Since I adopted my dog Vinnie, a vacation doesn’t feel like a real vacation unless he goes too. Over the last few years, that’s meant far less plane travel and more road trips to dog-friendly destinations. Do I miss traveling to faraway places? Absolutely. But you know what they say about silver linings. I have two. I get to spend loads of quality time with my dog, and I’ve discovered amazing places practically in the Bay Area’s back yard that I may have overlooked if not for him.
There are other advantages to road-tripping with your dog. For one thing, it’s usually less expensive than paying for airfare, hotel, car rental and pet care. For another, I find road trips a far easier way to travel than taking a plane trip. No fretting over leaving my dog behind. No worrying about whether liquids are the right size, or whether all toiletries fit into a quart-sized plastic bag, or whether I’ll need to check (and pay for!) luggage. No waiting in security lines, hurrying to gates, or contending with lost baggage. I just load my stuff in the car, and my dog and I are ready to leave whenever it suits us.
A road trip means the journey itself is a lot more enjoyable than sitting in a cramped stale airplane cabin. California’s roadside scenery is usually amazing. And I never know what I’ll discover along the way – adorable small towns and villages, wonderful cafes and restaurants, jaw-dropping vistas, wineries, hidden beaches, and intriguing thrift shops to name a few.
Some favorite dog-friendly vacation spots in Northern California include:
• Russian River
• Pismo Beach & San Luis Obispo
• Carmel & Monterey
• Lake Tahoe
Happy Woofs! Happy Travels!