Amador County, best known for its robust zinfandels and barberas, celebrates big reds with its annual Barbera Festival, an outdoor sip-and-stroll event set this year for Sept. 16 at Terra d’Oro/Montevina Winery in the foothill town of Plymouth. More than 80 wineries from all over the state will be pouring, while top restaurants will offer samples of their fare. Artists, musicians and vendors will of course be on hand, too. If you can guarantee your dog will be a good dog in a crowded situation, bring her along (but be sure to keep her leashed, provide water and—you know the drill—pick up after her immediately should the need arise).
Can’t make it then? No worries. If you enjoy visiting wineries, Amador County has more than 20 venues that welcome four-legged visitors in their picnic areas and tasting rooms. Through September, Baiocchi Wines offers an additional lure with a bi-weekly music series on Sunday afternoons at its dog-friendly Sutter Creek tasting room.
Sutter Creek and Jackson are well known bed-and-breakfast havens, and DogTrekkers in search of cottage accommodations will also strike gold with private vacation rentals such as the family-friendly (including Coco, of course) Sutter Creek Cottage, situated right on Sutter Creek and just two blocks from Main Street’s half-mile-long strip of antiques stores, boutiques, tasting rooms and restaurants, many of them dog friendly. For a big family get-together, take dogs, kids and Aunt Suzy to the Dog & Pony Ranch in Jackson, where you can spread out on 60 rural acres and enjoy a spacious home furnished with poured concrete floors, leather sofas and other features designed specifically to encourage and welcome canine guests.
Of course, sometimes you just need a vacation from you pet—and your pet needs a vacation from you. Find satisfaction all the way around at Gold Country Pet Resort & Training in Ione, where you can board your dog for a day or three and/or get instruction in canine sports including dock diving, barn hunt and nosework.
Photo Credit: @krispix3