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By Land and Sea: Long Island with the Scotties

A quick weekend trip

Over the weekend, my mum and I took Win and Clem out to Long Island to visit my brother, sister-in-law, and their adorable Pomsky puppy Riley. The journey from Boston to Long Island can be done entirely by car, but that involves going through NYC. Instead, we opted to get the ferry from New London, Connecticut to Orient Point, New York.

An advertisement from the early days of the ferry.

Source: Suffolk Times

The process was incredibly streamlined and easy. You book your journey on the Cross Sound Ferry online, noting your vehicle type and the number of (human) passengers. There is no extra charge for dogs! When you arrive at the port, there are loads of staff on hand to direct you through the entire embarkation process. While there are no pet relief areas on board, there is plenty of grassy space in the waiting area prior to boarding. Since you have to arrive at least a half hour prior to departure anyway, there is ample time to walk your dogs on the grass before driving aboard the ferry.

Once on board, dogs are allowed pretty much everywhere except the main indoor/dining cabin. There is a separate indoor space reserved for dogs at the end of the ferry, and it is marked both inside and outside.

The area is clean and spacious, with plenty of booth space for humans and dogs alike. We even saw a Great Dane on our journey home!

On our journey to Long Island, we really lucked out with unseasonably beautiful weather. It was warm and sunny, so we opted to sit on the top deck and enjoy the gorgeous day.

Each way, the journey takes just about eighty minutes. The Scotties loved the views and the sea breeze!

By the time we arrived at Orient Point in Long Island, it was lunchtime. Thanks to my mum's great research of dog friendly places, we had a fantastic meal on the terrace at Billy's by the Bay in Greenport (just about fifteen minutes from the port at Orient Point). Quiet and well-behaved dogs, like my precious Win and Clem, are allowed in the outdoor dining area.

Billy's is a casual and colorful, tiki-themed seafood restaurant with great fresh oysters.

My brother and sister-in-law live more toward mid-Long Island, so we drove down to meet them after lunch. We figured little Clem would love to run around Riley, so we decided to meet at Mud Creek Dog Park.

Pros: This is a giant dog park with direct access to the shore. Cons: Like any dog park, humans had varying degrees of control over their dogs. It also wasn't the cleanest dog park I've ever been to, but it can be really hard to come by dog friendly beaches in the US.

Later in the evening, we went to a giant brewery in Patchogue called Blue Point Brewery. They have a giant outdoor space that allows dogs, so we continued to take advantage of the great weather and sat outside for a drink.

For dinner, we went to a gorgeous seafood restaurant right on the water called Harbor Crab. We lucked out with the warm weather, because although the patio is dog friendly, it doesn't have heaters. The food was excellent (I had lobster bisque and mussels) and the setting was lovely.

Sunday was certainly not as nice--it was cold, rainy, and windy. We had originally planned on walking around the cute town of Greenport before hopping back on the ferry in Orient Point, but it was way too unpleasant. Instead, we had a leisurely brunch at one of the most dog-friendly restaurants I've been to anywhere in the US: First and South.

Here, dogs were not just allowed, but warmly welcomed. The large outdoor dining area is covered and somewhat insulated by plastic screens. Each table is equipped with cozy blankets, and space heaters make the area even more pleasant. Best of all, Win and Clem got a huge bowl of fresh water the moment we sat down!

I thought the food was out-of-this-world: my mum and I split dishes (biscuits and chicken with country gravy and a poached egg and eggs Benedict with fried oysters). I'm going to be dreaming of this brunch for a long time!

Special shoutout to the Residence Inn in Central Islip for being so clean, comfortable, and accommodating. Probably the best Residence Inn we've stayed in! If you're looking for a dog-friendly hotel in central Long Island, I'd highly recommend it.

It was so great to see my family and spend the weekend enjoying the sunshine. Win, Clem, and Riley loved it too.

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