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Pets form a very intimate part of our lives, and for those who like to travel, the idea of leaving your most vulnerable family member at home is often quite unthinkable.

It is becoming more and more common for pets to travel with their human, though it can definitely be a challenge when it comes to finding airlines, hotels, and attractions that allow animals.

Fortunately though, there are many destinations around the world that are incredibly pet-friendly, and one of those is California. Pets are very welcome throughout the whole State, regardless of whether you have an ESA letter in California.

Plan to visit one of the following destinations and you’ll be fine!

Pet-Friendly Destinations to Visit in California

Huntington Beach

Huntington beach is expansive and has numerous pet-friendly places on and off the actual beach. It was voted as one of California’s dog-friendliest cities, and welcomes animals open with arms at restaurants, parks, and hotels.

Pets can roam freely along its paved beach path, and there is a section of the beach dedicated to pups. Locals especially love their dogs, and you will see them everywhere around town, in all shapes and sizes.

There are many dog-centric events throughout the year, like the monthly “Running of the Wieners” at Old World, Surf City Surf Dog in early fall, and So Cal Corgi Nation Beach Days in the spring and fall. So be sure to check if any of these events coincide with your trip.

If you can’t fathom the thought of a vacation without your best friend, the UK is an ideal country to visit.

Newport Beach

Newport Beach is a great dog-friendly destination as it offers many restaurants that allow your furry friend to join you on the patio.

Some restaurants overlook the water while others have lovely outdoor spaces that provide your dog with a bowl of water and a comfy place to relax while you enjoy a meal.

If you are in the mood to go shopping, you can check out the Newport Beach Fashion Mall and your furry friend is welcome to join you!

Mammoth Lake

Mammoth Lake is another of California’s best pet-friendly destinations. The lake is surrounded by pristine natural forest in which dogs love off-leash romping, and the Inyo National Forest allows dogs on all of their trails.

During winter, you can involve your dog in activities like cross country skiing and snowshoeing. And pets generally enjoy snowplay just as much as humans do. During summer there are a range of great activities like camping, hiking, and swimming, and there are plenty of local pet day care opotions if you want some time for yourself.

For accommodation, the Westin Monache Resort offers pet-friendly accommodation services. Others that welcome pets include Tamarack Lodge and Roberto’s café.

Dog snow RF

Santa Cruz

Santa Cruz is a great location if you want to enjoy spending time outdoors with your pup, be it sightseeing or hiking with dogs. There are many beautiful hiking trails and lovely views of the ocean from the cliffs.

Staying in Santa Cruz can be quite a treat as there are many quaint cottages and bungalows that are pet-friendly and are available for rent. This vacation rental company can provide you with an abundance of pet-friendly options.

Whether you are looking for a romantic location or you just want a cozy place to put up your feet, you can find a great place to stay in Santa Cruz.


The Mendocino wild coast offers a very wild and raw nature that pets love. There are plenty of pet friendly things to do along the 13 miles of coastline from Little River and Fort Bragg, including the beach and State Parks like Mendocino Headlands State Park and Pomo Bluffs.

Dogs are welcome on a range of beaches, including Big River Beach, Portuguese Beach, Van Damme State Beach, Caspar Beach, and  MacKerricher State Park, though do have to be on a leash, and they often accompany visitors on sport fishing and whale watching; charter boats depart from Noyo Harbor in Fort Bragg.

Even shopping is an option here, with a number of pet-friendly stores in the Mendocino Village, as well as along Main and Franklin streets in Fort Bragg (though do ask permission to enter with your pet, and be aware that you may have to carry them).

Accommodation options include the ocean-view Stanford Inn by the Sea who are known for their pet friendly services, and the Beachcomber Motel & Spa which features fenced dog park and two suites outfitted with doggie doors leading to private kennels.

Dog pet RF


For a refreshing rural retreat with your pet, you can’t beat Castoliga. Forming part of the Napa Valley, there are many dog-friendly wineries, and the town really rolls out the red carpet for its four legged visitors who enjoy pet-friendly hospitality.

In terms of pet-friendly accommodation, you can choose to stay at cottages and B&B’s like Cottage Grove Inn, Bear Flag Inn or Trailside Inn, or stay at a more upscale pet-friendly resort such as Solage or Calistoga Ranch, both Auberge Resorts.

Many of the shops downtown are pet-friendly, and the Calistoga Welcome Center even has a dog bowl for your furry friend to get a drink of water before going on your way. Treats are available for the asking.

Rodeo Drive, Beverly Hills

One of the most popular streets in all the world for being home to high-end retailers, shopping with your furry friend has never been more convenient. Most stores offer puppy treats along with a bowl of water for your furry friends enjoyment.

Take a break at the Regent Beverly Wilshire or the Farm of Beverly Hills and eat outside with our furry friend. No matter what you choose to do, you will be delighted with the people watching!


Mr. Peanut’s Airline Approved Soft Sided Pet Carrier

Comsun Collapsible Dog Bowl

Portable Pet Bento Bowl Set Leak Proof


Megan is an Australian Journalist and award-winning travel writer who has been blogging since 2007. Her husband Mike is the American naturalist and wildlife photographer behind Waking Up Wild; an online magazine dedicated to opening your eyes to the wonders of the wild & natural world.

Having visited 50+ countries across all seven continents, Megan’s travels focus on cultural immersion, authentic discovery and incredible journeys. She has a strong passion for ecotourism, and aims to promote responsible travel experiences.



  1. The West Coast and Cali in general is super pet friendly Meg. I love the fact you can bring your dogs and cats with you. NJ and NYC are becoming more and more friendly with pets as well. So much so that one sees signs in some stores warning that dogs are not allowed since some folks bring big or small dogs into virtually any shop. Funny stuff. Gotta love NYC.

    • Lol! Yes, I can totally see that happening in NY, with all the little hand bag dogs :D

  2. I don’t have a pet but I can concur, California is the pet friendliest place I’ve ever been.

    • It’s fabulous isn’t it! Such a welcome and friendly place for both pets and their owners to explore :)

  3. I am thinking about living in Morocco for a few months in the winter with my dog. Has anyone brought their dog there, or know the rules/ how to do it?

    • I don’t have any insight re Morocco unfortunately, but you could touch base with Amanda from MarocMama ( – she lives in Morocco and may have some tips :)

  4. I’ve visited Cinque Terre with my westie dog. Italians were so lovely with him! I even lost him in a city and people called their friends to find him. My smart dog has recognised the railway station and boarded a train alone. Luckily, people have seen he was alone and stressed and called the station manager!

    • ❤ the Cinque Terre – awesome to hear that it’s so pet friendly there too. The community sounds amazing, it’s so fab that locals went out of their way to help find him – and what a seriously smart dog for recognizing the train station. Poor thing! Glad you found him X

    • Meg Jerrard They love dogs so much that almost everywhere people put water for them. And yes, these people were incredible. They were sending each other the pic of my baby. A couple with a dog who only spoke Italian were looking at him and one of their friends called them saying Jahan had been seen running close to the railway station. Immediately they informed me. Actually my smart baby has boarded the train we were supposed to catch. That was crazy as it wasn’t on the main platform. He could remember as we were arrived 2 hours ago on another platform but I had checked where was our next train. Before he was afraid and ran away, I had told him we were going to the train. I talk to him the whole time so he’s able to understand a lot.

    • Oh wow that’s crazy for sure!!! I swear we underestimate their intelligence – they’re SO smart!

  5. Wowwww!!! So CUTE!!!

    • Aren’t they all adorable :D

  6. I have no interest in visiting California.

    • It’s a truly diverse State, it might surprise you if you find yourself with the opportunity to visit in the future :)

  7. So cute ❤❤❤❤❤❤

    • Aren’t they adorable!

  8. Im an animal lover.

    • Glad to hear that Mina, California is a great place to visit in that case!

  9. I was recently visiting the Himalayas in the Himachal Pradesh state of India. Since I was traveling with family, I did have difficulty finding places which were both pets as well as kid-friendly.

    The homestays and hotels are kid-friendly but not pet-friendly and the Hostels are pet-friendly but not kid friendly.

    The reason for not being pet-friendly in the Himalayas is that many hotel/homestay owners claimed that the dogs get bedbugs from the valley and infest the mattresses.

    I had no heart to leave my pet in a boarding for such an extended time (20 days).

    Thankfully I managed to get some good home stays both in Tirthan Valley and Kasol which had a huge area for both the kids and pets to play around.

    Every day, as I would take him for a walk the locals would call him ‘Videshi Bhalu’ which means ‘Foreigner Bear’ given our pet is a Yorkshire Terrier :P

    • So beautiful that the locals fell in love with him enough to give him a knickname! Glad you found both kid and pet friendly accommodation in the end – I hadn’t thought about being able to find one but not the other!

    • I would dream to take Jahan with me in Bastar! Each time I go there, my friends tell me to take him next time. Unfortunately I have to come for two years if I want to enter with him. And how could I let him travel with the baggage hold? He’s not a luggage!

    • I hear of so many pets killed in the baggage hold :( It’s built for bags, not for living, breathing beings :(

    • Meg Jerrard Exactly! I would be able to travel by road and boat only to preserve my baby from such a trip!

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