Picture a small town with a local feel, friendly residents, a rich colonial, military, and cultural history, and tons to do. Add on to that a plethora of pet-friendly attractions, and you've got Salem, Massachusetts!
Parks in the area include Leslie's Dog Retreat, which is run by SPACE (Salem Play Areas for Canine Exercise). Although you need a Pooch Pass ($25/year) to play, the park has many amenities, including shady spots, fenced-in yards based on size, running water, and play pools.
Other parks in Salem allow dogs to play on-leash. In fact, the second largest municipal park in the U.S. is located in Salem. Salem Commons is a massive green space with over thirty miles of trails! Or check out the Essex National Heritage Area, a coastal zone that extends for 40 miles, with many recreational opportunities along the way.
In the heart of Salem, there are many tours and modes of transportation that accommodate on-leash dogs. The Salem Ferry goes from Salem to Boston, from May to October. Dogs are welcome to enjoy the 45-minute ride. The Salem Trolley also allows friendly, on-leash dogs, as long as there is space and it is during the week. The Salem Maritime National Historic Site is open from 9am-5pm daily, and dogs are welcome to walk on the paths, as long as they do not enter buildings - try one of the excellent walking tours!
North Salem is home to the one and only Salem Play Area for Canine Exercise, otherwise known as SPACE. Located inside Leslie’s Retreat Park, this fetching dog park is a perfect place to let your pup socialize while expending extra energy. Four legged patrons can run wild in the large grassy area or enjoy some shade under one of the park’s many trees. SPACE also has a separate area for smaller pups who may feel intimidated by large rambunctious dogs. Doggy drinking fountains are provided so your canine companion won’t get overheated. Keep in mind a Pooch Pass is required for park use and can be obtained at the local Park, Recreation, Community and Service Department.
Grab your furry friend and head over to the Congress Street/ Derby Street neighborhood for a bewitching experience. Join Salem Historical Tours as they guide you through the streets of Salem while regaling you with tales of witchcraft, ghosts and the American Revolution. Fur-tunately, leashed dogs are welcome on all tours but the cemetery walk, so your pup can also get a dose of history. After a tour, visit the New England Biscuit Company. This local shop carries top of the line food and treats for furry friends. If you’re in the market for a Salem souvenir, stop by The Trolly Depot. This pet friendly shop has a wide selection of odds and ends.
The Bridge Street/ Gifford Court neighborhood is home to The Barking Cat. This locally owned and operated shop carries only high quality food and treats such as Puppy Scoops Ice Cream and Pawsitively Gourmet dog cookies. Check out the selection of toys for tough chewers, collars and leads. If you and your four legged friend are looking for a place to stay, book a night at the Stepping Stone Inn. What was once a charming 19th century home is now a dog friendly hotel. Located in the heart of Salem, you will be walking distance from several Witch Trial points of interest. Stepping Stone Inn also has crate rentals for dogs that need an extra cozy bed.
If your canine companion is itching to go for a walk, put a leash on her and head over to Salem Common. Located in the Salem Neck area, this green space is a perfect spot for stretching those four legs. Since Salem is such a dog friendly town, chances are your dog will meet new four legged friends along the way. Nearby Winter Island Park is another puptastic place for dog walking. This expansive waterfront park sits on Salem Harbor and offers RV and camp sites, as well as access to boating, fishing and swimming. Leashed dogs are welcome to enjoy this maritime recreational area.
Situated in the Salem State/ Canal Street neighborhood, Forest River Park is a local favorite for dog walking. Your furry friend will love strolling through the trees and breathing in some fresh sea air. Pack a lunch and stop at one of the park’s picnic tables or lounge on the beach in the sun. Don’t forget to bring some water for your pup. After your walk, stop by Kissable Paws. This local shop doubles as a grooming salon and a dog bakery. Once your dog is cleaned, combed and clipped, reward him with a delectable treat from the bakery counter. He’ll be doggone happy!