City dog owners often face the predicament of what to do with their faithful companion when they want to make a quick escape. Dog hotels and boarders are a good solution, but costly. Dog-obsessed friends are another remedy. But really, what those puppy dog eyes want is to go with you. So get out of town and take them. Along the coast and in the mountains, dog-friendly hotels abound, here's some of them, and fun activities and places to eat while you guys are there.
Carmel is the most dog-friendly town along the California coast thanks to dog lover and actress Doris Day and her Cypress Inn. The 1920s historical landmark combines Mediterranean elegance with coastal comfort; dogs are adored here, you can have tea with them by the fireplace or lunch and classic cocktails in the garden courtyard. Carmel-by-the-Sea is the definition of quaint, with European flair, and entirely walkable with boundless restaurants with outdoor seating for you and your dog. Carmel beach is the only off-leash dog beach around, while Asilomar in Pacific Grove is another breathtaking beach, but leashes are required. Tuck your baby into bed and escape for a cozy dinner at Fandango in Pacific Grove where European influences inspire hearty dishes or head to the Rio Grill in Carmel Valley for creative regional California cuisine.
The Bavarian-inspired Hofsas House Hotel is family-owned with 38-rooms in the heart of Carmel. With ocean views, fireplaces, private balconies and kitchens, you and your dog will have a casual stay within distance of Pebble Beach, Monterey and Big Sur. The Hofsas supplies you with a S'mores kit complete with firewood and a bottle of wine, that you can take down to the Carmel beach for your own personal bonfire. Stroll down San Carlos, where charming Inns line the street and land at Mundaka where you can feast on inventive Spanish tapas - request a window seat so you can watch your dog outside. Visit Diggity Dog Pet Boutique for supplies and gifts and Suds 'N Scissors for grooming services.
Photo courtesy of the Hyatt Regency Hotel & Spa, Monterey
The newly renovated Hyatt Regency in Monterey has it all; it's dog-, business- and golf-friendly. With contemporary rooms, a pristine spa, casual and upscale dining, and the historic Del Monte golf course, you and your dog don't really have to leave. But if you do, have a bread bowl of clam chowder and calamari on Fisherman's Wharf at Abalonetti or experience early Monterey Mission style ambiance at the Corkscrew Cafe where you and your dog can have a wood fire pizza on the garden patio. Come nap time, escape to the Monterey Bay Aquarium to enjoy the splendors of other creatures. On your way out of town, stop at Tarpy's Roadhouse and order a $27 Angus beef filet served with roasted red potatoes and garden veggies from the dog menu while you enjoy California-country cuisine yourself.
© 2006, Cedar House Sport Hotel
The Cedar House Sport Hotel in Truckee is a haven for dog and design lovers. The modern Scandinavian design hotel invites and intrigues with rustic merlot and camel colored rooms, leather platform beds with European bedding and heated bathroom floors. Stunning in the winter and summer, the knowledgable staff can help you plan outdoor adventures with your dog. A long stroll through downtown Truckee includes treats for all: Ice cream for you at Bud's and a doggy cannoli at Scraps Dog Bakery for them.
For an intimate adventure in the woods, Redwood Croft in Bonny Doon has been described as “a hidden gem” and “an enchanting experience.” Whether you like to hike or surf, this Santa Cruz mountain retreat is a secluded B&B. Casual and clean, the appeal here is peaceful nature where design elements like skylights, stone and tile soaking tubs, private balconies and French doors let you bask in the indoor outdoors. Then there's the romance: The Garden Room has a jacuzzi on its private deck. Bring your hiking shoes, wine picked up at the Bonny Doon Vineyard and kick back among the Redwoods.
As wonderful as it is the jet set with your furry companion, restrictions such as pet fees, dog weight, leash requirements and restricted areas may apply; be sure to review them before your stay. Dogs are often welcomed with complimentary dog beds, toys, bowls, treats and a welcoming staff. Bon voyage.
Sam Durbin (firstname.lastname@example.org) is a California lifestyle writer who honed her blogging skills as Editor of FabSugar.com. Sam graduated from The Fashion Institute of Technology, and also writes for 7x7 Magazine, Gilt City and Zagat.