Pet-Friendly Places in Fairfield County Last Updated: August 2023
With the change of seasons, longer days and warm evenings, Fido, Fifi, Felix and friends are itching to get out, engage in some serious exercise, make new friends and see the sights. Fortunately, Fairfield County welcomes four-leggers with open arms – to parks and campgrounds, hotels and inns, even restaurants, wineries and distilleries (anybody have a St. Bernard?). So, if you’ve got a notion to explore, and want some furry company, Fairfield County is loaded with pet-friendly places. Here are just a few in all the main categories (woof!):
For more pet-friendly restaurants, pubs, breweries, parks, campsites, hotels, plus lots of useful information, visit:
Connecticut Magazine claims that Burger Bar & Bistro in Norwalk has the best burger in the state – no wonder dogs call it their favorite hangout! Located just steps away from The Maritime Aquarium, Burger Bar offers comfortable and easy family fare – and even features a Dog Menu for four-legged patrons; outside seasonal dining, too.
Pets are welcome at Flipside Burgers & Bar in the heart of Fairfield, a great place for delicious and satisfying comfort food and drink – perfect for a relaxed family dinner, hanging out with friends in their comfortable dining room, or enjoying drinks at the bar or on the seasonal outside lounge. Their goal is to provide great, fresh food, first rate tableside service and reasonable prices.
One of Connecticut’s premier tourist attractions for people and pets, The Restaurant at Captain’s Cove is a family-owned and operated marina, restaurant, bar and boardwalk located in Captain’s Cove Seaport in Bridgeport. Choose from a tremendous selection of fresh seafood, burgers and more, including their famous fish and chips or a Captain’s Platter – big enough for two and Fido –¬ who is welcome at the outdoor patio tables.
Breweries and Distilleries
Brewport Brewing Co. in Bridgeport is a spacious, modern-industrial brewpub that enriches lives with thin crust pizza, gourmet salads, and Connecticut-style beers so amazingly great, that guests and their pets keep coming back for more. Enjoy their blondes, browns, ABVs, Pale Ales and IPAs
On February 4, 1919, by a vote of 14 to 20, the Connecticut State Senate failed to ratify the 18th Amendment, making Connecticut the first of only two states to defeat Prohibition. Hence the number “1420” in the name of SONO 1420/American Craft Distillers in Norwalk. Let’s drink to that! This destination craft distillery produces ultra-premium, alternative grain distilled spirits, and is currently booking safe tours and tastings in their custom-designed industrial building in South Norwalk. Leashed pets are welcome.
Fifth State Distillery in Bridgeport is the first distillery to open in Fairfield County since January of 1919, the Prohibition era of the 18th Amendment (which Connecticut never ratified). A century later, they continue to produce craft, small batch gin, vodka and corn whiskey using high-quality, locally-sourced ingredients from grain to bottle. With the motto “Distilling the Spirit of Connecticut,” locally owned and operated Fifth State invites consumers to share the experience of transforming non-GMO, Connecticut-grown grains into high quality spirits, and to sample the nuances of taste and aroma that separate a good spirit from an amazing, deep and complex one. Rover will also appreciate the history of this cool place.
The Babcock Preserve Loop near Greenwich is a moderately challenging, heavily-trafficked 4.1-mile loop trail, great for walking, hiking, running, and horseback riding. Best-enjoyed from March until November and featuring a lovely river and partially paved paths. Dogs are welcome here.
Not only is Tucker welcome to stroll the Bartlett Arboretum & Gardens in Stamford; he can also brush up on his social and interactive skills with FREE dog training classes every Wednesday evening from 6:30-7:30pm by Rob Mullin, trainer from K-9 Wizard & Co. Why not come early and explore their 93-acre sanctuary featuring a diverse collection of trees, gardens, and plants – and then go to school! In addition to invigorating nature walks, they offer many other programs for all ages, including Summer Camps, tours, art and landscaping classes, even yoga classes!
Although most state parks require that dogs be leashed at all times, Cranbury Park in Norwalk offers 227 expansive acres of wooded trails and a pet-friendly environment including a dog park for off-leash fun. The Great Lawn presents a dramatic backdrop for wedding receptions and festivals all year long. The park also features a challenging 18-hole Disc Golf Course that winds in and out of the woods.
Weir Farm National Historic Site in Wilton is the only National Park Service site dedicated to American painting, and was home to three generations of American artists, including Julian Alden Weir, a leading figure in American art and the development of American Impressionism. One visit to this 60-acre park featuring painterly woods, fields, and waterways makes it abundantly clear why Weir described this verdant oasis as “The Great Good Place.” Weir’s farm is a national legacy to American Impressionism, the creative spirit, and historic preservation, and includes the Weir House, Weir and Young Studios, barns, gardens, and Weir Pond, one of the nation’s finest remaining landscapes of American art – which fortunately happens to be pet friendly!
The Housatonic Valley Rail-Trail in Monroe is one of 1600 “rail-trails” supported by Rails-to-Trails Conservancy, a nonprofit organization that is working to create a nationwide network of trails from former rail lines. Previously an unused railroad corridor, this 3-mile out and back rail-trail is moderately trafficked and features a natural forest setting good for all skill levels – a great place to take Fido for a run or walk. The trail offers several activity options and is accessible year-round.
Now that Daylight Savings Time has kicked in, why not make the most of the extra sunlight and head to The Cascades at Lake Mohegan in Fairfield with Ruff? This 170-acre open space features walking and hiking trails, picnicking, fishing, and nature observation, even a beach and swimming area. Considered to be one of the Top 10 Dog Friendly Trails in the World (wow!), with multiple trails surrounding the lake and a lovely cascading waterfall (hence the name), there are plenty of waste bins for doggie cleanups – so bring your baggies. Woof!
Webb Mountain Park in Monroe is a 135-acre municipal park offering hiking trails, rock climbing, nature study, and campsites, and is adjacent to the Webb Mountain Discovery Zone nature center with its own 170-acre park. Enjoy diverse flora including numerous kinds of trees, shrubs, and ferns that not only add to the aesthetic value of the park but provide an ideal setting for some amateur as well as scientific study of the local plants. One happy canine camper per campsite is welcome, and must be on a leash no longer than seven feet, have rabies vaccination and current license.
Canines get pampered at the distinctive and luxurious Delamar Greenwich Harbor and Delamar Southport, where well-behaved dogs under 100 pounds are treated to their own comfortable bed, a personalized welcome kit, and bowls with bottles of water (a nightly fee of $50 will be applied, a portion of which is donated to a local animal charity). The “Delamar Doggies Package” indulges Fluffy with a welcome treat and goodies for her, and 10% off a spa treatment for you. An unparalleled stay is in store for guests of the two-legged variety as well!
Pets love the EVEN Hotel in Norwalk, a unique property featuring 129 rooms with sustainability in mind as well as design elements to help guests maintain balance. Relax, exhale, and enjoy the natural light and open feeling of their flexible workspaces, natural outdoor areas, high-speed internet access, in-room fitness options, and healthy food and beverage options that are made to order. Located near the Norwalk Islands, the Maritime Aquarium and state parks, there are ample green spaces and plenty of exploring options for you and Spot. Pets up to 80 pounds are welcome.
The Hilton Garden Inn in Norwalk is family- and pet-friendly, and convenient to many of Fairfield County’s best attractions, including the Maritime Aquarium, SoNo Collection Shopping Mall, the Ridgefield Playhouse and Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo, plus restaurants of every kind and price range, and parks and recreation areas to exercise your furry friend.
At the Surfside Hotel in Stratford, you can leave the daily hustle and bustle behind and experience a fun and funky beachside hotel with rustic yet refined décor, luxurious bedding and linens, and all the amenities you’d expect from a high-end beach resort. You’re at the beach – so get ready to relax and unwind – or wind up and get going. There’s plenty of room for everyone to hang out; so bring the family and/or your under-35 lb. furry friend and enjoy all that the Surfside has to offer with their spacious, ultra-cool rooms and suites.