I love my dog dearly but I find traveling with her stressful. I’m always worrying about which places are pet friendly or not and, if they’re not, how quickly I can hop in before someone tries to snatch her. Maybe I worry too much but either way it’s not fun. Except for one place – Carmel. The town loves dogs and it’s a place I can travel with her and be worry free. Life’s good for me and my pup in dog friendly Carmel.
When visiting Carmel you can pretty much go anywhere with your dog – beaches, restaurants, shops, wine bars, hotels and more. Speaking of hotels, I’ve already told you all about the super pet friendly Hofsas House and it really is the perfect place to stay with your pet. But nobody wants to spend all their time in the hotel and my dog pal and I really just used it as a place to sleep. Any other time we were out and out about adventuring.
Carmel is a coastal town and no visit is complete without a trip to the beach. It just so happens my dog loves beaches. She hates the water and won’t set a paw in it but she loves playing in the sand. The white sand of Carmel Beach was absolutely perfect for her. We took a long walk along the shore and she loved checking out the driftwood and seaweed while I admired the beautiful view.
Carmel Beach is extremely popular with dog owners and you’ll find lots of pups running around both on and off leash.
There’s a very convivial atmosphere there and you’ll find yourself meeting new friends as you stroll along. My dog loved it so much that we ended up heading to the beach twice during our stay although our second visit was to Carmel River State Beach just a mile south.
Carmel River State Beach is a unique spot because it’s where the Carmel River meets the Pacific Ocean and you can chose which shore you’d like to face during your visit.
The beach is also a bird sanctuary and it’s the perfect spot to just sit and admire the natural surroundings and that’s just what we did. We spent a leisurely stay sitting on our towel watching a duck family waddling by and the waves rolling in.
My pup was probably content just sitting and relaxing because we had already visited two nature trails. Our first stop was Mission Trail Nature Preserve located just across the street from the Carmel Mission Basilica. Located in the heart of town it’s a 34 acre park that has over 3 miles of nature trails.
The preserve is a tranquil oasis and was perfect for a peaceful stroll with the pup. We decided to take it easy and took a leisurely walk through a portion of the trails. Thanks to the cool, damp climate of the Monterey Peninsula flowers and plants thrive in the area and we admired many beautiful ones as we wandered.
Further inland in the Carmel Valley is Garland Ranch Regional Park and we decided to check it out, too. Garland Ranch is a huge park at over 3,000 acres and it features an elevation gain of 2000 feet. Home to both the Santa Lucia Mountains and the Carmel River it’s a spot that’s ripe for adventure.
As it’s inland the temperatures are higher that in town and it was pretty warm during our visit. Wanting to keep ourselves as comfortable as possible we decided to take a short, shaded trail to the Carmel River.
We were rewarded with a beautiful view of the river and spent some time in the shade listening to its peaceful flow.
After our hike it was time for a little rest and relaxation so we headed to Carmel Valley for some wine tasting. The Monterey Peninsula is home to many wonderful wineries and, not being a connoisseur, I had no idea which one to choose. I chose Parsonage at random and it ended up being the perfect spot.
Parsonage is a family run vineyard and winery in Carmel that exclusively produces red wines. They have a quaint tasting room in Carmel Valley that is decorated with the most beautiful quilts all made by Mary, one of the owners. In fact, each wine label features a different quilt and it really makes the bottles stand out. One my visit I was interested in a tasting (though a couple bottles did come home with me) and I grabbed a spot on their cozy patio. The patio is dog friendly and my pup enjoyed a bowl of water while I got to tasting.
It was such a relaxing spot and the wine was absolutely delicious making it the perfect ending to our Carmel adventure. I’ve long loved visiting Carmel and it was so nice to find out that my dog loved it just as much. The town is so welcoming to visitors both human and canine that it was an absolute joy to spend time there with my pup. I can’t wait to return and I’m sure she can’t either.