Pet-Friendly Portland Maine Travel Guide | Bucket List Dog-Friendly Travel

Fun Things to Do and See in Portland, Maine with Your Dog

Dog-friendly cities
Portland, Maine Attractions

Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post. However, I will always offer my readers an unbiased and honest account of my experiences. Your trust is very appreciated, and never taken for granted. ~Tonya, Dexter and Angel Nutter

Dexter and I had our bucket-list vacation in Maine! For as long as I can remember, I’ve been wanting to travel to Maine with Dexter. I’ve always heard that Maine is super dog-friendly and would be an extraordinary destination to take my Dexter. So, I grabbed Dexter and his BFF Levi, and Levi’s mom, and we headed to Portland, Maine!

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Travel ideas with a dog

Dog-friendly Maine activities
Maine Bucket List

After a mid-point stay along the route, we arrived at our pet-friendly resort in Cape Elizabeth, Maine. But, this dog-friendly inn wasn’t your average accommodation that allows dogs, it was much more. The Inn by the Sea not only allows dogs, but they truly welcome them with open paws. From the moment we pulled up until the moment we had to say goodbye, Dexter and Levi were treated like royalty.

Dog-forward accommodations
The Inn by the Sea

The Inn by the Sea has welcomed woman’s best friend for over 20 years with complimentary accommodations(no pet fees), water bowls, beach towels, cozy blankets, and signature treats at turndown. You read that right, no pet fees! Pet massages, gourmet pet menus, dog walking, and dog-sitting services are also available. We also received a comprehensive list of nearby walking trails, pet-friendly beaches, and off-leash dog parks. Stay tuned for my upcoming blog & video dedicated to all the great amenities we experienced at the Inn by the Sea. (7/31/19).

Pet friendly New England inns
Amazing space

We all were pretty exhausted from our drive from Ohio to Maine. The Inn by the Sea was a beautiful luxury Maine coastal resort beach hotel to unwind before dinner. Chris and I enjoyed our view of Crescent Beach from the comfort of our patio while the dogs took a much-needed siesta.

Pet friendly inn in New England
Luxury dog-friendly resort

For dinner, we experienced Sea Glass Restaurant at Inn by the Sea. The dogs were welcomed in the lounge with free ocean views! The Sea Glass Restaurant’s menu was quite extensive. A few of their selections include New England clam chowder, beetroot salad, fried oysters, lobster tacos, pressed chicken, prime strip steak, duck breast, and so many other delightful dishes.

Dog-friendly restaurants in Maine
Feed me!

When I travel, I really do try to order menu items that are local and different from my everyday choices. I was in Maine, so I had to order Chef Chadwick’s signature Lobster Tacos and the Seal Cove Farm Cheese. Let me just tell you, the lobster tacos were just amazing. At about 2” long, they were the cutest things I have ever seen, but the taste was out of this world. These bite-sized delectables were made with fresh local lobster, radish, sweet chili, and avocado mousse. I honestly would have loved an entire meal of just these. The cheese plate consisted of local cheese, crispy prosciutto, quinoa, caramelized grapes, vanilla pickled fennel, and cheddar cheese biscuit. And these were just our appetizers.

Restaurants that allow dogs
I could eat these all day!

For the main course, I ordered the blended Sea Glass burger. This mouthwatering burger was created with 60% local beef and 40% mushroom topped with lettuce, tomato, onion, and choron aioli on a fresh European roll. Chris ordered the Farmer Salad which was full of baby lettuce, shaved vegetables, and brioche crumbs, and topped with a house vinaigrette.

5 star restaurants that allow dogs
Sea Glass Burger
Luxury dog-friendly resorts
Farmer Salad

You didn’t think we left the dogs out of this amazing experience, did you? They enjoyed the Meat “ROAF.” Their freshly cooked meal was made with natural ground beef, raw vegetables, steamed rice, and a biscuit. They devoured it! We all enjoyed dessert. The boys ordered the K-9 ice cream, and we had an amazing dessert of the night. Everything from the food to service and ambiance was just fantastic.

Dog cafes in Maine
Our dessert

After dinner, we strolled around the immaculately kept grounds. There was a ton of green space and many walking trails that the boys enjoyed. Families were frolicking on the grounds having a great time. The inn was truly a welcoming experience for all.

Pet resorts in Cape Elizabeth
Amazing sunset

Chris and I had our own bedrooms to enjoy. Our large beds were very welcoming after our first big day in Maine. I think we all crashed pretty hard. By the morning, we were refreshed and ready for our big adventure in Portland, Maine.

Five star pet friendly hotels
Chris & Levi’s room

We awoke to a great sunrise and lots of birds chirping. Now, this is an alarm I could get used to. We ordered breakfast from the Sea Glass Restaurant to take back to our room. After all, we had a full table with an amazing view of the cove right from our own cove suite.

Restaurants with a view
Breakfast views

The breakfast menu was full of great items. I ordered the stuffed French toast. Brioche dipped in cheesecake batter, grilled and topped with streusel and Maine maple syrup. Chris chose the three-egg omelet with mushrooms, bell peppers, and spinach. Yes, Chris chooses much healthier food options than I do. 😉 Everything was made to perfection and a great way to start our morning.

Best restaurants in Maine
Stuffed French toast
Where to eat with a dog in Maine
3-egg omelet

We packed the pups and drove to Portland, Maine, which was an easy 15-minute drive. Parking was a breeze with ample parking lots and even on-street parking options. Rates were more than reasonable, which was a huge plus, especially in a city that offers attractions for both locals and tourists.

Portland, Maine offers a variety of dog-friendly attractions, dog-friendly restaurants, and pet-friendly stores. We knew we came to the right place. Our first dog-friendly attraction was the Portland Discovery Land & Sea Tours. Dexter, Levi, Chris, and I were going to board their dog-friendly trolley.

Dog friendly trolley rides
Dog-friendly Portland Discovery Land & Sea Tours

Our trolley tour guide was not only accepting of the dogs onboard, he made each of us feel right at home with fun banter. Dexter and Levi were not the only dogs along for the ride; there were two other doggie guests. The 105-minute, fully narrated tour took us up and down the diverse streets of Portland. We were able to see and learn about Portland’s history and even found a few hidden gems along the way.

Pet friendly attractions Maine
Portland, Maine sightseeing tour
pet friendly tours
Levi enjoying the trolley tour

The Discovery trolley took us up the city streets to the rocky coast, and we even had a 30-minute stop at Portland Head Light, Maine’s oldest lighthouse. Portland Head Light is along the shores of Fort Williams Park in Cape Elizabeth. The park offers picnic facilities, hiking spots, and historic structures throughout the premises. We had a great time hopping off the trolley and exploring the lighthouse, and the boys appreciated a good sniff.

most photographed lighthouses
Cape Elizabeth Lighthouse
Pet friendly trolley tours
Portland Head Light
Cape Elizabeth Maine dog friendly
Cape Elizabeth, Maine

After our fun-and-informative trolley ride, we grabbed some lunch at Portland Lobster Company. Portland Lobster Company was the ideal location, right on the dock. Don’t let the laid-back atmosphere fool you. They have won numerous awards for both their food and their atmosphere. The dogs were welcomed on the outside dock overlooking Casco Bay.

outside patios in Portland Maine
Portland Lobster Company

The menu offered up some of the best Maine seafood options and ingredients that are all locally sourced and organic whenever possible. Chris ordered fried popcorn shrimp, and I really went outside of my norm and ordered a crab roll. The popcorn shrimp were light and crispy with a nice sweet taste. My crab roll had the perfect ratio of fresh crab meat to mayo. It was fresh and wrapped nice and tight. Unfortunately, as much as I want to like crab, it’s still not a taste for me. But it made a great snack for Chris, and the pups enjoyed a bite or two, too.

Dog friendly restaurants in Portland
Popcorn shrimp
Best outdoor cafes in Portland
Crab roll with views 🙂

After lunch, we strolled around Portland and went into the stores that were dog-friendly. When I travel, I am in the habit of asking a store if Dexter can come in to shop, and I receive more yes answers than nos. Portland stores were very dog-friendly and allowed the dogs to accompany us. Even Greater Portland Convention & Visitors Bureau was dog-friendly. They offered the dogs treats and fresh water.

Best Sights in Portland, Maine
Portland, Maine
Portland, Maine views
Outside visitor center
Coastal Maine things to do
Coastal Maine

After a full day in Portland, Maine, we headed back to Cape Elizabeth. I thought it would be a fun experience to eat at a classic lobster shack, so we headed to The Lobster Shack at Two Lights. The Lobster Shack had the most amazing views of the ocean and has been a local landmark since the 1920s.

Maine Lobster Shack
The Lobster Shack at Two Lights

There were a ton of outside picnic tables to choose from. Chris and I went a bit more traditional for us and we ordered dogs and burgers. As we ate our food, we could hear the crashing surf. It was a once-in-a-lifetime experience. After dinner, we walked the dogs up and down the rocky shores. They had a great time smelling the ocean breeze. It was an ideal way to end our day.

Lobster restaurants on the coast
What a view
Best lobster shacks
Dexter loved it!

After another great night’s sleep at the Inn by the Sea, we ordered another stellar breakfast from Sea Glass. This time I took Chris’s lead and also ordered an omelet with mushrooms, cheese, and spinach. Chris went for another omelet since she enjoyed the first one so much.

Inn by the Sea
Healthy choices

Our adventure was going to take us back to Portland. This time we were going to head out on the Mailboat Run. Dexter and Levi aren’t new to boat rides, but this wasn’t your average dog-friendly boat ride, it was going to be onboard a true working boat that carries both passengers and mail to the various islands in Casco Bay.

dog friendly boat tours in maine
Mailboat Run
Pet friendly boat rides in Maine
Dexter & Mommy time

Casco Bay Line’s Mailboat Run lasts between 2.5-3.5 hours and runs daily. The length truly depends on how many passengers and mail they have for the day. It was quite a fun experience and a great way to tour the Casco Bay area. The boat went to Little Diamond, Great Diamond, Long, Cliff, and Chebeague Islands. About halfway through the day, passengers were able to get out on one of the islands to visit a local gift shop and to allow the dogs onboard an opportunity to go potty.

Pet friendly boat rides
Levi enjoying the breeze
Boat rides for dogs
Great views of Portland

It was quiet interesting to watch the deck hands load and unload the freight. We also had the opportunity to view seabirds and an eagle’s nest along the way. I can see why this is a local favorite. After departing the mailboat, our next journey was going to take us inland to Bethel, Maine. Stay tuned for my upcoming blog and vlog (7/17/19)!

When planning your pet-friendly Maine excursion, visit Visit Maine’s website to plan the perfect trip.

Do you travel with your dog? Tell me in the comments.

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Pet-Friendly Portland Maine Travel Guide | Bucket List Dog-Friendly Travel

32 thoughts on “Pet-Friendly Portland Maine Travel Guide | Bucket List Dog-Friendly Travel

  1. It’s wonderful to know that there are places that a pet-friendly. It looks so beautiful there, and the food looks delicious also.

  2. Awesome pictures! Dexter and Levi seem to be having a great time. I was looking for a dog friendly vacation place as I feel bad to leave my furry friend behind. Portland, Main seems like a terrific place.

  3. oh that is so awesome!!! I would love to do this one day. And these two cute faces look so happy lol…Amazing.

  4. OMG what an awesome post! I am always looking for new places to take my dog on vacation! You should check out Cayucos in California – we usually do our doggie vacays there as they have several dog friendly vacations adjacent to a dog beach! No reason to leave your BFF at home!

  5. I love how the dogs are treated like a royal family. Lol, super interesting review and glad to learn about how there are so many great places for dog-friendly Inn in another part of the world. The food too looks super delicious.

  6. Wow, sounds like a fun and exciting time at Maine with dogs! I’m glad more and more restaurants or places are getting dog-friendly. I haven’t been to Maine yet, but I’d love to someday!

  7. Ahhh, what a fun adventure for your dogs! Taking dogs on vacation can be difficult. But when the whole vacation is for them…even better! How cool!

  8. It is indeed a lovely place to explore, Such great captures I must say that and your description is lovely and the food looks really good.

  9. Maine is so beautiful and I’m so happy you got to experience with Levi and Dexter! The food looks terrific…what a fun day! I wish more establishments would allow owners to bring their pets…it makes the atmosphere more friendly!

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