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Dog-Friendly Cabin Getaways: How I Planned for 3 Weekend Trips With My Pup

Getaway cabin planning with your pup

By Chewy Studios

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Traveling with a dog is an excellent way to bond with your pet, as well as with the friends and family that come along, too.

Like many pet parents, I have the travel bug this year. Luckily, I was able to partner with Getaway to explore dog-friendly cabins outside of three major cities on the East Coast: Boston, New York City and Washington, D.C. Each cabin is nestled in nature within driving distance from the metro area, and it comes equipped with everything you need and nothing you don’t.

Courtesy of Getaway

I plan to disconnect during these trips and reconnect with my best friend, trusty sidekick and better half, my dog Zoe. Zoe and I have traveled a lot together. We have lived in three states—Illinois, Indiana and Florida—and traveled through 10. We’ve traveled by car, plane, bicycle, electric scooter and even on horseback.

We will be traveling to Getaway’s New Hampshire and Virginia cabins with my sister, Dominika. For the trip to Getaway’s cabin in Upstate New York, Zoe and I will be joined by my coworker, Danielle. Preparing to leave behind Wi-Fi and social media cravings, I’ve compiled packing lists for each of our dog-friendly cabin trips with local experiences and dog-friendly activities. 

Planning for Our Dog-Friendly Cabin Getaway Outside of Boston

Getaway’s escape from Boston is in Epsom, New Hampshire. This small town is 1½ hours away from Beantown and happens to be a tricky climate to plan a trip to in the beginning of spring. So, we’re embarking on a rain-or-shine adventure through town, to the lake and, of course, making a pit stop at a dog-friendly brewery!

packing for a boston getaway

By Chewy Studios

Packing to Expect the Unexpected

Unsure of the weekend’s forecast, we are preparing with sunscreen, scarves, boots, raincoats and sweaters. Find our Nicole-and-Zoe packing list below:

Zoe’s Dog Supplies: 

 Nicole’s Must-Haves:

  • Outfit changes for three days
  • Warm jacket
  • Waterproof boots
  • Warm flannel
  • Backpack
  • Fuzzy socks
  • Umbrella
  • Water bottle
  • Map of the area
  • Camera
  • Toiletries

Itinerary and Dog-Friendly Activities

Leaving Boston behind and hitting the road for Epsom, these are our must-stop spots along the way:

  • Concord, New Hampshire: Our first stop is Concord—New Hampshire’s state capital—a historic city known for its 200-year-old State House.
  • Blasty Bough Brewing Co. : Decades before the Revolutionary War, 18th century colonials opened a tavern on the same hilltop on which Blasty Bough Brewing Co. currently resides. This intimate, dog-friendly brewery will give us a taste of local flavors and culture.
  • Meredith, New Hampshire, and Lake Winnipesaukee: Meredith is located alongside Lake Winnipesaukee, the largest lake in New Hampshire. I’m excited to take in the charm and enjoy the view for a wonderful end to the day.
  • Northwood Lake: Just minutes away from Getaway, we’ll enjoy the next morning’s cup of coffee alongside a serving of lakeside serenity.
  • Robie’s Country Store: This historic shop in Hooksett, New Hampshire, is 25 minutes outside of our cabin. While it only allows service dogs inside, we’ll just be popping in to grab a bite to eat from the store’s restaurant, Roots Café and Catering, before returning to Boston. 

Planning for Our Dog-Friendly Cabin Getaway Outside of New York City

Known for its hustle and bustle, skyscrapers and fast-pace of living, New York, New York, can be a difficult place to unplug. However, Getaway offers a cabin escape just two hours away.

Zoe and I, along with my coworker Danielle and her dog, Sawyer, are making the most of a New York minute in the woods and trails of Catskill, New York, at Getaway’s escape from New York.

packing for a New York City getaway

By Chewy Studios

Packing for a Hiking Retreat in the Mountains

Growing up in a hiking and camping family, two things my parents always taught me were:

  1. Weather in the mountains can flip like a switch.
  2. Pack light because if you’re going to bring something, you’d better be prepared to carry it.

Embarking on happy trails with happy tails, we’re strapping on our hiking boots for this trip! This checklist for people and pups will keep us prepared for whatever adventures the mountains might have in store.

Dog Supplies:

  • Dog food: To save time while hiking, we are packing ready-to-go meals for our pups—Zignature Trout & Salmon Meal dry dog food for Zoe and Hill’s Science Diet Chicken & Barley canned dog food for Sawyer.
  • Dog treats: What better way to enjoy an experience than breaking bread together? I plan to make tasty DIY dog treats right from the comfort of my own cabin with only a few dry ingredients. The best part? They can be shared with people and pups alike!
  • Dog leash and collar: Out on the trails, it’s important for me to have a dog leash that can be used in a variety of ways. Our Found My Animal dog leash can be worn around my waist to free my hands and can be adjusted and tied up during a food and water break. Plus, Zoe’s matching Found My Animal rope and leather collar completes the look!
  • Travel dog bowls: Not only convenient for carrying dog food, our Gamma2 Travel-tainer turns into two dog bowls for when feeding- or water-time approach.
  • Dog poop bags: Believe it or not, not all poop bags are created equal. Environmentally-conscious bags help keep Zoe’s and Sawyer’s waste from making more, well, waste.
  • Dog grooming supplies: Musher’s Secret paw protection dog wax is a must for muddy hikes because it helps protects pets’ paws without drying them out.
  • Dog backpack: Our OneTigris canvas dog backpack is perfect for bringing along dog treats and food by joining the pups in on the backpack-carrying responsibility.
  • Dog carrier: Both our dogs are small, so I am prepared for them to need a few more breaks than Danielle and I. Our K9 Sport Sack backpack will come in handy when, and if, paws tire.
  • Dog stress and anxiety supplies: For the more anxious traveler, like Sawyer, his Thundershirt anxiety and calming aid is designed to provide gentle, constant pressure around his body to help naturally calm nerves.

Nicole’s Must-Haves:

  • Outfit changes for three days
  • Waterproof jacket
  • Hiking boots
  • Hiking backpack
  • Warm socks
  • Toiletries
  • Water bottle
  • Dry granola bar ingredients
  • Map of the area
  • Camera

Itinerary and Dog-Friendly Activities

  • Kaaterskill Falls: This dog-friendly hike is our first stop. It will take about 1½ hours, but the waterfall views waiting for us at the end should make it all worth it.
  • Circle W Market: Known by locals and travelers alike for its sandwiches and coffee, Circle W Market also offers groceries, locally-made gifts and a full café to stock up for our stay.
  • Overlook Mountain Trail: There’s something about a breathtaking overlook view that’s good for the soul, so naturally, I had to work one into the itinerary. Check back on my New York cabin getaway article for reviews on this nearly 5-mile-long hike.
  • Catskill Country Store: This general store—which promises all-day breakfast and an in-house ice cream counter—will be our final destination before heading back to the city.

Planning for Our Dog-Friendly Cabin Getaway Outside of Washington, D.C.

From politics and government buildings to coffee shops and dog parks, dog-friendly Washington, D.C., is packed with history and stories. We’ll be making some stories of our own with a girls’ weekend away. Getaway’s cabin escape from Washington, D.C., is nestled near Shenandoah National Park and just two hours outside of the city in Stanardsville, Virginia.

packing for a DC getaway

By Chewy Studios

Packing for a Girls’ Weekend

Virginia is for lovers—dog lovers, nature lovers and lovers of the outdoors. Surrounded by the scenic Blue Ridge mountains, this dog-friendly girls’ retreat will be filled with self-care necessities: face masks, cozy outfits, journals and adult coloring books.

Zoe’s Dog Supplies and Accessories:

  • Dog food: Though Zoe isn’t a picky eater (like, at all), I am pretty particular about what she eats.
  • Dog leash and collar: Especially while traveling, comfort and durability are incredibly important. Zoe’s Leatherberg leather dog leash is made of premium-quality latigo leather for function and aesthetic, and it goes great with Zoe’s and my FriendshipCollar Mucky Pup dog collar and friendship bracelet.
  • Dog toys: While I enjoy my Moscato at the vineyards, Zoe will get to enjoy her Muttscato with the P.L.A.Y. Pet Lifestyle and You bottle dog toy.
  • Travel dog bowls: Regular bowls aren’t the most practical options while away from home, so I’m bringing our Petmate silicone collapsible pet bowl. I especially love that it doesn’t need to be opened all the way, making it easier for her short snout to eat or drink out of.
  • Dog bed: Though a bit of a bulkier item to travel with, this weekend is about relaxing, so I’m bringing along Zoe’s MidWest Quiet Time plush pet bed. This way she’ll have a place of her own to snuggle up after playtime.
  • Dog poop bags: A less-than-glamorous item for a more-than-glamorous pup, dog poop bags are a must for every outing—local or far away.
  • Dog grooming supplies: Since this trip is all about pampering, I’m bringing Zoe a Paw Plunger and Pet Head’s Oatmeal Paw Butter for a deluxe spa paw-dicure.
  • Dog hoodie: You heard it here first—hoodies are the all-time, go-to loungewear. Zoe’s ADIDOG hoodie is both athletic and cute and will help keep her warm on those cooler Virginia nights.
  • Dog shirt: As her personal stylist, it’s my job to choose outfits that show off Zoe’s personality. Her Fab Dog “Feed Me & Tell Me I’m Pretty” dog T-shirt ensures everyone around knows where her priorities lie.
  • Dog fashion accessories: What better way to accessorize than bandanas? Zoe has an extensive collection, so I’m bringing along her Tail Trends reversible bandana and a few other favorites from Lucy & Co.

Nicole’s Girls’ Weekend Must-Haves:

  • Outfit changes for three days
  • Jacket
  • Cozy loungewear
  • Colored pencils
  • Journal
  • Adult coloring book
  • Water colors and brushes
  • Face masks
  • Nail polish
  • Temporary tattoos
  • Toiletries
  • Camera

Itinerary and Dog-Friendly Activities

  • Jack’s Shop Kitchen: First thing in the morning, we will head toward Ruckersville, Virginia, and grab a taste of farm-fresh food and a cup of coffee along the mountain foothills.
  • Stanardsville, Virginia: Blink and we’d risk missing this hidden gem. We’ll stop in Historic-District Stanardsville and Main Street, one of the few remaining intact courthouse towns that’s home to B&Bs and churches.
  • Hightop Mountain: Next on the trip will be Shenandoah National Park. Our first stop here is the three-hour-long hike to Hightop Mountain—a dog-friendly walk on the Appalachian Trail to the highest peak in the park’s south district.
  • Skyline Drive: The perfect end to a perfect day, Skyline Drive will make for scenic views during golden hour.
  • Early Mountain Vineyards: What more could the final day of our final dog-friendly cabin trip need than wine tasting with a view? We’ll stop at Early Mountain Vineyards to sample award-winning wines and a seasonal menu.
  • Moo Thru: Moo Thru serves up ice cream from dairy farmers in a roadside barn. Unlike deciding on a flavor from the wide selection, this stop will be a no-brainer.

My hope from these dog-friendly cabin trips will be to disconnect from the internet, reflect without mirrors and recharge without a phone or tablet charger. After each trip, I’ll be sharing my experiences, photos, tips and tricks for traveling with a dog, to make it easier for you to make cabin getaway plans of your own with your best friends—two- and four-legged.


Originally from Chicago, Nicole Janiga joined the Chewy team as a marketing intern in January 2017. Since then, Nicole has continued writing and photographing for Chewy as a Content Collaborator while completing her education at Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business. She is majoring in both marketing and corporate innovation, before returning to Chewy as a Marketing Analyst. In her free time, Nicole enjoys traveling, riding her horse or snuggling up with her Pug, @zoetheloaf, and Terrier, Cozmo.