Pet Friendly Manhattan
When most people think of New York City, they think of the borough of Manhattan. And for good reason. Manhattan is home to many of the best-known places and landmarks such as Wall Street and the financial district, Broadway, Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, and Central Park, as well as the bohemian and artistically diverse neighborhoods like the East and West Village, Tribeca, Soho and Chelsea. And while only Service dog are allowed in many of the iconic buildings (the Empire State Building and the Freedom Tower to name two), don't let that stop you from heading to pet-friendly New York City with your pooch. That's because a New York City dog adventure is all about roaming the neighborhoods, indulging your wanderlust from district to district, meeting all the other dog walkers on the streets and taking in some of the unique pet-friendly offerings the different neighborhoods have to offer. And, yes, while the subway allows pets (in a carrier), and NYC cabs and Uber and Lyft will allow pets (driver's discretion), we think being on the dog friendly streets of NYC with your best friend, ducking now ant then into a bar or coffee shop, and mixing it up with the millions of diverse, opinionated sophisticated and supremely-friendly residents of this great city is what a New York City pet vacation is all about.
Being native New Yorkers, we have to say that you can't go to NYC without heading over to pet-friendly Brooklyn with your dog in tow (best way by waking over one of the 3 bridges-Brooklyn, Manhattan or Williamsburg-which will offer great vistas of the East River, South Street Seaport and the downtown skyline) to get a taste of some of the most awesome neighborhoods in the whole USA. There is, of course, pet-friendly Williamsburg, which has become synonymous with "hip" and now might now even be considered old school trendy. There's also the more staid (but easy-to-get-to from Manhattan) Brooklyn Heights and DUMBO (Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass) or Park Slope with its beautiful brownstones and access to dog-friendly Prospect Park where you can let your dog run off leash from 5 am - 9 am and 9 pm - 1 am at the Long Meadow, Peninsula and Nethermead. And if, you want to keep it edgy, we highly recommend Bedford-Stuyvesant which, like most of NYC, has progressed from rough times into a hub that offers a host of great architecture, restaurants, bars and shops. Greenpoint, another cool revitalized neighborhood, also offers a mix of old and trendy, including bookstores, eclectic bars and McCarren Dog Park with its dog run and 35 acres of elbow, paw and running room. We can't stress it enough, pet friendly Brooklyn is not to be missed.
Pet Friendly Queens
Queens doesn't get the respect it deserves; it always feels like the forgotten younger sister of the much cooler borough of Brooklyn. But here is the secret-Queens is an awesome pet-friendly destination, and perfect of neighborhood ambling with your pooch. First thing you need to know-Queens is the most diverse of all the boroughs. More than 800 languages are spoken in Queens. Which brings us to the second thing you need to know-phenomenal food. Spend a day in Queens and most any kind of cuisine you hanker for is yours for the trying, from small hole-in-the-wall restaurants, sidewalk vendors, or food trucks.
Another thing pet friendly Queens offers is wonderful open spaces. For a panoramic view, nothing beats Gantry Plaza State Park in Long Island City, 12 acres of waterfront promenade along the East River, with plenty of places for you and your canine to take a seat and gaze across the water at the skyline of the Big Apple. And for an off-leash experience, take your pup to the Hunter's Point South Dog Run, which also has awesome views across to Manhattan.
Pet Friendly Bronx
Like the rest of NYC, the Bronx (the only non-island borough of NYC) is not what it used to be (think the 1970s). The South Bronx, once a poster child for urban decay and despair, has been named a must-visit destination by The New York Times in 2017. That's why you and your pet need to head north (from Manhattan) to see what's going on in the dog friendly Bronx community. You both can stroll the Grand Concourse and see how it's reclaimed its majestic moniker. Arthur Avenue (which many true New Yorkers call the REAL Little Italy) offers great Italian restaurants and shopping, including the Arthur Avenue Retail Market . One of our favorite (but tiny) places in the Bronx is Spuyten Duyvil because of its gorgeous views of the Hudson River, Harlem River and the Palisades in New Jersey. It doesn't get much more old Dutchy-New Yorky than this. Visit the Henry Hudson Park and Ewen Park, which has a nice dog run. Another section of the Bronx not to be missed is pet-friendly City Island, a mile and a half by half mile wide island that juts into Long Island Sound. More like a quaint New England fishing village than what you might think of as a Bronx neighborhood, it's worth a visit just to stroll down City Island Avenue with your dog while taking in all the amazing nautical sites and wonderful aromas (fried clams anyone?). If more exercise is in order, you can visit nearby Pelham Bay Park. Speaking of pet-friendly parks in the Bronx, be sure to visit Van Cortlandt Park, Franz Sigel Park, St. Mary's Dog Park and the Canine Court-just a few of our favorites.
Pet-Friendly Staten Island
Okay, we know….Staten what? Probably the least-known of the five boroughs in New York City, we think pet-friendly Staten Island is a hidden treasure waiting to be explored by you and your pet. First of all, you will get there by utilizing one of the greatest nautical taxis on the planet-the Staten Island Ferry (it's free!). Unfortunately, their rules prohibit pets other than service animals "unless they are caged and/or muzzled". This bothers us a lot. We feel the people who established this rule should be caged and/or muzzled. But you know what? Traveling pet owners must be pragmatic and expedient above all and so we muzzle our dogs and cage our cats because they don't care and then we are both treated to delightful views of New York harbor, the Statue of Liberty and the whole friggin' city.
Once you get to the southernmost borough of NYC, we recommend St George (where the ferry lands). You and your dog can stroll down Hyatt Street and stop by (name a pet friendly restaurant). You can also visit the historic district which is filled with late 19th century houses, as well as the St. George Theatre which has just been renovated. (Richmond County Bank Ballpark-home to the ), Snug Harbor Cultural Center and Botanical Garden, Little Sri Lanka, Historic Richmond Town, South Beach and Midland Beach. 170 parks incuding Willowbrook Park, Warinanco Park. Father Macris Park. There is also the Fresh Kills Landfill (2,200 acres - your dog will love the aromas….) which was reclaimed in 2008 and has been developed for reuse as Freshkills Park.