These Dog-Friendly Boston-Area Spots Are Perfect For a Day Out With Your Pup

From parks and (outdoor) museums to boats and beer gardens.

Photo courtesy of Night Shift Brewing

We all know the one silver lining to these last 16 months: uninterrupted quality time with your four-legged one and only. And even as the world returns to a new normal, you’re not about to leave Spot behind; the separation anxiety would just be too profound (for you, obviously). Thankfully, with summer officially upon us, there are plenty of dog-friendly spots around the city, from parks and (outdoor) museums to boats and beer gardens. The one bummer? The City of Boston is sticking with its COVID-era ban against dogs in outdoor drinking and dining spaces, so for now, city yappy hours are on hold. Here’s everywhere else you and your pooch can still go to together this summer:

Everett 

We have no doubt you’ve tipped back a few while hanging with your pup over the last year, but now it’s time to do it in public, and to seriously upgrade your beer choice while you’re at it. The patio space at this renowned brewery—the opening of which kicked off the Everett brewery renaissance—invites pups of all sizes to come along while you settle in for some food truck grub and summer-friendly, homemade ales from the “Easy Drinking” menu. 

Emily Hagen

Duxbury

Some alfresco bivalves with your four-legged bubuleh? We can’t think of anything more uplifting this summer. Island Creek Oyster Farm has reopened its seasonal outdoor bar and hangout spot in Duxbury, which overlooks the water and dishes out beer & wine, canned cocktails, tinned fish, and of course, shucked oysters galore (with the occasional lobster roll pop-up). Leashed dogs are not only welcome but practically de rigueur; just check out their Instagram account for proof. 

Union Square

Shopping with your panting boo is a possibility once more, as Bow Market’s retail shops have largely reopened and will often let dogs in when asked. Once you’ve caught up on your retail therapy (it’s been awhile!), you can grab a seat in the courtyard, send your companion off for wine and vittles, and make an unconventional family afternoon of it.

Photo courtesy of Christina Orso/Cambridge Brewing Company

Kendall Square

This stalwart brewery invites imbibers to bring their four-leggers to their patio for a mellow afternoon of drinking, sunning, and chilling. Once you sit down, the waitstaff will also offer to bring over a dog bowl for your fur baby. Humans can select from the broad beer list that caters to diverse tastes, from their house lager, to the Groove is in the Heart hibiscus gose bier, to the Death & the Maiden Baltic porter.

Cape Cod

Forty miles of stunning sand, and it’s (sort of) all Fido’s for the taking. It’s so stunning, in fact, that John F. Kennedy himself recognized the appeal of this stretch of shoreline, designating it a national park back in the 1960s. This is a massive, gorgeous beach with towering dunes, intimidating waves, and endless views in each direction. In normal times, leashed dogs are allowed year-round in non-lifeguard areas, but this year the north side of the beach is currently closed to pups to protect the nesting seabirds. Wellfleet Center, about four miles away, is the place to go for a proper evening meal with your pup, as Mac’s on the Pier, a takeaway spot right on the water, is your ticket for lobster in the rough. 

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Pet parents know that weekend plans are better when they’re shared with your dog. And just like playtime in the park or running around a dog-friendly brewery strengthens your bond with your pup, so can mealtime. CESAR® Dry supports small dog health with 26 essential nutrients, has real meat as its first ingredient, and comes in a 100% complete and balanced dry kibble format for convenient feeding. Plus, with flavors like filet mignon and rotisserie chicken, your dog will get the gourmet treatment, every day.

Jamaica Plain

This verdant landscape beckons to all creatures great and small. A visit to the arboretum is a no-cost no-brainer, with 15,000 plants and 4,000 trees blooming throughout the year—the better for both of you to sniff your way through an afternoon. Hike Hemlock Hill, then spread a blanket under a tree for an alfresco cuddle sesh.

Photo by Stephanie Pernice

South End

From the water bowl at the main entrance to the numerous vendors doling out dog treats, this year-round indoor bazaar is a pup’s shopping dream. Be sure to scope out the myriad vintage canine photos and accessories; customers have even purchased vintage suitcases to convert into dog beds.

Various locations

Can Bark Twain handle a little boating action? Paddle Boston rents kayaks, canoes, and paddle boards at various spots along the Charles River and invites you to board with your water hound; some locations even offer doggie lifeboats. You can go solo or book one of their tours, like the Boston Harbor Tour or the Sunset and City Lights Kayak Tour. 

Photo courtesy of deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum

Lincoln

If you prefer some oversized art with your dog walk, spend an afternoon traipsing through this museum’s 30-acre sculpture park, the largest such park in New England. Allow yourself and Subwoofer a good two hours to explore the 60 large-scale installations (just remember to book your visit online ahead of time). Oh, and be sure to keep your pup leashed at all times.

Stoneham

It’s literally ground zero for every regional dog walker, as this is one of the rare areas where all dogs are welcome both on- and off-leash—and each visitor is allowed up to four dogs. The 2,200-acre open space invites sniffing, exploring, puppy socializing, and copious rolling—just no digging and no chasing after wildlife.