Some websites are awesome and tell you right off the bat whether or not furry friends are invited, but most of the time they don't. If you have a pup, you know there's nothing worse than leaving them at home only to find that everyone else knew to bring their dogs, so here is a list of awesome things I've found around the San Francisco Bay Area (and a little beyond) that are ridiculously fun for humans and K-9s alike.
1. Waterside Walking - I stumbled upon Fort Funston by Googling dog-friendly parks and it was kind of a life-changing experience (read about it here). Dog-walkers come here every day, so you're bound to run into dozens of dogs attached to a single wrist as you wander down the beach with waves crashing and gorgeous cliffs in the background. Your pup is free to go off-leash too. A sunny day at Fort Funston is a totally different and equally beautiful experience as a foggy day. Look out for hang-gliders and stop by Trouble Coffee for a fresh coconut, toast and a latte on your drive out. My East Bay go-to is Point Isabel in Richmond, which is also a dog magnet where you're going to find gorgeous sunsets and a billion other puppies.
2. Whale Watching - Maybe Monterey isn't considered SF Bay Area, but it is gorgeous and definitely worth the drive. The water is incredibly blue, you'll see whales, tons of dolphins, jelly fish, sunfish and so many birds. Be sure to check Groupon for deals on tickets and bring a jacket. It was in the 90s on shore and freezing as soon as we took off on the boat. Your pups will love the wind in their faces and fishy smells.
3. Camping - Campsite websites are usually good about telling you whether or not dogs are allowed, but here are the sites I've personally been to and recommend: Kyen Campground on Lake Mendocino (be sure to ask the ranger about the blue algae status before letting your dog swim in the lake though), Riverside Campground in Big Sur nestled between redwoods (and if you decide to detour in Carmel on your way to Big Sur, like we did, there are tons of dog-friendly hotels and restaurants in the area. we stayed at Carmel Lodge and Zig loved playing on the beach). Here's a comprehensive list of campsites in California as well.
4. Bar Hopping - Sometimes you just want to get your Sunday funday on with your doggie BFF, am I right? Well, lucky for you, some bars in the Bay shirk health codes and let those suckers run wild. Bloodhound in SF is a great spot for cocktails, Mad Oak in Oakland is dog-friendly downstairs and has a big screen for game viewing (if you're into that sort of thing), Heart And Dagger Saloon in Oakland has a strange/awesome biker vibe to it and you're sure to find old men and their trusty K-9 companions playing pool or pinball.
5. Wine Tasting - Lots of wineries have outdoor areas that allow dogs around here, but some of them embrace furry friends inside too. The Buena Vista winery in Sonoma is one of those places. I nervously brought Ziggy inside and immediately she was welcomed with treats and praised by everyone on staff. I've also taken her to several wine tastings in the Tri-Valley, like Ruby Hill Winery and all these lovely pet-friendly spots in Livermore.
Do you ever plan your weekend around your pets? What fun things can your pups do where you live?