Our favorite two words at The Digs are Dogs Allowed! With that as our mission, we took off with co-pilot Peyton, a local Bernese Mountain Dog, to check out some of the dog-friendly hot spots in Dennis.
First stop, Fresh Pond Dog Park. This little gem of a dog park right off Route 134 (between Upper County and Rt. 28) was a perfect start. Peyt made some new pals in one of the two fenced-in, sandy enclosures (one yard is big and one is small, presumably for big and small dogs, but there was a nice mix in each). The best part of this park is the fresh water pond adjacent to it, perfect for a cool dip after playing. In typical Berner fashion, Peyton preferred to keep his paws firmly planted on dry land, but his pals had a ball frolicking in the water! There's also a trail that follows the edge of the pond, but we didn't take it because our next stop was another nearby walking trail. Note that parking can be tight at the Dog Park with only 10 or so spots, but it also means the park won't get too, too rowdy!
On to stop two! We were in search of the Indian Lands walking path which we'd heard so much about. After getting a little lost, we stopped at Town Hall and were told that the path was currently closed (boo!) because of construction to expand the bike trail (okay, woo hoo!). That means that pretty soon, local dogs will have even MORE options for trail walking!
Feeling only mildly defeated, we decided to break for ice cream. But on the way, we made a quick detour to The Inn at Swan River on Rt. 28. We'd heard they are dog-friendly, but wanted to see just HOW dog friendly. Well, let us tell you, they clearly LOVE canine guests! They accept dogs year round, any size, any number (according to the front desk person we spoke to)! It's a flat fee of $35 per night, even if you have multiple dogs. Nice, clean rooms; a grassy area for the pups to do their biz; and a welcoming staff. Thumbs up!
5 minutes later we were in downtown Dennis Port being greeted by Dan at Auntie's Ice Cream. The Pup Cup (for just $2.50) is enough to make any human ooze with jealousy -- a layer of vanilla fro yo, followed by a layer of peanut butter filling, followed by more fro you, and topped with yes, even more peanut butter and a dog treat! It came with a mini spoon which must be adorable when feeding this treat to a little Yorkie. But since Peyton kept trying to eat the spoon (and the cup), we eventually nixed the formality of flatware. The experience rocketed to 5 Paw status when Dan himself came outside to make sure Peyton was enjoying it and took over the task of feeding him! Awwww, can it GET any better??
Feeling euphoric as we headed out of Auntie's, we noticed a customer and his dog sitting at one of the tables outside of The Red Nun next door. Customer (beer in hand) and pup (lounging at feet) looked REALLY relaxed, so we felt compelled to join in the name of research. Yours truly enjoyed a glass of wine, while Peyton captured the attention of only EVERY person who happened to walk by!
All of this indulging had us ready for a nap, but we had ice cream and wine to walk off. Crowe's Pasture Conservation Area, just off Rt. 6A on the Dennis/Brewster line, provided a beautiful backdrop of marsh and meadows as we made our way down the dirt trail (which was car free because the beach was closed to ORVs). We did not make it as far as the beach (about 1 mile down) because of our previous indulging and the heat, but we did spot two beautiful deer and will definitely return!
Other places worth checking out:
Sesuit Harbor Cafe - Overlooking picturesque Sesuit Harbor, it's a casual outdoor seafood shack where dogs are welcome. Take note, in addition to BYOD, it's also BYOB!
Chapin Beach Conservation Area - According to the Town website, dog owners may follow the 4 wheel drive tracks to the left of the public beach and walk the conservation area of the beach and sand flats year round....but you must have a beach sticker during summer months.
Krista K's Ice Cream - We're told they have their own version of a pup cup!
Cape Cod Rail Trail - The popular bike and walking trail stretches from Dennis to Wellfleet. It's great for walking dogs, EXCEPT if your dog is inclined to chase or lunge at things on wheels. With so many cyclists and runners on the trail during the summer season, we prefer the relative solitude of the offseason.
Got a favorite "dogs allowed" spot in Dennis that we missed? Let us know!