Despite our relatively small homes and a scarcity of private outdoor spaces, New York City is home to an astonishing number of canine companions.From tiny terriers holding court in palatial penthouses to massive Mastiffs occupying small studios, New Yorkers just love their pooches. So much so, that even vacations and day trips aren't complete without Spot in tow. If you're hankering for a hound-friendly getaway this weekend, here are five ideas that will wag your tail.
1. Take Your Hound on a Hike
Discover Outdoors aims to improve quality of life for city dwellers through an extensive list of outdoor adventures, from area day trips to impressive overseas treks. Luckily for your furry friend, some of their best local hikes welcome canines. Their Hike & Hound trip takes you and Fido up to massive Harriman State Park, while their Dog, Beach & Vine excursion includes the sandy seaside and wineries of Long Island. If you lack of dog of your own, or would just like to help a shelter dog in need, the fabulous Hike with Adoptable Hounds program pairs hikers with available dogs from Animal Haven shelter.
2. Play Fetch on Fire Island
If you're yearning for a Fire Island fiesta this summer, don't leave the dog at home. Your canine companion is welcome on bayside beaches, including Fire Island Lighthouse, Sailors Haven, Talisman/Barrett Beach and Watch Hill. Leashed pups are also allowed on most area ferries and water taxies and on park boardwalks, so pack your beach bag and head out for a day of fun in the sun.
3. Have a Little Vino with Fido
If you like dogs and you like wine, you're in luck! A surprising number of area wineries are dog-friendly, allowing leashed, well-behaved pups on the grounds, outdoor seating areas and even in some tasting rooms. Martha Clara Vineyards and Palmer Vineyards on Long Island's North Fork, Working Dog Winery in Robbinsville, New Jersey, and Robibero Family Vineyards in New Paltz all allow you to sip and pet.
4. Amble with Amtrak
Amtrak made train-loving pet owners very happy when they announced they'd be expanding their pets-allowed service to several new routes, including the popular Northeast Regional, which stretches from Boston to Virginia Beach. For the bargain price of $25, pets under 20 lbs. in carriers can accompany their people on trips under seven hours in length. So, pack up your pooch and plan a stroll along Boston's historic Freedom Trail or Washington D.C.'s National Mall this weekend.
5. Find a Park Bark
If a staycation is more your speed, two of the city's most-visited parks offer a regular calendar of community events to entertain and educate area pups and their people. FIDO in Prospect Park, which bills itself as the city's largest off-leash community, offers a monthly Coffee Bark, typically on the first Saturday of the month from 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. near the Picnic House/Long Meadow. Keep your eye on their events page for more information. In Manhattan, Central Park PAWS, a program of the park's Conservancy, offers regular events including a monthly Bagel Bark gathering and frequent scenic and informative dog hikes. Check out their website or Facebook page for upcoming events.