Forest of Nisene Marks State Park

Forest of Nisene Marks State Park

Aptos Creek Rd.
Aptos, California 95003
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Just a few miles from the Pacific Ocean, right outside the quaint village of Aptos, lies a serene oasis: the Forest of Nisene Marks State Park.

10,000 acres of second-growth redwoods and oak groves waiting to be discovered.

Leashed dogs are allowed only on fire roads throughout the park and on single-track trails south of the steel bridge.
 

Presley at Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park. <br/> Photo Credit: @alisonrainw
Presley at Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park.
Photo Credit: @alisonrainw
Santa Cruz County is famous for its groves of towering coast redwoods, and Big Basin Redwoods State Park is just one place to see them. If you’re traveling with youngsters of the two-legged variety as well as those with fur, you’re sure to enjoy a ride on a narrow-gauge railroad once used to haul redwood logs out of the Santa Cruz Mountains. more »
Wine dog in action. Photo Credit: SkyWideDesign (CC)
Wine dog in action. Photo Credit: SkyWideDesign (CC)
The Santa Cruz Mountains appellation, known primarily for producing pinot noir and chardonnay, is one of the oldest in the state. Close to 100 wineries and tasting rooms are sprinkled in nooks and crannies throughout Santa Cruz County, and dogs are welcome at many of them. DogTrekker.com has created a designated wine trail as you drive in on Highway 1 from the north. more »
Puppy riding in bike basket in Santa Cruz
Photo credit: Richard Masoner/Cyclelicious (CC)
For many visitors, Santa Cruz County is as much about wine as it is about beaches. The Santa Cruz Mountains appellation, known for a cool climate that produces superior pinot noir, is one of the oldest in the state. More than 70 wineries and tasting rooms are sprinkled through the county’s hills and towns, and dogs are welcome at dozens of them.

The foothills outside Soquel are a good place to center a visit. At Hunter Hill, high above town, you’ll sip wine at a redwood bar while enjoying views overlooking the Forest of Nisene Marks State Park. With Poetic Cellars, on 33 redwood-studded acres, comes a romantic theme supplemented by ocean views.

Near the coastal enclave of Aptos, Nicholson Vineyards is relaxed, dog-friendly and unusual in that the rustic tasting room is right in the middle of the vineyard. Alfaro Family Vineyards, in the Corralitos area, likewise has a super-relaxed vibe—plus it’s not far from Corralitos Market and Sausage Company, a regionally famous deli and great spot for lunch. more »
Dog dining
Photo credit: Jill Chen (CC)
There are so many dog-friendly restaurants in Santa Cruz and vicinity that you could eat at a different one every day and not repeat the rotation for months.

The dine-with-your-dog classic is Aldo’s Harbor Restaurant, overlooking a marina where boats, kayakers and paddle-boarders drift in and out. For sampling craft beer, try 99 Bottles of Beer On the Wall, Seabright Brewery, Santa Cruz Mountain Brewing or Beer Thirty Bottle Shop & Pour House, all of which offer dog-friendly seating. For breakfast, select from some 20 types of burritos at Chill Out Café or as many styles of bagels at the Bagelry, a popular spot for more than 30 years. Walnut Avenue Café, Woodstock’s Pizza and Café Limelight are other in-town eateries that welcome DogTrekkers on their patios.

South of Santa Cruz, Aptos and Capitola are a pair of captivating and very dog-welcoming oceanside communities with a casual, wind-in-the-hair ambiance. Dog-friendly restaurants in the area include Betty Burgers and Margaritaville in Capitola, and Palapas and Café Rio in Aptos. more »
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