Get discounts on family fun throughout the state with California Fun Spots.

Home |  Trip Ideas | A Pet-friendly Northern California Getaway

A Pet-friendly Northern California Getaway

A Pet-friendly Northern California Getaway
    Print      E-mail

Bookmark and Share

Share the best of Northern California with your four-footed friend.

Redwood forests walks, beach cavorts, wineries, even riding in canoes—there’s really no place you can’t enjoy a visit to California’s northern regions with your pooch along for the ride. Keep in mind that leash laws vary by location—and even who’s in charge that day—so it’s best to keep a tether and collar handy should you need to curb your dog’s enthusiasm.

Trip length: 4-5 days
Total distance: 705mi/1,135km


San Francisco. Romp on the beach at Crissy Field near the Golden Gate Bridge. Eat outside on the expansive lawn at the Park Chalet in Golden Gate Park; thirsty dogs get a bowl of water.

Sausalito (10mi/16km; 2min). Hike dog-designated Marin Headlands trails (call Golden Gate National Recreation Area for details), with panoramic views of San Francisco. Treat yourself to fish, and your companion to dog treats made with bacon, at Fish on the waterfront.


Healdsburg (63mi/101km; 1 hr 11min). Russian River Adventures rents canoes, and welcomes dogs. Willi’s Seafood Restaurant serves excellent ceviche and they’ll give your furry pal a treat and a water bowl on the patio.

Philo (58mi/94km; 1hr 4min). Stop by Navarro Vineyards and Toulouse Vineyards to sip medal-winning Anderson Valley wines; both of these low-key wineries have a soft spot for dogs.

Mendocino (29mi/47km; 39min). Stretch everyone’s legs at Mendocino Headlands State Park , with plunging cliffs and wave-gouged rock arches. Mendocino Café serves organic food on a deck overlooking the water.

Eureka (140mi/226km; 2hrs 43min). Samoa Dunes Recreation Area has 300 acres of sandy coastal dunes tucked between the Pacific and Humboldt Bay, a great place to explore with your pooch. Or just walk the old town boardwalk and window shop at eclectic art galleries .


Arcata (11mi/17km; 16min). Start your morning with a fresh-baked bagel at Los Bagels . Take a shady stroll through the redwoods of Arcata Community Forest .

Shasta Lake (150mi/241km; 2hrs 54min). Take a plunge into California’s largest man-made lake and hike miles of forest trails (stop by the visitor center for suggested routes). If you want to extend your stay, Seven Crown Resorts is one of several dog-friendly houseboat operators.


Chico (79mi/127km; 1hr 25min). With over 3,600 acres of green, Bidwell Park is a dog’s dream, especially the sniff-heaven untamed sections of Upper Park. Cool down at an outdoor table at Shubert’s (homemade) Ice Cream & Candy; try the Chico Mint.

Sacramento (87mi/140km; 1hr 42min). Top Hand Ranch Carriage Company will take you and your dog on a horse and carriage ride through Old Sacramento and around the State Capitol; happy coincidence, a 40-acre park wraps about the Capitol building .

Rutherford (75mi/121km; 1hr 23min). Many Napa Valley wineries don’t mind if pooch tags along. Consider Alpha Omega , where you can sip highly respected wines and your friend can cool off in the winery’s pond.

Follow us: