Dog Friendly

Traveling with Orvis is not always the easiest, and often, you can be hard-pressed to find "dog friendly" places for any pup that breaks the 30 pound barrier. This however, is a collection of some of Orvis' favorite places (where you won't find any size-ism), and some of the things to do that we consider to be truly dog friendly.

They are, of course, our favorite co-pilots.

The Pinnacle Trail Stowe VT

Recently, after a particularly busy few weeks, Michael and I were looking for a short getaway to help disconnect, relax, and recharge. In keeping with our August tradition of a night or two in Vermont, we decided to take Orvis along with us to Stowe. One of our favorite parts about living in New England is how accessible the region is by car – we left Maine just after breakfast and got to Montpelier just in time for lunch!

Topnotch Resort & Spa

A guaranteed route to the top of Map & Menu’s favorite hotel list is one that includes the following: a well-executed sense of design and comfort, a friendly and helpful staff, delicious food, and the willingness to embrace our furry buddy, Orvis. Stowe’s Topnotch Resort checked off every one of those items, with extra emphasis on the dog-friendly point, and after three wonderfully relaxing days spent there, I find myself anxiously anticipating a return trip in the future. Click here to read more about our stay at Topnotch.

Stowe Recreation Path

I traveled to Stowe a couple of years ago for work and took Orvis along with me since Michael was in California for the week. During that short trip of ours, Orvis and I walked along the Stowe Recreation Path twice, and I remember coming home raving to Michael about the 5.3 mile long greenway that runs along the West Branch River. There are several access points throughout the town, including one right across the street from Topnotch. Orvis was all too excited to stretch his legs, look at the horses, and go for a quick dip in the river after we’d checked in. Michael even brought him back the next morning for the length of their run together, making a stop in the river afterwards for another swim, of course!

Pinnacle Trail

When we asked the concierge at the resort where we should go for a dog-friendly hike, she smiled and said, “Oh, Vermonters love dogs, so he’s welcome anywhere!” Naturally, we were thrilled to hear this, and ended up taking her recommendation to hike the Pinnacle Trail, a two or so hour long hike with stunning views of Mt. Mansfield and plenty of off-leash time for Orvis.

Bingham Falls

Some of our favorite memories in the state of Vermont came to being while watching Orvis swim at Buttermilk Falls in Ludlow, so visiting Bingham Falls, just down the road from our resort, was a must for us this time around. After our hike up the Pinnacle Trail and a quick picnic lunch, we ventured over to the falls, and even though the water was colder than anything I’ve experienced in Maine this summer, I couldn’t resist joining Orvis swimming for a bit and even (uncharacteristically) found myself jumping off of a boulder into the falls!

Hen of the Wood

Last summer, a highlight of our trip to Vermont was the meal we shared at SoLo Farm & Table, and this summer, we enjoyed another exquisite Vermont culinary experience at Hen of the Wood in Waterbury. Set in a rustic mill quite literally on top of the river, everything about Hen of the Wood seems classically authentic to the locally-sourced and chef-owned mission it’s based around. Each part of our meal, from the heirloom tomatoes, to the bluefish toast, roasted eggplant, or slow-cooked rabbit was deliciously prepared and carefully presented.

Stowe Vermont Recreation Path

Stowe Recreation Path

Dog Friendly Stowe Vermont

Topnotch Resort Stowe

The Roost Stowe VT

Ben and Jerrys Waterbury

Hen of the Wood Waterbury

Bingham Falls

Topnotch Dog Friendly

Pinnacle Trail Stowe VT

Stowe Vermont Hiking

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Topnotch Resort Stowe

A guaranteed route to the top of Map & Menu’s favorite hotel list is one that includes the following: a well-executed sense of design and comfort, a friendly and helpful staff, delicious food, and the willingness to embrace our furry buddy, Orvis. Stowe’s Topnotch Resort checked off every one of those items, with extra emphasis on the dog-friendly point, and after three wonderfully relaxing days spent there, I find myself anxiously anticipating a return trip in the future.

If you’ve heard us mention it once, you’ve heard us mention it one thousand times – traveling with Orvis can present its fair share of difficulties. Finding hotels that we’re drawn to aesthetically, that simply accommodate dogs of any size is difficult enough, but finding one that goes out of their way to be overly dog-friendly to our large-ish travel companion, and does so without ushering us around to the back door of a forgotten side of the hotel, is almost an impossibility. It’s the reason that places like Hotel Fauchere, the Porches Inn, the Inn at Perry Cabin, and Palmetto Bluff hold such special places in our traveling hearts. Topnotch easily deserves its own spot on that list. When we arrived, Orvis was greeted with open arms and more than his fair share of treats. Each of the resort’s restaurants had outdoor seating where dogs were welcome, and with the exception of the pool area, the entire property seemed to be open to its guests and their pets. Not that Orvis needs any more of an ego boost, but at one point, a young guest walked by with her mother and proclaimed “That dog is horrendously cute!”

I don’t know that in all of our travels, Meredith and I have ever been quite as comfortable with Orvis as we were at Topnotch. That, combined with the comfort and style of the resort made for a pretty unforgettable stay that could easily become a recurring part of our annual Vermont getaway.

Topnotch Resort Stowe

Topnotch Resort Stowe

Topnotch Resort Stowe

Topnotch Resort Stowe

Topnotch Resort Stowe

Topnotch Resort Stowe

Topnotch Resort Stowe

Topnotch Resort Stowe

Topnotch Resort Stowe

Topnotch Resort Stowe

Topnotch Resort Stowe

Topnotch Resort Stowe

Topnotch Resort Stowe

Topnotch Resort Stowe

Topnotch Resort Stowe

Topnotch Resort Stowe

All photos taken by Meredith Perdue for Map & Menu.

Contact Information - Topnotch Resort & Spa

4000 Mountain Road
Stowe, Vermont 05672
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Portland Hunt & Alpine Club

There are few things that Meredith and I love more than a delicious cocktail and our best buddy, Orvis. So naturally, now that our favorite bar in town, Portland Hunt + Alpine Club, has added a little bit of outdoor seating on Market Street, it only makes sense to take Orvis along for our happy hour treats! On our most recent visit, we tried the pretzels and a couple open-faced sandwiches in addition to our normal deviled egg noshing order, and combined with a few tasty cocktails (and a bowl of water for Orvis), spent a perfect afternoon soaking up summer in the Old Port.

And if you missed it last week, it’s worth nothing that Bon Appetit selected Hunt + Alpine as one of their top five new bars in the country, complete with a photo of Meredith’s in the September issue. We clearly couldn’t agree with this assessment anymore!

Portland Hunt & Alpine Club

Portland Hunt & Alpine Club

Portland Hunt & Alpine Club

Portland Hunt & Alpine Club

Portland Hunt & Alpine Club

All photos taken by Meredith Perdue for Map & Menu.

Contact Information - Drinks with Orvis: Hunt & Alpine

75 Market Street
Portland, Maine 04101
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Appalachian Trail Great Barrington

When we moved up to Maine from North Carolina six years ago, I remember how excited I was that we’d only be a few hours drive from so many New England destinations I’d always wanted to visit. The Berkshires were of course high on that list of places, and thankfully we’ve had a chance to visit this stunning region in western Massachusetts three times in the last couple of years. Until this most recent visit, our trips had always taken us to North County – North Adams & Williamstown, but as part of our trip to Hudson, NY we decided to take the opportunity to familiarize ourselves with the South County region, specifically the charming town of Great Barrington.

Briarcliff Motel

In general, it’d probably be fair to say that the years haven’t been kind to the mid-century Americana classic road-trip motel. Scattered along seemingly every state road, motels represent a time before big box “cookie-cutter” accommodations, where road trips were an integral part of vacationing and where you spent the night had a distinctly local feel. Now days, motels largely get ignored and have started showing their age, as was probably the case with the Briarcliff Motel property before husband and wife, Richard Proctor and Clare Weatherall injected it with a passion for service, a creative eye for design, and the desire to provide an affordable B&B-style accommodation in the middle of the Berskshires. I’d wanted to stay at the Briarcliff Motel since reading about the renovated 1960s motel turned bed & breakfast in this Food & Wine article. Not only is the Briarcliff incredibly dog-friendly, centrally located near a number of hiking trails and with a wall of past four-legged visitors, the rooms are comfortable and stylish, the breakfasts are delicious, and the co-owners and staff are extremely friendly and helpful. We couldn’t have asked for a better place to rest our heads at night during our stay.

Rubiner’s Cheesemongers + Rubi’s

Lunch was the first thing on our minds when we arrived in Great Barrington, so we headed straight to Rubi’s for a couple of sandwiches. Known for the cheese-mongering in the next room, the list of sandwiches, creatively centered around their cheeses, was impressive. After finishing up our delcious lunch, we were eager to browse the selection at Rubiner’s Cheesemongers, right next door. It wasn’t easy to select one of their dozens of fine cheeses, but we ended up settling on the Goat Lady Gouda to share with our friends in Hudson, and we’ve been dreaming of finding it locally ever since.

Prairie Whale

Our brunch at the Prairie Whale, on the outskirt of Main Street in Great Barrington, was another pleasant dining surprise. We sat outside with Orvis and enjoyed a delicious and leisurely brunch of a burger and eggs in the warm sun. I had a second to peek my head inside at the bar, and only wished that we would have time to return for a drink later, which sadly didn’t play out. Next time, for sure – we enjoyed our meals at the Prairie Whale so much that we’re certain there will be a next time!

SoCo Creamery

We had SoCo Creamery ice cream multiple times on our last trip to Williamstown, so when we found out that there was a SoCo location in downtown Great Barrington, there was no question as to where we’d be having an afternoon treat. Just as creamy and delicious as we remembered, SoCo ice cream is a Berkshires must for any ice cream lovers like ourselves.

Benedict Pond + Beartown State Forest

Richard & Clare made the fantastic recommendation to take Orvis for a hike in nearby Beartown State Forest. The loop trail meanders around the Benedict Pond, briefly overlapping the Appalachian trail, and afforded Orvis a couple of different opportunities to take a quick dip, which is always a highlight of any hike for us!

For our next trip: a hike up Monument Mountain and lunch at Bizalion’s, followed by dinner at Allium (the sister restaurant to Williamstown’s Mezze). Fingers crossed we don’t have to wait too long to plan another visit to Great Barrington!

Briarcliff Motel Great Barrington

Briarcliff Motel

Briarcliff Motel Bathroom

Briarcliff Motel Breakfast

Briarcliff Motel Great Barrington

Great Barrington Briarcliff Motel

Pet Friendly Briarcliff Motel

Rubiner's Cheesemongers

Rubiners Great Barrington

Prairie Whale Great Barrington

Prairie Whale

Prairie Whale MA Brunch

Prairie Whale Salty Dog


Prairie Whale Brunch

Prairie Whale Burger

Great Barrington Prairie Whale

Michael and Orvis

Benedict Pond Great Barrington


Beartown State Forest MA

All photos taken by Meredith Perdue for Map & Menu. 

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Orvis at Fisherman's Point

Due to our work and travel schedules, this past weekend was the first one that we’ve spent at home together since early April, so we set out to take full advantage of what turned out to be a beautiful summer weekend. We kicked things off with a delicious dinner at our favorite farm, The Well, and spent the rest of the evening relaxing in our new hammock. Armed with breakfast from Scratch the next morning, we visited the Portland farmer’s market for the first time this season, where we happened to run into a few friends while picking up some of our favorite early season produce. Over the course of the day we spent plenty more time in the hammock and Michael worked in the yard while I snuck out for a bike ride. That evening we packed up a few more provisions from Scratch (that oh so delicious pulled pork sandwich), a bottle of wine, and Orvis for a picnic dinner by the water at Fisherman’s Point – one of our favorite ways to spend a summer night.

In an attempt to work our way through our summer to-do list, we decided to hit the road Sunday morning and go for a hike in the lakes region of New Hampshire. The views of Lake Winnipesaukee and the surrounding area from the top of Mt. Major were stunning, and had us planning a return trip in the fall while we hiked back down. Afterwards, we wandered around Wolfeboro for awhile and took our to-go BLT sandwiches for a picnic by the lake. On the way back to Maine we spotted the perfect place for an impromptu swim in Lake Wentworth with Orvis, which was clearly the very best way to cap off one of the most enjoyable weekends we’ve experienced in New England thus far.

Orvis at Gull Crest

The Well at Jordan's Farm

Fisherman's Point

Mt. Major NH

Mt. Major

All photos taken by Meredith Perdue for Map & Menu.

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Warren Street Hudson NY

Naturally, we were quite sad when our dear friends, Darcy & Carolyn, told us that they were packing up their darling shop and sweet pups and moving down to Hudson, NY, but we knew that our friendship with the four of them was far from over – in fact, it’s arguably even better, now that they live in a fun new town with amazing shops & restaurants. If this past weekend that we spent with them in Hudson is any indication, the future of our friendship is looking bright, with all kinds of adventure, laughs, and of course, great food!

When we weren’t catching up with them in their stunning new apartment (see below for proof!) or walking our three dogs around town, we were falling in love with the quirky charm of Hudson. Some of our favorite food highlights from the weekend included takeout from Hudson Food Studio, a relaxed brunch at Cafe Le Perche, and the most delicious ice cream sundaes at LICK. The selection at Hudson Wine Merchants was also spot-on, and we’re already busy planning our next visit to include a stop at Bonfiglio & Bread, which was unfortunately closed this weekend.

The drive down to Rhinebeck for the Sunday farmer’s market was gorgeous and only made us more excited for future trips to explore the charming towns of the Hudson River Valley. Needless to say, there will be plenty of Map & Menu posts highlighting this beautiful area of New York (including one on Great Barrington in the very near future). And of course, we cannot wait to share some photos of the new 2 Note shop, opening at 255 Warren Street in mid-July. Until then, we’d love to hear any recommendations you might have for the Hudson area… because we simply can’t wait to go back!

Summer Water

Orvis Hughie and Enzo

Cafe la Perche Hudson NY

Hudson NY Kitchen

Hudson New York




Orvis goes to Hudson

Enzo on the stairs

Rhineback NY Farmer's Market

Rhinebeck NY

Hudson Wine Merchants

LICK Ice Cream Hudson NY

Hudson NY

All photos taken by Meredith Perdue for Map & Menu.

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Road Trip with Orvis

Right after we returned to the states from Scotland, Michael and I had to pack our bags once again – this time for a road trip down to North Carolina with Orvis. We broke up the drive by spending a night at our go-to spot, Hotel Fauchere. (Read more about our past trips to this darling Milford, PA inn here.) One of the best parts about staying at Hotel Fauchere is having a tasty dinner at Bar Louis, located just downstairs. After years of hearing about the restaurant’s famed sushi pizza, we finally sampled it, and it definitely lived up to the hype! The next morning before we had to spend the day in the car, we went for a run and enjoyed what is probably our favorite hotel breakfast.

Between visiting both of our families and shooting a wedding, our days in North Carolina were a blur. We had the chance to spend some time with both our families and some very dear friends, and it even worked out for us to attend our nephew’s second birthday right before we left to start the drive back up to Maine. We bade farewell to the South with full hearts and big smiles on our faces after getting to see so many loved ones in such a short amount of time.

Hotel Fauchere

Dog Friendly Hotel Fauchere

Hotel Fauchere Milford

Bar Louis Sushi Pizza at Hotel Fauchere

Dogs at Hotel Fauchere

Orvis and Meredith at Hotel Fauchere

Michael and Philip




Perry and Graham

Orvis meets Perry



All photos taken by Meredith Perdue for Map & Menu.

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Corey & Co. Portland ME

It’s no secret that I adore shop dogs! I think they’re one of the happiest sights – especially when you stumble across them in a shop you wouldn’t necessarily expect to have a happy pup waiting to greet you. I was out running errands in the beautiful sunshine on Saturday and stopped in Corey & Co. on a whim, and was delighted to meet Sadie, the resident shop dog. She let me take her photo, but only when I promised to give her lots of love in return. I thought she was too cute not to share with you all.

On another happy note, I picked up a cheerful scarf while I was at Corey & Co. and found about a dozen other items I just loved. It’s certainly no coincidence this darling shop is located on Pleasant Street!

Sadie at Corey & Co

Contact Information - Shop Dog: Sadie at Corey & Co.

19 Pleasant Street
Portland, Maine 04101
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Marianmade Farm

We sure set the bar high for winter weekends during this first one of 2014 – it’ll be a tough one to beat! On Friday afternoon, after Thursday’s snowstorm, the fun began when we met one of my college roommates and her boyfriend for a long, laughter-filled lunch at Duckfat. Fantastic fries & fun friends are always a wanted distraction from the coldest of winter days.

The following morning, Michael and I packed our snowshoes, Orvis, and some snacks, and headed north to my family’s cottage in Wiscasset. We had two picture perfect days to snowshoe around the farm and even ventured out onto the beautiful, frozen Sheepscot River for the first time. Taking a break from the snowshoeing, we found that sipping milk punches, reading, and napping by the fire were every bit as enjoyable for us as our adventures in the snow.

Yesterday evening we decided to take advantage of our location and Primo‘s last dinner service until April, and enjoyed another fantastic meal at the renowned midcoast restaurant – this time at the walk-in counter. After a deliciously filling meal of brussels sprouts, meatballs, cassoulet, polenta with roasted vegetables, and a caramelized banana cream pie, we headed home to watch the Downton Abbey premiere by the fire – a delightful end to a delightful weekend. It’s back to work for now, but you can bet that this week will be filled with plenty of winter weather getaway day-dreaming!

Winter Sheepscot River Maine

Snowshoeing in Maine

Michael and Orvis

Sheepscot River

Marianmade Farm Wiscasset

Orvis at Marianmade Farm

Skookum Dog Collar

Frozen Sheepscot River Maine

Orvis's Shadow

Sheepscot River Wiscasset

Primo Rockland Maine

Caramelized Banana Cream Pie Primo

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Rescue Pets of Boston

As soon as our lovely friend, Li Ward, released the coffee table book she created with her business partner, Brittany Bang, I bought two copies – one for our own collection and one for a giveaway. If you haven’t already heard about it on blogs like Design*Sponge (!), the book, Rescue Pets of Boston, is beautifully executed and features the most charming photos of rescue animals throughout the city of Boston. Michael and I are longtime fans of Li’s vibrant pet imagery & whimsical calligraphy, so it’s especially exciting for us to own a copy of the book that combines our friend’s talents. Boston is a city near and dear to our hearts, which makes us even happier to share the book with Map & Menu readers. Plus, 100% of proceeds from the book will be donated to animal-related charities – incredible, right?

To enter to win your own signed copy of Rescue Pets of Boston, simply follow Map & Menu on Facebook or Instagram and then leave a comment below. You have until midnight on Friday December 20th!

Rescue Pets of Boston Book

Rescue Pets of Boston Ward and Bang

Rescue Pets of Boston Book Photos


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