Dozens of dog-friendly coffee shops and a revolving door of live music, theater and art events are just a few of the reasons why I like living in a city. That said, the fast-paced city life can feel overwhelming at times.
This spring, through a partnership with cabin rental company Getaway, I was able to take a break from the hustle and bustle of city life and unplug with my pup at several of Getaway’s dog-friendly cabins.
Getaway offers tiny cabins within driving distance of major U.S. cities—New York City, Boston, Atlanta, Pittsburgh, Cleveland, and Portland. Coming soon, Getaway will also offer cabins near Los Angeles and Dallas. Sometimes traveling with a dog can feel like a bit of an undertaking with wondering whether your pup will be welcomed at your stay. Getaway’s dog-friendly cabins make it easy with ample outdoor space for dogs to play and small towns for you to explore.
My first Getaway trip was 75 miles outside of Boston in the small town of Epsom, New Hampshire. (Click here to see what I packed for this Getaway trip and others.) If you’re a Boston-area pet parent and could use a break from the concrete jungle, Getaway Boston just might be the escape you need.
Dog-Friendly Cabin Getaway to Epsom: First Impressions
The drive north to Epsom takes roughly an hour and a half from Boston, depending on traffic. A few favorite songs on repeat, the interstate’s pine-lined view and good company in the car—my sister, Dominika, and my dog, Zoe—helped make the most of the traffic delay.
The approach to Epsom was made up of winding roads until we reached the top of the hill at 76 Mountain Road. That is where we spotted a small sign on the right-hand side indicating that we’d reached the 43-cabin Getaway community.
The automated check-in process was simple. Two hours before check-in, our cabin name and entrance code arrived via text message and email, which I provided when booking the retreat.
A few signs past the entrance led us to our home-away-from-home for the next few days—a cabin named Archie that was located on Church Path.
Dog-Friendly Cabin Getaway to Epsom: Day 1
Walking into the cabin, we were pleasantly surprised by how warm and cozy this tiny trailer amongst the trees was, especially in the brisk spring temperatures. The fresh smell of wood welcomed us along with a serene view through a large, glass window peering into the woody landscape.
When we walked in, a s’mores kit and a local guide were waiting for us on a small table. Because we were traveling with Zoe, there were two dog bowls, a tie-out cable outside and some dog poop bags waiting for us.
The minimalist cabin is small, but comes equipped with all the necessities: heat, electricity, a large, comfy bed, a private bathroom, and a small kitchen that includes drinking water from the tap, a stove and cooking utensils to make mealtimes easy and enjoyable.
After we got settled into the cabin, we decided to venture out toward Concord, New Hampshire, for a walk around the capital and to pick up dinner.
Concord, New Hampshire’s state capital, was located just 15 miles away from our cabin, and the cool temperatures didn’t slow this trio down. We walked around the streets of Concord and spent some time near the 200-year-old state capitol building, admiring the sights.
Our first stop was Granite State Candy Shoppe, a third-generation candy store in operation since 1927. Although Granite State isn’t dog friendly (except for service dogs, of course), my sweet tooth dragged me into this cute shop. It definitely paid off; I was not disappointed with their wide selection of chocolates and classic candy. Dominika and Zoe waited out front while I made my selections, and then we sat together in front of the store enjoying the sweet treats and evening views.
Small towns with cute storefronts and views are among my favorite vacation spots. Although there weren’t too many places open that allowed dogs because it was so late in the day, I definitely recommend stopping in Concord to walk around on a sunny afternoon.
Before heading back to the cabin, we ordered takeout from B.Good for quick, local, fresh food. I ordered a smoothie with a make-your-own burger, which was made fresh to order. Though dogs weren’t allowed inside, the ordering kiosk was easy to use, and the take out we brought back to the cabin was delicious.
We finished Day 1 enjoying our meal together, catching up and discussing about our upcoming days.
Dog-Friendly Cabin Getaway to Epsom: Day 2
On Day 2, we woke at dawn and opened the large window shade to a remarkable view of the sunrise peeking through the trees. Though Dominika, Zoe and I enjoy sleeping in, this day was too adventure-packed to spend any more time in bed!
Blasty Bough Brewery is an intimate, “farm-to-kettle” brewery located just down the road from our cabin. Owner Dave Stewart gave us a quick tour of this dog-friendly spot. He showed us how the craft beer is made and gave us a sample of two popular ales: Down the Cape and Tiny Trailer Pale. (Can you guess what nearby lodging that last one’s named after?)
A great place for a beer in the evening or for some live music on the weekends, Blasty Bough Brewery plans to expand and offer food soon. Though this means that the inside of the brewery won’t be dog-friendly in the future, Dave has no plans to keep pups away! The outdoor patio area will continue to welcome four-legged travelers with open paws, and the front yard will remain dog-friendly.
Leaving Blasty Bough Brewery behind, we headed north to Meredith, New Hampshire.
Meredith, New Hampshire
Meredith is a small town located on Lake Winnipesaukee, the largest lake in New Hampshire. The cold weather seemed to keep most other tourists away, but this lakefront town is filled with charm and is a must for summertime fishing and boating.
The scenic piers and docks gave a wonderful view of the small town, and a couple of the cute shops welcomed Zoe in to shop around. Little Dog Paper Co. on Main Street had the cutest selection of Pug-themed magnets, and Nahamsha Gifts in Mill Falls Marketplace featured some East Coast-themed stickers, T-shirts and candles.
Walking distance from the center of town is the Winnipesaukee Scenic Railroad. While they don’t allow dogs onboard, this railroad is a tourist favorite in the summer and fall. We didn’t take a ride on the train, but the colorful cars made for a great photo opportunity with Zoe.
On our way back from exploring Meredith, we stopped in at Shaw’s supermarket to grab some food for dinner and breakfast for the next morning.
Dog-Friendly Cabin Getaway to Epsom: Day 3
We got a slower start on Day 3 after the busy days we’d just had. I was in desperate need of coffee, but there were no coffee shops nearby. Thankfully, our cabin was stocked with affordable provisions (no item was over $10), including tea, candy, pasta and tomato sauce, and much-needed coffee.
We enjoyed a cup of joe and some granola, fresh berries and yogurt at the picnic table outside the cabin while Zoe got involved with playtime with a plush toy. After breakfast, we did the dishes, packed our bags and left our cabin behind for our first stop of the day, Northwood Lake.
Though much smaller than Lake Winnipesaukee, Northwood Lake is only about 15 minutes away from where we stayed, and a recommended stop from Getaway’s blog, The Journal. We stopped by to take in the views, playing tag on the dog-friendly beach, and pose for a handful of lakeside pics. It was the last day of our trip, after all.
Our final stop was lunch at Roots café inside Robie’s Country Store. If you’re anything like me, the only thing you enjoy more than cute shops with a story is food, and Robie’s in Hooksett, New Hampshire, delivers on both!
Though we ordered take-out, Roots offers outdoor picnic seating in the summer that is open to dogs and humans. I enjoyed a turkey sandwich with house chips (which I highly recommend) while Dominika enjoyed a Reuben with crunchy sweet potato fries.
After enjoying a delicious lunch, it was time to check out. The cabin check-out process was simple—just tidy up, turn off the lights and lock the door on your way out.
And just like that, our getaway was over. It was time to head back home—rejuvenated and revived.
During our trip, we saw other Getaway guests exploring the area around the cabins, conversing and enjoying being unplugged and present. There were pet parents going on walks, playing with their pups and reconnecting with each other.
Getaway is about taking time to unplug from the day-to-day and refocus on relationships with laughter and conversation rather than social media or cell phones. People get to experience time away together without the distraction of Wi-Fi, TV screens or laptops.
One thing I’d do differently is to have fewer plans, meaning I’d sleep in later and lounge around longer. Though I naturally want to take in the most from every experience with a full itinerary, this trip was a good reminder that sometimes time together is more than enough of an itinerary.
Until next time, bone voyage.
Read about our Getaway adventures:
Originally from Chicago, Nicole Janiga attended Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business and received her Bachelor of Science in 2018 before making the big move down from the Windy City to the Sunshine State. She frequently enjoys going back to the Midwest to visit friends and family—and to cheer on the Hoosiers! In her free time, Nicole can be found traveling with her Pug @zoetheloaf (currently at 15 states, and counting) or riding her horse around Southwest Ranches.