Looking for locations to enjoy time with your pup? Check out this awesome list of dog-friendly locations on the central coast that you can enjoy together! This awesome list was created by Dr. Marcus Dela Cruz (aka @thefriendlyvet). Make sure you follow him for more recommendations and pet-friendly tips!
1El Chorro Dog Park
El Chorro Dog Park is a large, fenced in, and well shaded dog park located off Highway 1 across from Cuesta College. The dog park includes picnic tables, BBQ pits, several water stations, and large tubs for dogs who like to get wet. The dog park is located within the El Chorro Regional Park, which costs $5 to enter (annual passes are also available).
Hours: Open 7 days a week from 7:30 a.m. to sunset
Pismo Preserve is a great place to take your dog on a hike. You can enjoy over 11 miles of hiking trails that cut through beautiful oak trees and offer stunning views of the Pacific Ocean. There are some great look out points equipped with benches and picnic tables. Your dog is required to stay on leash. I recommend doing the hike earlier in the day before peak temperatures and to bring water and a bowl for your dog. This is a great water bottle/bowl combo you can buy on Amazon. If it’s a warm day, you may also consider putting booties/shoes on your dog as the ground can get hot and burn their paws. During the spring and summer months the hiking trails are full of foxtails, a type of grass that can lodge itself into your dog’s nose, eyes, ears, and paws. The veterinary hospital I work for is located in Pismo, a short trek from Pismo Preserve, and I can tell you firsthand that we see a lot of dogs brought into the hospital for foxtail removals after doing this hike. So, be sure to keep your dog on the trail away from the tall grass and to also check their paws, nose, and ears for foxtails after your hike.
Location: 80 Mattie Rd, Pismo Beach, CA 93449
Hours: Open 7 days a week from dusk till dawn
If your dog likes to run around in the sand or swim in the ocean, I highly suggest you go to Avila Beach. Dogs are allowed on the beach before 10am or after 5pm. It’s a popular spot and is filled with hyper dogs, so it’s a great spot if your dog plays well with others. After your dog is tired out, you can stop by one of the great coffee shops or restaurants in Avila (most have dog-friendly patios). If you live North of Avila, you could also check out the dog beaches in Cayucos or Morro Bay.
Location: Front Street, Avila Beach, CA
Hours: 7 days a week before 10am or after 5pm
4Zorro’s Cafe & Cantina
Zorro’s Cafe & Cantina is a great restaurant in Shell Beach that offers delicious food for you and a special menu for dogs. I highly recommend going there for breakfast or brunch (their pancakes are amazing) and order your pup a treat to enjoy too! If you go for brunch on the weekend, I suggest that you arrive before 10am to beat the crowds.
Hours: Open 8am to 9pm Daily
The Pismo Dunes (also known as the Oceano Dunes) offer miles of sand for you and your pup to explore. It’s a great place to take your dog to run around without worrying about cars, people, or other dogs. You can access the Dunes by vehicle if you pay to drive onto the beach or on the backside (which is what I suggest). You can park just outside the Pacific Dunes Ranch and RV Resort for free and walk through the resort to the dunes. Be aware that the sand can get VERY hot. If it’s too hot for you to walk on the sand barefoot, then it is also too hot for your dog’s paws. I suggest going in the morning or early evening to avoid peak temperatures.
Hours: 7 days a week from dusk till dawn
Have a spot you’d like to recommend?
Comment below and share your favorite spots in SLO County!