Here in Provincetown, we welcome visitors from all walks of life: Gay, straight, bi, trans, or furry, friendly and four-legged (and we’re not just talking about Bear Week).
You read that last part right. If you’re having separation anxiety about leaving Fido in a kennel while you’re sipping pina coladas poolside, fear not: Provincetown takes pride in being a pet-friendly vacation spot. Besides, a shared love of animals is a pretty obvious icebreaker when you’re looking to woo summer loving under the P-Town sun. So pack up your pet and increase your chances of doing it doggy style.
Dozens of restaurants offer sidewalk, beachside, or outdoor porch seating that let you dine with your dog (and maintain his diet of delicious table scraps). And it’s not uncommon to see a cat curled up in a boutique window, a bowl of treats on a boutique’s welcome mat, or a Terrier in a tuxedo.
“One couple requested that we allow a dog for their wedding … to serve as the Best Man,” recalls Ellen Burbank, Administrator with the Pilgrim Monument and Provincetown Museum, one of Provincetown’s most popular spots for nuptials. Burbank files that presiding pooch among their more unusual wedding guests, but there’s no doubt that same good spirit is indicative of the Provincetown’s animal loving community.
We’ll even help your pet pal get here with the same first-class experience; Bay State Cruises (www.provincetownfastferry.com) allows for leashed dogs on the Fast Ferry service to Provincetown. Just be sure to properly stow your rawhide bones and Scooby Snacks.
There are also numerous pet-friendly hotels, inns and bed & breakfasts in Provincetown. Still, once you’re here, you may find yourself wishing that you could spend ditch “the kibble kid” and spend some one-on-one time with your significant other (or, you know, insignificant other). If that’s the case, there are plenty of pet lodging options that will give you a night – or two, or three – of bark or meow-free rest.
Virginia Gracey (email@example.com) has established a stellar reputation for hosting guest animals. Gracey provides care for animals at her own facility, and offers pet-sitting appointments at the location of your choice. While Gracey is unable to provide services during the summer, she can give your animal friend a human touch during the spring, fall and winter seasons.
If you’re interested in adding another bow-wow to your brood, consider stopping by the Carrie A. Seaman Animal Shelter (CASA) (5 Sandy Hill Lane; 508-487-4243; www.casasanimalshelter.org), a no-kill shelter offering adoptions of cats and dogs. CASA even subsidizes spay/neuter certificates for local residents and hosts special events (including those regularly colorful Provincetown variety shows) to raise money for animal-friendly works.
Of course, there are fringe benefits to bringing your pet on vacation: nothing opens up the door to conversation with a sunbathing cutie like, “my, what a big schnauzer you have!” But if you’re equally interested in socializing your pet, take heart: Provincetown Dog Park Association is in the midst of raising funds for a new green space for pets and their owners to cavort. Proposed as the Pilgrim Bark Park, the space would also provide an additional outdoor venue for the arts… and your flirting attempts.
While you’re waiting for the green grass to grow, be sure to take advantage of all the outdoor opportunities that already exist for you and your pet. Take your pet for a walk through The Province Lands Bike Trail Loop, a 5-1/4 mile loop that travels through dunes and forest. The trail starts at The Province Lands Visitor Center on Race Point Road, P-Town’s outermost tip. It’s a scenic sojourn that will keep your pet (and you) healthy and fit between lobster dinners and sex on the beach cocktails.
Best of all, you’ll find a beachside hotspot that is as welcoming to your four-legged friend as it is to you. As long as you don’t mind the loving, doting residents (“How adorable!” will become a mantra to your vacation), you’ll find Provincetown to be the perfect place to share time from home with your furry companion.
And if that happens to be during Bear Week; hey, so be it!