BringFido’s Ruff Guide to California

Posted by Jason Halliburton

Thinking of pampering your Pug on a trip to California? If so, he’ll be one happy dog. The editors at BringFido have dedicated themselves to digging up the dog-friendliest things to do in the Golden State, as well as the rest of the country. And we've assembled it all in the 2021 edition of our book, Ruff Guide to the United States.

Now in its second edition, the book features over 365 of the best places to stay and play with your dog in all 50 states. Order your copy today and save 50% off the retail price when you use the discount code GOLDEN.

For a preview of the book, here are a few of our editors' top picks for dog-friendly things to do in California:

Visit The Original Dog Beach

San Diego, CA
Blue water, white sand, Golden dog. Photo by @fi_nomenal_friends

Spend the afternoon basking in the sun while Fido splashes in the ocean at The Original Dog Beach in San Diego. Located at the end of Ocean Beach, this section of sand is possibly the most ‘pupular’ spot in town. There is no fee to enter, and canines can play off leash all day long. But, please be sure that Fido is up-to-date on all vaccinations before his visit. If your salty dog needs to be scrubbed and fluffed after rolling in the sand, head straight to Dog Beach Dog Wash. The affordable do-it-yourself scrub station is perfect for post-beach grooms! After cleaning up, make your way to Sally’s Fish House & Bar, an ocean-to-table restaurant with several outdoor tables. Satisfy your pup’s fur-ocious appetite with a dish from Sally’s Dog Menu, such as the Sit, Stay, Roll (sushi made with seared tuna, steamed broccoli and brown rice wrapped in seaweed).

Located across the street from The Original Dog Beach, Ocean Villa Inn is a great value stay in San Diego. Your pup will be greeted with a care package filled with treats, toys and waste bags. Visiting canines will also love the communal, fenced dog run and grassy area for walks. Pet parents will appreciate the DIY dog wash station stocked with shampoo and towels.

Go on a California Oyster Crawl

Marshall, CA
Pulled a mussel getting this photo. Photo by @TheStephBarnes and @max.theminidood

Bring your salty dog on an oyster crawl through Northern California. Start your day in Marshall with a visit to Hog Island Oyster Co., which offers one-hour walking tours that take visitors on a deep dive into how oysters are commercially raised and harvested. Sample Hog Island’s finest bivalves from a picnic table next to the waterfront oyster bar. Just a mile south, you’ll find The Marshall Store, where you can sit on the patio with your pup to sample Pacific oysters from the Tomales Bay Oyster Company’s family farm. Continue your journey south to the rocky shores of Point Reyes National Seashore, a beautiful backdrop for you to walk off those mid-day calories and let your pooch stretch his legs. Cap off your oyster adventure at idyllic Nick’s Cove Restaurant. Kick back with Fido, sip on a tasty cocktail, and sample more award-winning shellfish from the waterfront patio overlooking Tomales Bay.

Originally a fish shack and roadhouse, Nick’s Cove features charming waterfront cottages perched on wooden stilts - the perfect setting to cap off your dog day on Tomales Bay. At check-in, you will be greeted with barbecued oysters and Fido will be offered freshly baked treats. Visit in April when your good boy will be spoiled with a canine massage and other surprises as part of the ‘Pampered Pooch Package.’

Explore the Trees of Mystery

Klamath, CA
There are secrets in these trees. Photo by @rahlala

Massive Paul Bunyan and Babe the Blue Ox statues stand guard outside the Trees of Mystery, one of Northern California’s most unique dog-friendly destinations. Located in the heart of Redwood National Park, this museum and nature attraction has been welcoming guests to explore the mighty redwoods up close since 1946. Measuring up to 20 feet in diameter, the ancient trees are impressive to behold. Walk among 2,000-year-old behemoths with majestic monikers like The Brotherhood, Cathedral, and Elephant. When you’re finished staring up at giants, soar above the towering forest canopy on a 10-minute ride on the SkyTrail Gondola. Fido is welcome to climb aboard to experience the bird’s-eye view.

Continue taking in the scenic views on a 25-mile drive north along the Redwood Highway to the Anchor Beach Inn in Crescent City. The hotel offers double-queen ocean-view rooms for guests traveling with fur kids. During your stay, enjoy the sunset and an ice-cold brew on the dog-friendly deck at nearby SeaQuake Brewing. You may even spot a resident seal or sea lion on your walk around the harbor.

Ready for a Road Trip?

Photo by Linda Segerfeldt


If this Ruff Guide to California preview left your dog drooling for more, we hope you check out our new book - Ruff Guide to the United States. Remember to use discount code GOLDEN to save 50% on your copy. Happy Travels!

Have you been to dog-friendly California? Leave a comment or tweet us @BringFido!

BringFido is committed to providing authentic dog-friendly content that our readers will love. We may at times receive compensation from our partners or use affiliate links to promote products and services featured on our blog. Banner photo by BringFido/Kayla.