A Weekend in Dog-Friendly Carmel

Posted by Erin Ballinger

For your next weekend getaway with Fido, visit beautiful Carmel-by-the-Sea, California, one of the most pet-friendly beach towns in the country. This quaint seaside area owes a debt of gratitude to the late actress and animal enthusiast, Doris Day, for leaving behind a legacy of dog-friendliness. Spend the weekend exploring this magical place where pups can run free on the beach, dine at restaurants that feature menus just for them, and often find water bowls and treats waiting at local businesses.


Stylin’ and profilin’. Photo by @andbmerry

4 p.m. Cypress Inn

Cypress Inn, one of the most dog-friendly hotels in America, really rolls out the red carpet for its VIPs (very important pets)! Formerly owned by Hollywood legend, Doris Day, the 44-room inn was the city’s first boutique hotel to embrace pets. Today, it keeps Day’s legacy alive by going above and beyond for furry guests. Humans will find first-rate accommodations for themselves, and Fido will be welcomed with pet blankets, bowls, and treats at check-in. If your dog gets a little sandy running off leash at Carmel Beach, stop by the pet wash station in the courtyard to get him squeaky clean. Cypress Inn welcomes one pet of any size for an additional fee of $30 per night, two pets of any size for an additional fee of $50 per night, and three pets of any size for an additional fee of $70 per night.

Drinking from the Fountain of Woof. Photo by Melissa Halliburton

5 p.m. Carmel Plaza and Fountain of Woof

Once you’ve put your bags in the room, head to Carmel Plaza for an obligatory visit to the Fountain of Woof, a popular spot for dog- and people-watching. Many of the boutique stores, art galleries and restaurant patios like Alvarado Street Brewery & Bistro welcome dogs. The centerpiece of the dog-friendly shopping center is the Fountain of Woof. The famous spitting dog is a popular place for your pooch to sip while you snap a pic for his Instagram (and don’t forget to #bringfido).

Everyone’s ready for supper! Photo by BringFido/Zoe

7 p.m. Sur at the Barnyard

Located in what was once the famed Thunderbird Bookstore, Sur at the Barnyard is a four-legged foodie “paw-radise” where Fido is welcome to join you at an outdoor table and will get to order from the Doggy Menu! While your pup chows down on chicken, salmon or even steak, you'll be treated to SUR's variety of eclectic California cuisine like its famous cheese bread, Southern fried chicken and waffles, or filet mignon sliders. Reservations are strongly recommended.

“Wine” down for the evening at Terry’s Lounge. Photo by BringFido/Nicole

9 p.m. Terry’s Lounge

Head back to your lodging at Cypress Inn for a nightcap at Terry’s Lounge, where your good boy can join you in the large courtyard or inside. While you sip on a strong cocktail (or delicious mocktail), you’ll be treated to the sounds of live music in a romantic atmosphere with twinkle lights. Fido will get a refreshing drink of water, too.


Staying cozy on the patio. Photo by BringFido/Brandie

8 a.m. From Scratch

Start the day with a filling breakfast on the pet-friendly patio at From Scratch, a venerable Carmel dining establishment that has been feeding locals and visitors alike since 1977. It was even featured on an episode of The Food Network’s “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives” with Guy Fieri and fellow celebrity chef, Robert Irvine! From its famous granola parfaits to the ultra-indulgent “Triple D Sampler Plate”, there’s something for every appetite. Don’t forget to order a side of bacon or turkey for Fido. Arrive early and expect a wait for one of the coveted patio tables.

He’s goin’ full Cali. Photo by BringFido/Wendi

10 a.m. Carmel Beach

Let your pup stretch his legs at Carmel Beach, where spoiled dogs are free to roam on the gorgeous white sand beaches. The off-leash beach is an ideal spot to spend a couple of hours exercising and playing with your pooch.

"Do I feel lucky?" Photo by @hogsbreathinn

12 p.m. Hog’s Breath Inn

Founded and formerly owned by Clint Eastwood, Hog’s Breath Inn is a well-known restaurant where Fido is welcome to join you at a table on the heated patio while you experience the Old West. Since he worked up an appetite on the beach, order your pup a treat like bacon strips, a chicken breast, a hamburger patty, or a hot dog from the Pooch Menu. Treat yourself to comfort food like the Dirty Harry Burger, Hog’s Baby Back Ribs, or Monterey Chicken Club for lunch. Wash it all down with a Bronco Billy Bloody Mary or Rawhide Martini.

“Put the pedal to the metal, Mom!” Photo by @maddogsbikeshop

1 p.m. Mad Dogs & Englishmen, 17-Mile Drive & Asilomar State Beach

Rent a bike with a pup-friendly sidecar at Mad Dogs & Englishmen and experience the famed 17-Mile Drive in Pebble Beach on two wheels during an excursion off Highway 1. Along the way, be sure to stop at Asilomar State Beach in Pacific Beach where Fido can stretch his legs on boardwalks and trails meandering through coastal bluffs and dunes.

"‘Tini time with the Min Pin! Photo by @jonnytheminpin

6 p.m. The Forge

Plan ahead and make dinner reservations next to a fire pit on the lush garden patio at The Forge. Your dog can browse the restaurant’s Canine Cuisine menu and nosh on dishes like Plain Ol’ Kibble or The Good Dog (an 8-ounce grilled steak) while you eat and drink. Favorite dishes include grilled artichoke, Asian meatloaf, pan-seared salmon and mocha mud pie.

"Savor a well-deserved drink with your dog. Photo by Facebook.com/BarmelbytheSea

8 p.m. Barmel

Jam the night away at Barmel, Carmel-by-the-Sea’s version of a dog-friendly, Bohemian bar. As the town’s only music and late-night dancing venue, Barmel features live music on the patio and great DJs in the evenings every weekend. Sample cocktails like a Prickly Pear Lemon Drop or Sazerac while Fido laps up water.


Break the fast by the fire pit with Fido. Photo by Facebook.com/VillageCorner.Carmel

9 a.m. Village Corner Bistro

Start the morning off on a bright note with Fido and a cappuccino by the fire on Village Corner Bistro’s patio. If your hunger demands more than a coffee drink, have no fear. The friendly servers will bring your dog water while you choose among the delicious offerings like breakfast burritos, fluffy pancakes, and chicken and waffles.

“I think I like this little store!” Photo by BringFido/Stephanie

10 a.m. Carmel Dog Shop

Take Fido for a short walk to Carmel Dog Shop for a souvenir to remember his trip to this quaint town. Choose from the wide variety of pet gear including treats, dog beds, collars, one-of-a-kind items, and even handmade apparel from local artists. Your pup will even get a free treat and a belly rub!

One last beautiful lunch. Photo by @carmel.belle

12 p.m. Carmel Belle

Have one last meal before leaving town at Carmel Belle. The dog-friendly cafe prides itself in using sustainable, organic, and hormone-free/grass-fed ingredients in all of its dishes, and offers outdoor tables, dog treats and water bowls for canine diners. Soups, sandwiches, and comfort food like meatloaf and quinoa mac n’ cheese are all excellent lunch options.

Running through the ranch. Photo by Melissa Halliburton

1 p.m. Garland Ranch Regional Park and Depart With a Dog-Tired Fido

Before you say goodbye, enjoy the allure of the Carmel Valley, and wear Fido out before the journey home, with a hike in the 4,462-acre Garland Ranch Regional Park. Offering trails for nearly every level of hiking ability, this park is the ideal place for your pup to get out any extra energy while off leash. It’s also a wonderful spot to reflect on your fun weekend together while admiring the gorgeous views of the Carmel River, Garzas Creek, and the Ventana Wilderness. You’ll both leave town with fun new memories and plans to return to dog-friendly Carmel.

Have you visited Carmel, CA with your dog? Leave a comment or tweet us @BringFido!

Banner photo by BringFido.