National Pet Day is this week, which got me thinking about how my dog is an integral part of our family. We got a dog a couple years ago – something I’d always wanted growing up but didn’t necessarily think I would ever have. Last summer while my kids were away at their Maine Camp Experience (MCE) camp, my husband and I had a “crazy” idea … let’s take a vacation … with the dog! And where did we go, you may ask? Maine – of course! Not only is Maine a great place for your kids to come to camp, it’s a wonderful place to visit with your dog and take advantage of all “Vacationland” has to offer!
It’s cool to visit a destination you know well and love, but to experience it in a different way. We happily found that Maine is for the dogs!
There are many great hotels throughout Maine that allow and welcome dogs. These include Inn by the Sea in Cape Elizabeth and Harraseeket Inn in Freeport, just two great examples of wonderful lodgings where dogs of all sizes are well accommodated. They provide comfy dog beds, tasty treats, and other useful accouterments to keep pooches pampered. Inn By the Sea can even help you find your next furry friend – guests have adopted over 100 dogs through the Inn’s foster dog partnership with the Animal Refuge League of Greater Portland!
When it comes to places to roam with Rover, there are a lot of great options. There are many Maine beaches that allow dogs (just read up first about specific days and hours). Our dog had fun exploring the beach and waves, and even randomly nuzzled in the sand next to a nice new human friend in Ocean Park near Old Orchard Beach.
And, when it comes to dog parks – Kennebunk has the nicest we’ve ever seen. There’s a gazebo with water and shade, and fresh tennis balls and plastic ball throwers. There’s an obstacle course, a little baby pool, and a woodsy area with trees, too. With all of these great “activity” options, and nicely designed dog-friendly facilities, it was almost like an MCE camp for pups! We even met some really nice local residents and their dogs, as well as other vacationers passing through.
To really know the best hikes, walks, parks and dog activities, Deb Collins is the expert on “everything to wag about” in Maine. Deb, who serves on the Board of Directors for the Animal Refuge League of Greater Portland, has written many articles and blogs about where to go and what to do, and features great info on her site: www.happymestuff.com.
Here are some of Deb’s suggestions for exploring “Vacationland” with your family dog:
- Dog-Friendly Maine Beaches and their “wagging” hours from Southern Maine to the Midcoast.
- Dog-Friendly Maine Trails – Ruff it up like a Mainiac with your Wag!
- Fall in Love with Dog Friendly Bar Harbor and Acadia
And be sure to check out Deb’s dog-friendly accommodation suggestions, featured in Maine Today’s Summer Travel Guide with tips for traveling with your dog and 4-paw approved hotels, boutique inns to adventure glamping destinations:
And … dogs don’t just play a role in vacation, they are members of your kids’ camp families, too! Keep an eye out for part 2 of our dog blog, Dogs at Maine Camps, coming soon!
Overall, Maine is a pawsome place to hang with your four-legged friend!
Maine Camp Experience Resources & Tools
Looking for the perfect Maine camp for your child? Try out our helpful tool where you can select a camp by choosing: type of camp (girls, boys or coed) and session length (1-8 weeks). It helps to narrow down a few camps to a manageable list that includes rates. Then you can research these camps in more depth.
Next, be sure to contact our Maine Camp Guide, Laurie to discuss these camps as well as for free, year-round advice and assistance on choosing a great Maine summer camp for your child.
Talk to Laurie, our Maine Campcierge™, about choosing the right camp for your child and what to do in Maine.