Northern California: Pet Friendly Mendocino

dog standing on rocking chair during sunset

A Pet Friendly Weekend on the California Coast

For our second trip to Mendocino, we were lucky enough to be invited to stay at the Little River Inn with the dogs. Mendocino County combines coastline, with redwood forests, and wine country for a perfect weekend getaway. Now that we’ve been able to fully explore the area, we put together a guide to our favorite pet friendly activities throughout Mendocino County.

dog wearing sunflower bandana sitting on porch

two retriever dogs with sunflower bandanas

Getting to Mendocino from San Francisco

Mendocino is the perfect weekend trip for anyone in Northern California. It is also a great stop for anyone driving up or down the coast to the Pacific Northwest. The town of Mendocino is located on the coast but the county has everything from wine tasting, hiking trails, to water sports.

If you are coming from San Francisco, be sure to leave before the start of Friday afternoon traffic. Without traffic, you can get to Mendocino from San Francisco in about 3.5 hours. If you leave early enough you will get to fully enjoy sunset over the coast when you arrive – We made the mistake of leaving during traffic on our first visit and missed the beautiful sunset drive. For our second trip, we did not make the same mistake and the trip was much more enjoyable.

little river inn mendocino ocean view

little river in mendocino ocean view room

Accommodations in Mendocino with your Pet

To get the most of your Mendocino experience, we recommend staying on the coast. The Little River Inn has a variety of pet friendly ocean front rooms to choose from – Being able to wake up to the sound of the ocean and drink morning coffee on the balcony allowed us to get the full Mendocino experience.

Besides the ocean view, our room had a fireplace, balcony, jacuzzi tub, king bed, and plenty of room for the dogs to zoom around. Explore all the available rooms here to find your perfect match.

Not only are the ocean views breathtaking from the rooms, but the food at the Inn was top notch from 5 star chef Marc Dym. We were able to enjoy breakfast from our ocean front balcony – hotcakes, eggs benny, and fresh OJ (it was amazing). For dinner, The oysters and fried calamari were spectacular. As an added bonus, there is a pet friendly dining area for breakfast and dinner with advance reservation. We will definitely be bringing out parents here next time we visit Mendocino.

dog with plaid bandana

two dogs wearing bandanas

dog wearing sunflower bandana at sunset

two retrievers wearing sunflower bandanas at sunset

two dogs wearing bandanas at sunset

When to Visit Mendocino with your Dog

Because Mendocino weather does not vary much throughout the year, it is always a good time to visit Mendocino with your dog. Dress in layers as the ocean pulls in a cool breeze throughout the day and the temperatures drop at night. You’ll dress lightly during the day, but will be bundled up in sweaters at night.

Map of Pet Friendly activities in Mendocino, California

Take your dog canoeing down Big River

Canoeing down Big River is a MUST when visiting Mendocino with your dog. Catch a Canoe & Bicycles Too offers Canoes, Kayaks, SUPs, and bicycle rentals. If you are interested in biking, the 10 mile Big River bike trail begins at the facility. The most unique part about renting a canoe with Catch a Canoe is the “Canine Cruiser” which is designed specially for stability. These are the only human powered boats in the world that are specifically made for pets! Even with Calvin running around on it, we stayed dry and stable.

Calvin was so excited to get into the canoe that it took our full strength to keep him from jumping over the dock and into the water. Be sure to allow your dog to take breaks from swimming – On the other hand, Samson was happy to relax and enjoy the breeze.

As you canoe down the calm Big River Estuary, it is not uncommon to see harbor seals bathing on the shores and river otters playing in the water. We saw at least 10 harbor seals bobbing in the water. Don’t miss out on this unique experience in Mendocino.

canoe on river

dog in canoe looking up at camera

golden retriever sitting on canoe

dog looking out of canoe

yellow labrador wearing a red life vest perching off of a canoe on a river

Ride the Pet Friendly Skunk Train through the Redwoods of Fort Bragg

The Skunk Train is a best way to experience the Mendocino redwoods without having to break sweat on a hike. The pet friendly train leaves from Fort Bragg and travels for a 7 mile, one hour, round trip through the historical landscape of northern California. The experience felt AND looked like what you’d expect on a real life Hogwarts Express (minus the wizards). The dogs loved the breeze on the outdoor railcar and they all got plenty of attention from fellow passengers.  Before your visit, check out the seasonal activities like the Magical Christmas rides and Pumpkin Express.

golden retriever wearing a green toggle button sweater

golden retriever wearing a green sweater sitting on a train car seat

golden retriever sitting in a train

golden retriever dog on the fort bragg skunk train

Relax with some wine at Maple Creek Winery

The highway 128 route to Mendocino from San Francisco winds through the hills of wine country. We stopped by  “Artevino” Maple Creek Winery for a signature wine tasting. We sat with the wine maker for over an hour, learning about the history of the vineyard. Tom & his staff were so welcoming and stick true to their motto “enter as strangers, leave as friends”.

golden retriever at maple creek winery

three wine bottles at maple creek winery

dog sitting on red chair

Check out the Beaches

The “Glass” Beach at Fort Bragg
The glass beach was the most heavily trafficked part of Fort Bragg, but frankly did not live up to its expectation as a “glass” beach. We’ve chosen to include the Glass Beach here since it is a neat spot to check out after the Skunk Train in Fort Bragg. The disclaimer to add is that the shores are no longer lined with beautiful sea glass as they have historically. The smooth glass that is found washed up on the beach is a result of extensive dumping of trash into the ocean in the 20th century. Today, only small pieces of glass are still visible if you look closely enough – mostly in whites, greens, and browns. It was a fun search to collect the pieces of smooth glass, but definitely underwhelming and disappointing. Dogs are welcome on the beach but must be kept on leash.

sea glass

glass beach at fort bragg

Off Leash Big River Beach
The Big River Beach is located directly across from the Catch a Canoe rental facility. It’s a great place to visit after or before canoeing. The beach is relatively abandoned except for some dogs chasing frisbees and swimming in the gentle tides. The water is perfect for swimming as it’s right at the beginning of the estuary so it is clean but there are no waves.

Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens

The pet friendly Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens are a great way to enjoy beautiful flowers and ocean views all on one visit. We spent about 2 hours following the loop through the flower gardens and open fields to the coastal trail. We found the walk a lot more tranquil than we expected – we found our way to different gardens and sat on benches to enjoy the fresh air in each other’s presence. The gardens are scenic, inviting, and truly a hidden gem of Mendocino. The best part – the gardens are entirely dog friendly!

mendocino botanical gardens

Walk along the Mendocino Headlands Trail

The Mendocino Headlands trail is a 4 mile out and back stroll located along the coastal bluffs of the town. Even if you do not complete the entire trail, this is a great way to take in the coastal views. The trail follows the coast with the sounds of waves crashing below. The trail is overgrown at some parts, but we just trudged through without difficulty. The trail is best paired prior to or following a walk through town – we loved stopping into the cute shops and coffee bars.

mendocino headlands trail view of the ocean

pacific ocean from mendocino headlands trail

NorCALis CALling,
Your Pal CAL

Dog Friendly NYC: Bring your dog to New York City

dog in front of a new york yellow taxi

We love visiting NYC with our dog – its not hard to find Pet Friendly Hotels in New York City and there are plenty of dog parks to play in. We’ve traveled to New York City with Calvin during every season – I (humom) grew up in Manhattan and so we head back to the Upper West Side many times a year to see grandma and grandpaw.  To be perfectly honest, NYC is tough with a dog, especially a big dog. Be ready to do a lot of walking, and bundle up if you’re visiting during winter.  All in all, NYC is magical at any time of year but can be inconvenient if your pet doesn’t fit in a bag. Before visiting NYC with your pet, make sure that they are comfortable with the crazy sounds and crowds they will experience.  It can be extremely overwhelming if they are not used to being in such an environment.

Are dogs allowed on the NYC Subway?

NYC arguably has the best public transportation system in the country…..but pets are not allowed in the Subway unless they fit in a bag (strictly enforced). Your best option is to put on your walking shoes and explore the city by foot. Yellow cabs will sometimes allow you to ride but this is at the driver’s discretion – yellow cab seats are actually covered in plastic so shedding and seat damage is not a risk and easy to clean.  We take cabs when we go to the airport and lay a towel on the floor so that Calvin’s fur does not get onto the car.  Uber/Lyft is another great way to get around NYC but be sure to call the driver before hand to make sure they are ok with a dog getting into their car. We spend most of our time in NYC walking – sometimes 15 miles a day even in the dead of winter.

Pet Friendly Hotels in New York City

We wish we had recommendations, but we stay with family so we’ve never had an issue with accommodations. Our usual favorites are pet friendly AirBnBs and one of the many NYC Kimpton Hotels. NYC has a lot of cool boutique hotels – in general, we’d recommend staying in lower Manhattan (Chelsea, West Village, Greenwich Village) if you are looking to hit the town in the evening.

dog wearing a sweater on a bench in central park

Best Times to Visit NYC with a Dog

We are lucky enough to have visited NYC in all seasons – Our favorite visits have been in the spring and early fall.  In September, the heat has started to die down but you’ll still feel comfortable in shorts. In November, the weather starts to get chilly but the parks are painted in the most beautiful fall colors. We spent the Christmas Season in NYC last year and our California was showing terribly – We were NOT prepared for the blistering cold but once we got all the gear we needed, were able to enjoy ourselves.  Visiting in the winter can be especially beautiful if you are blessed with a magical snow storm. Central Park is breathtaking the morning after a snowstorm. The air is fresh, the snow is soft, and the dogs are allowed off-leash until 9am! The biggest issue with visiting in the winter is that outdoor seating is not available and so fido has to stay home during meal times. During the summer, NYC is brutally hot.  We visited in July and temperatures hit 100 during the day. We kept our walks to the early morning and evening and came prepared with all of Calvin’s cooling gear and water bottles.

dog on the steps of the met in NYC

New York City Dog Parks

Central Park is off leash before 9AM
Our favorite spots are Cedar Hill (79th St. East) and Great Hill (106th St. West).  Dogs will congregate off leash at these hills in the early morning.

Tompkins Square Dog Park

Madison Square Dog Park

Washington Square Dog Park

105th Dog Run (Riverside Park)

72nd Dog Run (Riverside Park)

Prospect Park in Brooklyn is off leash before 9AM

dog with bagels and mug in new york city. dog is wearing a red checkered bandana

Pet Friendly Restaurants in NYC

During the spring, fall, and summer you can certainly enjoy your time in NYC with fido by taking advantage of the outdoor patios.  You may melt outside during the midday summer heat, but at least the seating is available.  You’ll find that many parks have great outdoor food options available.

landscape view of NYC skyline from the great lawn of central park

Where to walk your dog in NYC

When we visit NYC, we walk all day. Please note that most of the indoor places are not pet friendly, so you will just have to enjoy them from the outside.  To be honest, the top of the Empire State Building is overrated anyway (coming from a native New Yorker). Here are some walks to check out:

Lower Manhattan – East Village, West Village, Greenwich Village, Soho, Chelsea, Union Square, Madison Square Park.
The lower part of Manhattan is home to some of the trendiest spots.  You can start down at the East or West village and make your way up to Madison Square Park. Most of the cute restaurants and cafés have outdoor seating available. Madison Square Park has a great dog park (and an outdoor Shake Shack!).  If you want to get some food from the famous Eataly across the street, you can enjoy the food with your pup at the picnic tables in Madison Square Park.

Tribeca & Brooklyn Bridge – Ground Zero, City Hall Park, Rockefeller Park, Brooklyn Bridge Promenade. 
Pets ARE allowed at Ground Zero but not inside the museum or inside the Freedom Tower. From Tribeca, you can walk to the Brooklyn Bridge.  Start on the Manhattan Side and make your way over to Brooklyn.  When you get there, you can walk along the East River, get some food, and check out the Hillside Dog Park.

dog sitting in front of New York hot dog stand

Midtown – Bryant Park, Empire State Building, Radio City Music Hall, Rockefeller Center Times Square, Grand Central Terminal.
Although hectic, the famous Grand Central Terminal is pet friendly. Check out the huge clock and look up to see the decorated ceiling. Times Square and Rockefeller Center are crazy but part of the NYC experience.  Overall, Midtown has a more hectic vibe to it so if you want to get a feel of what it’s like to be a New Yorker, spend some time there but don’t drive yourself crazy.

Central Park South – Columbus Circle, The Plaza Hotel, The Apple Store.
Columbus Circle Shops AND the Apple Store are Pet Friendly! You will find Columbus Circle at the West side, and then can walk along the park to get to the Apple Store and the Plaza Hotel. Bouchon Bakery in Columbus Circle even has Foie Gras Dog Biscuits. You can even find dog accessories at all the high end shops (for a price).

dog sitting on a bench in pet friendly central park. dog is wearing a pin bandana and the sun is starting to set

Central Park – Loeb Boathouse, Bethesda Fountain, Bow Bridge, Balto Statue, Strawberry Fields, Gapstow Bridge, Central Park Carousel, Belvedere Castle, Alice and Wonderland Statues, Model Boat Sailing Lake.
A Central Park tour can easily take up an entire day.  Luckily there are lots of outdoor eateries, classic NYC hot dog carts, and water sources to stay comfortable. Central park is located right in the center of Manhattan so you can access it from almost anywhere between 59th-110th st. Check out all the spots from your favorite movie scenes and wander around until you get lost.  Dogs are allowed off leash before 9am, but watch for cyclists.

dog sitting on the street on riverside driver in new york city. dog is a labrador retriever wearing a pink bandana

Upper West Side – Family Friendly Neighborhood, Lincoln Center, Riverside Park, Columbia University.
This is the neighborhood where I (humom) grew up but also went to College. It is a very family friendly neighborhood but also has a college town feel as you get uptown towards Columbia University.  Start at 66th st and Broadway to check out Lincoln Center – home to the Opera, Ballet, and Philharmonic.  Walk uptown along Broadway to fully experience the UWS. Towards the West, you’ll find Riverside Park and the Hudson river.  The UWS is very diverse so you will find a wide range of ethnic cuisine – the UWS local favorite is Zabar’s (79th St. and Broadway), home to the best pastrami and more cheese than you could ever imagine. At the tip of the Upper West Side (technically called Morningside Heights), you’ll find NYC’s oldest University & Ivy League Columbia University.  Snap a pic in front of the famous Alma Mater Status and enjoy the massive library from Low Library Steps.

dog sitting on the steps of the metropolitan museum of art

Upper East Side – The Met Steps, Madison Avenue, Park Avenue.
Channel your inner Gossip Girl on the Met Steps and stroll down Madison Avenue to plan what you’ll be spending your cash on when you win the lottery.  Park Avenue is residential, but worth a stroll since most of the buildings are beautiful and well maintained.

Need more ideas? The New York Times has a great article about visiting New York with your pet.

City so nice, they named it twice!
-Your Pal Cal

Pet Friendly Boston Massachusetts: Dog Friendly Activities in New England

 Dog sitting in front of a blue and red door in marblehead massachusetts

Dog Friendly Places Massachusetts

There are many fun things to do with your dog In Boston and New England.  We visited multiple Pet Friendly towns throughout Massachusetts and New Hampshire. Even though there are many dog friendly activities in Boston, we focused on the small towns along the coast. Rent a car and check out all the dog friendly spots in the Boston area.

We recently visited Massachusetts and New Hampshire – the variety one can find in New England is awe inspiring.  From rural farmland, coastal towns, to big cities – New England seems to have it all. Although having a pet excludes you from visiting the museums in New England, all of the towns we visited were overall pet friendly – outdoor patios, water bowls for Fido, and lots of fun pet shops. If visiting with your pet, try to avoid the rainy seasons since pet friendly activities and patios are exclusively outdoors.

sunrise photo of a pet friendly beach in Massachusetts

When to visit Massachusetts with your Dog

Our favorite times to visit New England with the dogs are during the fall, and early summer.  During the fall, the whole family can enjoy all of fall’s best activities; apple picking, hot cider, leaves changing color. The winter is great for those who find peace and serenity in cuddling up in front of the fire place while snow falls outside.  As Californians, we are intimidated by the winter frost but love admiring its beauty from afar.  The early summer is great for visiting before the area fills up with tourists.  By early summer the rain has hopefully stopped and New England is left green and luscious.

dog standing on a rock at a pet friendly farm in massachusetts

Pet Friendly Hotels in Massachusetts

There are many pet friendly hotels in Massachusetts. For a more standard hotel experience, the Hampton Inn hotels allow pets for an extra fee ($50). We stayed at the Hampton Inn in Exeter, NH and had a great time.  We felt comfortable leaving Calvin alone while we attended a wedding and the front desk was very welcoming.

For a more pet friendly hotel experience, Kimpton Hotels are our favorite choice.  Check out their locations to see if they have one near your destination.  We will be staying at the Kimpton Hotel Marlowe in Cambridge, MA when we visit again next year. They provide water bowls and even a bed for your pup with no extra charge!

This trip, we stayed in a hotel during out time in New Hampshire and an Airbnb during out quick stop through Boston, MA. We only book Airbnbs when we know Calvin will not be left alone since we feel uncomfortable leaving him alone in a house that is not his.  We know that in a hotel room he would not be able to escape even if he wanted to, but in a house he may be able to get creative (he’s never tried this but you never know).  It’s hard to predict what the security situation will be like in a house that you are unfamiliar with. Plus, hotels have constant staff to alert you of any types of issues that may come up with the dog if you step out. Ultimately, this decision is up to whatever feels most comfortable to you and Airbnbs tend to be more affordable.

dog laying on a king sized bed in a pet friendly hotel in Massachusetts

Are Massachusetts beaches dog friendly?

Many of the Massachusetts beaches are not pet friendly in the summer months. The Massachusetts beaches are refreshing and relaxing, especially in the early morning before the crowds come in.  Depending on when you visit, pets may not be allowed on some beaches especially during summer months.  Look for signs or designated pet friendly beaches – some cutoffs are April, May, or others are open to pets year round.  Even if the beach itself is not pet friendly, most beaches have a concrete walkway along the sand that you are welcome to walk on with Fido. In Nahant, MA we stayed off the main beach but were able to walk along the concrete path.  We then found a designated dog beach nearby that we could enjoy.

dog wearing a red and white striped polo in massachusetts beach

Map of places to visit in Massachusetts with your dog 

New England towns are known for their picturesque cobblestone paths, colorful houses, and water views. We checked out the following towns and farms along the way:

Pet Friendly Marblehead, MA – A quiet coastal town

Fresh off the cross country flight, we stopped by Nahant, MA to check out the Doggie Beach before heading to Marblehead, MA located about 45 minutes out of Boston.  We wandered through the cobble stone paths of Marblehead and found this town to be the quietest of all that we visited.  We enjoyed the peacefulness and small town vibes without feeling like we had fallen into a tourist trap.  We were able to take a moment to stock up on coffee after our red-eye and take in a breath of fresh air after our trip.

We parked on Atlantic Ave in front of Seaside Park and walked through the town.  This appeared to be the main street with all the cutest shops – check out the boutique pet shop “Pawsitively Marblehead.” We ate at Java Sun Coffee Roasters.  After walking through the small town, we realized this was one of the only places to get an early breakfast.

We took our coffees with us as we meandered through the quiet streets.  We found a lot of quaint, colorful houses and followed the Marblehead Rail Trail for a few miles before looping back into town.

Our last stop in Marblehead was to the Fort Sewall – a landmark built back in the 1600s.  We saw dogs wading in the water before the fort, but the fort itself is an on leash area.  Have a seat along the water and enjoy the sailboats coming in and out of the bay. Take a moment to relax and reflect.

labrador retriever sitting next to a stuffed dog in marblehead Massachusetts

pet store in marblehead Massachusetts
Salem, MA – Rich history and cobblestone paths

Salem Massachusetts its great for walking around with your dog. Salem, MA is most famous for the 1692 Witch Trials and gives you the opportunity to enjoy the town with your dogs. The town is appropriately adorned in spooky decor and most shops and bars reference witchcraft.  The creepy but playful vibe is perfect for a fun stroll through the town.

A great first stop is the Visitor’s center to use the restroom and get a map of the town.  The visitor’s center offers many souvenirs but you will find prices are better in town.

We walked to Salem Common, the town park on our way to the House of the Seven Gables.  Even though most activities in Salem are indoors and thus not pet friendly, the area around the landmarks are fair game and are fun to walk around.  We did not enter the House of the Seven Gables but our path there took us through the spooky Salem streets and shops and we admired the house from the outdoors.

Loop over to the Salem Maritime Park where you can wade in the water and walk out to the lighthouse. From there, make your way to the Salem Witch Village where you can enjoy more witchcraft imagery.  We finished our Salem visit by walking through the main street (Essex Street) up to the Bewitched Sculpture.

a view of the pet friendly maritime park in salem

Exeter, NH – Picturesque shops and trails

We traveled to New England to attend a wedding in Exeter, NH and we are so glad we got to stop by.  Exeter is a small town and home to Philips Exeter Academy, an elite boarding school.  The school was founded in the late 1700s and resembles a stereotypical ivy covered university.  The town is clean, quiet, and quintessentially New England with a river flowing through.  It takes less than an hour to walk through so have activities lined up nearby. For an additional activity, you can walk the Exeter trail along the river.

Hampton Falls, NH – Walk through Applecrest Farm Orchards and dine on the patio

After checking out Exeter, we drove to a nearby pet friendly farm. Applecrest Farm allows you to walk through the grounds and offers apple picking in the fall.  You can grab brunch on their patio overlooking the farm. We picked up some apple cider before heading to our next destination. Sometimes, their farm animals are out for petting.

Salisbury, MA – Check out the dog friendly beach!

The only stop we made in Salisbury was to the dog friendly beach at Salisbury Beach State Reservation.  There is a caveat though – the “ocean” side beach is NOT dog friendly, only the “river” side beach.  The beaches are connected but dogs are only allowed off leash on the part that is in front of the campgrounds, not the main parking lot.  Both beaches are great but the “river” beach is the one that feeds into the ocean so you see land in front of you rather than never ending water. It costs $14 to get into the beach and we waited about 10 minutes in line.  The beach was crowded likely because of the long weekend and good weather.

Newburyport, MA – A smaller version of Rockport.  Grab some clam chowder.

After the beach, we drove up the road to Newburyport. Newburyport was very busy on the Saturday afternoon we visited.  We put our names down at the Sea Level Oyster Bar (great outdoor seating and clam seafood) and walked through the Waterfront Park while we waited.  The wait was about 30 minutes so we also explored the town.  In typical New England style – the cobblestone streets are lined with cute nautical themed shops.  Stop by Dolce Freddo Gelato across the street from the Oyster Bar to satisfy your sweet tooth. We wanted to explore the entire town so we meandered through the streets and made our way to Frog Pond before turning back. We didn’t see any frogs, but Calvin was mesmerized by the turtles.

Peabody, MA – Stop by Brooksby farm if you are driving through

We love visiting local farms so we made a pit stop in Brooksby farm.  The farm shop had all sorts of delicious freshly baked farm goodies (and homemade dog treats!). Pets cannot enter the farm shop but they are welcome anywhere else on the grounds. We spent a long time watching the animals and made some new friends. Check their website to see what types of crops are available for picking when you visit.


Concord, MA – Check out the historic revolutionary trail

Concord, MA is home to the Minute Man National Historical Park where you can follow the Battle Road Trail for as long as you want to walk.  The battles of Lexington and Concord were the first of the American Revolutionary War – the trail acts as an outdoor museum with information scattered along the walk.

labrador retriever sitting on the minute man trail
Rockport, MA – Iconic New England Town

Another iconic New England town, but a little out of the way if you are headed to Boston. Check out Rockport Harbor and stroll down Mt. Pleasant St. for the New England feel and great views of Rockport Harbor.  There are many cute shops and a lot of food options to choose from.

Cambridge, MA – Historical ivy covered college town

We headed over to Alma Mater in Cambridge for a night to catch up with friends and walk around campus.  Cambridge is a cute college town that is home to Harvard and MIT.  For off leash dog park options, we recommend Fresh Pond Reservation Dog Park.  In terms of food options, we stopped at the college favorites that offered outdoor seating – Felipe’s Taqueria in Harvard Square may be the best bang for your buck burritos you’ll ever find.  L.A Burdick’s is a great stop for grabbing drinking chocolate for the rest of your walk (pets not allowed inside so lead fido outside and get an order to go). Take a walk around the Harvard Square for more cute shops and Harvard Yard for some classic campus shots.  Calvin was very popular in his polo and got a lot of belly rubs. Cambridge is connected to Boston via bridges along the Charles River.  If you are staying in Cambridge, it’s a nice walk over to Boston….

dog wearing a harvard polo sitting in front of the harvard library

dog wearing a harvard polo sitting in front of a brick building

Boston, MA – Is Boston a Dog Friendly City?

Founded in 1630, Boston is one of the oldest cities in the United States.  We like to think of Boston as a mini version of NYC or SF (but cleaner).  Boston is pet friendly, walkable, in general pristinely clean, and has a lot of cool neighborhoods to check out.  We walked down Commonwealth Avenue to get a feel for the old cobblestoned Boston homes.  Parallel to Commonwealth Avenue you will find Newbury Street – lined with cute shops that get progressively more upscale, ending at the Public Gardens (also known as Boston Common).  Boston Common is essentially the Boston version of NYC’s Central Park.  From Boston Common, you can walk the Freedom Trail through all the remaining monuments (about 2.5 miles).  We stopped by Quincy Market and finally made our way to the North End for some Italian food.  On a nice day, walking along the Charles River Esplanade is a relaxing dog friendly stroll.

dog wearing a harvard polo

 Happy traveling, 
Your Pal Cal

Bring your dog to pet friendly Salt Lake City, Utah

things to do with your dog in salt lake city

Dog Friendly Places to Visit in Salt Lake City, UT

Salt Lake City has plenty of dog friendly hiking trails for you and Fido to explore.  Additionally, there are many dog friendly hotels near Salt Lake City. Even if you aren’t visiting Salt Lake City with a dog, be sure to check out all the great Utah hiking trails.  If you have extra time, Park City is also pet friendly and a fun ski town to explore.

We recently took the dog to Salt Lake City & Park City in Utah.  We had a great time exploring the great outdoors and met lots of friendly people and dogs throughout the weekend.  Although the outdoors are extremely dog friendly, there are some extra regulations for bringing dogs to certain parts of the city that are important to keep in mind. Overall, we definitely recommend visiting Salt Lake with your Dog, especially in the spring time when the tulips are blooming throughout the city.  The city is pristinely clean and well maintained and the people are very friendly!

When to visit Salt Lake City with your Dog

We visited Salt Lake City in May unknowing to the fact that the entire city is blooming with tulips! We hear the tulips start wilting by the second week of may so we would recommend visiting in April or early May. The sun was shining all weekend and shorts were a must! The last snow had been a few weeks before we arrived so definitely wait until April if you want to enjoy your time outdoors!

Pet Friendly Hotels in Salt Lake City

Many hotels in salt lake city allow pets so there are lots of options when traveling with your pet.

Pet Friendly Kimpton Hotel in Salt Lake City – 10 minutes from Temple Square and right in the center of downtown.  Higher price point than an Airbnb, but great service. Check it out here

Pet Friendly Sheraton Salt Lake City – Walk to temple square and stay in downtown! Check it out here

Pet Friendly Airbnb- We stayed at an Airbnb because we just wanted a place to sleep at a very cheap price. Our host had the cutest collie named Violet who was very friendly with Calvin. To search pet friendly Airbnb, add “pets allowed” as an additional filter. You can get $40 off your first booking if you book through this link.

things to do with your dog in salt lake city

Dog Regulations and Patio Laws in Salt Lake City

The law requires restaurants in Utah to receive special “Paws on the Patio” permits to allow pets onto their outdoor patios and they do officially enforce this. Most restaurants do not have this permit.  As of 2017, only 12 eating establishments in the city had successfully filed for the permit.  Once on the patio, the restaurants do not allow dogs to sit on chairs (obviously duh!), to eat any food from the table, or to be touched by restaurant staff.  For patios that are not pet friendly, you are always welcome to sit on the patio and keep your dog away from the “general vicinity” of the restaurant.  We successfully used this method for a few meals and kept Calvin about 10 feet away from the restaurant – people are very nice there so no one bothered him!  Additionally, restaurants ask for proof of rabies vaccinations (a photo will do) before entering the patio.  Of course, trained Service Dogs (ESAs are not trained service dogs) are allowed access. There are a yummy variety of pet friendly establishments to choose from! Here they are….

things to do with your dog in salt lake city

“Paws on the Patio” Establishments in Salt Lake City

Here are some restaurants with pet friendly patios.

Pet Friendly Breweries in Salt Lake City
Campfire Lounge – lots of friendly dogs, they check vaccine records at the door. Game day type food.
Fisher Brewing Company
Uinta Brewing Company
Wasatch Brew Pub Sugar House
Collie’s Sports Bar (in Park City) – very dog friendly and amazing cheeseburgers! Their mascot is a Border Collie.
Wasatch Brew Pub (in Park City) – call in advance to make sure the patio is open.  The patio was closed when we visited.

Pet Friendly Breakfast/Lunch in Salt Lake City
Eggs in the City – get your egg fixing.
Alchemy Coffee – get your caffeine boost before starting the day.
The Park Café – 45 minute wait but put your name down and then walk through the park across the street.  Sip coffee while you wait. Service is extremely fast and friendly once you are seated.
Pig and a Jelly Jar – good quality southern style breakfast (biscuits, chicken & waffles ect).

Pet Friendly Restaurants in Salt Lake City
Log Haven
Taqueria 27
The Copper Onion (No dog permit, but Fido can wait beyond the patio fence) – totally worth it for the amazing dinner food!

Map of Dog Friendly Activities in Salt Lake City

Hiking near Salt Lake City: Dog Friendly Hiking Trails in Salt Lake City

If you visit Salt Lake City with your dog in the spring or summer, there are unlimited trails for you and Fido to explore.  Salt Lake City hikes are easy to find on All Trails but we will include some of our favorites below.

Millcreek Canyon – $3 fee to enter (cash or card). Dogs are allowed off leash on certain days and we ran into lots of friendly pups.  We took the Pipeline Trail which leads to a scenic view of the entire city if you head to the “Overlook.”  To get to the overlook, turn left when you get to the fork in the road on the Pipeline Trail.  If there is any confusion, ask around for where the Pipeline Overlook is. The trail seems intimidating at first but after about a 15 minute uphill struggle, the trail plateaus around the mountain to the overlook.

Although we did not check this out, The Big Water Trail is a 2.5 mile hike to a dog Lake!  Check out all the trails to see which would be best for you. See more about the trails here

salt lake city per friendly hiking trails
Freedom Trail & Memory Grove Park – Check out the pet friendly park near the State Capitol Building! Check out the Capitol and then walk down to the off-leash Memory Grove Park and Freedom Trail.  The park has a small pond, beautiful flowers, and historic landmarks.

Tanner Park – This park is not officially off leash even though you will see many dogs romping off leash when you get to the trails.  Although this is a park, it is more like a hike to a creek. The water access is refreshing after the walk. 

Horsetail Falls – This trail is a little more difficult and can get quite steep.  It does lead to a beautiful waterfall over the valley.  Check out more information about the trails here.

The Living Room Trail – this trailhead is right off the University of Utah.  The walk is about 2.5 miles that leads up to a great view over Salt Lake City.  The trail is rather rocky and steep but has beautiful foliage and wildflowers. At the top of the hike you will find fun Flintstone like living room furniture overlooking the city.

Salt Lake City Activities with your Dog

City Creek Mall – City Creek Mall is across the street Temple Square. Because the mall is outdoors, you can walk through with Fido.  A creek flows through the mall and there are a lot of beautiful fountains sprinkled throughout the mall.
The Temple Square – Temple Square was one of the most breathtaking parts of our visit.  We walked through a few times over the weekend because we couldn’t get enough.  The temple square is a complex owned by the LDS church and is the most popular tourist attraction in Utah.  We visited a few times and found that the best time for a “peaceful” stroll is around 8-9am.  The square fills up with tourists groups throughout the day.  During April and May, the square is decorated with beautiful tulips.  Check out the temple square blog post on what to expect in every season. Please note, you do not have to be a part of the LDS church to visit (we are not), and the members of the community are very welcoming and respectful.

Capitol Hill – Another pristine part of Salt Lake City.  Park near the Capitol, check it out, and then take a 5 minute walk to the off-leash Memory Grove Park and Trails. The best time to visit Capitol Hill is first thing in the morning. We visited around 8am and tour groups were already beginning to arrive.  By the time we left the area, the plaza was crowded.

pet friendly salt lake city
Brigham Young Historic Park – This well maintained park offers a peaceful stroll through flowers, historical statues, and a flowing stream.  It is a quiet park around the corner from Temple Square.  We found that it was less touristy than the square. This is a historical site run by the LDS church so it is important to keep pets on leash.

Gilgal Sculpture Garden – This is a hidden gem of Salt Lake City.  It is off-the-beaten-path and therefore very quiet.  We went on a Saturday and only one other person (with two doxies) was in the entire park. We kept Calvin on leash while walking through the park but did not see any signs indicating otherwise, and the other pups were off leash.

Liberty Park – Liberty park is across the street from The Park Café.  Put your name down for breakfast and then take a walk around the Lake at Liberty Park.  This park is on leash but very friendly.

The Great Salt Lake – We accessed the Great Salt Lake through the State Park.  Your navigation tools will likely want you to navigate to the “Great Salt Lake Marina” but there is a small CASH ONLY entry fee here and not much to see except to use the restroom.  We found that the best way to take a walk on the Salt Lake shore was to navigate to “The Great Saltair.”  This appeared to be an abandoned concert venue with free access to walking along the sandy shores of the Lake.  No restrooms so head to the marina for that. The photos below are from this location:

pet friendly activities in salt lake city

salt lake city pet friendly

Tanger Outlets – half way between Park City and Salt Lake.  You’ll get a great deal without having to battle through crowds.  The outlet plaza is very pet friendly and so are most of the clothing stores. We didn’t intend to stop here but are glad we did.  A restroom break turned into a shopping spree.

Park City – Park City is only about 45 minutes from downtown Salt Lake.  It is a quaint ski town with an old western feel.  It is worth a visit for strolling through the main street and popping into cute shops.

Happy Travels,
Your Pal Cal