Variety is the name of the game when it comes to dog-friendly lodging in Santa Cruz County. Many DogTrekkers appreciate the spread-out comfort and conveniences (including a kitchen) that come with a vacation rental home, dozens of which can be found in Santa Cruz, Capitola, Aptos and other coastal communities. Those who’d rather be pampered to the max have options such as Chaminade Resort & Spa, a four-diamond, 156-room property on 300 mountaintop acres overlooking Monterey Bay. Not only are guest rooms dog-friendly; so is the “pooch patio” at Linwood’s Bar & Grill, which boasts a doggie menu featuring “yappetizers,” “faux paw entrees” and “doggie drinks.” Too over the top? Get down to earth at the Santa Cruz/Monterey Bay KOA, where Bowser can lodge in your cabin or campsite and two-legged kids can enjoy a heated pool, campfire circle, excursion-train rides, miniature golf and a bounce house.
While the KOA is seven miles from the shore, the county also boasts many inns, hotels and motels with ocean views and quick access to dog-friendly beaches. Among them are Monarch Cove Inn, a luxury 11-room, 2.5-acre Capitola estate perched on Depot Hill overlooking the water; West Cliff Inn, a 10-room B&B across from Main Beach (sorry, no dogs) in Santa Cruz; and Ocean Echo Inn & Beach Cottages, with accommodations ranging from one-bed guest rooms to multi-room family units with kitchens. Bright, open and popular with couples and their fur kids is the downtown Bay Front Inn, which welcomes canine guests with treats, a pet bed and designated potty-break area. For those who prefer the tried-and-true amenities of a nationally branded hotel, the Best Western Plus Inn Scotts Valley, Best Western Rose Garden Inn and numerous Days Inn and other chain properties can be found in the area.
Learn more about dog-friendly Santa Cruz County.
Rio Del Mar State Beach. Photo Credit: Phil King (CC)