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The Five-Point Weekend Escape Plan

Find Dog Heaven in Nantucket

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3. What to Do


Sanford Farm is known for its rolling hills and scrubby foliage.  

Skip the crowded public beaches (all but two of them allow dogs) and head for less-popular stretches of sand where you can let your dog off the leash. On the North Shore, find gentle surf and minimal foot traffic at Steps Beach. Farther afield, Nobadeer lacks facilities and lifeguards, but its wide coastline is perfect for Frisbee tossing. Both beaches are accessible via The Wave bus system ($1 to $2 per ride, pets travel free).

Meet other dogs and their owners at Tupancy Links, a former golf course turned conservation land, and now the island’s unofficial dog park. It’s not fenced in, but dogs can run off leash, plus there’s a half-mile trail that leads to a bluff overlooking the Nantucket Sound.

Head to Sanford Farm, a 780-acre expanse of rolling hills spotted with scrubby island foliage, for a longer hike. From the trailhead, just off Madaket Road, it’s a six-mile round-trip trek to the ocean, but there are shorter options (like the 1.7-mile Northern Loop or 3.1-mile Barn Walk) if your pooch gets tuckered out. Plan ahead and treat your dog for ticks before you go.

Walk from downtown to the island’s best dog shop, Geronimo’s. It carries everything from the basics (food, poop bags, tick prevention) to island-appropriate, whale-studded leashes ($23.99 to $26.99) and collapsible dog dishes for eating and drinking on the go ($12.99 to $16.99). Geronimo’s sister shop, Cold Noses, has a more limited selection but sits right on the wharf.


Published on Jun 16, 2011 as a web exclusive.

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