Best Dog-Friendly Destinations on the West Coast

In this post, I wanted to take a look at the most dog-friendly destinations in the West ~ with a focus on California & Oregon, two states where you can easily travel with pets (I know because I travel here ALL the time)!  Within these states, I wanted to find places that go above & beyond in terms of dog-friendly: meaning, ample dog parks or dog-friendly beaches, great pet-friendly hotels, & relaxed vibes in town that make it easy to bring your pet along on adventures.  And I’ve found some great spots, like Bend, Oregon & Carmel in California….among many others.  Join me & my dog Dylan as we scout for the “Best Dog-Friendly Destinations on the West Coast!”

Best Dog-Friendly Destinations on the West Coast, Girl Who Travels the World

Though my only dog-friendly beach destination in Oregon is Cannon Beach, note: nearly EVERY beach in Oregon is dog-friendly, with wayyy fewer rules & restrictions than beaches in California! Translation: the Oregon coast is IDEAL territory for dog-friendly road trips. Photo of Gold Beach, Oregon.

Map of Pet-Friendly West Coast Spots

 

Cannon Beach

Portland, Oregon

Huntington Beach

San Diego

Bend, Oregon

Carmel

Mammoth

Best Oregon Dog-Friendly Destinations

1. Cannon Beach, Oregon

I love Cannon Beach for many reasons: the charming town, dozens of great restaurants, the COFFEE (Sleepy Monk!!), plenty of first-class, pet-friendly hotels, & of course: the BEACH, which is 100% pet-friendly.  NO leashes required here!!  Oregon is much more relaxed than California in this regard.  And the views of Haystack Rock will leave you mesmerized, particularly at sunset.  Stroll along Ocean Avenue with your pooch, have a bowl of chowder on one of many outdoor patios, & make sure to stop in at the adorable pet store on the corner: Puppy Love by the Sea.

Best Dog-Friendly Destinations on the West Coast, Best Pet-Friendly Hotels in Cannon Beach, Girl Who Travels the World

Dylan in uber pet-friendly Cannon Beach, with Haystack Rock in the background!

***My Pick for the Best Pet-Friendly Hotels in Cannon Beach: This one’s a tie between: The Ocean Lodge & Surfsand ResortBoth are oceanfront, upscale hotels & are very pet-friendly.  The Ocean Lodge’s rooms are larger & take better advantage of the view ~ but Surfsand is closer to town & Haystack Rock, rooms are cozier, & their Wayfarer Restaurant is my favorite place in town (& delivers room service)… 

For my full run-down of the best pet-friendly hotels in Cannon Beach: read this article.

2. Bend, Oregon

Bend is my current residence in the States, & frankly, I don’t think I’ve ever lived anywhere more pet-friendly.  The amount of amazing dog parks in Bend alone puts California dog parks to shame, & pretty much every restaurant in town with a patio is dog-friendly, including: McMenamin’s St. Francis School (which is pub, brewery, movie theater, concert venue, cigar bar, & hotel all rolled into one former Catholic School), Naked Winery, Avid Cider, Crux Brewing, 10 Barrel…..& the list goes on & on…& ON

Best Dog-Friendly Destinations on the West Coast, Girl Who Travels the World

There are more dog-friendly parks, hotels, & restaurants per capita in Bend than in any other city on this list! Dylan pictured here on the popular Deschutes River Trail, in downtown Bend.

***My Pick for the Best Pet-Friendly Hotel(s) in Bend: Tetherow Golf ResortAt Tetherow, you’ve got upscale lodging on a golf resort, with AMAZING mountain views ~ & you’re only a 5-minute drive from downtown Bend & the popular Old Mill district.  This is the best pet-friendly place to stay in town.  Otherwise, head to Sunriver Resort, about 20 minutes south of Bend: which is one of the best family resort areas in the U.S. 

Best California Pet-Friendly Spots

3. Carmel & Monterey

Carmel’s Main Beach is my favorite dog-friendly, off-leash beach in the world: legendary Pebble Beach lays to the right, & if you follow the crescent-shaped beach to the left, you’ll find cypress trees framing your view, with multi-million dollar homes of all varieties…from cute, cottage-styles to edgy & modern.  There’s a reason Clint Eastwood lives here: there’s just something special about Carmel. 

And this town loves dogs: they’re welcome just about everywhere ~ but I especially love Forge in the Forest’s cozy outdoor patio, with its menu especially for dogs…

Best Dog-Friendly Destinations on the West Coast, Best Pet-Friendly Hotels in Carmel & Monterey, Girl Who Travels the World

Carmel’s not the only place in the Monterey Bay with killer ocean views: head to Pacific Grove & walk along the coast for view like this…

***My Top Dog-Friendly Hotel Pick in Carmel: The Lodge at Pebble Beach.  Yes, it’s pricey ~ but according to my parents & a helpful bellhop: every room here is pet-friendly!  And you can bring any size dog.  For a less expensive option in Carmel, try Doris Day’s pup-friendly Cypress Inn.

4. Huntington Beach

I grew up in Orange County, & just last week met some friends in Huntington Beach at the new outdoor mall, Pacific City.  As I was traveling home for Christmas, I had Dylan with me ~ which meant I needed to bring him with me to the mall….& boy was I shocked how pet-friendly it was!  Upscale boutiques invited us inside, he had coffee with us, & we all ate lunch on Simmzy’s patio, with a view of the pier & the ocean.  I’d go back in a heartbeat!  And there’s another reason to visit Huntington with your pooch: it’s the ONLY beach in Orange Country where dogs are allowed off-leash.

Best Dog-Friendly Destinations on the West Coast, Girl Who Travels the World

The ONLY beach in Orange County where dogs are allowed off-leash is at Huntington Beach’s dog beach!

***My Top Dog-Friendly Hotel Pick in Huntington Beach: Kimpton Shorebreak Huntington Beach.  Kimptons are notoriously chic & always dog-friendly…they even offer dog happy hours!  This one in particular is also romantic, with ocean views complimented by a light-blue color palette ~ & you’re just one-block from the pier, Main Street, & the ocean.  And Huntington’s dog beach is just a few miles north…

 

Best Dog-Friendly Destinations on the West Coast 

5. San Diego

San Diego has not one but two off-leash dog beaches, & they’re both in tony areas: Del Mar & Coronado.  Dylan & I tested out Del Mar’s dog beach last year, which is just south of Encinitas.  While it’s not as big as Carmel’s beach: it’s still fantastic.  Happy dogs were running in & out of the water, people were relaxed & friendly, & parking was easy with spots located on the same street as the beach entrance.  Coronado’s dog beach has pristine white-sand & is within a stone’s throw of historic & pet-friendly Hotel Del Coronado.

Best Dog-Friendly Destinations on the West Coast, Girl Who Travels the World

Coronado’s Dog Beach is one of the best spots to play with your pup on the sand in Southern California.

***My Top Dog-Friendly Hotel Picks in San Diego: San Diego is big, so it depends where you want to be.  For north county, try upscale L’Auberge Del Mar, which welcomes two dogs of any size.  If you’re downtown in the Gaslamp, try contemporary Hotel Indigo, with its hip rooftop bar.  And if you want to be near Coronado’s legendary dog beach, check into Hotel del Coronado ~ where three of its restaurants are pet-friendly!  (Dogs up to 40lbs only at the Del….)

Best Dog-Friendly Destinations on the West Coast

That rounds out my picks for the best dog-friendly destinations on the West Coast!  Something I want to add: more & more travel articles I'm reading lately seem either to be written by A.I. or by out-of-touch editors who haven't actually been to the places they're recommending.  Rest assured: every spot on this list I've visited within the last year, so my recommendations are timely & meant for 2020 & beyond! 

I've traveled via road trip between California & Oregon every year since 2010, with Dylan ~ so all these spots are places I actually visit, & look forward to returning to year after year.

xoxo Noelia & Dylan

Read Next: Best Pet-Friendly Hotels in Carmel & Monterey

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