15 Best Dog-Friendly Vacation Destinations in New Hampshire

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dog is chilling at the mt washington auto road in gorham in a dog friendly vacation in new hampshire

Surrounded by Vermont, Massachusetts, Maine, Canada, and the Atlantic Ocean, New Hampshire is a small state in the United States with about 1.4 million residents. It is part of the northeastern US called New England, along with Vermont, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Maine, and Connecticut. Many people recognize New Hampshire as The Granite State because of its rock formations and quarries. But its national motto is Live Free or Die because of its role in the American Revolutionary War.

There is an estimated 240,000 fur babies living in New Hampshire as well with many of them living in its largest city, Manchester. In fact, you can find more than 2,000 rental properties in the small state as well as 400+ pup-friendly eating establishments, 40 off-leash dog parks, and five dog beaches. You will also find 48 pet stores, dozens of dog groomers and daycares, and over 20 reputable veterinarians. 

Whether you want to visit New Hampshire for swimming, boating, and fishing or skiing, sledding, and snowboarding, there is a spot for you and your fur baby here. You can enjoy camping, hiking, riding carnival rides with the kids, and even find a romantic place to take your honey. Here are our 15 choices for the best dog-friendly vacation destinations in New Hampshire. 


A mansion on a lake with a dog park within walking distance? Perfect for a romantic trip with your honey and your little buddy. The Hotel Portsmouth is located in a Queen Anne mansion dating back to 1881, with patios, fireplaces, and a short walk to the park as well as shopping and dining. What’s more, Portsmouth is a quaint small town with just about 22,000 people and about 3,500 dogs. 

As promised, there is an off-leash dog park at South Mill Pond Park less than a half-mile away. It has agility equipment as well as access to the pond for your pup to splash around in. Next, drop off Fido at doggie daycare and head over to Cava Tapas & Wine Park downtown. They serve some of the best wine at two different wine bars as well as amazing food like beef sirloin with bacon bourbon jam or pan-seared shrimp.  

Then, pick up your pup and treat him to something special at the Canine Cupboard where they make their own dog food, treats, and baked goods as well as toys and dog bones. 


Your family will love Salem because it is one of the only theme parks in the world where dogs are welcome! Canobie Lake Park allows dogs to join their pup parents throughout the park although not on the rides or in the buildings. The fun park has more than 50 awesome rides including three roller coasters and four water rides on 60 acres. They are only open from May to November though, so plan accordingly.

Salem has just over 30,000 residents and about 5,000 dogs so you are likely to see some of them at the park. But Canobie Lake isn’t the only lake in town! There is also Arlington Mill Reservoir and Millville Lake. You and the family (including Fido) can also explore hiking trails at the 200-acre Salem Town Forest or take the kids and your pup to Benson Park where they have a great Playground. 

Wherever you decide to go, be sure to pack (and use) plenty of cleanup baggies. 


Although the town has lots of acreage, there are only 1,600 people living there because most of it is covered by Loon Mountain Ski Resort and the White Mountains. Although the main resort does not allow pets, RiverWalk Resort does, and they even have an indoor pool, free breakfast, a spa, hot tub, restaurant, gym, and golf course. Hampton Inn also loves dogs and has a pool, restaurant, free breakfast, and a gym. 

You will not be able to bring your cuddly canine on the slopes, but you can enjoy 73 trails, 13 lifts, and two parks on 400+ acres. Both Springboard Park and Loon Mountain Park are perfect for snowboarding as well. The resort and ski area also have restaurants, bars, and lodges to enjoy. 

Speaking of food, take your fur baby to Black Mountain Burger Company for the best burgers in town. Your canine companion is welcome to join you on the patio, where he can help you enjoy your meal. 

White Mountain National Forest 

In northeastern New Hampshire, covering more than 800,000 acres, White Mountian National Forest holds most of the major peaks in the state that are over 4,000 feet high. You will be surrounded by hundreds of lakes, rivers, and streams as well as over 200 hiking and backpacking trails covering 1,200 miles. Best of all, there are 23 dog-friendly campgrounds where you and your pupster can hang out for a few days.  

The largest campground is Russel Pond where they have 86 campsites right on the pond. It has restrooms with showers, RV sites, picnic tables, fire rings, and playgrounds. The closest city to this campground is Woodstock just a few miles off Interstate 93. The largest wilderness area in the forest is Pemigewasset, which has 45,000 acres. You can go swimming, boating, and fishing in the Pemigewasset River or hiking, biking, and climbing on the miles of trails. 

During the winter, you can also enjoy the forest, where you can find several ski areas with hundreds of miles of cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, and even sledding. 


The largest city in New Hampshire has a lot to offer pet parents on their next getaway. First, you can pick from over a dozen dog-friendly hotels, including Best Western, which has an indoor pool, garden, gym, restaurant, and bar, and Holiday Inn with all of that as well as free breakfast. After checking in at the hotel, take Fido to the Manchester Dog Park so he can run off that excess energy from traveling. 

For even more park fun, head over to Precourt Park where they have a lake with a boat launch, fishing, and a nature trail. Stark Park is another dog-friendly park that has a lot to offer. It features 30 acres of history including John Stark’s family burial plots, a statue, and several cannons and cannonballs. 

With 115,000 residents and almost 20,000 dogs, you are sure to see some of them out and about while you are there. Especially walking along the Merrimack River.  


With 115,000 residents and approximately 19,000 pooches, Nashua is a cozy place with plenty of fur babies. It has over a dozen dog-friendly hiking trails to explore. Right in the middle of the city in Mine Falls Park, there are six of them, from a third of a mile to three miles in length. They are named by their colors, with the red and green trails going around Mill Pond and the blue trail around Oxbow Lake.

If you happen to be in the city during the winter, Mine Falls Park trails are perfect for cross-country skiing with your cuddle buddy. Just make sure you dress him warmly and protect his precious paws. 

Looking for something longer that is still easy? Take your pup on the 12.3-mile Nashua River Trail from Nashua to Ayer. You will pass through the woods along the river and by swamps, ponds, and fields. Or, you may enjoy the historic 2.6-mile Nashua Heritage Rail Trail downtown along an old railroad bed. Always pack trash bags and extra water. 


The capital of New Hampshire is also home to Six Flags Hurricane Harbor, which is an awesome weekend getaway for you and your family during the summer. You can bring your fur baby too, but he will have to skip the water park. Fido can stay with Peesh’s Pets or Pawskies, two top-notch doggie daycares. Hurricane Harbor is open from May through September and is the Bay Area’s largest water park. 

There are seven different sections with 25+ slides and attractions including the Big Kahuna, Splashwater Island, and the Hurricane Slide Complex with four slides, two tubes, and two giant slides. You will also find numerous eateries around the park serving everything from Dippin Dots to tacos and even beer for the adults.

After a day at the water park, take your pup to Terrill Park Dog Park so he can wear himself out running amok without a leash. Then, you can all enjoy a nice nap before dinner. 

Pisgah State Park 

Another fun place to visit in New Hampshire with your pooch is Pisgah State Park in Chesterfield. It has more than 13,000 acres of recreational space, including 25 trails for winter and summer. Although there are seven ponds and streams all over the park, the Pisgah Reservoir in the southwestern corner is the largest and is very popular for swimming, boating, and fishing. 

You will likely see a lot of people in the park and on the trails hiking, biking, riding ATVs, and even on horseback. Keep your little fur buddy leashed to make sure he is safe at all times. Also, make sure you have enough doggie bags to pick up anything your doggie drops. 

The park does not have camping, though, so you will have to stay at one of the nearby hotels or Hinsdale Campground, about five minutes away. They have over 100 sites for RVs and tents with a pool, playground, showers, and an arcade.  


Story Land and the White Mountains are two places you can enjoy whether you are in Bartless during the summer or the winter. Summertime has Story Land with 30 rides, including two roller coasters and two water rides. Little kids can enjoy rides like Cinderella’s Pumpkin Coach and Turtle Twirl, while older kids can get a thrill from the Roar-O-Saurus Coaster or Bamboo Chutes. First, drop off your fur baby at The Pet Rendezvous to play with other pups.

If you plan to visit during the winter, leave your pup with the sitter and you can play on 300 acres of snowy paradise at Attitash Mountain Resort. You can hit the slopes for skiing, do some snowboarding, or get lessons on two different mountain peaks with eight lifts, 68 trails, and three terrain parks.

If you want to bring your pup with you, try Bear Notch Ski Touring, where you can explore 40 miles of cross-country trails. You will see waterfalls, river views, and stunning meadows along the way.


Even those on a tight budget can take a vacation with their cuddly canine in Rochester where you will find numerous dog-friendly hotels with rooms that start under $100. For example, Anchorage Inn has rooms under $90 and it even has an outdoor pool, microwave, and fridge. And Dover Inn has an indoor pool so you can swim in any weather for less than $70. 

After traveling, pups always need a place to run. As soon as you get checked in at the hotel, take your fur pup to Hanson Pines Park where he can run around on the trails and the green lawn to get rid of the zoomies. You can meander along the Cocheco River over the footbridge where you may see some fish and other marine creatures. If you have a canoe or kayak, you can do that too. 

Then, grab something to eat on the pup popular patio at Revolution Taproom & Grill. They have fresh and delicious seafood, burgers, and chicken with beer, wine, and other beverages for super cheap prices. 

Lake Winnipesaukee 

This huge reservoir is 21 miles long and about nine miles wide, with 288 miles of shoreline to enjoy. It also has more than 265 islands! You can find it at the base of the White Mountains in the middle of eastern New Hampshire. With such a large area, the lake is spread out over many different cities and towns so you can take your pick where you want to stay. 

Wolfeboro Campground has just 40 sites though so reserve your spot early. On the north end of the lake, Bear’s Pine Woods Campground has over 100 sites. And on the western side of the lake, Paugus Bay has over 120 sites. Gunstock Mountain also has a campground, which has over 200 sites. 

If your campsite or hotel does not have a dog area, take your fur baby to The Nick in Wolfeboro where they have an off-leash dog park for your pup to romp around in. It has seating, water, and a small dog section. 


Speaking of Gunstock Mountain, come back during the winter, and you and your pooch are welcome to stay at Gunstock Mountain Resort in Gilford, where you can go skiing. It is actually a four-season resort but it is most known for its 49 skiing trails. You can even ski at night because the resort lights it up for you! Your pup will have to stay off the slopes, but you can go skiing, snow tubing, snowboarding, or take lessons if you need them. 

If you plan to do some cross-country skiing or snowshoeing, your leashed pooch is welcome on some of the trails. You can even let him pull you for some fun skijoring. Just make sure your dog is healthy and strong enough to pull you. If you need a place to stay, Fireside Inn is just under five miles a day and they even have an indoor pool and free breakfast. 

Nearby, take Fido to The Patio Restaurant, Tower Hill Tavern, or Sawyers for a bite to eat. 


This summer, take your pup to Laconia. On the western side of Lake Winnipesaukee Lake, you will find Laconia on Lake Winnisquam. The small town has about 17,000 residents with about 2,900 dogs and it also has one of the best dog parks in New Hampshire. Lezama Family Happy Tails Dog Park has two fenced acres separated for small and large dogs as well as a section just for puppies. It also has boulders and tires to climb on, seating for pup parents, and waste stations with baggies. 

When it starts getting dark, take your best furry friend to see a movie at Weirs Drive-in. They have four screens that each show two movies so you can plan to spend at least a few hours here. Your leashed canine companion is welcome outside the car as long as you bring clean-up bags and pick up after him.

The shows start at dusk, so get there early for a good spot. The second show starts about 15 minutes after the first one ends so you can go get some refreshments from the snack bar.


You have probably heard of Plymouth in Massachusetts, but did you know that there is one in New Hampshire too? It is pretty small, with just over 6,600 residents but it also has approximately 1,000 fur babies. This town also has a mountain resort but it is a lot smaller and has way fewer people, so it is perfect for couples with dogs who are looking for a cozy and private trip. 

The resort has about 60 trails for all sorts of skiing and other winter sports, including snowboarding. Cross-country skiing is a favorite for pet parents since their pooch is allowed to join them on many of the trails. And if you want a hotel nearby, Fairfield Inn has rooms for doggie daddies and mommies and they even have an indoor pool and free breakfast. 

When you are ready for a cold brew, you and your honey can take Fido to the Dam Brewhouse, where he is welcome inside and out. 

Bear Brook State Park 

Located in Allenstown, which is in southeastern New Hampshire, Bear Brook State Park has 10,000 acres for you and your cuddly buddy to explore and enjoy. First, pick one of hundreds of campsites in the area including the ones inside the park. Beaver Pond Campground has 101 sites with playgrounds, picnicking, showers, and trails. On the other pond, Bear Hill Camps has more than 100 dog-friendly sites featuring boating, fishing, swimming, playgrounds, picnicking, and hiking.

While you are at the park, your pooch will have to stay on a leash and they do not allow dogs in the swimming beach areas. However, he is welcome to splash and play in the water in other easily accessible areas. You can rent a boat for a trip on the water or take a hike on one of the forty miles of trails.  

If the park is packed, there are other campgrounds as well including the Suncook River Family Camp Resort where they have numerous riverside campsites. 

The Final Woof

Like any other state, New Hampshire has a lot to offer everyone, including pet parents. A vacation in this northeastern state is always relaxing as well as exciting. If you are looking for some real excitement with the family, Salem has Canobie Lake Park, which is an amusement park with rides and games. They even allow your pup to join you! Bartlett has Story Land for summer and the White Mountains to enjoy in the winter. Speaking of winter, Gilford has a lovely ski resort at Gunstock Mountain, and Lincoln has Loon Mountain Ski Resort. For romance, you and your honey (and your fur baby) can stay in a Queen Anne mansion in Portsmouth, where they even have a wine bar for a candlelight dinner. 

Photo of author
Patty Oelze is a freelance writer who is also in the process of getting her PhD in Psychology. She has been writing about dogs and other critters for about 10 years and has a plethora of animals at her home including several cats, some chipmunks, a dozen raccoons, two foxes, one coyote, and herds of deer. She and her husband have been living in the Missouri Ozarks for years where she enjoys taking care of wildlife, fishing, photography, boating, and of course, writing.

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