10 Dog-Friendly Pit Stops for Your California Road Trip This Summer

10 Dog-Friendly Pit Stops for Your California Road Trip This Summer

Jun 01, 2018Stephanie Aguilera

What are your summer plans? As the weather gets warmer and the sun shines brighter, take a California road trip accompanied by your furry best friend! From San Diego to the Bay Area, be sure to check out these dog-friendly pit stops.



1. San Pasqual Winery

Start your California road trip in San Diego and enjoy San Pasqual Winery, where pets are more than welcomed! While you sip and taste different wines, let your pup hang out by your side and wind down from the day’s adventures. Not only is this a pet-friendly spot to visit, but is also known as one of the “Hot 100 West Coast Trends” in Sunset’s Magazine3. If you plan on making the stop, make sure to book a pet-friendly hotel and avoid driving for the rest of the evening. This way, you’ll get the chance to enjoy the magical nights of San Diego with your furry friend too!


2. Huntington Dog Beach, Huntington Beach

Just south of Los Angeles, Huntington Dog Beach2 has proven to be a pup’s favorite. From sandy paws to the ocean waves, this dog beach is wide and spacious for your pup to run and socialize with other furry beachgoers, while kept clean to ensure your pet’s safety. There is also a grassy area with picnic tables, making this a sun-sational place for a lunch date with your furry friend.

Huntington Dog Beach is also home to Corgi Beach Day, the biggest Corgi meet-up in the nation! Three times a year, you’ll see thousands of Corgis strutting their stuff in their best costumes, competing in contests, and enjoying each other’s company! There will also be food trucks stocked with delicious food, complimentary services like pawdicures and pet-friendly tattoos provided by Healthy Spot, and more that draws people from all over the world to attend. Make sure to mark this event on your calendar for Saturday, June 23rd, and prepare for it by checking out this article. This beach is one of Orange County’s top 10 attractions to visit – make the pit stop!  


3. Runyon Canyon Park, Los Angeles

If you’re interested in experiencing a scenic view of Los Angeles, Runyon Canyon Park3 is a must on your California road trip stop. This park is near the Hollywood Hills, where there is a 90-acre off-leash dog park with a wide variety of hiking trails. Whether you prefer a nice stroll or would rather jog with your pet, you’ll share the path with hikers, runners, and plenty of pups. In fact, you might even catch a glimpse of a celebrity hiking with their pet or working out on the steeper hills.

Runyon Canyon Park is an Instagramable spot due to its amazing scenery of Los Angeles. You’ll catch sight of the famous Hollywood sign, the entire city, and even get the chance to see the ocean on a clear day. The best times to go is in the mornings and later in the afternoon since it can get very hot during the summer. Don’t forget to bring water, your pet’s water bowl, and plenty of sunscreen!


4. Coastal Cone Parlor, Ventura

Your summer road trip isn’t complete without ice cream! Experience the amazing Coastal Cone4 ice cream parlor near the pier, where pups are invited inside their pawlor to lounge while you enjoy your treat. This shop offers over forty ice cream flavors, as well as sundaes, milkshakes, malts, and more! They also offer unique, freshly baked waffle cones with their ice cream that’s sure to entice you to snap a picture for Instagram. Costal Cone Parlor is along the boardwalk, making this the perfect treat after a day at the beach.  


5. The Douglas Family Preserve, Santa Barbara

As you make your way north, you’ll be welcomed by the calm sea breeze and the chill vibes of Santa Barbara5. The Douglas Family Preserve is paradise for an adventurous pup, with its off-leash dog park, hiking trails, and its close proximity to the beach where dogs are allowed to run free. You’ll also catch gorgeous views of the bluffs overlooking the ocean, making this a win-win situation for you and your pup.

Finish the day with a nice dinner at The Brewhouse6, where they have doggy menus too! While you enjoy a delicious meal, indulge your pup with their choice of steak bites, a frozen marrow bone, chicken strips, and more. Treat yourself and your pup during your California road trip by stopping by these dog-friendly places in Santa Barbara!


6. Pfeiffer Beach, Big Sur

A California road trip can never have enough beaches – especially if they are dog-friendly! Pfeiffer Beach7 is a unique spot with a romantic ambiance you have probably seen in movies and famous photographs. Here you’ll find tide pools and the famous Keyhole Rock that captures the last rays of sunlight. Reviews rave that this is the best place to watch sunsets and its calm environment encourages dogs to explore.

This is a lovely place for a quiet lunch, to read a book, or even play with your pup after a long day on the road. Dogs are required to be on a leash here, but they’re more than welcome to walk along the shore with you. Unwind from the long car drive here and make memories at this hidden gem.


7. Carmel Beach, Carmel

Known as the #1 Dog-Friendly Town in America, Carmel is a must for all pet owners! Carmel Beach8 is where you’ll see a wide variety of dogs running free and their friendly owners right behind them. There is always another pup around, so if your pet is the playful type, they’ll be sure to make a new friend here! The town takes your pup’s needs into consideration and sets up water bowls and poop bags at the beach in case your dog needs to take a moment from playing with their new beach friends.

Carmel Beach also offers a scenic path where you and your pup can catch sight of Carmel Point, Pebble Beach Golf Links, and Carmel’s gorgeous Cypress trees and white sand beach. We recommend doing both, starting off with a walk that leads to a doggy meet-up near the ocean!


8. Dolores Park, San Francisco

You’ve made it to the city of San Francisco! Just because you’ve stepped into a city doesn’t mean you need to leave your pet at home. San Francisco is known as a pet-friendly city where many shops and restaurants allow dogs, and sometimes even offer a special dog menu!

One of our favorite places to meet Bay Area pups is Dolores Park9. Here you’ll see a wide variety of dogs, people, activities, and fields for different sports. Pets are welcomed to roam off-leash in the grassy area here, and on-leash near the sport fields, tennis courts, and playgrounds. You’ll get the chance to meet locals from the area, as well as residents from Noe Valley and The Castro.

Hungry? Stop by Dolores Park Café10, a three-minute walk from the park with a dog-friendly patio. Here you’ll find smoothies, small bites, and even meals such as sandwiches and salads. Whether you prefer to eat there or set up a picnic at Dolores park, there’s nothing like being able to take your pup everywhere you go!


9. Crissy Field, San Francisco

If this is your first time in San Francisco, make sure to stop by Crissy Field! Crissy Field10 is a conservancy park with breathtaking views of the Golden State Bridge. Not only is this place the perfect spot to snap pictures, but also great for picnics, tidal marsh overlooks, windsurfing, and playing fetch with your pup!

Dogs can run free in certain spots, so keep a lookout for signs that suggest otherwise. However, some of the off-leash sites include the beaches along the waterline and the large, grassy field. Whether your pup prefers to romp near the water or would rather stay dry, they get the best of both worlds at Crissy Field!


10. Healthy Spot!

Last but certainly not least, make sure to visit Healthy Spot! Sprinkled throughout Southern California and coming soon to the Bay Area, make sure to stop by and spoil your pup. From food, treats, toys, and accessories, our Healthy Spot team can help you find the best travel-friendly items. See all our current locations here and plan the pit stop.

Make this summer a fun one with a California road trip with your pup. From scenic beaches to popular parks, you and your pup will both have a blast meeting other people and their pets. Have plans to take a road trip this summer? Check out our Summer Collection for great toys, accessories, and more that will make traveling with your pet a breeze.

1 American Kennel Club. 7 Fun Things to do With Your Dog. 
2 Huntington Dog Beach. About Us
3 Dog Parks and Beach around Los Angeles. Runyon Canyon Dog Park
4 Coastal Cone. Our Story. 
5 City of Santa Barbara. Douglas Family Preserve
6 Yelp. The Brewhouse
7 DogTrekker. Pfeiffer beach
8 Go Pet Friendly. California’s Top Pet Friendly Attraction: Carmel Beach. 
9 San Francisco Recreation & Parks. Mission Dolores Park South Dog Play Area. 
10 Dolores Park Café. The story behind Dolores Park Café. 
11Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy. Crissy Field


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Comments (1)

  • Thanks for informative sharing. I must say that your shared information is very useful for me.


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