By Kim Ostellino Many of us consider our dogs to be a part of our families, so when we vacation we like the idea of being able to bring our furry family members along with us. Animals who vacation in the Berkshires are extremely fortunate, as it is a true pet paradise. There are lush mountains and fields for hiking and chasing balls, pristine lakes and rivers to splash in, and so many area establishments accommodate our dog friends nicely. Lodging in the Berkshires with pets is as easy as choosing whether you would like to stay at a rustic campsite, a high-end boutique hotel, or somewhere in between! Many local establishments not only allow, but cater to your furry friends, making your visit here an especially enjoyable time. The Red Lion Inn in Stockbridge and The Briarcliff Motel in Great Barrington are both welcoming to you and your pets. Not only do they offer lovely grounds and nearby shopping they are just a stone’s throw away from great hiking. Another great dog-friendly spot is The Old Inn on the Green. They even make their own pup cups for your doggy to enjoy. Downtown areas in the Berkshires are very pet-friendly. It is not unusual to find a complimentary bowl of drinking water by storefronts. Pop inside and you will find many store owners have a supply of biscuits to share with their for legged customers. Recently opened in North Adams is the Museum of Dog, here you will find a true celebration of all things canine and dogs are welcome. After exploring, take in a meal at an area restaurant like Aegean Breeze and Patisserie. Both have patio seating and allow your pooch to be with you while you dine. Outdoor fun with your four-legged friends is never far away while you are #intheberkshires. Hilltop Orchards home of Furnace Brook Winery is so much more than an apple orchard and winery. Located in Richmond, you can hike the expansive property with your dog year-round. They even offer snowshoeing in the winter. Enjoy the outdoor fun and indulge in their famous cider donuts or relax in one of their Adirondack chairs, sipping wine while you and your furry friend take in the mountain scenery. Want to try something a little bit different? Why not plan to attend Jacob’s Pillow’s celebration of National Dog Day and allow them to lead you and your leashed canine through a series of simple and fun movements designed to highlight the beauty of our pets and the unique relationships we share with our dogs. Another dog-friendly spot is the Ashuwillticook Rail Trail. It is a paved trail that runs from Lanesborough to Adams. A popular spot for biking, jogging, and rollerblading; this trail is a great place for walking your pup. There are several places where you can hop off of the trail to grab a bite to eat or do some window shopping. Also, all Berkshire Natural Resources Council trails are pet-friendly and they lead a variety of free walks throughout the year. However you choose to vacation in the Berkshires, traveling with your four-legged friends should be a stress-free, pleasurable time!
Kim is a freelance writer, devoted to bringing the best of the Berkshires to locals and visitors alike through her website, Berkshire Girl Online. She is an avid hiker and kayaker, who also loves to explore the cultural and historical sites of the Berkshires.