Gracie at Dog and Pony Ranch. Photo courtesy Dog and Pony Ranch.
The history books don’t say much about the ruff 'n' ready canines who kept lonely miners company and guarded their claims back in the Gold Rush days. But it’s clear that dogs today are as welcome as the tourists who swarm “them thar hills” in search of rest, relaxation and scenery.
Our destination of choice for a dog-friendly Gold Country getaway is the region along Highway 49 between Sutter Creek to the north and Angels Camp to the south, with a quick jaunt up Highway 4 to the hip and happening wine and culinary mecca of Murphys.
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 (including Fido, of course) 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 home furnished with poured concrete floors, leather sofas and other features designed specifically to encourage and welcome canine guests.
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 humans. 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—except, alas, dog-friendly hotels. But no worries; a pet-friendly rental cottage will give you a better feel for the place anyway. 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 Fido is welcome to lounge by your side.