Two paws up for dog-friendly Nantucket


“Is this a hound dog?”

In response to the little girl’s excited voice, Audi, who had just been correctly identified, turned to his new friend, wagging his tail and waggling his voice, eager for more play.

It was our first full day on Nantucket Island, Massachusetts, and in our first hour at Gettys Beach, dog-friendly like all beaches on this island, Odie had made six friends and received many compliments for his good looks. Before the dog-loving girls (after my heart) came on our fun pup, Odie played fetch with two young boys, while my husband Steve and I chatted with the parents. Before that, he and another dog (a Goldendoll, you guessed it) performed the classic canine introduction of sniffing each other’s backside before descending into playful puppy poses and running tight circles around each other.

Although Odie has traveled with us before – to Buffalo annually for Christmas with my family; to Montauk on Long Island once, years ago, for a night; And to our place in Vermont every few weeks – he didn’t even take into account our holidays. Until this summer, we had never planned a trip focused on dogs. We only brought an Audi when it made sense to do so.

Nantucket popped into my head around March, when bad New York weather inspired trip planning just to have something to look forward to amid the gloom.

Steve and I are not regulars in Nantucket, however we did enjoy a happy few days on the island for our little moon in May 2016. I met a dog on that trip, a wonderful dane dog whose name I forgot, but never his face he could.

In Massachusetts, a coastal city feels like home

“We should come back here one day and get an Audi. He liked it,” I remember telling Steve after noticing how apparently every store and restaurant put out dog water bowls.

Between life and epidemic, it took us six years to finally get back to the dog-friendly destination, with our number one goal showing O’Day having a good time.

I found pet-friendly accommodations at the Regatta Inn, where the dog’s amenities more than compensated for the witty house dog, Stella, a long-haired Dachshund roughly a quarter the size of an Audi, who gave a low growl every time an Audi snorted On the inn the lobby with his cheery tail and sweet demeanor. John Botino, general manager of the Nantucket Resort Group, said the inn has only been dog-friendly since he showed up on board in 2020. Previous owners weren’t interested in dogs, but Bottineau said he changed policy, because he wanted to “create space for the next generation of travelers.” Nantucket, and these travelers want to travel with their dogs.”

I’m obviously biased toward hounds, with their cute faces and mild-mannered coats, but I wasn’t at all surprised by the welcome O’Day received in Nantucket, where the golden stuff seemed to be the dominant breed.

For four days, our family of three explored the small island off Cape Cod, Massachusetts, playing on the beach at Cisco Beach and relaxing on the sand with books and Born & Bread sandwiches. Once the food was gone, even Odie, who, until recently, had not thought of settling amid all the shimmering ocean, succumbed to exhaustion, toppling his 71-pound hull with a great sigh extending to his limbs. Watching Odie go from 100 to zero, as a senior dog with creaky joints and tired eyes, is a constant reminder of how little time we have left with him.

However, at around 12 years old, Odie still plays like a puppy every day. His energy, which is no longer limitless but nonetheless noteworthy, belies the fact that he needs more medical attention than Steve and I combined. Our rescue dog is taking prescribed medications to manage the autoimmune skin disease caused by splenectomy in May. As I cared for O’Day in his frail state after the operation, I felt sobbing as I watched him move through his recovery with a cone around his neck and pain medication that left him lukewarm and unrecognizable.

In Berkshires, smaller attractions have big advantages

Although Audi made a full recovery, Steve and I put aside notions of overseas trips together in favor of spending more quality time with him – which brought us to Nantucket in mid-August via High speed ferry from Hyannis, Massachusetts. We briefly considered traveling with Odie via Tradewind Aviation, an aircraft operator with a small shuttle service that offers direct flights from Westchester, New York. But Steve, fearing that Audi would feel anxious and uncomfortable, refused this option. Peter Burke, executive director of the Nantucket Island Chamber of Commerce, wrote in an email that the majority of visitors to the island arrive by boat, which he believes may be a contributing factor to the island’s high dog population.

Most restaurants, including upscale locations like Dune and the interestingly named Or, the Whale, allow dogs in their outdoor dining areas; We can’t say the same for restaurants in the Brooklyn neighborhood. Burke noted the focus of independent local business flooding the island: “Business owners can set their own dog policies instead of larger chains of companies that have national policies,” he said.

One rainy evening we had to leave Odie alone in the room, and left him again after two nights to dine at Topper’s on the Wauwinet inn, where only service dogs are allowed. But at this point in the journey, it was clear that Audi needed downtime; His usual daily routine of vigorous morning exercise followed by about six hours of intermittent naps has been disrupted by Nantucket’s modest, still active schedule.

The evenings were marked by “sniffaris,” a term I became obsessed with after reading “The Forever Dog: A New Science Blueprint for Raising Healthy and Happy Canine Companers” by Rodney Habib and Karen Shaw Baker. The authors hypothesize that the mental stimulation provided by leading the way on long, non-cardiac walking trails, where slow sniffing and aimless meandering, are beneficial to the dogs’ longevity.

In our family, we classify sniffaris as ‘budget’, ‘medium level’, and ‘luxury’, based on the length of our leisurely walk and how long we’d like to stand in a random corner while Odie satisfies his curiosity by speeding—stretching the nostrils and accentuating his presence by raising his leg and tagging Over the largest area his bladder can manage. On one of his first Nantucket outings, Odie discovered a container of dog food outside the nearby Nantucket Hotel & Resort. He would regularly pull me in the direction of the hotel on later outings, and I rewarded him with two, sometimes three, biscuits.

Odi is now lukewarm, a distinct look despite his plump appearance, which is a side effect of the steroids he is on. But he’s still tall and skinny and has a tendency to run fast, especially when there’s a squirrel chasing home in Prospect Park—or a Frisbee-hunting on a beach in Nantucket.

Lastoe is a writer based in Brooklyn. Her website is staceylastoe.com. Find her on Twitter: Tweet embed.

nantucketresortcollection.com/regatta-inn

Part of the Nantucket Resort Collection, this lodge features a pet-friendly policy and amenities for furry friends. Rooms from $139 per night.

Located in the heart of downtown Nantucket’s historic district, this restaurant is open all week, although the show’s dish, duck carnitas for two, is only available during dinner service. Open at night for dinner, from 5 to 10 p.m.; for lunch from Thursday to Saturday, 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.; And for Sunday lunches, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., dinner starts at $32.

Born and Bread: Trade and Bakeries

bornandbreadnantucket.com

The lines start early here, as you can enjoy homemade sourdough, blueberries and thyme, and beach-ready sandwiches, like Kevin, made with turkey, Vermont cheddar, mayonnaise, lettuce, grape tomatoes, red onions, and banana peppers. Open Tuesday through Saturday, 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., and Sunday from 8 a.m. to noon. Sandwiches from about $12.

wauwinet.com/dining/toppers

This upscale spot in a remote part of the island offers a tasting menu and a la carte dishes, with several tables offering views of the bay. The wagyu accessory ($70) is worth the splurge, but those with smaller appetites have plenty to choose from via the deck menu. Open daily in season for breakfast, 8-10:30 a.m.; lunch, from noon to 2 pm; And dinner from 6 to 9 pm The deck menu offers noon-9pm a seven-course tasting menu starting at $160; Starters from $45.

The Jetties are on the island’s north shore and are walkable from downtown, but shuttle buses also take visitors ($2 each way, but pups travel free) from the Whaling Museum to the beach every 30 minutes from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. (Mid-June to Labor Day). The beach is wide and flat, the water is calm and shallow, and there are beach facilities.

This spacious brewery, with ample outdoor space, hosts live music and offers tastings and tours. Open Monday to Saturday, 11am to 7pm, and Sunday noon to 6pm

The merchandise at this boutique dog store is Nantucket heavy, with dog collars, sport marinas and boat leashes, and names of area beaches. Open Monday to Saturday 10am-6pm, Sunday 10am-5pm

Prospective travelers should take local and national public health guidance regarding the pandemic into consideration before planning any trips. Health Travel Notice information can be found on the CDC’s interactive map showing travel recommendations by destination and the CDC’s Travel Health Notice web page.