With its scenic coastline dotted with six lighthouses and quaint working fishermen’s wharves where fresh lobster is brought in daily, dog-friendly Portland is a quintessential New England destination. Fido is welcome to explore Maine’s largest city, which maintains its small-town charm to this day. Spend a summer weekend visiting pet-friendly beaches and breweries, taking boat and trolley tours, riding a train along Casco Bay, and shucking lobster - all with your best friend!
Posted by Erin Ballinger
4 p.m. The Westin Portland Harborview
Check in to the dog-friendly The Westin Portland Harborview, where your pup will be welcomed with treats, waste bags and a signature Westin Heavenly Dog Bed to use during his stay. This historic property opened in 1927 as the Eastland Park Hotel and is just a short walk away from Portland’s Old Port and the Downtown Arts District. Every guestroom features views of downtown, the harbor or Casco Bay. The Westin Portland Harborview welcomes two dogs up to 40 pounds for no additional fee. Nightly rates start at $245.
5 p.m. A Pet-Friendly Picnic and Sunset Cruise
Call ahead and order a picnic dinner from Figgy’s Takeout to chow down on during the Sunset Run Cruise from Casco Bay Lines Ferry Terminal. Be sure to order Figgy’s famed cast-iron fried chicken early, as it takes about 30 minutes to cook and sells out quickly. Once you’ve picked up your supper, make your way to Casco Bay Lines to board the boat by 5:45 p.m.
Onboard with Fido, you’ll explore the islands of Casco Bay, framed against the warm orange glow of the sun as it makes its descent past the horizon. The dog-friendly boat tour operates passenger, mail, vehicle and freight service year-round. The Sunset Run lasts around 2.5 to 3 hours. Tickets cost $16.50 for adults, $14.50 for seniors, $8.50 for children, and $4.10 for dogs.
8 p.m. Brews with Man’s Best Friend in the Old Port
Portland has almost 20 dog-friendly breweries and is widely recognized in the craft beer scene as one of the best cities for brews. Head over to the Old Port to sample small-batch ales and pub grub at Gritty McDuff’s Brew Pub (aka Gritty’s) or The Thirsty Pig, a hipster hangout which serves craft beers made in Maine paired with house-made sausages. Dogs are welcome to join you for a nightcap and will be given some fresh H2O on the patios at both watering holes, which are located just a short walk away from each other.
9 a.m. Standard Baking Co.
Start your day with a visit to Standard Baking Co., Maine’s best-known bakery. You and Fido can sit at one of the outdoor tables located directly across from Portland’s harbor while you break fast with a coffee and a hand-rolled almond croissant, savory ham and cheese croissant, pain au chocolat or scone. A water bowl is provided for your pup.
10 a.m. Quarry Run Dog Park
Head north to Quarry Run Dog Park for some off-leash fun. This fully-fenced seven-acre park has several nature trails for you and your canine companion to explore. Waste bags and water bowls are provided, but BYOW (bring your own water). The park is open daily from 6 a.m. until 10 p.m. Unleashed dogs should be under voice control at all times.
12 p.m. Lobster Lunch on the Wharf
Take your pup for a waterfront jaunt along Portland’s cobblestone walkways. Make your way down Commercial Street to Portland Lobster Company to feast on its award-winning Maine lobster roll. If your stomach craves something warm, enjoy a bowl of New England Clam Chowder from the pet-friendly deck as you watch the boats sail past. Fried and steamed whole belly Maine clams, scallops, whole lobsters, haddock and other seafood dishes are also excellent choices for lunch. Your furry friend will be given water on the house, but you can order him an all-natural hot dog for a real treat.
2 p.m. Trolley Tour with Portland Discovery Land and Sea Tours
Stroll down to the Long Wharf to meet up with Portland Discovery Land and Sea Tours for a dog-friendly trolley tour of the city. This 105-minute narrated tour will teach you about the city’s rich history as you pass the childhood home of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, the Old Port and Victoria Mansion. A tour highlight is the 30-minute stop at the Portland Head Light, Maine’s oldest lighthouse, where you’ll hear its history and be able to take some amazing photos of your pup for your Instagram (don’t forget to #bringfido!).
4 p.m. Yappy Hour on the Wharf
After your tour, make your way over to The Porthole for an inexpensive pint on the dog-friendly wharfside deck. Order the Saturday Special, a bottle of Sam Adams for just $3. Pair your beer with an order of onion rings for another $5 for a cheap and tasty afternoon snack. There will definitely be other dogs on this “pupular” patio, and you might even catch a performance by a local band!
7 p.m. Boone’s Fish House & Oyster Room
Have dinner tonight in the Old Port at Boone’s Fish House & Oyster Room, a historic restaurant that opened in 1898 and invented the baked stuffed lobster. Dogs are allowed to join you on the covered patio overlooking the waterfront and will be given fresh water to sip on. Seafood dishes are the stars of the menu, but Boone’s also makes a mean grilled hanger steak topped with bearnaise sauce if you’re a landlubber.
9 p.m. Beals Famous Old Fashioned Ice Cream
End Saturday evening on a sweet note with an ice cream sundae at Beals Famous Old Fashioned Ice Cream on Moultrie Street in the Old Port. Treat your pup to a scoop of pumpkin pie ice cream while you sit at a picnic table on the quaint cobblestone street.
7 a.m. Bright and Early on the Beach
Get an early start on this #SundayFurday so you can enjoy one of Portland’s dog-friendly beaches. East End Beach at Eastern Beach Promenade Park offers off-leash play for pups in the summer before 9 a.m. and lovely views of Fort Gorges. Willard Beach in South Portland, just a 5-minute drive from Portland proper, allows dogs to swim in the water and run off leash along the sand in the summer from 7 a.m. until 9 a.m.
9 a.m. Miss Portland Diner
After you’ve worked up an appetite at the dog beach, reward yourself with a hearty breakfast at Miss Portland Diner. Dogs are welcome to join their owners on the small patio outside the historic diner car that dates back to 1949. Chow down on a western omelet, corned beef hash or pancakes topped with fresh Maine blueberries. If Fido has been a good boy, order him a couple of eggs for $5.
11 a.m. Maine Narrow Gauge Railroad Co. & Museum
Take a dog-friendly train ride back in time at Maine Narrow Gauge Railroad Co. & Museum. Dogs aren’t allowed inside the museum but can join you on the 35-minute voyage along the Eastern Promenade of Casco Bay. Docents provide a historical narration during the trip. Trains depart on the hour from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tickets cost $10 for adults, $9 for seniors, $6 for children ages 3-12. Children 2 and under and dogs ride for free.
12 p.m. Flatbread Company
Dine on the wharf in Old Port at Flatbread Company for your last lunch in Portland. This pet-friendly pizzeria invites pet owners to dine on organic flatbread pizzas on its waterfront patio. Build your own pie or try one of their specialty pizzas paired with a crisp salad and a local beer on tap.
2 p.m. Depart Portland with Treats and a Dog-Tired Fido
Before you leave dog-friendly Portland and its amazing seafood, quaint wharves and New England charm, make one last stop in the Old Port to buy your pup a memento of his trip. Fish & Bone sells yummy treats and collars that make the “pawfect” souvenir for Fido. The shop carries t-shirts and other pet-themed accessories for humans, too, so you won’t be left out!
Have you been to dog-friendly Portland? What are some of your favorite places to visit with your pup? Leave a comment or tweet us @BringFido!
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