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7 incredible dog-friendly places in California to take your pet this fall

Road trip! You probably don’t have to say that twice to get an enthusiastic reaction from your family — or the family dog. No matter if you spend a few hours in a neighboring town or pack for a weekend adventure, exploring new places with the family is a great way to recharge as well as make new memories.

And thanks to a recent rise in pet-friendly tourism, you don’t always have to leave your dog at home when you go. If you’re looking for a little West Coast fun for the family this fall, these dog-friendly places in California are fantastic to visit with your pet.

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Dog-friendly beaches

Headed to the beach? Why not pick one your dog can enjoy, too? Here are just a few of our favorites:

  • Huntington Beach Dog Beach is open every day of the year from 5 a.m. to 10 p.m. Amenities include public restrooms (for human family members), handicap-access ramps, grassy picnic areas, and drinking fountains for both dogs and their humans. They even provide doggie waste bags so you can pick up after your pet. Dogs can run unleashed on the sand but need to be on a leash in all other areas.
  • Coronado Beach and Dog Park is located directly across from Sunset Park on Ocean Boulevard. Your dog will have the time of his life romping on the beach while you take in the amazing scenery. Point Loma, a seaside community, is visible on your right, while the rightfully renowned Hotel del Coronado, famous for hosting celebrities, presidents, and royalty since it opened in 1888, is on your left.
  • Rosie’s Dog Beach on Ocean Boulevard in Long Beach is open between 6 a.m. and 8 p.m. every day. Waste bags are available in receptacles dotted throughout the 4-acre beach for those who forget to bring their own. As the only off-leash dog beach in the county, there is no fence, and the posted hours for dog play are strictly enforced.

Santa Barbara

After spending a weekend in Santa Barbara, your dog may want to move there permanently! In addition to dog-friendly beaches, there are a variety of parks, trails, wineries, and hotels that welcome your four-legged family member.

For a real treat, book a “Bed and Biscuit” stay at SAM’s Doggie Dude Ranch, where your dog can romp in the water trough, chase squirrels, or find a place to lounge in the 1-acre fenced-in compound while the rest of the family finds their own fun.

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Avenue of the Giants

Won’t it be fun to see the look on your dog’s face when he gets an eyeful of one of these giant redwoods? This 31-mile section of old Highway 101 in Humboldt County is filled with opportunities for your entire family.

One of the attractions is the Chandelier Drive Thru Tree Park in Leggett, where you can actually drive your car (smaller than an SUV) through a giant redwood. The park also includes a picnic area and 250 miles of dog-friendly hiking trails, where your pup can “investigate” one of these big trees up close and personal.

Dog-friendly wineries in Napa

Wine aficionados who have Napa Valley on their bucket list needn’t leave their dog at home when they visit. In addition to many pet-friendly hotels in the area, several wineries welcome four-legged furry guests.

  • Black Stallion Winery, a family business that dates back to 1924, is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. except on New Year’s Day, Easter, Thanksgiving Day, and Christmas Day. During summer months, dogs are welcome on their terrace, where they offer a variety of seated tastings.
  • Chimney Rock Winery is a destination for many cabernet sauvignon lovers as it’s one of the few wineries that produces all Stags Leap District estate-grown cabernets. Your leashed dog is welcome on the patio, inside the tasting room, and on your stroll through the estate. They even provide dog bowls with water so your pup can conduct his own (water) tasting.

We’ve only scratched the surface of dog-friendly places you can visit in California. If you’re interested in exploring other parts of the state, simply search online for dog-friendly accommodations in the area you want to visit. You’ll find plenty.

One thing: Be sure to check on availability before you make final reservations. All policies are subject to change, including pet policies. A quick confirmation call before you leave can be the difference between disappointment and a fun-filled, West Coast vacation for the entire family.

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Debbie Clason
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Debbie Clason's work has appeared in Family Life Magazine, Sports Illustrated, The Lutheran Witness, Massage Magazine…
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