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This post is part of a series on The Ultimate Pet Friendly Road Trip, our 10-month, 15,000-mile tour of the top pet friendly attraction in each of the lower 48 states.

California’s Top Pet Friendly Attraction: Carmel Beach

California's Top Pet Friendly Attraction: Carmel Beach | GoPetFriendly.com

Carmel is the perfect combination of high-end beach town and European village … both tend to be pet friendly, and this classy destination has all of that and then some! From posh hotels, to decadent restaurants, to sophisticated boutiques, the locals here take pride in the fact that they’re one of the most pet friendly destination in the country, and go out of their way to make you and your pup feel welcome.

But Carmel’s crowning glory is its magnificent beach. The mile-long stretch of golden sand runs from the foot of Ocean Avenue, only steps from the center of town, to just below the 9th hole at Pebble Beach Golf Course – and it’s all pet friendly!

Dog Rules at Carmel Beach

Dogs must have a current license and up-to-date vaccinations.

Dogs under four months of age are not permitted as all their shots and vaccines have not been administered.

Off-leash dogs must respond to voice command, and be in visual control.

Dogs are not allowed to interfere with, bother, or harass other visitors, animals, or wildlife.

California's Top Pet Friendly Attraction: Carmel Beach | GoPetFriendly.com

California's Top Pet Friendly Attraction: Carmel Beach | GoPetFriendly.com

California's Top Pet Friendly Attraction: Carmel Beach | GoPetFriendly.com

If your pup isn’t the off-leash type (not all dogs are, and that’s okay!), head around the point to Carmel River State Beach. Pets on leash are welcome here, and there’s plenty to explore!

California's Top Pet Friendly Attraction: Carmel Beach | GoPetFriendly.com

Carmel Beach and the state beach are connected by Scenic Path, which runs along Scenic Road. Benches are scattered along the trail providing the perfect spot to revel in the surrounding beauty and perhaps sing the song of your people if the mood strikes you …

California's Top Pet Friendly Attraction: Carmel Beach | GoPetFriendly.com

Beyond the Beach

California's Top Pet Friendly Attraction: Carmel Beach | GoPetFriendly.comWhen you’ve romped in the surf and sand to your heart’s content, there’s more fun to be had in Carmel:

  1. Stop in at Diggidy Dog (Ocean & Monte Verde) to browse the latest trends in dog and cat fashion, pet accessories, and drool-inducing treats.
  2. Take your pooch for “Muttinis” at Terry’s Lounge where Yappy Hour starts at 4:30 in the popular cocktail lounge at the Cypress Inn (Lincoln & 7th). Dogs and cats of all sizes are welcome in every room here, and there’s even a pet wash area in the courtyard to rinse off after playing on the beach.
  3. Enjoy a walk in Mission Trail Park, a 33-acre nature preserve with five miles of wooded trails. Enter east of downtown on Mountain View Avenue or Rio Road across from the Carmel Mission. The off-leash dog rules in effect at Carmel Beach also apply here. Keep in mind, this natural area has mountain lions, bobcats, foxes, and other wild animals. So be smart about whether your pet is safe before unsnapping the leash.
  4. Stroll the shops at the Crossroads Shopping Village (243 Crossroads Blvd), where leashed pets are welcome, and you’ll find a nice selection of pet friendly dining options.
  5. Get inspired at the Rodrigue Studio Carmel (6th Avenue), where works by the late George Rodrigue, including his famous Blue Dog Series, are on display, and dogs are welcome to join you. (NOTE: the Rodrigue studio in Carmel closed in 2019.)
  6. Go for a wine tasting at Morgan Winery (204 Crossroads) while enjoying views of the vineyards.
  7. Dine in style at one of Carmel’s many pet friendly restaurant patios. Basil (San Carlos between Ocean & 7th) delivers farm-fresh ingredients, including vegetarian and vegan options, Casanova (5th between Mission & San Carlos) features Italian-inspired specialties, and Grasing’s Coastal Cuisine (6th & Mission) is a great stop for locally caught seafood and chop house favorites.

Carmel Meet-up

This was the first stop on our 48-state tour, and to get things off on the right paw we partnered with the SPCA for Monterey County to host a meet up and adoption event at Diggidy Dog. So many of our friends were there, and lucky little “Woody” got adopted by this wonderful family!

California's Top Pet Friendly Attraction: Carmel Beach | GoPetFriendly.com

Thank You to our Sponsors

Visiting these attractions with Ty and Buster is a dream come true. We’ll be blogging about each one as we go along, so fasten your seatbelt and stay tuned!

The Ultimate Pet Friendly Road Trip wouldn’t be possible without the support of our wonderful sponsors: Winnebago2 Hounds Design, AlcottgoDog®PetGuide.comRed Roof InnsSleepypodThe Bark, PetHub, RVPetSafety.com, and The Honest Kitchen. Please be sure to visit their websites and social media pages and thank them for their participation!

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  • It’s true, Pamela – the beaches really weren’t crowded, though I imagine they might be in the summer time. The high the day we took most of these shots was only about 60 degrees, and we were there early in the day.

  • Category: Travel Destinations / Tagged with: Beaches, California