The Town of Southampton sits on the lower fork of eastern Long Island and is nationally known as a summer beach destination. Its residents and visitors have included many celebrities, and the population balloons in the summer when the weather is fine. Some agriculture, often in the form of vineyards and wineries, exists here, but tourism is the major activity in the town. There are beaches and parks, trails and pup-friendly eateries and wineries, so you’re sure to find something to do here with your furry buddy. The town also holds at least 8 veterinarians and animal hospitals, should Fido become injured or ill. They’ll have him on his feet in no time!
The Mountain Laurel Loop Trail is a favorite among dog-lovers for hikes with their pups. Almost 3 miles, it is an easy walk full of lovely views of ponds and vegetation. The mountain laurel for which it is named is in full bloom in mid-June, but there is so much to see you won’t mind that the bushes are full of only shiny, dark green leaves the rest of the year. With its packed dirt trail surface and dense forest, you’ll feel far from everything here, and your pup will love the animals and birds you’ll see along the way!
Whether you are a visitor or resident, looking for beaches or forest parks, be assured Southampton has something for everyone!
The town’s village center is where you’ll find lots of small shops selling everything from fine jewelry to souvenirs, along with restaurants that will tempt your palate and are friendly to canine companions. One such place is Clyde’s Restaurant, which has an outdoor dining area large enough for several dogs at once! Serving familiar and comforting food with a flair, this is a popular restaurant for locals and guests at the Southampton Inn, where it is located. The Inn is dog-friendly, too, for a small additional fee. The village center also hosts Coopers Beach, where doggos can romp and play from October 1st through March 31st, on leash. Its beautiful white sand, backed by sand dunes, is one of the most treasured beaches on the east coast, and its warm waters make for pawsome splashing and swimming. Arf!
The North Sea neighborhood of the town of Southampton is home to the Wolf Swamp Sanctuary, a 20-acre preserve on the north side of Big Fresh Pond. Most of the preserve is composed of forest with a small swamp. A .5-mile trail crosses both, and proceeds to an old road with a bench and some wood terracing. The road loops back to the start and on to a boardwalk over the swampier area and a deep ditch used to drain the swamp. Here, you and Fido will see many birds, including osprey, ducks or geese. Although this is not a long walk, it is full of sounds, smells and sights to interest both you and your fur-pup. In the spring at dusk, the sound of peepers, the tiny amphibians calling for potential mates, is prevalent and a reminder of spring everywhere. Woofderful.
The Southampton neighborhood of Tuckahoe is where you’ll find the Tuckahoe
Woods Preserve, 160 acres of woodland, fresh water wetlands, vernal pools and
underground potable fresh water springs. The park, also known as Tuckahoe Hill
Preserve or Nature’s Preserve, boasts a hill high enough to offer a
spectacular 360° view of its environs. You may also view hawks riding the
thermals, hunting for small animals below. There is a dog-friendly 2-mile
trail that meanders through the forest and around the pools, where fox, deer,
and amphibians gather. The trailhead is dedicated to the memory of Kurt “Nature”
Billing, and it can be accessed in 2 places on Sebonac Road. Grab your fur-pup’s
leash and some water, and take him on over to this pawrrific preserve– he’ll be
glad you did, and so will you!
Directly west of Southampton is Hampton Bays, a community on Shinnecock Bay with access to Ponquogue Beach and Shinnecock Country Park West on Dune Road. Pooches are allowed on the beach from October 1st to March 31st, and it’s a great one to take them to, as it has a very wide sandy beach, gentle surf that can get exciting in the fall, and it’s quite long. Long walks to the end and back are furbulous, especially when the terns and seagulls are about for barking at. There is a bathroom and plenty of room to take a run, fly a kite or play frisbee. All in all, a great off-season beach for human and fur-buddy alike! After your day on the beach, be sure to check in to Cowfish, whose 7 dog-friendly tables await you and your pup. Here you’ll find upscale casual fare like burgers (arf!) and sushi. Bone appetit!
Bridgehampton is home to Bridge Gardens, a 5-acre hidden gem in the heart of town. Open daily, year-round, this is a pawrfect place to take a quiet, contemplative stroll with your leashed fur-baby. In the spring and summer, the annual and perennial flowers intoxicate with their gorgeous colors and scents, while in the fall the golds and reds compliment the evergreen greens. In winter, the gardens become an entirely different landscape, silent and snow-covered flower beds resting, but evergreens maintaining their glory amid the sculptures and walking paths. This is truly a worthwhile way to spend an afternoon with your furry bestie!