When it comes to sheer beauty along the California coast, it’s hard to top the misty, magical Monterey Peninsula, where crashing waves serve as background music to the myriad experiences available to you and your four-legged companion. Top-dog honors go to Carmel-by-the-Sea, where a glorious, mile-long, leash-free beach takes center stage in a community so accepting of canines that people and pets travel from all over the country to vacation here.
Many of the picturesque village’s best restaurants offer year-round, dog-friendly patio dining, while almost two dozen lodging establishments roll out the welcome mat for DogTrekkers. The rest of the peninsula is only slightly less accommodating. While your dog can’t come with you to watch the jellyfish floating ethereally in their tanks at the Monterey Bay Aquarium, she’ll enjoy trotting happily by your side on the achingly scenic coastal trail stretching from Cannery Row to Pacific Grove’s aptly named Lovers Point and beyond.
Sam enjoying Carmel-by-the-Sea. Photo Credit: Maria Pasiuk