Just about everything about Santa Barbara, from the beautiful buildings to the beautiful people and the beautiful dogs, is a treat for the senses. The “American Riviera” is the kind of place where you can ditch your car, leash up your dog and wander—finding yourself, perhaps, tasting a selection of pinot noirs along theUrban Wine Trail, admiring Spanish colonial architecture on the podcast-guided Red Roof Walking Tour, or enjoying the plantings at the dog-friendly Santa Barbara Botanic Garden. The Santa Barbara pier and the multi-use path paralleling the beach offer lively perspectives, and atArroyo Burro Beach you can unclip and let Rover run free.
The non-profit Santa Barbara Dog PAC has played a leading role in securing leash-free recreation rights in several county parks, helping to make Santa Barbara one of the most dog-friendly places on the Central Coast. Other good news: the county health department last year reversed a rule prohibiting dogs in outdoor dining areas. Canines are now allowed at restaurant owners’ discretion, and dozens of eateries have rolled out the welcome mat.