Here’s a dilemma for a devoted dog owner: What do you do with Fido when you need some time away? Typically, when we’re talking dog-friendly hotels, we’re talking about hotels humans don’t want to visit. The good news for pet owners is that Nantucket is full of them: All around the beautiful, historic town and on the island’s gorgeous beaches, you’ll find happy dogs romping with their owners. To fill the days, there are waves to chase, nature to explore, and plenty of eateries and hotels where your dog will be welcome. We’ve checked out dog-friendly Nantucket (with our own dog in tow) and here’s what we found.
Located near the center of town on the boat basin docks, The Cottages & Lofts at the Boat Basin offer delightfully clean and airy shingled townhouses with full kitchens and hardwood floors. While simply decorated, the one-, two- and three-bedroom cottages are bright, fresh, and comfortable and come equipped with Keurig coffeemakers, DVD players (with access to a lending library), and complimentary WiFi. Happily, there’s also a Stop & Shop as well as a wine store located just steps off the dock for quick provisioning. The hotel provides free transportation to island beaches via private beach bus, and also provides boogie boards, coolers, towels, beach chairs, fishing rods, etc., all free of charge. For pet owners, the freestanding Cottages at the Boat Basin offer quick access to the outdoors—plus, because the townhouses are sited on an active boat basin, most normal dog hubbub will be disguised.
Explore: While dogs are welcome at most of Nantucket’s lifeguard beaches before 9 am and after 5 pm, there are some Nantucket beaches that welcome your dogs all day long. Near town, there is Jetties Beach, perfect for visits with Fido provided that you clean up after him and keep the leash handy. Located at one of the farthest tips of this boomerang-shaped island, the Coskata-Coatue Wildlife Refuge connects the island with its barrier beach, Coatue. There, you and your pooch can explore miles of scenic trails that feature gorgeous ocean beaches and a staggering amount of wildlife and seabirds. While Nantucket is one of New England’s most popular (and populous) vacation spots, the Coskata-Coatue Wildlife Refuge is one of its wildest and most remote corners.
Dine: Though restaurants are prohibited from allowing pets onto their premises, happily for Cisco Brewers (www.ciscobrewers.com) dog-owning fan base, the proprietors have figured out a dodge. This popular destination has an outdoor beer garden where dogs are perfectly welcome. Look for visits from food trucks as well as craft beer, live music, events, and tours; plus, for kids, there’s an outdoor play area. While at Cisco, you can also hit Nantucket’s attached Triple Eight Distillery for tours (and drink samples in the beer garden). For a full meal, the cultish Sayle’s Seafood does a roaring trade in takeout lobster dinners—all you need to do is look at the menu on Sayle’s website (www.saylesseafood.com) and phone in your order. In a few minutes, drop by the store (it’s a reasonable walk from The Cottages) and pick up your tightly wrapped foil pan containing lobster, clam chowder, corn on the cob, steamed red potatoes, coleslaw, and drawn butter. Beyond lobster, Sayle’s also slings all manner of fried fish and clams, plus steamers, mussels, and even sandwiches. You can either take your dinner home (or to the beach) or enjoy it with your dog on Sayle’s cozy front porch. Be warned: Sayle’s is BYOB.
Insider’s Tip: While many flights onto Nantucket do accept canine passengers, the ferries are a less stressful way for dogs to travel. Once aboard, you and your leashed dog will be free to walk around the boat to greet fellow passengers and, inevitably, their respective dogs.
The Cottages & Lofts
Boat Basin, Nantucket, MA (866) 838-9253; www.thecottagesnantucket.com
Distance from White Plains: 4 hours to Hyannis plus a 1-hour (fast) or 2-hour (basic) ferry Details: Fall rates range from
$175 to $695 for one- to two- bedroom cottages; check website for specials.