Historical and Cultural

Dog-friendly Historical & Cultural in California

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All aboard for Gold Country history

Yosemite Mtn. Sugar Pine Railroad. Photo by Tenaya Lodge-Delaware North Companies.
Yosemite Mtn. Sugar Pine Railroad. Photo by Tenaya Lodge-Delaware North Companies.

Tuolumne County is the heart of California Gold Country, and to get a feel for it, you and your family will want to visit both Columbia State Historic Park, with its living history attractions, and just six miles away, the Railtown 1897 State Historic Park. The steam train and water tower, featured many Hollywood movies and TV shows, is a centerpiece in what is known as the Movie Railroad.

Also, further south in the Gold Country, you will discover the Yosemite Mountain Sugar Pine Railroad.
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Wag your way through the central valley

Western Railway Museum. Photo by Chris, Western Railway Museum.
Western Railway Museum. Photo by Chris, Western Railway Museum.

Redwood forests and mountains might be more scenically impressive, but there’s a different kind of ambience to be had in California’s flatlands. And the dog-friendly excursion trains that operate here provide plenty of diversions.

Take, for example, the electric trains of the Western Railway Museum, a repository of history from the pre-Interstate days when Northern California communities were connected by “interurban” railroads. The biggest player was the Sacramento Northern, whose trunk line stretched 184 miles from Chico to San Francisco. more »

Cruising for history and scenery in Santa Cruz County

Engineer in-training on Roaring Camp Railroad. Photo by Visit Santa Cruz.
Engineer in-training on Roaring Camp Railroad. Photo by Visit Santa Cruz.

Roaring Camp Railroads, based out of Felton in Santa Cruz County, provide more than just a dog-friendly ride. The company’s Redwood Forest Steam Trains roll on a narrow-gauge track once used to haul giant redwood logs from the forest. They cruise now on 75-minute trips from Roaring Camp to Bear Mountain, where a picnic stop and hiking trails await.

There’s also a Beach Train that makes 3-hour excursions along the San Lorenzo River to the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk amusement park (sorry; it’s not dog-friendly). more »

Bucket-list cottages and cabin escapes

Maya checks out the llamas at Dog & Pony Ranch. Photo by Dave Kendrick.
Maya checks out the llamas at Dog & Pony Ranch. Photo by Dave Kendrick.

Dog-friendly cabins dot the California landscape, connecting four-legged family members with best-in-show adventures. Whether you prefer a farm stay in Gold Country, a trek along Yosemite trails, or a Marin County coastal stroll, you’ll always find great options. Because DogTrekker.com readers tell us that cabins and cottages are their top lodging preference, we asked Maya, DogTrekker’s Director of Barketing, to do some digging. She’s traveled California in search of dog-friendly cabins and cottages, and here are three of her favorites.

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Paws up: Sacramento here we come!

Story of Owney, U.S. Rail Mail Mascot at the California State Railroad Museum. Dogs welcome outside. Photo by Dave Kendrick.
Story of Owney, U.S. Rail Mail Mascot at the California State Railroad Museum. Dogs welcome outside. Photo by Dave Kendrick.

It’s a new year and Sacramento has come thrillingly alive again. Restaurants, craft breweries and entertainment venues are humming – and wherever you look, you’ll see people with dogs! Join us in our journey as we wag through Old Sacramento, play in some great parks and check out the dog scene at dog-friendly Sacramento hotels.

Discover some DogTrekker favorites in Sacramento:

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Play in a park with your pup

Bonnie plays with friend at Partner Park. Photo by Janet Fullwood.
Bonnie plays with friend at Partner Park. Photo by Janet Fullwood.

Sacramento has a couple of nicknames. For the last decade or so, it’s prided itself as “America’s Farm-to-Fork Capital” due to its location in the agriculture-rich Central Valley. But it’s been known since the mid-1800s as the “City of Trees” for the robust canopies that shelter its many parks and older residential neighborhoods. The tree-planting binge started by early residents never stopped, and today, Sacramento’s parks provide shady refuge for DogTrekkers, even on the hottest summer days. more »

Wag your way through Old Sac

Sacramento’s Tower Bridge, with pedestrian and bike lane.
Sacramento’s Tower Bridge, with pedestrian and bike lane.

Sacramento’s No. 1 tourist destination is as popular with locals as with visitors. And now that masks are off and smiles are on, it’s crazy hopping with activity again. The Old Sacramento Waterfront is loaded with history – it played a major role as a jumping off spot and supply center during the 1849 Gold Rush. With its waterfront location, wealth of historic buildings and protection as a state and national historic landmark, it retains an enduring charm. more »

Take a walk in the historical downtown district

Walnut Ave. Photo by Visit Santa Cruz.
Walnut Ave. Photo by Visit Santa Cruz.

Just a short stroll from the contemporary shops of downtown Santa Cruz, you’ll find some of the city’s most elaborate Victorian homes along the charming, tree-lined Walnut Avenue. For more detail, download a hugely informative walking tour map from the City of Santa Cruz. After you strolled the historical neighborhood, head back downtown for some dog-friendly patio dining at Walnut Avenue Cafe – a spot known for its great breakfast, brunch, and lunch options, plus a dog menu! more »

Hike to the lime kilns at Pogonip

Lime kilns. Photo by Garrick Ramirez, Visit Santa Cruz.
Lime kilns. Photo by Garrick Ramirez, Visit Santa Cruz.

Hit the trails of Pogonip with the pup to see the historic ruins of the lime kilns. It wasn’t just redwood logs that helped to build burgeoning Bay Area cities during the 19th century, it was also lime. Follow the Lime Kiln Trail into a redwood forest, and you’ll discover massive stone furnaces that processed the lime. Your pup may not be as interested in the historical treasures on this hike, but she’ll love sniffing along the way. more »

Wine taste at a historic winery

The dog-friendly patio at Bargetto Winery. Photo by Visit Santa Cruz.
The dog-friendly patio at Bargetto Winery. Photo by Visit Santa Cruz.

Sip award-winning wines as your leashed pup enjoys the creekside courtyard of Bargetto Winery. Located in Soquel, Bargetto has been producing handcrafted wines in the Santa Cruz Mountains for nearly 90 years. Another local wine favorite with a touch of historical intrigue is Soquel Vineyards. Soquel Vineyards was established in 1987 by members of the same Bargetto family. Want to continue your dog-friendly wine tour? Check out this helpful blogmore »

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