From Santa Cruz County all the way down to Ventura, California’s Central Coast is a wave-washed mecca for DogTrekkers. You’ll find lots of choices for dog-friendly cabin and cottage lodging as well as tempting properties offered on Airbnb, Vrbo, homeaway.com and other home-sharing sites. Here are a few of our favorite retreats up and down this scenic slice of the state.
Santa Cruz County
In the town of Santa Cruz, Ocean Echo Inn & Beach Cottages is a boutique establishment just 100 feet from Sunny Cove Beach, midway between Capitola and the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk. Several rooms in the main house, although not the cottages themselves, are dog-friendly.
Seven miles inland, you and yours can woof it up at the Santa Cruz/Monterey Bay KOA, a multi-faceted destination with amenities including a heated pool, store, rec hall, campfire circle, mini-golf, excursion train rides and kid activities. Dogs are welcome in campsites and some cabins.
In all of California, there’s not another county with more choices for cabin and cottage lodging than this one. Choose from a string of fixed-up vintage auto courts within sound of the sea in Pacific Grove or pick from more than a dozen cute little places in Carmel (Carmel Forest Lodge & Cottages, Carmel Resort Inn Cottages and Carmel River Inn are just a few of more than a dozen choices).
Drive south to Big Sur, let the views absorb you and rest head and paws at a dog-friendly establishment like Big Sur Campground & Cabins, Fernwood Resort or Riverside Campground and Cabins.
San Luis Obispo County
They call it “SLO Cal,” and this coastal county is loaded with dog-friendly places to stay and things to do, from Nipomo to Paso Robles, San Luis Obispo, Avila Beach and Morro Bay, to San Simeon, Cambria, Cayucos and beyond.
Dog-friendly motels are abundant, and you’ll also find a warm welcome in the cabins at Nacimiento Resort, on a lake of the same name about a half-hour from SLO, where you pup is welcome to join you on a rented boat.
Otherwise, you’ll find lots of options for snagging a house or cottage through airbnb, VRBO or a property management company like Beachside Rentals in Cayucos. A heads-up regarding vacation rentals: cleaning fees, reservation fees and dog fees are applicable no matter how long or short your stay. They can really add up, so think twice before booking for just one or two days.
Santa Barbara County
Beach boys, bikini babes and surf dogs, oh yeah…This is quintessential SoCal beach territory, with lots of sand and sea to enjoy with your four-legged companion. You probably won’t want to be far from the water, and you won’t be if you snag a dog-friendly unit at Secret Garden Inn & Cottages, a charming and secluded property just steps from the waves.
Or, go tail-waggingly trendy at AutoCamp Santa Barbara, the first in what has become a chain of properties offering lodging in restored Airstream trailers. Four of the units here are dog-friendly; they come with kitchens, outdoor electric grill, beach cruiser bicycles and a small grassy area with a deck. The location is right downtown, so you can put Lucy on a leash and sashay your way to restaurants, beaches and other attractions.