75 of the most dog friendly places in CT

dog looking out the car window on a road tripThe number of dog friendly places in CT is rapidly growing.

 

That list includes our dog friendly bed and breakfast inn in Greenwich, Connecticut.

 

But where else in the state can you bring your pooch?

 

While hiking is an obvious dog friendly activity, many more are becoming much easier to do, provided you do a little advanced planning.

Dog friendly places in CT

From shopping to dining to drinking, the list of things you can do across Connecticut with your pet is steadily increasing.

 

Not sure where to go before you and your best friend head out for the weekend? Read on.

 

As with most dog friendly places in CT on this list, check ahead.

 

Even national chain stores have different policies based on local pet rules, even how the manager of the store is feeling on a given day.

 

The safest bet is to call ahead, or pause at the door of a shop and ask if they allow pets.

Dog-friendly stores in CT

pug outside of a pet friendly store in CTThere’s no question that shopping with your dog can be helpful. Especially if you’re looking for stuff for them, or you want to confirm that your new couch or jacket matches their coat.

 

But finding dog-friendly stores can be a bit of a crapshoot.

 

Outdoor malls and main street shopping can be a bit easier, provided you bring a human buddy. That way, on a day with nice weather, you can take turns going into the stores that are not dog friendly.

Dog friendly shopping destinations in Connecticut

A few of the bigger shopping destinations in Connecticut that allow dogs at some of their stores, and definitely in their outdoor areas include:

  • Greenwich Avenue
    The sidewalks and park areas of our busy downtown Greenwich shopping district are of course open to all pedestrians, including dogs. Some shops leave water bowls outside for shoppers’ pets. Some stores are even dog friendly, though not all. Ask before you enter.
  • Clinton Crossing Premium Outlets
    As an outdoor mall, the same rules as above apply at Clinton Crossing Premium Outlets.
  • Westbrook Outlets
    Leashed pets are welcome to walk around outside the stores at the Westbrook Outlets. And there are plenty of benches to sit and wait with a dog while your human shopping buddies are inside.
  • Olde Mistick Village
    Regardless of whether you’re big into shopping or not, this outdoor mall reconstructed into a colonial New England village is one of the most unique attractions in southern Connecticut. As with the other points of interest on this list, some but not all stores are dog friendly. The ducks that swim in the pond are decidedly not, so be ready if your dog is not a fan of ducks, either.

Dog friendly shopping chains in Connecticut

Shops can be hit or miss, but there are a few national brands that are definitely (leashed) dog friendly places to shop.

These companies are pet friendly, but every location is different. Mall locations, for example, have the right to turn non-service dogs away.

  • Old Navy (Port Chester, Stamford, & Norwalk)
  • The Gap (Stamford, Westport, Fairfield)
  • Banana Republic (Stamford, Scarsdale, Milford, Danbury)
  • Bass Pro Shops (Bridgeport)
  • Pottery Barn (White Plains, Westport, Danbury)
  • Macy’s (Stamford, White Plains, Milford, Trumbull, Danbury)

National shopping chains in CT that are not dog friendly

And a list of a few major shopping destinations that are not dog friendly, to save you the phone call. Major ones include:

  • Target (Stamford, White Plains, Mt Kisco, Trumbull, Milford)
  • Trader Joe’s (Stamford, Hartsdale, Darien)
  • Tiffany’s (Greenwich, Westport, White Plains)
  • IKEA (New Haven)
  • Most grocery stores

Dog-friendly restaurants in CT

dog lying at a restaurant in ConnecticutMany pet friendly restaurants across Connecticut welcome well-behaved and leashed dogs in their outdoor seating areas.

 

Some even permit them inside, though usually smaller ones only.

 

And some are known for taking really good care of your dog, bringing water dishes and the like for them.

 

The list keeps growing and changing, so as with everything on this list, call ahead to confirm.

 

Starting with dog friendly downtown Greenwich restaurants and moving deeper into the state:

Dog-friendly wineries and breweries in CT

woman with dog at a pet friendly brewery in CTSometimes, there’s nothing better than sitting outside, drink in hand, while admiring the surrounding scenery.

 

Connecticut wineries are more bucolic affairs, while breweries are more typically indoors and industrial-feeling here in Connecticut.

 

But many options from both lists are dog-friendly.

Dog-friendly wineries in Connecticut

Enjoy some gorgeous scenery with your glass of wine at any of these dog-friendly wineries on the CT Wine Trail.

 

Be sure to keep your pooch in designated pet friendly areas. Generally speaking, dog friendly spaces are lawns, patios, and the like.

Dog-friendly breweries in CT

Breweries are typically more indoor affairs in Connecticut. But almost any brewery with outdoor seating, like a biergarten, or that doesn’t serve food can be dog friendly.

 

But outdoor seating means that the joys of sitting with a dog at your knee and beer in your hand may only be possible in a public location about half the year here.

 

Blame it on the weather.

Dog friendly parks in Connecticut

Of all the locations on this list, parks have been considered an appropriate spot to bring your dog for way longer.

 

And this list even includes places to let your dog run free.

 

One of the top free attractions in Connecticut, Elizabeth Park in Hartford, welcomes leashed dogs with their owners for strolls through the grounds.

 

But most dog friendly parks in the state are either fenced parks where dogs can run and play, unleashed; or hiking trails where hikers are welcome to bring a leashed, four-legged addition to their party.

Enclosed dog parks in CT

Close to Greenwich and Stanton House Inn are a few parks where dogs can roam, unleashed.

  • Grass Island Dog Park is conveniently located to downtown Greenwich on Grass Island, overlooking Greenwich Harbor; though also next to the sewage treatment plant
  • The Stamford Dog Park is well-maintained with two parks for large and small dogs
  • The Elmsford Dog Park is a small yet well-liked park in Westchester County
  • The Rowayton Dog Park is great, though there are limitations for town residents
  • The Cranbury Park in Norwalk includes wooded trails as well as an enclosed dog park

Dog friendly hiking trails in Connecticut

This list is not exhaustive. There are tons of parks and hiking trails throughout Connecticut to which leashed dogs are welcome.

 

Connecticut state parks may not be the place to do as the locals do, however.

 

What do I mean?

 

You’ll often see other hikers walking their dogs off-leash.

 

And while most times you’ll be able to hike all day without seeing another dog (or officer), there’s no guarantee of that.

 

And fines can get expensive, especially in Connecticut.

Babcock Preserve

Babcock Preserve is the largest park in Greenwich, situated just north of the Merritt Parkway. The many varied trails are perfect for hiking with your dog.

The Cascades at Lake Mohegan

This park surrounding Lake Mohegan in Fairfield was rated one of the top 10 dog friendly trails in the world. Much of the park is even off-leash, provided you’re at least 100 feet from parking lots and the road. The creek that flows into the lake runs through some rock formations that are pretty cool. Warmer months have limits on non-residents entering the park.

Sleeping Giant State Park

This park in Hamden is one of the most popular in the state. And the most popular trail at Sleeping Giant State Park is the 1.6 mile Tower Trail, which ascends to the 739 foot summit of Mt Carmel.

Lover’s Leap State Park

This state park in New Milford, northwest of Danbury, features:

  • Hiking trails
  • Historic ruins from the town’s industrial days
  • And scenic vistas

The dog may not be that interested, but there is a cool bridge across a stream in Lovers Leap State Park.

White Memorial Foundation

Dogs and horses as well as their owners are welcome to explore the massive White Memorial Foundation preserve in Litchfield County. Be warned that horses, more easily spooked, always have the right of way.

Are there any CT beaches allowing dogs?

dogs playing on a beach at one of the most dog friendly places in CTThis question is probably the most commonly asked regarding dog friendly places in Connecticut.

 

And it largely depends on the time of year that you’re visiting.

 

Most beaches that permit dogs do so only during the off-season. Generally speaking, the cold months of late fall through to early spring is when dogs are welcome on town beaches.

 

Use your common sense and courtesy, and do the standard practices:

  • Keep your dog on a leash or close enough to hear your commands
  • Clean up after your dog

 

Some of the best beaches near Greenwich, Connecticut, that welcome dogs include:

Greenwich Point Park

Tod’s Point, as the locals call it, allows dogs on the beach from December 1 to March 31st.

Compo Beach

Compo Beach, in Westport, has a designated off-leash area of the beach, south of the Pavilion. Dogs are not allowed in the Pavilion, Playground, and Boardwalk of the beach. Dogs are allowed at the beach from October 1 to March 31.

Jennings Beach

From October 1 to March 31, Jennings Beach in Fairfield is an off-leash dog park fronting Long Island Sound.

Are dogs allowed on Hammonasset Beach, in Madison?

Leashed dogs are allowed on Hammonasset Beach from October 1 to March 31st. Leashes can be no longer than exactly 7 feet, for some reason.

Esker Point Beach

Located in Groton, this one is on the other side of the Connecticut shoreline from Greenwich. But it’s worth mentioning on this list because Esker Point Beach is the only municipal beach in the state that allows dogs on the beach all year long.

Any more pet friendly attractions in Connecticut?

puppy running through the trees of a tourist attraction in ctAs with the majority of the pet friendly tourist attractions on this list, the remaining points of interest are all outdoors. As such dogs are welcome on leashes in open spaces, but not so much indoors.

 

Some pet friendly places like museums in Connecticut include:

Keep planning your visit to Connecticut

Now that the dog friendly places in CT are on your list, keep exploring more things to do throughout the state.

 

Check-out the top attractions, activities, and things to do in Connecticut in peak seasons to travel with your pup:

Any time of year you come will be great for you and your best friend!