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, and you can always retire to the dog-welcoming Best Western Plus Cedar Inn and Suites in nearby Angels Camp, where there's also lots to explore.
Back in Murphys, you and Fluffy can start off with some wine tasting along Main Street. Many of the 20 establishments within walking distance of each other are pet-friendly, but we're partial to Twisted Oak's decidedly twisted sense of humor (watch out for the rubber chickens) and Zucca Mountain Vineyards' big reds, cozy cellar tasting room and accommodating garden patio. Hungry? One of Murphys' best restaurants, Alchemy, has a dog-friendly patio on a great people-watching corner.
When Fluffy gets bored with watching you sip and eat, put paws to pavement and head over to Murphys Community Park on Algiers Street. This shady oasis, replete with gazebo, swimming hole and burbling stream, is where canines come to meet, greet, hang out and play. Time your visit for the evening of the first Friday of the month (in summer) to catch a community concert and barbecue.
Photo: "Bookstore in Murphys" - Mark Hall (CC)