This California City Is the Best Place for a Dog-friendly Vacation

Here's what to do with your pup while you're there.

San Diego's outdoor lifestyle and pet-friendly atmosphere make it the perfect destination for traveling with your furry best friend. You'll find lots to do together, a range of lodging options that will welcome you with open arms (and sometimes wagging tails), as well as dog-friendly dining spots from casual to upscale.

Dog-friendly Activities

Cruise Mission Bay on a HydroBike and take your dog along for a free ride. For a workout with sea breezes and fun for your best friend, you'll both love it. Life vests for dogs of all sizes are free with your rental.

Hike the northern shores of San Dieguito Lagoon for a 5.5-mile out-and-back with your dog. The trail ends at North Beach, where dogs can play off-leash between Labor Day and June 15. Other dog-friendly hiking spots are also available in the San Diego area.

Take your dog to Fiesta Island, where your furry friends can run and play in the sand dunes leash-free or even take a dip in Mission Bay. Remember to bring water and avoid fenced-in areas. Dog Beach, one of the first off-leash beaches in the country, is another one to visit.

Paddle around Mission Bay on a kayak or stand-up paddleboard with your dog. It's such fun being on the beautiful bay together, and Aqua Adventures will rent you what you need for your adventure.

Let your dog run and play in Nate's Point, located on the West Mesa of Balboa Park. The park is completely fenced with amenities that include a drinking fountain and picnic tables. It's open 24 hours a day. More leash-free parks are listed here.

Stroll through Old Town San Diego State Historic Park with your pup while you learn about life in the 1800s, the city's history, and its beginnings as a Mexican pueblo. Dogs are welcome but must be kept on a leash at all times.

Take your pooch to a baseball game at Petco Park and watch from The Barkyard, featuring five semi-private dog-friendly viewing areas in left center field. Each area fits up to four people and two dogs. There's a designated Pet Relief Area, watering station, and paw-cooling artificial turf.

Fiesta Island, Mission Bay, San Diego, California
Danita Delimont/Getty Images

Dog-friendly Hotels

Many San Diego hotels are dog-friendly, giving pooches and their humans lots of choices. Ask about amenities, pet fees, and size limits when booking. Here are some hotels that will welcome your dog along with you in various San Diego neighborhoods.


Manchester Grand Hyatt San Diego welcomes dogs up to 50 pounds, with a pet charge per stay. Amenities include a dog bowl, treats, and a pet-friendly room service menu.

Hotel Republic treats dogs to the Pup & Paws Package, which includes dog beds, a chew toy, a daily special menu offering, bowls, and mats. There's a pet charge and 50-pound maximum.

Pendry San Diego welcomes dogs of any size with an additional fee and has dog treats, beds, and bowls available if needed.

Kimpton Alma Hotel San Diego welcomes your dog with amenities that include plush pet-bed loaners, food, water bowls, and mats. There's no extra charge and no weight limit.

Mission Bay & Beaches:

San Diego Mission Bay Resort is located near dog-friendly beaches and activities. There's a pet deposit and maximum weight of 75 pounds per dog, with two permitted.

Paradise Point welcomes pups with no weight restrictions. There's a non-refundable pet fee.

La Jolla:

Estancia La Jolla Hotel & Spa treats your dog to a luxurious pet bed, food and water bowls, and outdoor dining on the terrace, with a one-time non-refundable pet fee.

Empress Hotel of La Jolla provides a pet bed and treats for dogs staying at its boutique hotel for a non-refundable one-time fee.

Hilton La Jolla Torrey Pines offers a dog lover package that includes a pet bowl, bag dispenser, pup bandana, tote bag, and dog experiences guide for a fee.

Dog-friendly Bars and Restaurants

San Diego's mild, sunny weather makes dining outdoors a pleasure for everyone. And that makes traveling and eating out with your pets fun and easy. Just check ahead, and you'll find that you and your dog are welcome at many restaurants, breweries, and bars. Here are a few examples:

In the Gaslamp Quarter and Encinitas, visit Union Kitchen & Tap for craft beer and creative cuisine. The Prado at Balboa Park also welcomes dogs to its patio tables. Of course, the Regal Beagle would be a place to dine with your pet on the patio, too.

In Mission Bay, Backyard Kitchen & Tap allows dogs on its patio. The open-air patio at the Lazy Dog also (naturally) welcomes dogs and features happy hour and weekend brunch. In the heart of Old Town, Fred's Mexican Cafe serves traditional Mexican food and there's even a doggie menu, large patio, and outdoor bar.

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