Santa Cruz County
Have dog, will travel. And you know a great place that you and your four-legged friend will love? Santa Cruz! From dog-friendly beaches and redwood hikes to restaurants and resorts, Santa Cruz County has a ton to offer for people and their pets.
Wine time with the pup
Visiting dog-friendly California wineries is a favorite DogTrekker activity. Even during the second year of the pandemic, summer saw crowded tasting rooms, packed patios and sold-out tours and special events.
Find tips and insights on dog-friendly wine areas ripe for visiting:
Photo by Santa Cruz County.
There are so many wine-tasting choices in Santa Cruz County – more than 70 small-production wineries and tasting rooms in all – that narrowing down a dog-friendly itinerary can be a delightfully difficult exercise. Might as well pick a region, a theme and a “wine trail” to stay on course. There’s the Organic Wine Trail showcasing organic vineyards, for example. more »
Photo by @westhree at Pogonip, courtesy Visit Santa Cruz
Pogonip Open Space, courtesy of Visit Santa Cruz.
There are miles of dog-friendly trails and secret treasures to discover at Pogonip Open Space. Leashed pups are welcome on several of the trails, but for an easy stroll with a big payoff, follow the Rincon Trail from the UCSC campus as it slopes downhill to the eastbound Spring Box Trail.
A quick stroll along the Spring Box Trail soon leads to an unexpected spring-fed koi pond tucked beneath a redwood tree. Please don’t allow pups any sort of dip into the pond – let’s be sure to protect this treasure for all locals and visitors. For more Pogonip trail info, be sure to take a look at this helpful map to guide your dog-friendly hiking adventures. more »
Photo by @lua_doberman at Henry Cowell, courtesy Visit Santa Cruz
Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park, courtesy of Visit Santa Cruz
Henry Cowell is a must. Locals and visitors alike love the beauty of the Santa Cruz Mountains and Henry Cowell has it all. For hikes with the pup, use the main park entrance off Highway 9 and access the Pipeline Trail.
This 6 mile out-and-back hike is on a paved road that travels through redwood trees, follows along the San Lorenzo River, and even passes under an active train trestle (wave hello to Roaring Camp Railroads)!
Wags at Land of Medicine Buddha
Photo Credit: @iamwagsthedog
So you’ve been there, done that in Santa Cruz County, and now it’s time for something new. If you’re of a contemplative turn of mind, Land of Medicine Buddha, a privately owned “center for healing and developing a good heart” in Soquel, is sure to enchant and delight. While its focus is on group and personal retreats, the active Buddhist community welcomes pet owners to enjoy its scenic hiking trails ($5 donation requested; no public access on Saturdays). more »