19 Dec

San Diego’s Top 10 Dog Friendly Activities

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San Diego is such a terrific, pet friendly city – so much so that we’re hoping to write the next book in our children’s book series about it! Here are the top 10 reasons why we love San Diego:

Double Trouble: Surfing dogs in San Diego

Double Trouble: Surfing dogs in San Diego. Dog in pink is the one and only Surf Dog Ricochet! Photo by Dan Merchant

1. Beaches aplenty. San Diego just doesn’t have one beach, it has eight great ones for dogs to socialize and get wet. They even have an annual dog surfing competition each year in July! Here are a few places to splash in the waves:

Hey pup, it's a surfboard riding comp, not a doggyback contest! Photo by Dan Merchant

Hitching a ride at the Loews Surf Dog Competition 2013. Photo by Dan Merchant

North Beach Dog RunIn Coronado, this dog friendly beach is off-leash 24/7 and is great for dogs who love strong surf.
Dog BeachOn Ocean Beach, this popular spot is off-leash all the time!
Fiesta IslandLocated in Mission Bay, this beach has still waters and sandy dunes for dogs more interested in a calm stroll than catching big waves.

2. Work out together. Beyond beach running, there are tons of exercise options to do with your dog in San Diego. Check out Leash Your Fitness to find out about runs, kayaking, and exercises classes like yoga and doga!

3. Pups in parks. The City of San Diego has an official page for you to find both on and off-leash parks and their map off off-leash areas, including beaches, is very handy. Famous Balboa Park, the nation’s largest urban cultural park, is one of our favorite places to go for a stroll.

Off-Leash Dog Parks in San Diego

Off-Leash Dog Parks in San Diego

4. Eating out. Oh yes, our dogs love dining out just as much – OK, maybe more – than we do! We never miss Sally and Henry’s Dog House, but with oodles of pet friendly restaurants in San Diego, there’s no way you’ll go hungry in this town!

5. Shopping.  You’re not limited to window shopping in San Diego – in fact, many stores encourage pups to come in for a belly rub. Seaport Village is a notable and fun spot to take your dog, though actually getting into the stores may be ruff with all the people wanting to say hello to your pooch! If art is more your thing, browse the beautiful works in the Spanish Village Arts Center.
San Diego's Top 10 Dog Friendly Activities
6. Rent a boat.
Ahoy, Fido! Perhaps your dog likes being on the water better than being in it. By all means, rent a power or sail boat and let your best mate play skipper for the day. Head over to Downtown Boat Rentals at 385 W. Harbor Drive.

7. Pet boutiques. Is your dog a diva, always on the hunt for a new outfit, perfect shampoo, or food to keep him fit and trim? He’ll find his inner growl at the amazing pet boutiques in San Diego. Stop by Howlistic, with it’s spa-like dog wash, or check out Dexter’s Deli, just up the road in Del Mar (and in Carlsbad), billed as the ‘original health food store for your pet.’ While you’re sniffing around, keep an eye out for our favorite pet food, The Honest Kitchen – San Diego’s their home, too!

8. Historic walks. San Diego is packed with history, but missing the infamous Gaslamp Quarter, would be criminal. It’s crowded at night, so take a stroll earlier in the day when you can admire the historic Victorian buildings that are now home to a dazzling collection of restaurants, bars, and clubs.

Sitting pretty at Kimpton's Hotel Solamar

Sitting pretty at Kimpton’s Hotel Solamar

9. Yappy Hour. And when the day is done, there is nothing more entertaining than attending a Yappy Hour. There are several around town, but the newest addition is at the Hotel Del Coronado “for guests and locals with pets” on the Sun Deck, from 4 to 5pm on Sundays, starting May 4. Pets can snack and sip on Evian, while their owners take in the spectacular ocean setting and partake in pet-inspired libations, like the “Greyhound” or “Salty Dog.”

10. Pet friendly accommodations. You can’t have a pet friendly city without lots of pet friendly hotel choices. San Diego has them all, from budget to ultra luxury, like the US Grant, Hilton BayfrontHotel Solamar, Loews Coronado Bay, and The Grand Del Mar.

written by Emily Randolph