As we reported last year, the City of Santa Cruz had a longstanding ban on dogs, even the leashed, licensed and well-behaved, from its downtown area, causing painful surprise to many visitors.
We're pleased to report that in response not only to the local dog community but merchants who complained that they were tired of losing tourist business to more dog-friendly towns like Carmel, the city government lifted the ban on a trial basis last summer and, when all went well, made the new policy permanent.
Some things to keep in mind when visiting Santa Cruz with your four-legged friend: dogs are only allowed downtown from sunrise to sunset, and must be on leash at all times. Also, they must be with their person at all times; no leaving Daisy tied to a parking meter while you zip into a store. And, of course, carry cleanup bags, and use 'em.
While in town, you both can stop for lunch at the upscale Cafe Limelight for coffee, tea, sandwiches and a special dog menu. Alternatively, get some pizza at Engfer Pizza Works, or go for the fresh seafood at Aldo's on the coast.
Photo: "Tiki at Santa Cruz Beach" - S. Grace (Creative Commons)