Dog-friendly Attractions

Dog-friendly Attractions

California has a rich bounty of dog-friendly attractions. Here you will find our best stories about trains, bridges, historical places, farm trails, summer ski lifts and more, curated by the DogTrekker.com editorial staff.
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Wine With Your Pup

Photo Credit: Visit Santa Cruz County
Photo Credit: Visit Santa Cruz County

If you don’t live in Santa Cruz County, you probably know this gorgeous stretch of the California coast for its beaches, its stellar university and the namesake town that proudly embraces its somewhat eccentric reputation. But Santa Cruz County is also known for its mountains, its redwood forests and its wines, particularly the pinot noir and chardonnay that thrive in the fog-kissed climate. Wineries and tasting rooms are sprinkled throughout the county, and dogs get a warm welcome at many of them. more »

Living Local In Santa Cruz County

Big Basin - Photo Credit: Alice Chen
Big Basin - Photo Credit: Alice Chen

Every time we visit, Santa Cruz County gets more and more dog-friendly. And this year there are several new opportunities to bark about. Tops among them: As of a couple of years ago, dogs have a place to hike with their people at Big Basin Redwoods State Park, where they previously were confined to campsites and picnic areas. The North Escape Road isn’t a trail, exactly, but it’ll do: The former fire evacuation road, surrounded by redwoods, provides for a 7-mile round-trip trek on a paved surface that parallels Opal Creek for much of the way. more »

Cruz The California Coast

Beach Time! Photo Credit: Visit Santa Cruz County
Beach Time! Photo Credit: Visit Santa Cruz County

Follow the Pacific Coast Highway (Highway 1) along the Santa Cruz County coastline, and you’ll be tempted by 29 miles of beaches (15 of them dog-friendly) along the way. Only one, Mitchell’s Cove, is legally leash-free, and then only before 10 a.m. and after 4 p.m. But no worries: there are plenty of other strands to explore provided you keep a tether stretched between you. more »

Things to Do in Santa Cruz County

Roaring Camp Railroads - Photo Credit: zak_the_vizsla
Roaring Camp Railroads - Photo Credit: zak_the_vizsla

When it comes to things to do with your dog in Santa Cruz County, there’s the obvious (beaches, wineries), and the not-so-obvious—like Byrne-Milliron Forest, a 400-acre Land Trust of Santa Cruz County property managed as a working forest and laced with dog-friendly trails (off-leash hiking for dogs with reliable recall is allowed). Another option for hikers is Pogonip, a 640-acre nature reserve/greenbelt with numerous dog-friendly trails. Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park is one of few state-run parks in California that allows dogs on some (but not all) trails. More...

Photo Credit: @zak_the_vizla more »

Win a Santa Cruz DogCation®!

Photo Credit: Visit Santa Cruz County
Photo Credit: Visit Santa Cruz County

One of our favorite DogCation locations is Santa Cruz County and this month a lucky DogTrekker will win the perfect getaway to this quintessential California beach location! The grand prize includes a two-night stay at the over-the-top dog-friendly Chaminade Resort & Spa complete with breakfast for four. The renovated AAA four-diamond Chaminade is located on a spectacular 300-acre Santa Cruz mountaintop, with its own dog-friendly hiking trails. In addition, you will win all-day ride passes to the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk (sorry, not dog-friendly), four passes to Roaring Camp Railroads (which is crazy dog-friendly) – plus, a goodie bag from Visit Santa Cruz County!  more »

Dog-Friendly Attractions on the Mendo Coast

Cooper - Photo Credit: @littlecooperbear
Cooper - Photo Credit: @littlecooperbear

The Mendocino Coast is rich in natural attractions, from beaches and redwood forests to vast networks of trails where you and your pup can hike to your hearts' content. And then there are the manmade attractions, from the dog-friendly Skunk Train to specially rigged outrigger canoes at Catch A Canoe in which dogs can ride with their paddling people, to the Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardensmore »

Rush On Up to Redding

Nala celebrating her birthday on the trail - Shasta Dam <br/> Photo Credit: larryvaupel
Nala celebrating her birthday on the trail - Shasta Dam
Photo Credit: larryvaupel

Lace up your hiking boots, load Lucy into the car and get a grip on your leash: you’ll need it when you see how excited she’ll become upon encountering a multitude of new sights and smells in dog-friendly Redding, your gateway to the eight-county Shasta Cascade region. On a clear day, the 13,162-foot, snow-covered cone of Mount Shasta fills the windshield during the 2.5-hour drive up Interstate 5 from Sacramento. It’s a looming landmark and constant reminder that you’re leaving the Central Valley behind and entering the rugged landscapes of the Cascade range. more »

Pick A Peck o’ Pumpkins

Clancy
Clancy's Pumpkin Patch - Photo Credit: @littlecooperbear

What’s Halloween without a visit to a pumpkin patch, especially if the pumpkin patch doubles as a seasonal family theme park? Largest in Northern California is Cool Patch Pumpkins in Dixon, offering enough activities to keep tails wagging all day. more »

Woofin' It Up in Tuolumne County

Murphy at Indigeny Reserve. Photo Credit: Nikki Coleman
Murphy at Indigeny Reserve. Photo Credit: Nikki Coleman

Like other parts of Gold Country, Tuolumne County is rich in history, rugged scenery and recreational opportunities. You can get some of both and soak up some local color too at First Friday Jamestown Art Walk-Wine-Dine & Music events, continuing through October, or 2nd Saturday Art Nights held year-round in historic downtown Sonora. Either town makes a great base for jumping off into a weekend of hiking, history and off-the-beaten path exploring. more »

Finding Gold in El Dorado County

Dodge visits Larsen Apple Barn. Photo Credit: @birdiebrain
Dodge visits Larsen Apple Barn. Photo Credit: @birdiebrain

Talk about diverse: El Dorado County stretches from the city of Folsom, at the beginning of the Sierra Nevada foothills, all the way up to Lake Tahoe and the High Sierra. It’s what’s in between that’s of greatest interest to DogTrekkers in fall, when the harvest is on and the Apple Hill growing region off Highway 50 near Camino, just east of Placerville, rolls out the welcome mat at more than 50 farms and ranches. more »

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