by Nancy Hassel, ThisFurryLife.com
The second part of our dog-friendly road trip throughout Maine, we headed to Portland after being in the beautiful Kennebunkport. (If you missed Part 1 click here!). Our B&B innkeeper Hana mentioned if we were going to Portland we should go to Portland Head Lighthouse that it was pet-friendly, so off we went!
It reminded me a bit of the grounds of Montauk Lighthouse but the grounds were more spread out, higher cliffs and every part was dog-friendly, and it was absolutely gorgeous there. It was really just a stopover on our way up to our next destination – but I could have stayed there for hours – so much to see and explore.
And there were a few different food trucks with more gourmet food, lobster rolls by Cousins Maine Lobster, a gelato food truck and a few others scattered throughout the grounds. (The only suggestion I would make is to add a few umbrellas to the picnic tables for shade!)
We even met a dog photographer while walking through the arboretum portion of the grounds and Cody, of course, posed perfectly for her! Check her out on @TheDographerofficial on Instagram.
After almost 2 hours taking in the beautiful scenery at the lighthouse, we hopped back in the car to head up to Bethel, Maine to The Bethel Inn, our next stay on our journey.
The Bethel Inn was a step back in time for me, reminded me of family road trips to upstate New York – where there were activities for kids and adults alike. It also kind of reminded me of the inn featured in the movie Dirty Dancing. It’s been a long time since I have been given keys, literal keys to a room vs. a door card or electronic way to get into your room.
The grounds were beautiful and set on a golf course with trails all around that you could walk the dog. The town itself was small, not a stoplight or stop sign in sight. It literally forced me to slow down….which is not easy for this girl. Everyone at The Bethel Inn was very welcoming to Cody and again almost every person we spoke to had or used have a pit bull!
There was a pool right outside of our building and Cody was obsessed with wanting to see what was going on in the pool (and you know he wanted so badly to go in there!)
So to alleviate his want to swim, we went to the Screw Auger Falls at Grafton Notch State Park on the second day (it was raining earlier that day). The falls were only about 20 minutes and a beautiful drive through the mountains (a little terrifying when gigantic logging trucks went by!). It was the first time Cody saw anything like that so he was very curious, cautious and then decided to take a dip. The water was cold and rocks a tiny bit slippery but he seemed to manage just fine. He was lead the whole time of course – way too dangerous to ever let your dog off a leash there as the second set of falls was a big drop to rocks below.
The next day Wende Gray, who is a long-time resident of Bethel and also works with the Bethel Inn was kind enough to take Cody and I on a bit of a tour around the area. Thankfully she did, because we did get to see some lovely spots – like the most famous covered bridge in Vermont, built in 1732 – which there were hiking trails around as well.
Then we went to the Lake House owned by the Bethel Inn which was about 15 minutes south of the Inn – and it was a log cabin where if you are staying at the Inn you could use a kayak, sit on the beach, go into the lake, sit on the patio and just take in and enjoy the scenery. We did just that, minus the kayak!
As we bid farewell to Bethel, I decided to take the road less traveled down through Maine and went through the Lakes Region – which was beautiful. Stopped in Harrison, which reminded me of Lake George without all the tourism.
Our next stop was in Ogunquit – which was not far from Kennebunkport – about 20 -25 minutes south along the coast. Another spot I loved – the town was adorable, the beach was beautiful from afar – not dog-friendly however so that was a bummer (and it was after 5 pm). There was a natural lazy river that fed into the ocean – and people were sitting on floats doing just that. It was a really quick stop in Ogunquit – a beachy, beautiful spot I would love to spend more time in down the road.
After a night at the Red Roof Inn outside of Boston, we headed down to Newport, Rhode Island – reminded me of a bigger Sag Harbor – with a lot of building going on.
This was another short stopover – but dog-friendly and beautiful – a lot to see and many places to eat, drink and shop right on the water. It was getting hot so we only walked around for about an hour or so and then took the stunningly scenic route back to New London to hop back on the Ferry to the North Fork. If you’re on Long Island, Newport IMO is an easy day trip, it’s about an hour from the ferry – so we will be back for a longer day trip soon.
And of course the ride back from the ferry along the North Fork, never ever gets old, the sun was setting there was a bit of humidity in the air and the water views, vineyards and farmland makes me love this isle, even more, every time I am there. Just like that 6 days of road-trippin’ was over – and I have to say, I think Cody was sad and a little bit bored over the very hot weekend back on LI – all that attention he was getting, and he loves to explore new places.
So I am planning another trip sometime this fall – to the Catskills and maybe Vermont – know of any dog-friendly resorts or inns that we should check out? Let us know!
For more on The Bethel Inn or to book your trip with them go to and let Allen and his team know Cody sent ya! (See more pictures below!) And let us know if you’re taking a road trip with your dog this summer!