Dog-friendly Old Sacramento Waterfront

Wag your way through Old Sac

Sacramento’s Tower Bridge, with pedestrian and bike lane.
Sacramento’s Tower Bridge, with pedestrian and bike lane.
Sacramento’s No. 1 tourist destination is as popular with locals as with visitors. And now that masks are off and smiles are on, it’s crazy hopping with activity again. The Old Sacramento Waterfront is loaded with history – it played a major role as a jumping off spot and supply center during the 1849 Gold Rush. With its waterfront location, wealth of historic buildings and protection as a state and national historic landmark, it retains an enduring charm.

Park your vehicle in one of two garages or at a meter on the street, take a stroll, absorb the atmosphere and appreciate the fact that Old Sac was the western terminus of the first transcontinental railroad as well as the short-lived Pony Express (the statue at 2nd and J Street is a popular DogTrekker meeting spot).

The district’s 50-odd historic buildings, spread over 29 acres, now house bustling shops, craft breweries, taprooms, museums and many restaurants with dog-friendly patios. Go budget with a light meal at an establishment like Steamers, Emma’s or Bali Café, or splurge on a more upscale meal at Rio City Café or next-door Joe’s Crab Shack, both with dog-friendly decks overlooking the Sacramento River and all the boats going by.

Then, take a stroll along the riverfront promenade and snap some selfies of you and your pup with the Delta King riverboat (now a hotel) and the striking, stepped-pyramid-style Ziggurat Building in the background. Walk across the Tower Bridge (yes, there’s a pedestrian and bike lane) for a stroll along the esplanade on the West Sac side of the river and views of the downtown Sac skyline.

Turn left, follow the riverside trail and you’ll soon come to Drakes: The Barn, an odd piece of architecture that houses a brewpub, beergarden and pizza kitchen. There’s always a food truck on site, too, and live music on weekends. The dog-friendly venue opens onto a big field with a playground where lots of kids and pups romp and play.

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Posted on: March 7, 2022

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