Exploring Kennedy Meadows in Sonora. Rachael Moore (CC)
On Highway 49 you’ll find a string of Gold Rush-era towns delightfully uncrowded at this time of year. While Sutter Creek and Jackson are well known bed-and-breakfast havens, DogTrekkers in search of cottage accommodations will strike gold with private vacation rentals such as the family-friendly Sutter Creek Cottage, situated right on Sutter Creek and just two blocks from Main Street’s half-mile-long strip of antiques stores, boutiques, tasting rooms and restaurants, many of them dog friendly. For a big family get-together, take dogs, kids and Aunt Suzy to the Dog & Pony Ranch in Jackson, where you can spread out on 60 rural acres and enjoy a spacious, two-bedroom vacation home furnished with poured concrete floors, leather sofas and other features designed specifically to encourage and welcome canine guests (and up to seven of their human companions).
While its accommodations don’t fit within the strict definition of “cabin” or “cottage,” private garden entrances and patio hot tubs make Eden Vale Inn outside of Placerville a great choice for a romantic weekend with your significant other and the four-legged tagalong who can’t be left behind. There’s plenty of space to spread out on this luxury property covering several acres and encompassing gardens and a pond where your pooch can go for a rowboat ride or make a splash from the shore. The 50-plus farms, ranches and wineries of the Apple Hill Growers Association, celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, are just a skip away. Most all are dog-friendly, meaning you can sample local wines, pick a peck of apples, slice into a steaming apple pie or cut your own Christmas tree with Max by your side.
Moving on to Angels Camp, Greenhorn Creek Vacation Cottages, an enclave of homes within Greenhorn Creek Resort, includes three dog-friendly units, two of which sleep up to 10 people. Dogs can’t use the resort’s pool, golf course or tennis courts, but with walking trails, ponds and tens of thousands of acres of public lands nearby, four-legged visitors will never know what they’re missing.
When it comes to history and charm overlaid with low-key sophistication, Murphys has everything going for it, including pet-friendly rental cottages. Murphys Vacation Rentals includes five dog-friendly cottages in its inventory, all conveniently located in or within a short walk of historic Main Street, with its wealth of shops, tasting-rooms and restaurants, many with sidewalk or patio tables where Max is welcome to join you.