Travel With Your Canine in California

By Peter Greenberg

Can’t wait for your next trip, but are miserable at the idea of leaving your best friend behind?

traveling dog catching air - photo by Danijel Juricev

After all, who better to experience long walks on the beach with – or snuggling up on the terrace to watch the sunset with – than your pooch (especially when no meaningful conversation is expected)?

If you’ve got to get away, but can’t bear the sad look from those puppy dog eyes, maybe it’s time for a little getaway that includes Fido, too. The following are some canine-friendly cities that offer more unusual treats to lure both of you for a visit.


“But my dog doesn’t drink,” you argue. No worries. While you’re lapping up
the region’s top-notch wine, your canine pal will have plenty of things to


Cuvaison Winery
4550 Silverado Trail, Calistoga, California

Well-behaved dogs on leashes are allowed to join you in the small tasting
room and in the three outdoor picnic areas.

Clos Du Val Winery
5330 Silverado Trail, Napa, California 94558

Dogs on leashes are allowed in the enormous tasting room and on the property


Hillcrest Country Inn
3225 Lake County Hwy, Calistoga, California

Host Debbie O’Gorman runs this country home with her three dogs, Taz, Debo
and Bamboo, who are friendly and welcoming to other canine friends. The
antique-filled home is located on a hilltop with an unbeatable view of Napa
Valley. You and your pup can romp around the 36-acre property where there is
swimming, hiking and fishing, and then he has the option of staying in your
room or in a large outdoor kennel.

Beazley House Bed & Breakfast Inn
1910 First Street, Napa, California

You’ll be able to play with resident Golden Retrievers Sissy and Autumn
Beazley in this downtown Napa inn, and you’ll even receive a doggie welcome
basket with a bowl, doggie beer, bones and cleanup baggies. Three rooms open
out into the gardens, and there is a $25 per day per dog charge, with a
maximum of two dogs per room.


540 Main Street, Napa, California

This gourmet French restaurant allows dogs on leashes in their outdoor
patio, and will provide water and treats while you dine.

Bistro Don Giovonni
4110 Saint Helena Hwy, Napa, California

This laid-back Mediterranean restaurant (it’s the sister to San Francisco’s
Scala Bistro) allows dogs in their outdoor tables, but please call ahead to
inform the staff.

Los Angeles already has a reputation for being a dog-friendly city, but its neighbor down south is making steps to become the next hot dog spot in
Southern California. Long Beach is a coastal city that has recently opened three acres of its beach in Belmont Shore as an off-leash area. “The
Dog Zone” visitors must follow the rules- only one dog per adult, and pooper-scoopers are a must. The Dog Zone starts at 4800 E. Ocean Blvd., between Roycroft and Argonn streets.

Also in Long Beach is the very active Haute Dogs organization, which
arranges several doggie-centered events in Belmont Shore all year long. The
Haute (pronounced “hot”) Dog Easter Parade features hundreds of dogs
marching along in bonnets and Easter outfits, while the Howl’oween Parade
and Canine Costume Contest that includes an adoption fair, a bulldog kissing
booth; and a dancing dog demonstrations. If that’s not doggone wacky enough,
stick around Long Beach for the Haute Dog poetry contest and bulldog beauty

Several restaurants and shops along the busy Second Street in Belmont Shore
offer water bowls to welcome pets. Pet-friendly accommodations are rather
scarce (you may be better off making Long Beach doggie festivities part of a
day trip), but you can try the following:

Renaissance Long Beach Hotel, a luxury hotel that welcomes dogs of any size
for a $75 non-refundable fee. 111 East Ocean Boulevard, Long Beach, 562-437-5900

Peter Greenberg is a preeminent expert on travel. His focus is on the journey, providing insider’s tips and recommendations to an increasingly savvy and demanding traveler. Peter is also author of The New York Times best-selling series, The Travel Detective, which uncovers secrets the airline, hotel, cruise and rental car industries don’t want consumers to know. Check out Travel Tips for more insider information.

Written by J. Lee

A seasoned world traveller, J. Lee writes about his weekend trips away, travel for work, and his many Europe vacations.

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