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Pet-Friendly California

June 21, 2019

For those who consider a pet their “furbaby,” traveling isn’t the same without them. Thankfully, they don’t have to work like a dog to figure out where to go on vacation. Touted as the “Dog Friendliest State” by Reader’s Digest in 2019, California boasts many dog-friendly restaurants, parks and attractions that make pets—from dogs and cats to parrots—and their human hosts feel like top dog.

ACCOMMODATIONS

California is home to a wide variety of pet-friendly hotels and resorts, many of which offer special amenities for furry friends.

  • Dream Hollywood: The “Pack Your Wags” package includes a box of treats, toys and other goodies by PupJoy, as well as Pet Reiki by Hollywood spa and wellness club, Sweatheory.
  • The Peninsula Beverly Hills: Pets can enjoy luxurious dog beds, gourmet treats in custom food bowls, specialized dog spa treatments and doggie room service. To stay fit, the concierge can arrange morning dog walks.
  • Hotel Yountville: This vintage hotel pampers pets with a special menu—with gourmet treats for dessert—as well as monogrammed bedding, dog bowls, ropes and frisbees to ensure a restful sleep and playful adventures.
  • Bardessono Hotel & Spa (Yountville): This LEED Platinum certified hotel offers pet bowls, bed, waste bags and a Bone Appetite Menu at the field-to-fork restaurant, paired with beer or wine such as Beefy Brown Ale or ZinfanTail.
  • The Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel: This hotel offers a gift bag, hand-painted bowls, beds, doggy dining menu and monthly Yappy Hours with libations of flavored water—bacon, chicken, beef or vegan—with dog-inspired wines for the humans.
  • Hotel Republic, San Diego: The “Pups & Paws Package” features a dog bed and bowls, blanket and special gifts such as a dog tag, chew toy, daily locally sourced dog bone, daily special menu offering and daily bottled water.
  • AutoCamp Airstream Experience - Santa Barbara, Sonoma County and Yosemite: AutoCamp offers 40+ pet friendly rooms in airstream at their properties in Santa Barbara, Russian River and Yosemite. Each pet gets a treat, luxury bedding, bowls and a local pet-friendly service guide.
  • Paséa Hotel & Spa, Huntington Beach: The hotel, which offers dogs a bed, bowls, treats and pet gifts, just unveiled PAW-SÉA, a play area with a lifeguard station doghouse, and a local artist commissioned wall mural for Instagram travel photos.
  • Tenaya Lodge, Yosemite Area: This hotel offers pet beds, bowls and special housemade treats. Guests can also get their furbaby upgrades such as a dog massage.
  • W Los Angeles: The “Pets Are Welcome” program offers canines a welcome amenity, custom bed, bowls, “pet in-room” door sign and special treats at turndown. The concierge can arrange dog-sitting, dog-walking and more.
  • Healdsburg Inn on the Plaza, Sonoma County: The “Pawfect Pet Package” includes a doggie bed and bowls, snacks and bandana and two complimentary tasting passes to Mutt Lynch Winery & Tasting Room.
  • Gaige House + Ryokan, Sonoma Valley: The “Pampered Pet Package” includes a watermelon slice or Wolf + Lyon dog bed, bowls and a miniature bento box to keep filled with sushi-style, edible dog treats, and a stuffed sushi plush toy.
  • Westin Mission Hills, Greater Palm Springs: On top of amenities such as a Westin Heavenly Dog Bed and a Patio Pooch Menu, the hotel offers a dog adoption program where guests can play with local shelter dogs and consider adoption.
  • Hotel del Coronado: The “Del Dogs & Cats” program includes a mat and bowls, waste bags or litter box, scratching pad for cats, treats made by the pastry chef, room service pet menu and a “Yappy Hour” with “yappatizers.”
  • Hotel Nikko, San Francisco: Boasting San Francisco’s only rooftop Pet Terrace--featuring a dog run and mini cable car doghouse—this hotel offers dogs beds, bowls, and special treats.
  • The Garland, North Hollywood: The “Paws at The Garland” program gives furry friends a welcome dog toy, dog mat and bowl with bottled water. They can upgrade to a special gift box which includes a chef-curated treat.
  • The Viceroy L'Ermitage Beverly Hills: The Canine Club include welcomes goodies custom bed, bowls, and a leash. A “Pet in Room” door hanger ensures undisturbed naps, and the concierge can arrange dog walking services.
  • Kenwood Inn & Spa, Sonoma Valley Wine Country: The “Pampered Pet Package” includes a luxe dog bed (wine barrel bed or Tuscan-print), bowls, house-made dog biscotti treats, Mutt and Chandog plush Champagne bottle dog toy and more.
  • Cypress Inn, Carmel-by-the-Sea: Owned by Doris Day, this inn welcomes dogs with blankets, beds, bowls, treats, pet sitters, and a “Yappy Hour” with Muttinis.
  • Beachcomber Motel & Spa, Fort Bragg: Pet guests get a welcome kit with treats, waste bags, sheet and towel and can stay in specially designed rooms for dogs. The Dog Suite features a dog house, lowered pet shower and a doggy door to the dog park and human amenities such as a kitchenette and ocean view.

 

CULINARY EXPERIENCES

Many restaurants across California offer dog-friendly outdoor patios, but some bring canine hospitality to a whole new level by offering them their own menu.

  • Restaurants Sally’s Fish House & Bar, Grand Hyatt San Diego: Offers pupcakes with peanut butter, yogurt pawpsicle, rawhide bones and a surf & t-arf dish
  • Circa ’62, Inn at Schoolhouse Creek & Spa, Little River: Features Slow Death on a Raft dish of hash brown waffle, pork sausage gravy, and eggs.
  • 7 Mile House, Brisbane: Serves a doggie menu, paired with doggie beer and cigars.
  • Lazy Dog Restaurant, Fresno: Salivating dishes include rocky road pancakes and a PB&J burger.

 

OUTDOOR ADVENTURES

There are literally hundreds of dog-friendly trails and botanical gardens throughout California, offering canines virtually limitless opportunities to sniff out adventures in nature. However, they can kick up the excitement a notch with other adventures below. 

  • Surfing and Paddleboarding: Your pup can surf with you at Carmel Beach, Huntington Beach Dog Park, Rosie’s Dog Beach in Long Beach, Dog Beach Del Mar and Linda Mar Beach in Pacifica. For a tamer ride, paddleboard with your pup at North Lake Tahoe’s Patton Beach or Paddleboard Company in Morro Bay.
  • Canoeing and Cruises: Many destinations offer chances to paddle with your pooch, such as Mendocino’s Catch a Canoe & Bicycles Too, where your pack can explore Big River in an outrigger canoe. For a more relaxing water ride, Blue & Gold Fleet in San Francisco also allows pets on its Bay Cruises, Sausalito and Tiburon ferries.
  • Whale Watching: If your dog has his sea legs, Monterey Bay Whale Watch Boat Tours offers year-round whale watching trips to observe the many whales and dolphins inhabiting the Bay.
  • Lake Tahoe Gondolas: Squaw Valley USA-Cable Car carries passengers and their leashed pets up to High Camp, offering expansive views and places to run, hike and swim. The Lifts at Northstar in Truckee lets Fido ride for free on the Zephyr Express to the upper ridgelines, offering mountain views and the chance to run and play.
  • Horse & Buggy Rides: The Solvang Trolley and Carriage Company in the historic Danish town of Solvang offers pet friendly horse-drawn carriage services, as does Borges Sleigh Rides and Carriage Rides in South Lake Tahoe.
  • Ghost Towns: Leashed dogs can step back into California’s Gold Rush Days and sniff out ghost towns such as Bodie State Historic Park in Bridgeport, founded in 1877, or Calico Ghost Town in Yermo, which dates to 1881.
  • Train Rides: Several trains allow pets on the journey, such as the world-famous Skunk Train’s Pudding Creek Express, which steams out of Fort Bragg twice a day. The Sacramento RiverTrain is another option, spanning 14 miles from West Sacramento to Woodland, and offering a dinner, social wine or beer tasting event, or an entertaining show.

 

MUSEUMS

Travelers don’t have to miss out on great art, just because their “fur baby” is in tow! Below are some of California’s most pet-friendly museums.

  • San Luis Obispo Museum of Art, San Luis Obispo: This downtown museum allows dogs on leashes with their owners to check out painting, sculpture & photography exhibits by regional artists. Admission is free.
  • The Western Railway Museum, Suisun City: The museum features historic railway exhibits, vintage streetcar and interurban train rides, a large shaded picnic grounds, a store, library archives, and Depot Cafe.
  • Southern California Railway Museum, Perris: Explore the West’s largest collection of railway locomotives, passenger and freight cars, streetcars, interurban electric cars, buildings and other artifacts dating from the 1870’s at this museum.

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