dog-friendly trains

Dog-friendly Trains in California

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Walk, wag and wine taste through Santa Cruz County history

Dog-Roaring Camp. Photo by Visit Santa Cruz.
Dog-Roaring Camp. Photo by Visit Santa Cruz.

DogTrekkers tell us they like to look through the destinations we cover through a historical lens, and Santa Cruz County has it all. From the impeccably restored 19th century Victorians to old lime kilns that helped build San Francisco, Santa Cruz County has many unique and historical treasures waiting to be discovered, enjoyed, and sniffed – sniffed? Yes! Bring the pup along as you walk, wag, wine taste, and more through Santa Cruz County history.

Here are some historic destinations for you and your dog to explore: 

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All aboard a historic train through the redwoods

Roaring Camp railroads. Photo by Visit Santa Cruz.
Roaring Camp railroads. Photo by Visit Santa Cruz.

See California’s towering redwoods from an authentic 19th-century steam train through the Big Trees to the summit of Bear Mountain at Roaring Camp Railroads. Well-behaved dogs are welcome aboard and will love to put their nose to the sky as they take in the smells of the redwoods. And for the active pups that want to get some miles in, there are plenty of trails and grounds to explore! more »

Stay and play in Vacaville

Maya & Parents at Lagoon Valley Park.
Maya & Parents at Lagoon Valley Park.

Sure, you could drive home after a day of hiking or just romping with your dog the fabulous, 3,000-acre fenced canine playground at Lagoon Valley/Pena Adobe Park or the newer Centennial Park. But you could also put paws to pillow a comfy spot like Vacaville’s centrally located Hyatt Place or Residence Inn by Marriott. They’re among nine dog-friendly lodgings in this valley town just minutes away from open-space preserves, wineries and other attractions. more »

Playtime with your pup in the East Bay’s big back yard

Dog-passionate San Francisco Bay Area.
Dog-passionate San Francisco Bay Area.

Yes, San Francisco traffic congestion can be a turnoff, but head to the East Bay and you’ll be amazed by all the open-to-the-public lands at your disposal – not to mention dozens of boutique wineries and, in spring, emerald-green, oak-dotted hills that beckon as invitingly to dogs as to their people.

Here are some of our favorite destinations in the dog-friendly East Bay:

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Fall into Mendocino County

Dakota at Mendocino Grove. Photo by Jennifer Brierley.
Dakota at Mendocino Grove. Photo by Jennifer Brierley.

California travelers know fall is the ripe time to pack the hiking boots for an adventure in Northern California’s Mendocino County. As the barometer slides, the fog pulls away, corks pop and nature hits its seasonal migration stride. 

Here is the best of dog-friendly Mendocino County in the fall:

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Redwoods, railroads and dogs, oh my!

Skunk Train rail bikes. Photo by Skunk Train.
Skunk Train rail bikes. Photo by Skunk Train.

Step back in time for a magical ride through the redwoods on the world-famous Skunk Train. According to Chief Skunk Robert Pinoli, "In our 136 years of service, we've transported millions of passengers. We think it's high time that our beloved canine companions should be able to join in the fun." Here are some of the outstanding experiences you can ride, from classic daily trips to Magical Christmas, Easter and Pumpkin Express outings.

Photo: Brendan McGuigan more »

Board the storied Skunk Train

Kayla boards the Skunk Train
Kayla boards the Skunk Train

Experience classic Mendocino County on the California Western Railroad’s Redwood Route, a logging-era line established in 1885. Pungent odors produced by early-1900s motorcars earned the route its Skunk Train nickname—those units ran on gasoline and burned crude oil to keep passengers warm.

Today, the Skunk Train’s refurbished (and very dog-friendly!) steam- and diesel electric-powered cars still showcase old-growth forests. more »

A pedigreed playground for your pup

A pedigreed playground for your pup

The active Noyo Harbor fishing village sets an engaging backdrop for a Noyo Harbor Inn stay. Walk your dog around the village, or plan adventures at the area’s state parks, beaches, botanical gardens and attractions. Ride the famous Skunk Train. Admire shimmering Glass Beach at sunset. Photograph Fort Bragg murals. You’ll find plenty of fun for you and your four-legged friends. more »

Redwoods, railroads and Mendocino County magic

Ride the famous Skunk Train, Mendocino County
Ride the famous Skunk Train, Mendocino County

California Western Railroad lines have wound through majestic Mendocino County redwoods for 135 years. Affectionately known as the “Skunk Train,” this celebrated attraction welcomes travelers and their four-legged friends on five historic trains traveling two unforgettable routes.

The experience anchors an array of dog-friendly adventures on California’s rugged North Coast, from sampling local brews in Fort Bragg, to hiking more than 20 state parks, beaches and reserves dotting Mendocino County. Punch your ticket and start planning today.

Here are the latest stories about the Skunk Train:

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All Skunk Train experiences

Kayla sniffing out the Redwoods
Kayla sniffing out the Redwoods

Step back in time for a magical ride through the redwoods on the world-famous Skunk Train. According to Chief Skunk Robert Pinoli, "In our 136 years of service, we've transported millions of passengers. We think it's high time that our beloved canine companions should be able to join in the fun." Here are some of the outstanding experiences you can ride, from classic daily trips to Magical Christmas, Easter and Pumpkin Express outings. more »

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