The south shore of Massachusetts often gets overlooked as Boston or Cape Cod take center stage, but this area was made for dogs. For a doggy day trip with that furry little fella, this is the place. With stunning outdoor venues perfect for a good sniff to cold and creamy snacks and fur-friendly overnight options, Boston’s south shore offers a little bit of everything canine.
Where To Play
457 Lincoln Street
Hingham, MA 02043
When you pull into the parking lot, there’s a wall with an old rusty gate. On the other side sits dog heaven – dogs roaming free (off-leash) through woods, grass fields, rolling hills, along a several-acre walking loop, and on the beach. Also, Stodder’s is surrounded on three sides by water, so there’s plenty of room for doggy-paddling.
Massasoit State Park
East Taunton, MA 02718
Be careful not to get lost in spending a whole day at Massasoit State Park in Taunton. Its walking trails and paved path draw out hikers without mercy, keeping them, and their furry friends, exploring all day. Take the long way around the park through the deep woods: It’s great for a challenge with the winding path and hilly terrain, and just when you think you’re lost, the path opens to a large clearing with views of Lake Rico. Be sure to keep your dog leashed here and haul out any messes your little buddy drops off.
Related: Doggy Day Trip: Provincetown
Pond Meadow Park
470 Liberty St.
Braintree, MA 02184
Pond Meadow Park, a popular hidden gem nestled in Braintree and Weymouth, offers both walking trails and a paved path. The paved path circles two miles around the pond and the walking trails intermingle and wind their ways around the pond. Take along a picnic and enjoy the scenery in a large clearing halfway around the pond. Keep dogs leashed here and avoid feeding the ducks and swans.
Plymouth Long Beach
Plymouth, MA 02360
Price: $10 parking weekdays/$15 weekends
Plymouth’s popular Long Beach, otherwise known as The Point, welcomes dogs in their own fur-friendly area. Because the beach is home to an endangered species, dogs must be kept away from the shorebirds, so keep them leashed as you frolic through the sand and wade in the ocean. Most importantly, this historic area’s protected wildlife does periodically limit access to certain beach zones. Check for closings before heading out.
Where To Eat
25 Town Wharf
Plymouth, MA 02360
Stop in at this casual dining establishment for some grub. Grab take-out or bring your leashed and well-behaved dog out on the deck that overlooks the bay.
Clark’s Point Creamery
26 Brock Ave.
New Bedford, MA 02744
It’s a little bit of a hike to the South, but, if after a day of exercise and soaking in the sun, you want to enjoy a cool treat, hit up Clark’s Point Creamery in New Bedford. Leashed and well-behaved dogs are welcome in this fenced-in dining area. Kick back with an ice cream while the old pooch enjoys tasty treats at this super dog-friendly restaurant. If it’s not quite dessert time, munch on seafood, the highly reviewed clam cakes, sandwiches, hotdogs and hamburgers. Clark’s also offers a play area to keep the little ones entertained.
Where To Sleep
235 Wood Rd.
Braintree, MA 02184
Click here for rates
If you’re too tired to drive home after a long day gallivanting with your furry companion, or just need a night away from home, lay your head down and let your pooch rest his weary paws at Candlewood Suites in Braintree. The hotel offers extended-stay suites so you and your furry friend can feel at home while you rest and regain your energy. Shop at the Candlewood Cupboard to make dinner in your room, and pamper your pooch with a homemade meal and a little one-on-one time.
In Case of Emergency
VCA South Shore Animal Hospital
595 Columbian St.
South Weymouth, MA 02190
Just in case, it’s always good to know where to run when your furry fella starts feeling low. VCA Animal Hospital’s nearby location, stellar staff and the fact that it welcomes you and your pet no matter the emergency makes it ideal for traveling fur babies. True to mission, this hospital uses a team of veterinarians and board-certified specialists who stand ready and waiting 24/7. This isn’t the typical, tiny local veterinarian, but a fully staffed hospital capable of handling everything from exotics to oncology.
Nicole Adams resides on the South Shore of Massachusetts. She is a freelance writer specializing in animal welfare. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.