Central Coast Places to Visit with your Dog this Weekend

PetDoors.com is based in San Luis Obispo, located in the Central Coast of California, which is arguably one of the most beautiful places to live. The weather here is spectacular year round, we’re no more than a hop, skip and a jump from the beaches, and best of all, we love spending time with our dogs. The Central Coast lies perfectly at the midpoint between the Bay Area and Los Angeles, making it perfect for weekend trips.

But as a parent to your loving dog, it can be difficult to plan a trip without first making accomodations for your dog – looking for just the ‘right’ dogsitter or a doggie daycare that doesn’t bust your bank – there is a lot of planning involved just to be part apart from your dog! Dogs make the best running companions, so it could also be a great opportunity to get in some exercise for the both of you! Thankfully, the Central Coast is incredibly dog-friendly, and there’s plenty of attractions for you and your dog to both enjoy. From Monterey to Santa Barbara, and everything in between, here’s a list of 5 places to go weekend tripping with your dog.

1. Solvang

Solvang is a quaint little town in the Santa Ynez Valley, which was founded by a group of Danish immigrants in 1911. The town features authentic old-world Danish architecture, which makes it feel like you’ve been transported to Denmark upon entering the town.

Yes, this is really Solvang!

Yes, this is really Solvang!

Exploring the town with your dog is a great way to see the city and let yourself enjoy a little Danish-vacation, without any of the expensive airfare. Many of the shops in the area offer water bowls and are very friendly to pets. When you get hungry, Bacon & Brine is an excellent, dog-friendly restaurant. The restaurant uses locally-grown ingredients, and many of their dishes are absolutely delicious.

Bacon and Brine

What’s a better way to end a great meal than with some wine? Check out the Wandering Dog Wine Bar to have a glass of wine with your dog. The Central Coast features many stunning vineyards, making a premier wine country destination. So when you and your dog walk into the Wandering Dog, you know you’re going to have great wine and great company.

Drinking with your dog has never been this fun

2. Fiscali Ranch Preserve

The Fiscalini Ranch Preserve is located in Cambria, a seaside village located in the north of San Luis Obispo country. The highlight here for you and your dog is the beautiful Fiscalini Ranch Preserve, that features a stunning ocean bluff trail that runs along a mile of the Pacific Ocean shoreline. The trail itself is perfect for a leisurely, relaxing stroll! The Ranch does require all dogs to be on leash within the park, so don’t forget to bring one! You wouldn’t want your dog to miss out on the spectacular views, after all.

Fiscalini Ranch Preserve

A view from the Boardwalk Marine Terrace Trail

When you get hungry, stop by Robin’s Restaurant, which is housed in a beautiful adobe brick home. The food is internationally inspired and locally sourced – a delight for your tastebuds. They do have a pet etiquette policy, so make sure your pet is well-behaved before coming here.

Robin's Restaurant

This beautiful adobe house also features an outdoor patio

3. Arroyo Burro Beach (Hendry’s Beach)

Arroyo Burro Beach, also known as Hendry’s Beach, is a off-leash dog beach located in Santa Barbara. Yes, that’s right – an off-leash dog beach! Until you get to the off-leash zone, your dog is required to be on leash, but then you can let your dog loose and run free in ocean surf and sand. When your dog is done romping around in the sand and surf, and it’s time to go home, the beach also offers a dog washing station to freshen up your dog.

Surfing Dog

Check out the surfing dog – maybe you’ll see one at this beach!

4. Garland Ranch Regional Park

Garland Ranch Regional Park is located in Carmel Valley, which is in Monterey County. This is a very popular spot for hiking in the area, and for good reason too: there’s many off-leash dog areas for you and your dog to explore. Make sure your dog is under voice command and that you always have visibility of your dog before letting them off the leash. An added bonus of this park is that is they have specially designed water fountains for your pet for those much-needed water breaks.


Garland Ranch

5. Bob Jones City-to-the-Sea Trail

This trail follows the Pacific Coast Railroad and the San Luis Obispo Creek. It starts off in a parking lot off the 101 and ends in downtown Avila Beach. It’s a very nice trail to hike along with your dog. Since there are many pedestrians and cyclists, it’s best to bring a leash along with you. The trail meanders through landscapes and gardens, with a market and deli along the way when you want to take a break and enjoy the scenery with your dog.

Bob Jones

Bonus: PetDoors.com

If you’re planning on visiting San Luis Obispo, stop by and say hello! Your dogs can meet and play with the dogs in the office day. Maybe they’ll be Mikey’s or Loki’s or Thanos’ new best friend!

We'll see you soon!

We’ll see you soon!

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6 thoughts on “Central Coast Places to Visit with your Dog this Weekend

  1. Ryan

    Cool blog! If you’re in San Luis Obispo from out of town, I’d also highly recommend visiting Architecture Graveyard back in Poly Canyon. It’s a great adventure through very exotic and experimental architectural pursuits that I take my family to when they’re in town (I’m a student at Cal Poly). Definitely a welcoming place for dogs, friends and family alike.