California Dog-Friendly Travel Guide

california dog-friendly travel guide - golden retriever looking out of car window driving on beachLeaving your dog behind while you travel can be a sad time for both you. Instead, plan a dog-friendly trip and bring your furry pal along. Vacationing with your dog is a great bonding experience and makes exploring new territory a lot of fun. The next dog-friendly travel guide is all about The Golden State. If you’re looking for sun, sand, surf, shopping, and good food with your pup, sunny California is the place to go. Here are some dog-friendly places to stay, eat, and play in Southern California and mid-state to help you plan your trip:

4 Dog-Friendly Attractions in California

Activities and the right attractions can make or break your trip. These are some of the best dog-friendly parks and trails California has to offer. If you and your pup are outdoorsy types, or just need a moment to relax, make sure these nature spots make your trip list!

1. Fiesta Island Off-Leash Dog Park

One of the largest off-leash parks around, Fiesta Island boasts ample room to run around. Covered with sandy dunes that are surrounded by a shallow bay, you can take your pup for a jog, a run, or a quick dip. It’s located in San Diego within Mission Bay. So, if Southern California is your destination, this popular peninsula park is certainly worth the visit.

2. Mount Hollywood Trail

This city-owned trail takes you on a beautiful tour through the Santa Monica Mountains. As you meander along your way, you’ll see stunning views of such attractions as the Hollywood Sign and the Los Angeles Basin. Considered the easy trail of the three available options, Mount Hollywood Trail goes on for about 3 miles without much in the way of difficult terrain. Pups are allowed, but they are required to be on a leash at all times!

3. Alpine Pedal Path

Located in Big Bear Lake, Alpine Pedal Path is a beautiful hiking and biking path – it’s also free. This scenic trail connects a variety of lakes and beaches, many of which are dog-friendly! At a little over three miles long, the Alpine Pedal Path is great for a nice stroll with your pup. Your dog does have to be leashed at all times, but both of you will still have a great time unwinding as you explore this breathtaking scenery.

4. Lake Tahoe

Lake Tahoe is a breathtaking freshwater lake in the Sierra Nevada mountain range of California. It’s huge–in fact, it’s the largest lake in the United States outside of the Great Lakes. Lake Tahoe is a destination in winter as well as in summer. Aside from water sports and skiing, there is plenty of beautiful country to explore in the greater Lake Tahoe basin.

According to the National Forest Service, leashed dogs are welcome in much of the Lake Tahoe Basin. However, they aren’t allowed at swimming beaches. The Forest Service also offers plenty of tips on how to take care of your pup while traveling.

3 Dog-Friendly Hotels in California

Finding a place to stay with your pup can be hard, especially for those with larger dogs! Here are some of the best places to check for lodging during your own trip to California:

1. Riverside Campground And Cabins

Featuring spaces for tents, RVs, and cabins, Riverside Campground and Cabins lets you stay in the great outdoors with your pup. Located in Big Sur, you can enjoy access to a nearby river, trails, and pet-friendly beaches, all with your dog by your side. Riverside allows up to two pets of any size, and potentially more if you contact them ahead of time. As with most lodging, additional pet fees do apply.

2. The Fess Parker

An offshoot of the Hilton Resort, The Fess Parker also allows up to two pets of any size. Located in beautiful Santa Barbara, staying here puts you and your pup close to many of the area’s attractions, including some great local shopping. Bookings are available on their website, and an additional pet fee applies.

3. Carmel Valley Ranch

This luxury resort and spa has tons to see and do for the whole family, including your dog! Carmel Valley Ranch has a specialized menu to order from for your pup, and even includes a plush bed of their own. Bringing a pet with you to this resort requires an additional fee, but any size is allowed.

3 Dog-Friendly Restaurants in California

When you’re traveling, eating out is usually a given. But, it can be difficult to find a restaurant on your journeys where both you and your pup can sit and relax to grab a bite to eat. If you plan ahead and put these dog-friendly restaurants on your list, you’ll have no issues!

1. The Patio On Lamont Street

If you love open-air dining and sharing a meal with your pet, then The Patio On Lamont Street is the place for you. They are located in San Diego and have some food specially made for pooches, including biscuits that are made in-house. Their full menu is available on their website, so you can check out the pup-friendly options beforehand.

2. Forge In The Forest

Located in Carmel, Forge in the Forest provides a unique mix of gourmet bistro-style dishes and beautiful outdoor seating, and an overall unique dining experience. Besides just being dog-friendly, they also offer a special menu just for your canine.

3. Lazy Dog Cafe

A cafe themed around canines, the Lazy Dog Cafe hosts a variety of hearty staples including pot roast and ribs. Their dog-friendly seating makes this a great place to come and relax with your pup. Since it is a popular franchise, especially in California, you have plenty of locations available, no matter where you are in the state.

For dog-friendly travel in other states, check out the other dog-friendly travel guides.