The East Coast’spremiere canine resort town
A haven for tourists from all walks of life, Provincetown extends its friendly hospitality to not only those who use two legs to get around, but to those on all fours as well. Since the Pilgrims first dropped anchor in Provincetown Harbor on November 16, 1620, dogs have played an important part in the town’s history. Its first canine residents—an English Mastiff and an English Springer Spaniel that traveled to Provincetown in 1620 aboard the Mayflower—arrived in the New World to provide protection and hunting assistance to the Pilgrims. Since then, this seaside community has become the ultimate canine resort on the East Coast.
Pilgrim Bark Park
Opened in 2008, the Pilgrim Bark Park is a non-profit, off-leash dog park and animal welfare resource for Provincetown’s four-legged friends. The Pilgrim Bark Park allows dogs to run free and socialize with other pets in about an acre of land, with a special section exclusively for small dogs under 25 pounds. To reflect the town’s rich appreciation for the arts, local artists designed and painted benches (including a small- scale version of the Pilgrims’ Mayflower ship), poop bag stations, kiosks, signage and a super-sized doghouse at the park’s entrance. There are also three fire hydrants just outside the park, painted to look like canine versions of Provincetown’s police officers, firefighters and public workers.
There are more than 30 hotels, inns, bed & breakfasts, private cottages and campsites in Provincetown that welcome guests and their pets. Many even designate a special Pet Ambassador to greet those guests traveling with pets. From fenced-in yards and shaded front porches at seaside cottages to outdoor hoses and towels for beach-bound dogs, Provincetown makes visitors and their pet guests feel welcome. For a complete listing of pet-friendly lodging options, visit www.provincetowntourismoffice.org.
Several of Provincetown’s most recognizable restaurants offer outdoor patio and beachside seating for diners and their dogs. For a complete listing of pet-friendly dining options, visit www.provincetowndogpark.org.
As Provincetown’s shopping Mecca, downtown Commercial Street caters to the canine crowd with complimentary water bowls, fountains and dog biscuits set out on the street by local business owners. Several pet supply stores offer pet enthusiasts everything from day-to-day supplies to pet souvenirs, the latest in canine fashions and pet objets d’art. Canines can also have their likeness memorialized in art by a pet portraitist.
Dogs love the freedom they have on Provincetown’s three miles of year-round, off-leash beaches and trails. Pets are also welcome to roam the Province Lands Bike Trail Loop, a five and ¼- mile trek that begins on Race Point Road and winds through the town’s dunes and forest. In addition, more adventurous pets are welcome to join their owners for whale watch tours, sunset cruises, kayaking, parasailing, a sightseeing trolley, sailing charters and walking tours. For a complete listing of pet-friendly activities, visit www.provincetowndogpark.org.
Every fall, the Carrie A. Seamen Animal Shelter (CASAS) hosts Pet Appreciation Week, where visitors can participate in canines games and contests, a pet parade down Commercial Street, a dog T-dance at the Boatslip and a blessing of the animals at St. Mary’s of the Harbor Episcopal Church. For more information, visit www.casasanimalshelter.org.
Bay State Cruises (www.provincetownfastferry.com) allows leashed dogs on their Fast Ferry service to Provincetown at no additional charge to passengers. Cape Air is also pet-friendly, allowing accompanied animals on flights for a $10 fee. (www.capeair.com)
Article provided by Lisa MacGillivray