Carmel City Beach
You can be certain of few things always being true. One of those things is that Carmel California will rank at or very near the top of any national pet-friendly city list. It has been in DogFriendly.com's Top 3 resort cities to visit with a dog every year, and has held the number one spot about half the time. Carmel is made for a vacation with a dog. It is not too hot, with moderate summertime temperatures and the ocean fog cooling things off. It is not too cold in winter, so you can do the outdoor activities that make up much of a great dog-friendly vacation. But if weather was the only factor, there could be lots of other places like Carmel. There are not.
If you are looking for a big four star resort hotel, Carmel is not the place. There are some in neighboring Monterey which is an easy drive to Carmel, but the treasure of Carmel is the small inns and B&Bs, many of which are extremely dog-friendly. The town is small, and easy to walk. You will need your car for some of the attractions, however. You will want your car for the famous Seventeen Mile Drive which takes you to and past the world renowned Pebble Beach Golf Course and some of the most beautiful coastline anywhere. You may also want to take short car excursions to the beautiful Carmel Valley, Big Sur and the relatively larger city of Monterey which is also dog-friendly to the north.
In town, you can park your car at your B&B and do most of your touring, shopping and, of course, dining by foot. Perhaps the biggest jewel for the traveler with a dog in Carmel is the Carmel City Beach. This is the main city beach and it allows dogs, and in fact, it allows dogs off-leash. Usually, you need to choose the best beach for people or the best beach for dogs. Not in Carmel as they are one and the same. For other attractions, take in a walking tour of town, visit the doggy happy hour at Cypress Inn, or shop to your heart's content. Many stores in town will welcome your leashed dogs, and you can shop in the Carmel Plaza, Crossroads Shopping Center or the Carmel Village Shopping Area.
When it comes to dining with your dog, Carmel really shines. For a doggy menu along with a "people menu" try the Forge in the Forest. It's like sitting in a garden. One of our favorite restaurants in Carmel is PortaBella which will bring your dog water in a champagne bucket and has a very well covered and heated patio that will serve you and your dog well in any weather. Other favorites for the four-legged crowd are Anton and Michel's and the western themed Hog's Breath Inn of Clint Eastwood fame.
Carmel is just a few hours from anywhere in the San Francisco Bay Area, about six hours from Los Angeles and in a world of it's own for the vacationing pooch.