Dog wearing a birthday hatEvery summer, we celebrate our pit bull Ellie’s birthday with the usual fanfare of a silly hat, lots of treats, and plenty of photos. We also make it a point to take her out for the day and have her do some fun activities away from our other dogs. As any dog owner knows, it can be tough to find enough places that are dog-friendly to string together an entire day that includes being able to eat, shop, and play.

Here is our list of favorites in Rhode Island. We have personally visited these places with Ellie for her birthday outings:

Hemenway’s Restaurant

The outdoor patio at this seafood restaurant across the street from the Providence River is a great place to sit with your dog, enjoy the summer sun, and tuck into a big plate of lobster mac and cheese. Service at Hemenway’s is always top-notch, and the servers we have encountered here are all dog-friendly people.

Located at 121 South Main Street in Providence, Hemenway’s is an easy walk from nearby parking garages or there is plenty of street parking, especially on the weekends.

Providence Flea (Summer/Fall market)

If you’re at Hemenway’s on a Sunday, you can stroll over to the Providence Flea outdoor summer/fall market across from 345 South Water Street on the bank of the Providence River. You will find a variety of vintage finds, local artisans and makers, and several food vendors.

There is also street art along the walking path near the flea market area.

Books on the Square

Hop in the car to get over this independent book store in Wayland Square at 471 Angell Street in Providence. The former owners of this shop were big fans of dogs, and the current owners are keeping that tradition alive. You will often find a big bowl of water in front of the store. Pups on a leash are welcome to browse the aisles with you.

Second Beach (after 5PM)

Get back in the car and head south for a late afternoon romp on the beach at Sachuest Beach (also known as Second Beach) at 474 Sachuset Point Road in Middletown. Dogs are allowed on the beach after 5pm. It’s a great place to see a spectacular sunset with your pup.

Bonus mention: Chase Farm

If you are headed north instead, stop at Chase Farm Park where you can walk endless miles on the paths here. This preserved green space also hosts concerts in the summer as well as sledding in the winter. The park is technically not off-leash, but you will often find well-behaved dogs off-leash and on voice command.


See my Google Maps list for exact locations.