Whew! Summer’s over, the crowds are gone, fall weather is on the way—and with it (usually) crystal-clear skies and views to go with. There’s no better time for a trip con canine along California’s gorgeous Central Coast. Start in Santa Cruz County, where the cottage-and-cabin options include the family-favorite Santa Cruz/Monterey KOA in Watsonville, just a few miles from the coast.
Talk about options: Pets are allowed in tent and RV sites as well as in designated camping cabins, and while they can’t jump in the heated pool with you, they’re welcome to hang out at the campfire or on the miniature golf course. In Santa Cruz proper, Ocean Echo Inn & Beach Cottages, just 100 feet from the sea, welcomes dogs in some of its beach-inspired cottages, which are decorated in cool pastels.
Moving south to Monterey County, the options open up with a string of re-imagined 1940s and '50s-era cottage motels including Sea Breeze Inn & Cottages, Andril Fireplace Cottages and Bide-A-Wee Inn & Cottages, in the seaside town of Pacific Grove. All are fixed up for the 21st century and situated within walking distance of dog-friendly Asilomar Beach and a gorgeous trail hugging the dramatic and much-photographed coastline.
Just down the road in Carmel-by-the-Sea, Carmel Forest Lodge, Carmel Resort Inn Cottages and Carmel River Inn are just three of many cottage-style inns that welcome dogs accompanied by their well-behaved people.
In San Luis Obispo County, at the southern end of Big Sur, pet-friendly vacation rentals are the way for cottage-seekers to go. Check with the property management companies listed in our SLO pages, or surf the offerings at TripAdvisor, VRBO.com or HomeAway.com to find the properties that best suits your budget, location and style. Need doggie daycare? Happy Tails Kennel is the place!