Stay: West Beach Resort ($; $18 per night pet fee;westbeachresort.com) has cabins on a ½-mile dog- and family-friendly beach.
2 of 26Michael Hanson
Play: On Lake Washington, the 9-acre Warren Magnuson Dog Park, fully fenced retreat is Seattle’s one off-leash park that also gives dogs access to the water. But that’s not its only appeal. There’s beautiful scenery to be enjoyed along the park’s shoreline trail, not to mention a designated small-dog area and a dog-washing station. It’s wheelchair-accessible too. seattle.gov.
3 of 26Photo by John Clark; written by Loren Mooney
Long Beach, WA
Play: Dogs have the run of the town’s beach, but on packed sand—so do cars. The boardwalk (Bolstad Ave.) and the 8.3-mile-long paved Discovery Trail (26th St. N.W.) are car-free and dog-friendly (on-leash). funbeach.com
Play: At funky, dog-friendly Dunham Cellars (dunhamcellars.com), a favorite wine is named for a dog: The “Three Legged Red” ($19) is a meaty red blend. ($10 tasting fee).
Stay: Crash comfortably at downtown’s Marcus Whitman Hotel ($$, $30 per night pet fee;marcuswhitmanhotel.com).
5 of 26Photo by Bob Friel; written by Loren Mooney and Bob Friel
Cannon Beach, OR
Play: It’s easy for a hotel, shop, or outdoor cafe to accommodate pocket pooches and handbag hounds, but big, bear-like breeds? That’s a different story. Cannon Beach, an enchanting little cedar-shaked town, is up to the task, with abundant pet-friendly hotels and eateries where dogs are welcome at outdoor tables. For a fun frolic with your pooch, head for the secluded northernmost stretch of Cannon Beach, across the knee-deep mouth of Ecola Creek. cannonbeach.org. (Make sure your dog is leashed or under voice control.)
Stay: The Ocean Lodge (from $179; dogs $19/night;theoceanlodge.com), next door to the posh kid/dog-averse Stephanie Inn, was designed by the same architect. The lodge welcomes pets with a basket stuffed with linens, treats, and chew toys and has an outdoor dog shower. At the Surfsand Resort ($$; $15 per night pet fee;surfsand.com), dogs get a beach towel, bowl, and basket of treats.
Shop & eat: At dog-accessory store Puppy Love by the Sea (puppylovebythesea.com), canines can pad right on inside.
6 of 26John Clark
Eat: Dogs are almost required on the patios of Lucky Labrador Brewing Co.’s four rustic brewpubs (N.W., S.E., S.W., and North Portland). Your dog can munch on dog treats while you sip canine-themed craft beers such as Winter Wonder Dog and Dog Day IPA. luckylab.com.
7 of 26
Stay: All pets stay for free, with no restrictions on size or number, at Hotel Monaco, a whimsical downtown hotel. The Monaco will provide a bed and bowls for your dog. Additional services include walking and sitting—and, if your pooch is spiritually minded, psychic readings. Rooms from $169, dog services from $10; monaco-portland.com.
8 of 26Photo by John Clark; written by Loren Mooney
Lincoln City, OR
Play: The 7.5 miles of beach at Lincoln City have a firm leash law, but bring your hound with you to hunt for a souvenir glass float from local glassblowing studios; volunteers hide the baubles above the tide line. oregoncoast.org
Stay: The Looking Glass Inn has a dog run with its own fire hydrant. From $114; dogs $15/night;lookingglass-inn.com
Eat: Tiki’s at 51st. $; 1005 S.W. 51st St.; 541/996-4200.
9 of 26Photo by David Fenton; written by Loren Mooney
Stay: Next to a plate of cookies for the humans is a welcome kit for Miss Bea: a housemade sweet-potato treat tied in a white ribbon, water and food dishes, an ample stack of plastic bags, and two fresh sheets. The room, with a white bedspread and end tables with slender mahogany legs, feels classically grown-up, not “proofed” for anything. Here, at the Stanford Inn by the Sea (from $236, breakfast included; dogs $45 onetime fee;stanfordinn.com) in Mendocino for a beach weekend, it’s as if the word “no” doesn’t exist.
While hotels increasingly allow dogs—hoping to cash in on the 39 percent of U.S. households that own one—the Stanford has been pet-friendly since Jeff Stanford and his wife, Joan, bought it in the 1980s, shortly after moving from the Midwest. Back then, if you traveled with a dog, “you had to stay at a Holiday Inn or nothing,” says Jeff. Like many people who move to California, Jeff says they wanted to do things on their own terms. So, at their place, dogs go everywhere. “It’s just automatic.” Even in the sitting area in the lobby, just outside the hotel’s Ravens’ Restaurant, you can eat breakfast in the company of your dog. The food is organic and vegetarian (with many vegan options), which is how Jeff wants it. It is also delicious.
10 of 26Photo by David Fenton; written by Loren Mooney
Play: Many local parks, restaurants, and other businesses, go way beyond merely allowing dogs. They welcome them, and their canine quirks, openly.
This is why there are so many dog-friendly beach towns on our rocky, rugged coast—there’s so much for a dog to do, and relatively little trouble to get into. The beach is, simply, nature’s coolest playground, even if you never go in more than ankle deep.
Rent a canoe or kayak from Catch a Canoe & Bicycles, Too ($40/day;catchacanoe.com) and explore the Big River estuary.
Eat: Head to Mendocino’s little New England–esque downtown, to Mendo Burgers and eat at the picnic tables ($$; 10483 Lansing St.; 707/937-1111). The fish is fresh and juicy, the fries hand-cut.
11 of 26Photo courtesy of Dairydell Canine
Play: If you have a shepherd, that shepherd wants to herd. Only problem is that you don’t own sheep, which is why Spot’s best vacation ever will be at Dairydell Canine (reservations required; approx. $90 for lesson;dairydell.com). Seasoned sheepdog handler Frank Souza can coax even city shepherds into focused farm dogs—at least for a few minutes. Other doggy behavior classes are offered as well.
Eat: Afterward, lunch at cafe-bakery Della Fattoria ($; 707/763-0161). Try the Della BLT with heirloom tomatoes; your dog will pass on lunch—she’ll be sleeping under the table, dreaming of sheep.
12 of 26Matthew Millman
San Francisco, CA
Play: Humans soak up iconic views of the Golden Gate Bridge and the San Francisco skyline while dogs romp on a sandy beach and splash in the bay at Crissy Field. There’s an adjacent grassy area with picnic tables (leash required), and the Warming Hut has lattes and snacks. The Golden Gate National Recreation Area is proposing new on- and off-leash restrictions, but for now the doggie coast is clear. parksconservancy.org.
13 of 26David Fenton
San Francisco, CA
Eat: At Faruk Zubovic’s Le Marcel Specialty Bakery for Dogs in the Marina District, the offerings are all-natural (like the Peanut Beastro Biscotti). And there’s a lovely patio where humans who bring their own food can picnic with their canines. 2066 Union St.; lemarceldogbakery.com.
14 of 26Stuart Westmorland / Design Pics / Getty Images
St. Helena, CA
Eat and Play: The Napa Valley stalwart V. Sattui Winery produces some excellent wines—Sunset honored its 2009 “Paradiso” in our 2013 competition. But it’s also highly canine-friendly. Leashed dogs are allowed inside the tasting room; outside, dogs are welcome to join their people for a picnic on the lawns, which are open to the public seven days a week and surrounded by hedges and a fence to keep pups safe. Tasting from $10; vsattui.com.
15 of 26Danita Delimont / Getty Images
Play: Welcome to Monterey Bay’s pooch paradise. Centrally located Carmel City Beach has delightfully soft sand and refreshingly few land mines—poop bags are provided. Scenic Rd. from Ocean Ave. to Martin Way;ci.carmel.ca.us
Shop & eat: Spoil your pooch at pet store Diggidy Dog (Ocean Ave. and Mission St.; 831/625-1585). The shopping center Carmel Plaza has a dogs-only watering spot, the Fountain of Woof (carmelplaza.com). For dog-friendly dining, we like Casanova ($$$$;casanovarestaurant.com) and the Forge in the Forest ($$$;forgeintheforest.com).
16 of 26Cypress Inn
Stay: Probably the most famous dog-friendly hotel in the country, the Cypress Inn is co-owned by actress and animal activist Doris Day (she turns 90 this month). And even without its pet pedigree, it’s an appealing Mediterranean-style inn dating to 1929. Dog highlights include the weekday afternoon Yappy Hour at Terry’s Lounge, where dogs join their guardians for meals and drinks. You can also take your dog for an off-leash romp at nearby Carmel Beach. Rooms from $195, dog services from $30, Terry’s Lounge $$$; cypress-inn.com.
17 of 26Photo by Chris Leschinsky; written by Loren Mooney
Play: Hike with your dog at Fiscalini Ranch Preserve (bluff trail on-leash; others off-leash). Maps atffrpcambria.org
Stay: At Cambria Shores Inn, happy hour in the motor lodge–style courtyard is like Best in Show come to life, with dog-owner characters snacking on comp hors d’oeuvres—pooches in arm or by their side—as they chat and watch the ocean from Adirondack chairs on the lawn. From $189; dogs $15/night;cambriashores.com
Eat: Linn's Easy-as-Pie Café is a local institution. No shocker here, try the pie. $; 4251 Bridge St.; 805/924-3050.
18 of 26Michael Mike L. Baird, flickr.bairdphotos.com / Getty Images
Morro Bay, CA
Play: Head to the northern strip of Morro Strand State Beach. State 1 at Yerba Buena St.;parks.ca.gov.
Eat: Giovanni’s Fish Market has a walk-up order window, picnic tables that look out on the bay, and, most important, huge portions of crispy, surprisingly light fish and chips. $; 1001 Front St.; 805/772-2123.
19 of 26Danita Delimont / Getty Images
Santa Barbara, CA
Play: A private rock-rimmed wading pool. Camp Run-a-Muk day camp. It’s all at the Hearst Castle of kennels, Camp Canine (from $45 per day, $65 per night;campcanineinc.com). While you’re out enjoying Santa Barbara’s pleasures, rest assured your dog is having a good time too. Maybe a better time.
Eat: Added bonus: Camp Canine is walking distance from the world’s best taco joint, La Super-Rica Taqueria ($; 805/963-4940).
20 of 26Dave Lauridsen
Los Angeles, CA
Play: Spot celebrities—Charlize Theron and Jake Gyllenhaal are among those who’ve been seen here with their mutts—at Runyon Canyon, a 168-acre park in the Hollywood Hills. There are three main trails and an off-leash area, and on clear days, views stretch from downtown to Palos Verdes to the Pacific. Those major pluses make up for the minuses, which include tough parking and weekend crowds. laparks.org.
If you want to hit the ultimate A-list dog run, head to Laurel Canyon Park (laparks.org)—3 tree-lined acres in the Santa Monica Mountains where pedigreed boxers and poodles mingle off-leash with equally well groomed owners: Orlando Bloom, Jake Gyllenhaal, and Reese Witherspoon have been spotted here.
21 of 26Creative Commons photo by Micahel Locke is licensed under CC BY 2.0
Los Angeles, CA
Stay: The elegant Sunset Tower Hotel ($$$$; $100 pet fee;sunsettowerhotel.com) in West Hollywood remains the place for your pooch to see and be seen in Tinseltown. Your dog gets a mini bed, bowl, and treats, and can run around off-leash at the park next door.
22 of 26
Beverly Hills, CA
Shop: Two swank blocks from Rodeo Drive, this new 12,000-square-foot doggy “lifestyle center” serves the modern metropolitan dog with custom beds and a private shopping room that offers one-of-a-kind dresses and blingy collars. There’s also on-site training and wellness centers, a meat counter, and a pet cafe at Pussy & Pooch. 9388 S. Santa Monica Blvd.; pussyandpooch.com.
23 of 26Dominique Labrecque
Huntington Beach, CA
Play: Dogs vie in hanging 10 and performing other oceanic stunts at the annual September Surf City Surf Dog Contest held in Orange County’s surf capital. “Any breed can succeed at dog surfing,” says contest organizer Lisa Scolman. “But there are some just built for it, like the English bulldog, with its low center of gravity and great balance.” surfcitysurfdog.com.
24 of 26Creative Commons photo by Moelyn Photos is licensed under CC BY 2.0
Coronado Island, CA
Play & stay: Coronado Dog Beach (200 Ocean Blvd.) is a treat for your pet. What's more, your dog can ride the waves every June at the Loew's Surf Dog Competition at the Loews Coronado Bay Resort (from $189; dogs $25 onetime fee;loewshotels.com), 20 minutes south of San Diego. When booking you stay at any time of year, look for pet-friendly packages that cover the pet fee and provide doggy room service as well.
Shop: Wag’n Tails’ self-wash area benefits from the store owner’s freely admitted fastidiousness: The place is spotless and cleaned between each dog, ideal for a post-surf bath. 945 Orange Ave.; 619/435-3513.
25 of 26
Las Vegas, NV
Stay: Not every dog gets to stay at the luxe Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas hotel on the Strip—canine guests need to weigh 25 pounds or less. If they meet that criterion, they’ll get a dog bowl, treats, and two pet pee pads (all for an extra $50 per night). They—and you—can also take advantage of the Cosmopolitan’s walking and sitting services. Rooms start at $195 per night; cosmopolitanlasvegas.com.
26 of 26Creative Commons photo by Kevin Schraer is licensed under CC BY 2.0
Near Tucson, AZ
Play: Give your dog a break from the heat. Head to the oak-shaded trails of Madera Canyon ($5 per vehicle;fs.fed.us/r3/coronado), 40 miles south of Tucson. In the morning, dog in tow, stroll the 1.8-mile round-trip Bog Springs Trail; it’s wildflower-flush during late summer’s monsoon season.
Stay: From your deck at Santa Rita Lodge ($; $25 per night per pet fee;santaritalodge.com), you and Sparky can watch for the canyon’s 200 species of birds at dusk. Note that canine visitors must be 25 pounds or smaller.