, an astroturfed hangout in New Hyde Park with agility equipment like tunnels to play in. Then, head to Mud Creek Dog Park, an off-leash beach park in Patchogue, to let your dog dip her paws in the water. Finish up at Springs Park in East Hampton, an unofficial canine hangout with winding off-leash trails that sprawl around 20 acres.

Flower Power

Stop and smell the sweet aromas of Lavender by the Bay. This pet-friendly lavender farm halfway between Greenport and Orient Point welcomes dogs to join you on a walk up and down the rows of colorful lavender. Then, head to Waterdrinker Family Farm and Gardens, where you’ll find flowers of a different hue like sunflowers and tulips, depending on the season. Pick a bouquet and toast the occasion at Long Island Farm Brewery next door.

“Freeze!” Photo by @panyian

Grapes and Laughs

Canine connoisseurs are invited to join you on a tour of Long Island’s best sipping spots. Begin your grape excursion at Osprey's Dominion Vineyards with a self-guided tour of the four-acre grounds, before resting at a shady picnic table or heading inside during the colder months. Then head next door to Duck Walk Vineyards, where you can enjoy cheese and wine at a chateau nestled on thirty acres. If you want more samples, cross the road to Corey Creek Vineyards, where one of the winery dogs will keep Fido company while you sample a glass of Syrah Rosé on the dog-friendly deck that overlooks the rows of vines.

Make Moves to Montauk

Mosey with your mutt on Montauk Highway in Amityville. This scenic road will take you alongside The Great South Bay and through The Hamptons to Montauk Point Lighthouse at the eastern tip of Long Island. Here, you can hop out of the car and hike the rocky ledges surrounding the lighthouse, which offer a spectacular view of the crashing surf below. Then, at any time during the off-season, let your dog run loose on Montauk Beach. For more stunning ocean views, keep cruising up the coast to Shadmoor State Preserve Trail.

Set Sail with your Saluki

From New York Bay and the East River to Long Island Sound and the Atlantic Ocean, there are plenty of adventures to be had on the open water around Long Island. Layla Sailing is a female-owned and operated charter company that sets sail from Greenport on morning, afternoon and sunset excursions to Shelter Island and the surrounding waters. Bring your dog, snacks and drinks along on a laidback cruise around the Long Island coast. If you’d rather be in control of your own vessel, paddle with your pooch in a kayak rental from Kayak Shelter Island.

Places to Stay

“You can’t beat a family beach walk.” Photo by

Whether you want to hit the hay in historic surroundings or have a place to relax after a vineyard tour, Long Island has lovely lodgings just for you.

Sunsets on the Sound

Share stunning sunsets over the Sound with your best friend at Soundview Greenport, a luxurious pet-friendly hotel on the coast. All rooms have direct access to a quarter-mile private beach, where you can wander with your leashed pooch. Hang out at the beach bar with a cocktail, sign up for a nature walk together and kick back in the chilled-out atmosphere of this beautiful accommodation near the start of your vineyard tour, or nautical tour with Layla Sailing.

House in Hither Hills

If you need an affordable place to stay on “Strong Island,” this pet-friendly guesthouse could be just the ticket. Located a short drive from The Hamptons and Fire Island Ferries, this cozy home is within walking distance of a farmstand where you can buy fresh eggs for Fido’s breakfast. Hardwood floors can be found throughout for easy cleanup and there’s a nice lawn area outside to soak up the sun with your pup.

“I’ve already checked in.” Photo by

Go to Hotel Indigo

Hotel Indigo East End is described as “pet preferred,” rather than just pet friendly. Pups are welcome to stay at this chic boutique hotel that offers spacious rooms with hardwood floors and easy access to an outdoor green space. If you’re looking for something to do with your dog nearby, Cranberry Bog Nature Preserve is a great way to see Long Island’s natural side. Then, grab a brew just across the Peconic River at Long Ireland Beer Company Tasting Room.

Sign Up for a Pet Package

The Garden City Hotel is a dog-friendly retreat with a pet package for visiting pups that includes a plush premium dog bed, water bowl and door hanger to let housekeeping know that pups are chilling inside. If you need to head out for a few hours, contact the concierge to arrange pet sitting and walking. When you reunite with your beloved furry best friend, head to one of Garden City’s pet-friendly restaurants on the same block as the hotel.

“Fire Island is so hot right now.” Photo by @maui_c.frenchie

Fire Island Nights

Pitch up with your pup at Watch Hill Family Campground on Fire Island. This seasonal camping spot is a short stroll along a boardwalk from the ferry dock and within walking distance of the beach and visitor center. Campsites are located on the sand to provide a true beach camping experience. Fire Island features two canine rest areas on either side of the marina. If you don’t want to “ruff it” on the sand, pamper your pup with a dog-friendly glamping site instead.

Lie Down at a La Quinta

Conveniently located off I-495 near the Sunrise Highway, La Quinta by Wyndham Islip MacArthur Airport is a hit among BringFido users staying in the middle of Long Island. Four-legged guests have access to a variety of pet-friendly rooms and designated relief areas outside. You’ll be close to the airport and fun, dog-friendly attractions like 1940’s Brewing Company and Lakeland County Park.

Snag a Big Backyard

Featuring a beautiful fenced backyard with luscious green grass, pups who love to sunbathe can sprawl on the lawn of this cozy cottage in Greenport. During your stay, go for an adventure on the water with a pet-friendly rental from nearby Kayak Shelter Island. Afterwards, Fido can clean up at the outdoor heated shower back at the cottage before joining you for an evening around the fire pit.

Dog-Friendly Restaurants

“It's not the beer - there are three of us.” Photo by @sixharbors.brewdogs

On Long Island, they’ll bring out the bacon for your furry best friend and make sure everybody leaves full of delicious food.

Meet the Brewery Dogs

Featured in our roundup of pet-friendly breweries, Six Harbors Brewing Company in Huntington invites Fido to meet the brewery dogs, gorgeous Goldens, Buddy, Barley and Brandy. Canines are welcome both inside and out while humans sample cider, pilsner, and lager on draught. If you’re feeling peckish, grab a bite to eat from one of the rotating food trucks.

BBQ on the Island

Maple Tree BBQ Smokehouse is known to offer some of Long Island's most succulent barbecue. Dig into St. Louis ribs, North Carolina pulled pork, Texas beef brisket, and Alabama-style chicken, plus traditional sides such as mac and cheese, baked beans, and cornbread. Wash it all down with a local craft beer or glass of vino. The picnic tables near the river are dog friendly and make a nice setting for your best bud to beg for scraps.

Take a Culinary Walk

Take a walk with your dog along Nautical Mile next to Woodcleft Canal in the heart of Freeport's fishing, boating and dining community. First, stop for a refreshing snack from Ralph’s Italian Ices. Then, find a table on the expansive patio at Hudson’s on the Mile for seafood, sushi and steak accompanied by live music during the summer months.

“Did you get my good side?” Photo by

Eat Like a Local

Doggy day trippers to Fire Island will work up quite an appetite exploring the island. Hop off the ferry back on the mainland and grab a table on the pet-friendly patio at Local Burger Co. in Bay Shore. While you work your way through an Atomic Burger, you can order your pooch a saltless patty and let him wash it down with a fresh bowl of water.

A Romantic Meal

Soak up scenic vistas on the pet-friendly trails at Cold Spring Harbor State Park, then head to Harbor Mist Restaurant for a delightful meal on the inviting patio. The mouthwatering menu includes favorites like the seafood sampler, crab cakes and Maine lobster. Pair your chosen seafood with one of the restaurant’s specialty cocktails.

“I’ll have a side of bacon with that.” Photo by

Wake Up to Port Jefferson

Tourists and locals all agree that Local’s Cafe is a great place to start the day in Port Jefferson. Fido can snack on a side of bacon while you try a turmeric latte or feast on a frittata. This popular cafe in the historic downtown offers a scratch menu with a variety of choices for vegetarians, vegans, and meat-eaters alike.

Sample a Scratch Menu

For an unforgettable brunch, lunch or dinner, head to The Shed Restaurant. The dog-friendly outdoor space is open during the summer months and offers plenty of shady spots where dogs can relax and hang out while you enjoy a succulent burger or healthy salad.

What are your favorite dog-friendly things to do on Long Island? Leave a comment or tweet us @BringFido!

Banner photo by iStock/DACowley.