The Best Dog-Friendly California Central Coast Vacations

March 30, 2021

Experience the best of California wine country with your pup by your side.

California’s Central Coast is a hot spot for good wine, great food and outdoor adventures galore. When you make Santa Maria Valley the home base for your Central Coast getaway, you can experience all the comforts of home – including time spent with your furry friends – for less! Read on for the best dog-friendly vacation ideas along California’s Central Coast. Discover dog-friendly beaches, hotels and the best hikes with dogs along the California Central Coast.

Santa Maria Valley

Santa Maria Valley offers iconic barbecue, the second-oldest wine region in California and much more, for much less. Plus, most hotels and many wineries, restaurants and breweries allow well-behaved pets in outdoor areas. There are also a plethora of dog-friendly hiking trails and dog-friendly beaches throughout the region that offer opportunities to get outdoors on the coast with your pup.

When it’s time for meals, check out Cubanissimo Cuban Coffee House, Moxie Café, or Rancho Nipomo Deli & BBQ for pet-friendly opportunities to enjoy outdoor seating in the gorgeous coastal weather. Naughty Oak Brewing Company also welcomes dogs on its patios – the Orcutt-based brewing company even offers water dishes to help keep your pup hydrated.

When it’s time to taste Santa Maria Valley’s flagship wine varietals, look to Presqu’ile Winery, Cambria Estate Winery, Costa De Oro, or Rancho Sisquoc Winery for dog-friendly outdoor tasting experiences. Be sure to check for tasting availability before you book.

When you’re ready to book your stay in Santa Maria Valley, the region offers many dog-friendly hotels. Best Western Big America allows pets to stay for free based on the availability of pet-friendly rooms and nearly every other hotel in the region allows pets in special rooms for a small fee. View all Santa Maria Valley hotels to learn more about their pet policies.

Santa Ynez Valley

Located South of Santa Maria Valley, Santa Ynez Valley is a densely packed wine region encompassing many small growing regions. Luckily for dog lovers, pups are welcome at many of the region’s popular attractions. Hikers can hit the trail at Gaviota State Park, or the Aliso Trail for stunning views of the surrounding mountains. Beachgoers can visit the Coal Oil Point Trail to dip their toes – and paws – into the sand. Dogs are also welcome at OstrichLand USA, an ostrich farm in the small town of Solvang.

For pup-friendly meals, head to The Lucky Hen Larder, Dos Carlitos, or Succulent Café. When it comes to wine tasting, visit Kalyra Wineries, Arrowsmith’s Wine Bar, Carivintas Winery, or Lucas & Lewellen for tasting opportunities that offer plenty of outdoor space to keep your pup happy.

Santa Barbara

Located in the southernmost part of the county, Santa Barbara is a gorgeous seaside town that offers dog lovers lots of options for dining, hiking and beaching with your pup. Those looking to inhale some salty ocean air can head to Arroyo Burro Beach, the Oceanfront Trail, or Summerland Beach. Don’t miss the stunning Santa Barbara Botanical Gardens during your trip, which also allows leashed dogs.

Santa Barbara is well-known for its foodie scene, and luckily, you can experience the flavor and variety of the region in many dog-friendly outdoor dining venues. The Shop Kitchen, Santa Barbara Shellfish Company, Mesa Verde, The Black Sheep, and many other restaurants throughout the city allow dogs in outdoor seating areas. For wine lovers, Santa Barbara Winery, Grassini Family Vineyards, Carr Winery and more allow pups to attend tastings in expansive outdoor spaces.

However you and your pup spend your Central Coast vacation, be sure to be safe, keep dogs leashed and clean up after your pet. We recommend calling any venue you’re planning to visit ahead of time to ensure availability. Browse hotels and lodging in Santa Maria Valley and start planning your next trip now.

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In Santa Maria Valley, there’s so much to do from here. Hit the road and explore it all with our 24 hiking trails, 34 tasting rooms, seven unique AVAs, 13 beaches, and a growing selection of local breweries, all within a beautiful 30-minute drive. There is no need to venture far if you are looking for sand dunes, cycling and authentic Santa Maria Style dining. You’ll find it’s the perfect home base, where you can eat, drink and do more for less.

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