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You’re an outdoor person and your dog is an outdoor dog. The daily office routine and walks around the same neighborhoods sniffing the same old spots are getting a little dry. You’re yearning for hiking trails through vast forests, sandy beaches untouched by annoying tourist crowds, and that open-air feeling that helps you recharge and get back on track. Maybe a pet-friendly Maine vacation is what you’re looking for.

Maine has almost a frontier feel, obviously not in the classic western sense, but in the sense that a great deal of it is unexplored and there’s little chance that you’ll feel cramped even in cities like Portland or Augusta. It’s an opportunity for all members of your family (furry ones especially) to get out there and explore. With that theme in mind, here’s our guide to putting together the ultimate pet-friendly Maine vacation.

Let’s start with the basics. What are Maine’s main attractions and what makes them worth the trip?

By HappyMeStuff

1. Bar Harbor and Acadia National Park

What to Do

Perhaps nowhere in Maine captures that frontier feel better than Bar Harbor. The small town is like something on a postcard, the shore and sandy beaches will have you running out of photo storage on your phone, and the hiking trails and views in the nearby Acadia National Park are nothing short of magical. We imagine the four-legged family members will be especially pleased with the trails and the sensory overload that comes with a walk in the forest.

We also recommend you and the family leash-up the pup and cross the sandbar bridge out to Bar Island at low tide. Look for Brady Beach. It’s a great spot to take a rest and let your dog play with some other four-legged island explorers.

Where to Eat

But it’s not all hiking in the woods. After a day of exploring you can head to the town and grab a patio table at Stewman’s Lobster Pound Downtown. The staff will happily bring your pup a burger while you chow down on some of that famous Maine lobster.

Where to Stay

The West St. Hotel is our winner. A pool with a view over Frenchman’s Bay and jars of dog treats make a winning combination. It’s right across the street from Stewman’s.

2. Portland

What to Do

The Casco Bay Mailboat is an excellent way to tour the coast and explore the islands off of Portland. Of course, dogs are more than welcome. Maybe it will be your buddy’s first time on a boat. Either way, it’s a great way for the family to explore and get some of that fresh sea breeze.

Quarry Run Dog Park gets excellent marks for social dog tourists. With seven acres of off-leash play area, you’re bound to meet some new friends. Oh, and the park itself is quite pretty.

Walking through the quaint downtown area is also a great activity. It’s lively, there are plenty of pet-friendly stores and everything is within walking distance.

Where to Eat

We have to recommend another lobster place. It is Maine after all. Our top pick is the Portland Lobster Company. The outdoor seating is the way to go and you’re pooch is likely to meet some new dog friends there.

Where to Stay

The Inn at St. John is our favorite pet-friendly hotel in Portland. Just minutes from downtown, the inn makes walking adventures easy while giving you a homely place to crash at the end of the day with its bed and breakfast feel and excellent service. You’ll pay a small additional fee of $10 per pet and you’ll have all the standard perks like free WiFi and a continental breakfast. The staff will provide airport transportation if you arrive by plane.

By skift

3. Bethel

What to Do

Bethel is a tiny town deep in the Maine woods that is perfect for the family looking to get far away from the city. Being so deep in the woods, Bethel is perfect for humans and dogs who like to stretch their legs on long, beautiful hikes. We recommend hitting some of the local rivers and lakes for some fishing as well. Don’t worry about restrictions on the pups. Just make sure their recall is good. In the event that you see a moose or a bear, you’ll want them to stay close.

Where to Eat

Cafe di Cocoa serves bagel sandwiches and has four pet-friendly tables out front. That’s a winning combination for us. The pastries are also worth getting excited about.

Where to Stay

The Bethel Inn is a gorgeous pet-friendly resort set on a golf course and surrounded by forest. “Picturesque” would be the word, especially in the fall when the leaves are changing color. You can have two dogs in your room for an additional fee of $35 per night, per dog.

By Foursquare

4. Kennebunkport

What to Do

For our money, Kennebunkport has the best beaches in the state. Located in southern Maine, the town is just a two-hour drive from Boston and naturally, as all great beach areas should, it welcomes pets. Hit Mother’s Beach with the pup and let the day work itself out from there.

Where to Eat

Salt and Honey is our favorite restaurant in town and pups are more than welcome to hang out in the outdoor seating. The chef serves up everything from snapper to roast duck.

Where to Stay

The Colony Hotel looks out over the water and the staff goes out of its way make sure four-legged guests feel at home. They charge an additional fee of $30 per night, per pet. One of the best features is that if you want to go out to eat at night and your pet likes to knock out early, you can leave him or her in the room as long as you leave a contact number at the front desk.

Our only extra tip is that you call ahead to your hotel or vacation rental to make sure you’re on the same page regarding pet policies. The last thing you want is to arrive and have to make last-minute adjustments.

By travelchannel
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