Port Jefferson, New York – or, as locals informally call it, Port Jeff – actually isn’t a city. It’s an incorporated village located in the town of Brookhaven; it was incorporated in 1963. The village is about an hour outside of New York City. Although Port Jeff might not get as much attention as more glamorous cities in New York, it has made appearances in the media. In Netflix’s House of Cards, the village is mentioned repeatedly in season two. More recently, the movie True Story, starring Jonah Hill and James Franco, filmed scenes in Port Jefferson.
Glamorous or not, your dog probably won’t mind. Port Jefferson has a few dog-friendly restaurants, which makes it easier to grab a bite with your pup in tow. There’s also a dog-friendly department store, Lavender Fields. However, if you’re looking for a dog park to take your pooch to, you’re out of luck; you’ll need to travel out of the village to let your dog have some off-leash fun. Luckily, there are several options within twenty miles of Port Jefferson, so you won’t have to look too far! Port Jefferson is a great option for a day trip, and with dog-friendly activities nearby, it’s also a good option for dog owners!
Sometimes, the day has just gone to the dogs, and all you want to do is make yourself feel better with some retail therapy. No problem! You and your dog can both do some shopping at Lavender Fields, located in the heart of Port Jefferson. This store sells furniture, home goods, and accessories for women and children. They welcome your dog with open paws -- er, arms! Once you’re done, grab a bite to eat at the nearby Gourmet Burger Bistro. Fido can’t go inside with you, but he can chow down with you at one of the patio tables.
The Laurel Ridge-Setauket Woods Nature Preserve is popular with local hikers and mountain bikers, and you and your active, nature loving pup aren’t going to be any exceptions! Several trails wind through this nature preserve, each with a varying level of difficulty. This makes the park perfect for hikers of any proficiency level. You’ll want to keep your dog on a leash at all times, both for his own safety and the safety of others. Make sure to bring water, comfortable walking shoes, and waste disposal bags. Don’t forget to go online and print out a map before you head out.
Boyle Road Dog Park is a large bark park located about fifteen minutes south of Port Jefferson, and your playful pup is sure to thank you for making the trip! This dog park has plenty of room for your dog to get in his exercise while running around off-leash. It also gives your dog the opportunity to practice his manners; socialization is crucial for the development of good behavior in a dog. No water is provided by the park, and it can get quite hot, so make sure to bring your own. You’ll also want to grab some waste disposal bags from home.
Although you’ll need a “pooch pass” to visit Middle Island Dog Park, it’s conveniently located just about twenty minutes from Port Jefferson, and the drive is definitely worth it! In the summer, this bark park has kiddie pools – or maybe we should call them pooch pools! – for your dog to splash around in. The pass to use this dog park is free of charge; it’s mostly just to make sure that all dogs coming in the park are spayed or neutered and have had their rabies shots. Have a ball at Middle Island Dog Park!
If you and your dog have a sweet tooth, make sure to visit Sweet ‘n’ Savory in south Port Jefferson! This popular eatery serves up crepes and rice pudding, and although it might seem like an odd combination, locals insist it’s delicious. It gets two paws up! If you want something sweet, make sure to try the half-baked crepe which has cookie dough and brownie batter. Something savory? Try the turkey and avocado crepe. Fido can join you on the patio, but don’t share these two crepes with your pooch; both have ingredients that could make him sick!