Los Angeles, the City of Angels, is also a city for dogs. This city is huge, with nearly 4 million residents spread over an area that stretches nearly 80 miles from end to end. Los Angeles is the center of the entertainment industry, with Hollywood and Beverly Hills a major tourist draw. There are many miles of beach, but not much of the beaches are dog-friendly. Los Angeles is built in a basin surrounded by mountains. While the close in mountains do not get winter snow, mountains further inland most certainly do. The Los Angeles hills serve to seperate areas of the city with natural boundries, also making it time consuming to drive between these areas. However, they come with benefits such as some excellent observation points overlooking the city, hiking trails and some off-leash dog areas. Most visitors to Los Angeles focus on the Hollywood and West Los Angeles areas, however, since Los Angeles is so big we have divided the city into six different regions. These do not include neighboring Orange County, home of Disneyland, Knotts Berry Farm, Anaheim, Newport Beach and more.
Los Angeles has many luxury pet-friendly hotels. The Sofitel at Beverly Hills is very dog-friendly. An extremely interesting choice of hotel is the Chateau Marmont Hotel at 8221 Sunset Boulevard. This hotel is modeled after a royal residence in France and is, in essence, a castle. Dogs up to 100 pounds are allowed. There is a beautilful garden patio restaurant as well. Another extremely dog-friendly hotel is the Loews Santa Monica Beach Hotel. This hotel, like most Loews hotels, offers a variety of dog amenities, such as doggie room service, beds, treats, water dishes and patio dining. They will also arrange for pet sitters as needed. In addition to these top of the line dog-friendly hotels Los Angeles offers hotels that allow dogs from all of the major chains. If you are looking to stay for a long time, then you might consider an extended stay hotel such as Residence Inn, Candlewood Suites or Extended Stay America. There are also dog-friendly vacation rentals in the Hollywood and beach areas.
A great area to spend some time if traveling to Los Angeles with a dog is in the Griffith Park area. Griffith Park is a large city park with many hiking trails that are open to leashed dogs. From the Griffith Observatory you get a panoramic and famous view of the city. The Travel Town Museum allows your well-behaved, leashed or carried dog to visit with you. Another attraction for tourists are to follow the Hollywood Walk of Fame on the sidewalks in Hollywood. Your dog can look up their favorite movie star (Does Lassie have a star?). You can buy the tourist maps of the Hollywood Star's homes and walk the sidewalks or drive the self-guided tours. If they are not too busy, some of the tour vans will allow smaller dogs to ride. Another great place to visit is the Will Rogers State Historical Park. This was Will Rogers personal home and ranch. It has been maintained to show how the Rogers' family lived and the ranch has been maintained. There are also equestrian events here. If you want to visit Universal Studios, although your dog is not allowed on the tour, there is an air conditioned kennel at Universal. In the San Fernando Valley, there is the Dog's Gallery, a dog-friendly art gallery. Los Encinos State Historic Park is a five acre historical site where dogs can walk the grounds. For movie buffs, you and your dog can walk around Paramount Ranch in Agoura Hills. Paramount Ranch is part of the Santa Monica National Rec Area and is a Western Town movie set that has been used in hundreds of movies. The trails are easy and mostly less than one mile in length.
Many people come to Los Angeles for the beach. Unfortunately for dogs, the vast majority of Los Angeles beaches do not allow dogs. However, Long Beach is a dog-friendly haven and has the Long Beach Dog Beach Zone between Roycroft and Argonne Avenues. This is a 3 acre off-leash dog beach. While in Long Beach you and your dog can dine at the patio at Stefano's Restaurant. This eatery serves Italian food and dog treats and water as well. Also in Long Beach there are other dog-friendly restaurants, two off-leash dog parks and from here you and your dog can take the ferry to Catalina Island. A muzzle may be required on the ferries to Catalina. The only other Los Angeles County beach that allows dogs is Leo Carrillo State Beach which is up the Pacific Coast Highway in Malibu. Dogs must be leashed on this beach.
For dog-friendly dining in Los Angeles there are a lot of choices. One of the best is the Lazy Dog Cafe in Torrance. There are also some other locations in the Southland (Southern California). The Lazy Dog Cafe, at 3525 Carson Street, offers a heated outdoor patio and a dog menu and water for your dog. They have a complete menu for people and a good selection of wines and brews. There are also Lazy Dog Cafe's at 278 Los Cerritos Center Cerritos and 1440 Plaza Drive in West Covina. For hamburger lovers, Johnny Rockets locations in Southern California are usually very dog-friendly and may also have a dog menu. There are many other choices in various parts of the city.
There is probably no higher end shopping than Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills and you will see a variety of dogs there. Small dogs are allowed almost everywhere but large dogs on leash are welcome in many stores as well. There are water bowls outside many stores. Also good places to shop with a dog are Sunset Plaza in West Hollywood, The Grove Shopping Center and the Westfield Century City. In Pasadena, there is the Old Town area and in Glendale there is the Americana at Brand Shopping Center. In the Simi Valley there is the Town Center Mall.
For dog play, Los Angeles has many off-leash dog parks in various areas of the city. These are fenced areas where dogs can play by themselves or with other dogs. There often are two separate areas so that small dogs don't have to be in with the larger dogs. Two of the nicest off-leash dog parks are in the Hollywood Hills. One is Laurel Canyon Park at 8260 Mulholland Drive. The next is Runyon Canyon Park which is an off-leash trail with panoramic views of Los Angeles. This is an excellent place for your dog to run off-leash, or stay with you on leash if you prefer.
Los Angeles has good weather all year round which makes it an ideal getaway for you and your dog at any time of year. You will need a car in Los Angeles, there is no other practical way to get around. Nearby trips from Los Angeles include Santa Barbara, San Diego, Big Bear Lake and Orange County.