Dog-loving residents of Oakland have it all: tons of bars and restaurants with dog-friendly outdoor seating; an overall welcoming attitude toward canines; and a wealth of open-space trails, many of which don’t require leashes away from developed areas.
The city also has a hip, dog-friendly place to stay in the Waterfront Hotel in the heart of the vibrant Jack London Square dining, shopping and entertainment district.
Fittingly for a hotel with water frontage, the décor at this boutique Joie de Vivre property is nautical. It’s affordable, too, with “pamper your pooch” packages offering all manner of amenities and treats at a reasonable price.
Ready for food and libations? Beer Revolution on Jack London Square is one of the city’s best-known watering holes, featuring 48 craft beers on tap, dog-friendly patio tables and a very mellow vibe.
Dogs are so welcome here that the Beer Rev even has a Dogs of Beer Revolution Facebook page!
Bella hiking on Oakland's Leona Canyon
We have two lunch or dinner suggestions on the square. Fat Lady Bar & Restaurant is a family-owned establishment with Victorian décor, lots of memorabilia, a colorful history, dog-friendly umbrella tables and a menu heavy on pasta and seafood.
At Bocanova, you and Furry can rest your paws on a waterfront patio while enjoying Latin-inspired entrees such as day-boat scallops in Brazilian curry sauce or low-cal starters such as jicama wedges with chili and lime.
You’ll have to leash up to explore Joaquin Miller Park in the Oakland Hills, where you’ll wander through redwood groves, oak woodlands and along gurgling streams spread over 500 acres. For dogs with a need for speed, there’s a fenced, off-leash dog park for burning some energy.
Leona Canyon Regional Open Space Preserve near Merritt College is another urban oasis; this one makes up for a lack of amenities (no drinking water or restrooms) with an X-shaped configuration of trails tracing the sides of a steep canyon and offering sweeping views of the East Bay and beyond.
The park is part of the East Bay Regional Park District, which has a relaxed policy when it comes to unclipping the leash away from developed areas.
One more hiking suggestion: Claremont Canyon Regional Preserve, a 208-acre oasis tucked behind the historic (and dog-friendly) Claremont Hotel in the Berkeley and Oakland Hills. An ecological corridor on an urban fringe, the preserve supports a mosaic of vegetation types, from grasslands to woodlands.
Picturesque hiking trails are the main attraction for DogTrekkers, who can paw their way up the steep trail that climbs three-quarters of a mile from Stonewall Road to the ridge top for panoramic views of Oakland, Berkeley, San Francisco Bay and the Golden Gate Bridge.
Sit a spell to drink it in, and give your dog a pat for sharing this aerobic adventure.