Christal Yuen

The best way for dogs and their people to see San Francisco may be on foot. Here’s how to do it

Tara Roberts  – February 22, 2019 | Updated March 10, 2020

With its temperate weather, walkable (if sometimes hilly) neighborhoods, and gem-like public parks, San Francisco is the West’s ultimate destination for active dogs and their people. Start at one of the city’s newest pet-friendly hotels, and a daylong stroll can be just what the doctor (or veterinarian) ordered.

9 A.M.  Wake up refreshed at the new Lodge at the Presidio (From $275, $40 pet fee), a 42-room boutique hotel set in a historic brick building on a former army base. Nibble a complimentary pastry on the porch out front and take advantage of the Presidio’s expansive lawns before hitting the pavement.

10 A.M.  It’s only fair that your furry friend gets pastry, too. Walk about two miles south to the Marina district, and grab a Muddy Paw—applesauce cake enrobed in dark carob—at Le Marcel Bakery for Dogs.

11:30 A.M.  Shop swag like hand-knit dog sweaters and California-made collars at George, a trendy pet shop that feels right at home in nearby Pacific Heights.

12 P.M.  Snag a leash-friendly outdoor table at Pizzeria Delfina on California Street and ask for the freshest seasonal toppings on one of their wood-fired pies.

2 P.M.  Make the climb to Alamo Square, where you’ll find an off-leash park and a view of the iconic Painted Ladies.

3:30 P.M.  A lot of shops in Hayes Valley (about a half mile further south) allow leashed pets to browse alongside you (just check with the staff when you walk in).

5 P.M.  Take a break with a hazy ale at the sharply decorated yet dog-welcoming Black Sands Brewery on Haight Street.

6 P.M.  Run off the last of your energy (and hopefully your dog’s) on the tree-lined hill that is Buena Vista Park; from the top, you can see the whole city.

7 P.M.  While you can always bring your dog to one of the sidewalk tables at Zazie, Monday’s “Zazie Goes to the Dogs” nights are even better. As you dine with your pooch on the heated garden patio (always welcome, no matter the day of the week), the Cole Valley standout rewards you with endless dog treats and $10 off any bottle on the wine list. C’est bon!

Keep Reading: