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Dog-Friendly Travel: Boston

Have Dog, Will Travel

by Lisa Wogan
July 19, 2011
A dog laying beneath people sitting on bar stools outside in a city.
Photo: Anders Ipsen / Unsplash

Looking to take a romp around Boston with your dog? Boston is a super dog-friendly city where you can let your dog sniff the ages in the country’s oldest park, where cows once grazed. The Boston Common even has a small zone where leash-less dogs are permitted in the early mornings and evenings. In addition, the city’s extensive Frederick Law Olmstead-designed parks make for excellent, mostly leashed, walking, especially Jamaica Pond. Of Boston’s two official off-leash parks, the Peters Park Dog Run in the South End is nice, but the off-leash go-to is Fresh Pond, across the river in Cambridge.

Get Lost in Books

With a staggering number of egg heads per square-mile, Boston has wonderful bookstores (remember those?) and quite a few permit canine browsers—including the Harvard Bookstore. Stretch your legs during a leashed walk around Harvard Yard.

Bone Up (On History)

Rock the Cradle of Liberty during a self-guided revolutionary history tour along the 2.5-mile Freedom Trail—from Boston Common to Bunker Hill. You can catch the T home; leashed, well-behaved dogs are allowed on the subway during off-peak hours.

Enjoy Some Good Eats

Leashed dogs are welcome at the SoWa Open Market. The thriving Sunday market on the South End is a market mash-up of artisan and vintage wares and farmers’ market, plus, food trucks! Look for Polka Dog Bakery, named for a one-eyed former stray from Puerto Rico.

Hit the Shops

Bring your pup shopping in the Back Bay neighborhood. They can join you at Lush, Anthropologie, and Mac Cosmetics, among others. Then chill with pups on the patio at Ula Cafe or treat your buddy to Boston-made organic Yöghund Frozen Yogurt from Fish & Bone pet boutique.

Go on a Day Trip

Doggie heaven is just a ferry ride (and a short drive) away from Rowes Wharf at Bare Cove Park, a former shipbuilding center and depot in Hingham, Mass. Dogs under voice control can meander wide, paved pathways through 400-plus acres of woods and meadows. While your four-legged buddy sleeps off the run, buzz around the seaside village, which is home to America’s oldest continuously worshipped-in church, the Old Ship.


Lisa Wogan

Lisa Wogan lives in Seattle and is the author of several books including Dog Park Wisdom.

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