Top 10 Things to Do With Your Dog on Outer Cape Cod

Throughout the dog days of summer, whether it’s blue skies or raining cats and dogs, there is plenty to do with your pooch on pet-friendly Cape Cod. The miles of soft white sands lining the cool Atlantic waters are perfect for long walks, off-roading and plenty of tail-wagging excitement from Orleans all the way to the tip of Provincetown (named Dog Town USA by Dog Fancy Magazine). If you are visiting Outer Cape Cod, here are the top 10 things for you and your pup to do:

A dog on the beach at sunset. Dogs are allowed on many Cape Cod beaches either on lease or voice controlled.

#1: Sun, Sand & Surf

There are seven beaches in the Cape Cod National Seashore boasting endless stretches of white sands, and all are among the most dog-friendly beaches on Cape Cod. Dogs on a 6’ leash are allowed year-round, except in lifeguard protected swimming areas and posted shorebird nesting areas. There are plenty of beaches outside of the National Seashore, too! The world-famous Nauset Beach and Skaket Beach allow pets during the off-season from Labor to Memorial Day. Harbor Beach in Provincetown also allows leashed pets year-round and your pooch can run completely free chasing the waves from 6am to 9am. Cape Cod beaches are generally super pet-friendly, just pay attention to the signs! 

#2: ORV Trails

Roll down the windows and feel the wind on your face as you off road across the sands to desolate beaches nestled between towering dunes and cool ocean waters. From the ORV Trails at Nauset Beach to the secluded Race Point Beach trails at the tip of Cape Cod, most of Outer Cape Cod’s ORV Trails are pet friendly. So grab your beach sticker, check the tides and head out for a day of adventures. Leashes are required; however, your pet may be off leash by the water if under voice command. Watch these waters as they can be rough and sometimes sharky!

#3 Hit the Trails

There is nothing better than an invigorating hike with your furry friend, and Outer Cape Cod has plenty of pet-friendly trails to explore. The Cape Cod Rail Trail is a great place to start. Your leashed pet will enjoy cruising with you along 22 miles of paved trails following the former railroad from Dennis all the way to Wellfleet. The Rail Trail winds through the charming towns of Harwich, Chatham, Brewster, Orleans and Eastham, with many places to hop off and explore the wilderness or stop for a bite at a pet-friendly café. Some other pet-friendly trails can be found at Kent’s Point and Paw Wah Pond Conservation Area in Orleans, the wildflower meadows of Cottontail Acres and Wiley Park in Eastham and the Nauset Trail from the Salt Pond Visitor Center to Coast Guard Beach between November 1 and April 30. Discover the best of Wellfleet and Truro as you explore the historic ponds shaded by towering pitch pines on the Kettle Pond Trail then on to what some say is the best nature walk on Cape Cod; the scenic Long Point Trail in Provincetown. The 4.9-mile trail takes you and your pooch past historic lighthouses and along remote unspoiled stretches of beach with views of both Cape Cod Bay and the Atlantic.

#4: Play in the Park

The “Second Best Dog Park in America” is right here on Outer Cape Cod, in pet-friendly Provincetown.  Throw your pooch the tastiest bone ever and take him for a romp around Pilgrim Bark Park. Divided into two parks for smaller and larger dogs, Pilgrim Bark Park remains in-tune with the artsy and eclectic tone of Provincetown with local artists adding a touch of their creativity. A combination of art, history and function where your dog can truly run free.

Two Dogs Sailing on Cape Cod during their stay with at a Nauset Rental property.

#5: Sail Away with Me

Every dog has its day, and this just might be the most memorable one of all! Set sail on a delightful cruise with your pooch. Dog Gone Sailing Charters, Beth Ann Charters and SeaSalt Charters all offer a variety of trips including whale-watching and dolphin cruises, sunrise and sunset sails and even charter fishing trips.

#6: Pamper your Pooch with a Little Shopping

Leased dogs are welcome on most of Cape Cod’s Main Streets and Provincetown’s Commercial Street is one of the best and pet-friendliest Cape Cod attractions. Minutes from the water’s edge, at the tip of Cape Cod, your furry friend will be welcomed at most shops with water bowls and biscuits. Artists offer pet portraits and Paws & Whiskers serves up delicious freshly baked doggy treats. More pet-friendly shopping can be found at the waterside Aquarium Mall.

#7: Plan a Play Date

There are many adventures on Outer Cape Cod that are not pet-friendly, so plan a playdate for your pooch to give yourself a bit of time to explore while they romp and play at one of Cape Cod's incredible doggie daycares. Rest assured, your pooch will have the playdate of a lifetime.

#8 Celebrate your Pup

Cape Codders sure do love their dogs! With a multitude of dog festivals throughout the summer and fall, make sure to plan your trip around one of these events to celebrate your four-legged friend:

#9 Share a Meal with your Fur-Baby

There are plenty of options for pooch-side dining on Outer Cape Cod, with Provincetown again coming out on top with over 20 dog-friendly dining patios along Commercial Street alone. From the aroma of fresh coffee at dawn to feasting al-fresco on fresh seafood, our charming Outer Cape Cod towns have a special spot waiting for you and your pooch. Here are our favorites but to avoid disappointment, we recommend calling ahead to confirm.

Arnold's Lobster and Clam Bar, Eastham - (508) 255-2575
Bad Martha Brewery, Falmouth - (508) 444-6571
Bubala’s by the Bay, Provincetown - (508) 487-0773
Cafe Chew, Sandwich - (508) 888-7717 
Cape Cod Beer, Hyannis - (508) 790-4200
Central House at the Crown, Provincetown - (508) 487-1430
Cobie's Clam Shack, Brewster - (508) 896-7021
Cooke's Seafood, Orleans - (508) 255-5518
Fortune Cookie Chinese Restaurant, Provincetown - (508) 487-6688
Governor Bradford Restaurant, Provincetown - (508) 487-2781
Hog Island Brewery, Orleans - (508) 255-2337
Joe Coffee & Espresso Bar, Provincetown- (508) 487-6656
Kung Fu DumplingProvincetown - (774) 538-7106
Local 186, Provincetown -  (508) 487-7555
Mac's on the Pier, Wellfleet - (508) 349-9611
Patio American Grill & Cocktail Bar, Provincetown - (508) 487-4003
Pepe’s Wharf Restaurant, Provincetown - (508) 487-8717
PJ’s Family Restaurant, Wellfleet - (508) 349-2126
Provincetown Brewing Co., Provincetown - (508) 413-9076
Savory and the Sweet Escape, Truro - (508) 487-2225
Sesuit Harbor Cafe, Dennis - (508) 385-6134
The Black Dog Height Cafe, Falmouth - (508) 388-7713
The Canteen, Provincetown - (508) 487-3800
The Knack, Orleans - (774) 316-4595
The Nor'East Beer Garden, Provincetown - (508)-487-2337
The Red Inn, Provincetown - (508) 487-7334
The Seafood Shanty, Bourne - (508) 888-0040
Truro Vineyards, Truro, (508) 487-6200
Twisted Pizza, Provincetown - (508) 487-6973
Way Downtown, Provincetown - (508) 487-8800 

#10: Let Sleeping Dogs Lie

A dog sleeps while it's owners are away in one of Nauset Rental's dog-friendly vacation homes
We are putting the vacation back in vacation homes! When you stay in one of our dog-friendly Cape Cod vacation rentals with all the creature comforts of home, stunning water views and wide open spaces, you may simply want to relax and unwind, put some fresh seafood on the grill and do nothing! After all you are on vacation, so put your feet up and simply let sleeping dogs lie!