When the dog days of summer strike, there’s no better place to be with your pooch than pet-friendly Cape Cod!
Boasting some of the best beaches, an irresistible laid-back charm, and countless outdoor adventures, there’s many reasons Cape Cod has been a beloved summer destination for generations of New Englanders. As recent transplants to Boston, we had to check it out for ourselves – and were thrilled to find that we wouldn’t have to leave our 6-month-old German Shepherd puppy behind at home!
From long walks on the beach to doggone delicious restaurants, read on for my top recommendations for things to do in Cape Cod with your dog.
Go camping at Nickerson State Park.
Cape Cod is known for its long stretches of beaches along the seashore, but its hidden beauty lies inland. The vestige of glaciers thousands of years ago, the landscape is dotted with kettle ponds, and Nickerson State Park in Brewster boasts eight of them. Clear and mostly shallow, these pleasantly warm waters tucked into the woods offer respite from the ocean waves and crowded beaches. Many of Nickerson’s campsites offer sweeping views of these ponds, and a network of hiking trails connects them. The park is family and dog-friendly, but also private and peaceful. Its central location places you conveniently close to the Cape Cod Rail Trail and National Seashore, but there’s so much to explore within the park itself, you may never want to leave.
Go for a bike ride on Cape Cod Rail Trail.
Coast along the relatively flat and paved Cape Cod Rail Trail, a 25 mile bikeway that runs from South Yarmouth all the way to Wellfleet. Take your time to enjoy the charming towns and beautiful natural scenery along the way. If you choose to camp at Nickerson State Park, the trail conveniently converges right off of the main entrance, where you can also find bike rentals.
Soak up the sun at Cape Cod National Seashore.
Dogs are allowed on leash on National Seashore beaches, even during the summer, with some restrictions. Visit at the right time of year, and you can even spot a whale without ever leaving land!
Grab a lobstah roll at The Knack.
No visit to Cape Cod would be complete without a lobster roll. The Knack in Orleans is the perfect post-beach stop. With a walk-up counter and patio seating, it was super dog-friendly – the employees took turns coming out to say hi to our pup and give him treats and water.
Break up the drive home with a pit stop.
We hit the inevitable traffic driving home, so before crossing the Sagamore Bridge, we made a detour to the little town of Sandwich. The Shipwreck welcomes leashed pets in the large yard with plenty of picnic tables, Adirondack chairs, and lawn games. Hungry for a little more? Nearby Off the Grid serves up mouth-watering BBQ out of a funky, painted school bus.
Have you discovered other things to do with dogs in Cape Cod? Share them in the reply below! Been looking for ideas? Click to pin the post for later!