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9 Dog-Friendly Cities in California to Move to with Your Pup
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9 Dog-Friendly Cities in California to Move to with Your Pup

Here are the best dog-friendly cities in California that offer plenty of opportunities to enjoy yourself with your pet.

Roubina Al Abashian


5 min read

July 31, 2021

Looking to move to a new city? Perhaps you simply want to travel around California? Whatever your reason is, you’ve probably realized by now that your options in the Golden State are practically endless. However, one thing that can help narrow down your choices is your pup. After all, your four-legged friend is probably your number one buddy. You want your furry pal to be as comfortable as you are, wherever you end up going. And to have a (relatively) leash-free experience, your top choices should be the most dog-friendly cities. Without further ado, here are the best dog-friendly cities in California that offer plenty of opportunities to enjoy yourself with your pet.

The Most Dog-Friendly Cities in the Golden State

You can't buy happiness, but you can rescue it. Anything is paws-ible with a dog by your side. Don't stop retrievin'!

San Diego

So, you’ve adopted a dog and want to do everything with them. Well, you’re in luck—name the activity and San Diego has you covered. America’s Finest City is home to the best dog-friendly beaches in California. Ocean Beach, Fiesta Island Park, and Del Mar Beach are destinations to keep in mind next time you want to have fun in the sun with your pup. And how could we forget about pet spas, dog boutiques, hotels, and parks? If anything, your puppy will be happier than you in San Diego!

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Malibu is as dog-friendly as it gets. With several dog parks and pet-friendly beaches, your dog will get excited every time you say you’re spending a day by the coast. Leo Carrillo State Park and Beach is basically heaven for your pup—it’s also where your pet can make new friends. If you two are hiking enthusiasts, Malibu boasts numerous dog-friendly trails. The best ones include Solstice Canyon Loop, Escondido Falls, and Sostomo and Deer Valley Loop Trails. Basically, if you’re ever planning a dog-friendly vacation in California, the ‘Bu should be in your top three. 

All dogs are good—some are just a little ruff around the edges. We're all about that pug life and it’s time to get this pawty started.


Carmel-by-the-Sea is another dog-friendly city you wouldn’t mind moving to. This coastal art town brimming with European charm promises a comfortable stay with Fido. Have a great shopping experience with your pup at Carmel Plaza—this outdoor shopping center welcomes you and your dog to shop ‘til you drop. And if you’re feeling like exploring the town with no street names, your four-legged pal can help you discover the secret pathways, hidden courtyards, and enchanting cottages.

No matter how little money and how few possessions you own, having a dog makes you rich. Be the person your dog thinks you are.


Dog-owning foodies, rejoice! Since 2014, dogs have been permitted to accompany their BFFs to all outdoor patios in Sacramento—gone are the days where Fido has to wait impatiently by the front door. With that checked off, there are plenty of other dog-friendly activities in Sacramento to engage in. Want to go camping in the most beautiful campgrounds in the area? Worry not; your dogs are most welcome to join you at Beals Point Campground in Folsom Lake State Recreation Area. Oh, and if you’re ever in the mood for going on a stroll on the American River Bike Trail, grab the leash and take a long walk with your canine companion.

South Lake Tahoe

Look no further than South Lake Tahoe if you’re looking for the best places to travel with your dog. Whether you’re looking for a decent hike, refreshing swim, or winter activities, this place is your go-to spot. A local favorite hangout spot with your pup at Regan Beach—South Lake Tahoe’s only water dog park is located on the East end of the shore. As for hiking, Tahoe offers plenty of trails that you and your furry pal would enjoy. But if trekking is too rugged for both of you, Bijou Community Park is where you should head. With an area of about 38,000 square feet, this dog-friendly park has all the amenities you need for a fun afternoon.

The Best Places To Travel With A Dog In California 

Everyone thinks they have the best dog, and none of them are wrong. Love is a four-legged word.

Palm Springs

Yes, Palm Springs is as dog-friendly as it is stylish. The desert resort city is where you can relax, unwind, and pamper yourselves as much as you want. When you’re not swooning over the gorgeous architecture, Palm Springs Dog Park awaits you and your pup to run around and play fetch. There are plenty of dog-friendly restaurants and coffee shops in the Coachella Valley as well, where you can share a meal with your furry friend—now that’s a friendship ‘fur’ real. 

Los Angeles

Going to the City of Angels means giving your pet A-lister treatment. Many hotels in L.A. are happy to spoil your dog with spa services, grooming, snacks, and much more. You’ll also be glad to know that restaurants in Los Angeles allow your dog to keep you company. When you’re done eating and relaxing, you’re most likely spending time in the great outdoors. Lake Hollywood and Laurel Canyon Dog Parks are a couple of spots you’ll want to take your pet. Oh, and don’t forget to check out Silverlake Dog Park—this fenced-in public area is where your pup can run around leash-free. 

No matter how many years we get with our dogs, it’s never long enough. However, we try to remain paws-itive.

Santa Barbara

Santa Barbara is a dog-friendly city that’ll immediately capture your attention. Restaurant employees would most probably be offended if you ask them whether or not you can come in with your dog because the answer is always “yes”. And for those of you who love going to the beach, you’ll find several dog-friendly spots in the American Riviera—Hendry’s Beach is the top choice for locals and tourists. Canine owners like to visit the Douglas Family Preserve to enjoy a day on 70 acres of breathtaking nature; dogs are permitted off-leash within designated areas.

Whoever said diamonds are a girl’s best friend never owned a dog. You can’t beat that combo: cold nose, warm heart.

San Francisco

Last but not least, San Francisco might just be the most dog-friendly city in all of California. Did you know that by law all restaurants with outdoor patios in S.F. must welcome dogs? Or that your dog can take public transport with you? When people said “All dogs go to heaven,” they were actually talking about the City by the Bay. Your furry friend can splash around Baker, Fort Funston, Lands End, Stinson, and Ocean Beaches. Enjoy a cute picnic with spectacular views at Marina Green, wander around Golden Gate Park, and snap a few photos at the Palace of Fine Arts. As for those who are on the lookout for dog-friendly hiking trails, you’ve got plenty to discover in S.F. Check out the trails at Redwood Regional Park, Mount Sutro Open Space Reserve, and Bernal Hills, and neither of you will be disappointed.

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