Contra Costa County
Travelers whizzing through Contra Costa County on their way to San Francisco or San Jose might know the area only for its conveniently located rapid-transit stations—and that’s a shame, because this scenic and affluent slice of the Bay Area is worth visiting for the dog treats alone. Concord
and Pleasant Hill
are DogTrekker favorites, featuring affordable lodging, close proximity to the world-class wines of Napa and Sonoma Valleys, outdoor exploration and family and dog-friendly attractions.
Close by is the East Bay Regional Park District
, whose 64 parks span 108,000 acres and include 1,200 miles of trails in Contra Costa and neighboring Alameda
counties. In undeveloped areas of most of the parks, dogs are allowed to run free under voice command—a blessing for owners of hyper types and a joy for canines of all persuasions. In other areas, trails are shared with equestrians and cyclists, so leashes are the rule.
Point Isabel Regional Shoreline
, a 23-acre place for wet and wooly off-leash fun, is perhaps the best known and most utilized of dog-friendly Contra Costa parks, but there are others, both on the coast and in the hills, where you can have the landscape to yourself, at least for awhile.
Luke at Sheraton Pleasanton Hotel
Photo Credit: @slandgirlinjourney
Sure, you could commute from the Bay Area or Sacramento, but why not make a weekend of it? After a day of hiking or touring the wine or craft-beer trails, it’s nice to stay for dinner, pull into a nearby hotel and spend the night. By our count, more than two dozen Tri-Valley hotels welcome four-legged visitors (use the handy dog-friendly check box at visittrivalley.com to filter hotels). more »
McKay's Taphouse & Beer Garden - Photo Credit: @kamperdoodle
Think of a trail, and you probably envision a path for hiking or biking, right? In the Tri-Valley, however, not all trails are made for ambulating from place to place. The region also boasts a Beer Trail, a Wine Trail and an Ice Cream Trail. Each is a collection of establishments, many of them dog-friendly, where you can indulge in your passion for brew, vino or tasty treats. more »
Photo Credit: @gio.n.theo
The Tri-Valley is nothing if not progressive when it comes to providing DogTrekkers and other residents with outdoor opportunities, and the Iron Horse Regional Trail is a great example. This 32-mile, multi-use path, paved all the way, runs between Concord and the Pleasanton/Dublin BART station along the abandoned Southern Pacific Railway right-of-way. Shared by cyclists, equestrians and pedestrians (including those of the four-legged variety), it connects schools, business centers, parks, regional trails and public transportation. more »
Sycamore Valley Open Space Preserve
Photo Credit: @mr_wigglebutt
The story behind why the Tri-Valley region has more open space than urban sprawl is long and complex, but there’s no arguing with the results! All four towns in the region are situated in close proximity to parcels within the vast East Bay Regional Park system, where dogs can hike with their people off-leash in many open-space and undeveloped areas, provided they are under strict voice control at all times. more »
While the Tri-Valley region is within easy commuting distance of the Bay Area and Sacramento, after a day of hiking or touring the wine or craft beer trails, it’s always nice to stay for dinner, pull into a nearby hotel and spend the night. Tri-Valley has accommodations to fit any taste or budget and by our count, over two-dozen are dog-friendly. The Hyatt House in Pleasanton even has their own resident dog who hangs out in reception. more »