Take a trip on dog-friendly Highway 1

Go coast crazy with your dog along Highway 1

Maya chasing the sun at Pismo Beach, SLO. Photo by Dave Kendrick.
Maya chasing the sun at Pismo Beach, SLO. Photo by Dave Kendrick.
California’s Central Coast starts in dog-friendly Santa Cruz County and winds some 350 miles south to Ventura County, just north of L.A. Yes, the famous coastal Highway 1 provides lots of mesmerizing scenery (and dog-friendly beaches) along the way, but there’s so much else to see and do that you might prefer to make base camp with your four-legged friend and just chill for a few days somewhere along the route.

Sand and surf are just part of the attraction; there are also beaucoup wineries, inland redwood forests and other dog-friendly places to explore with your pup by your side.

Head south through Monterey County to “SLO,” as San Luis Obispo is called by those in the know, and stretch your legs and paws at Laguna Lake Park, a 375-acre, in-town preserve with a 25-acre lake and several hiking trails leading into the hills beyond. Well-behaved dogs can be cut loose at an unfenced exercise area.

Highway 1 hugs the SLO coast for 75 miles, and along it, you’ll encounter shimmering coves, secluded tide pools and lots of surfers, bikini babes and (mostly) leashed dogs with sand between their toes.

There are lots of dog-friendly beaches in the vicinity of SLO, and although leashes are required at most, your pup can stretch out at Morro Bay Dog Beach (aka Toro Creek Dog Beach), Cayucos State Beach, Oceano Dunes State Park, Avila Beach (off-leash hours morning and evening) and Montana de Oro, with leash restrictions. On the way down, take an off-leash break at San Simeon Cove (next to Hearst Memorial Beach, where leash laws are strictly enforced).

And there’s so much more — including all of beautiful Santa Barbara County and, on the way back, Monterey County, too. Go to DogTrekker.com for comprehensive information on dog-friendly places to go and things to do all up and down the coast!

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Posted on: May 31, 2022

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