Dog-Friendly Vacation Spots in Santa Barbara, California

Santa Barbara

It’s time to get out of town so grab your pup and your peeps and road trip down the coast.

Santa Barbara
Photo: Jay Sinclair, Courtesy of Visit Santa Barbara

Where to Stay

For serious luxury, Belmond El Encanto definitely delivers. This hilltop resort affords sweeping views of the Pacific and downtown Santa Barbara to boot. Walk the 7-acre grounds with your leashed pup. Or, choose a guest suite with an ocean-facing patio to just soak in the scenery. If your stomachs growl, consult your room-service menu with options for both people and pups. A few suggestions: If Fido likes to keep it simple, stick with the gluten-free organic kibble ($8).

For pups with more refined palates, the braised beef with quinoa ($15) won’t disappoint. Deer scats fans, we’re afraid you’re out of luck. For folks that like to be in the center of it all, you can do no better than the Kimpton Canary. At this chic Spanish style hotel—four-legged guests always bunk free. And you’ll be within easy walking distance to some of Santa Barbara’s best restaurants, shops, and museums. Complimentary coffee served each morning and wine each evening.

Complimentary dogs biscuits are available at any time by canine guest request.

Dog-friendly Hotel
Photo: Jay Sinclair, Courtesy of Visit Santa Barbara

Where to Eat

A photo of Louie the golden retriever, the namesake of Louie’s California Bistro, hangs proudly in the dining room of this not to be missed eatery. Enjoy an elegant meal on their Victorian-era paddle-fanned front porch. Don’t miss the Caesar salad or the linguine with fresh shrimp, tomatoes, Kalamata olives, and feta cheese.

Afterward, take a stroll over to Rori’s Artisanal Creamery for a scoop of crowd-pleasing ice cream, flavors include malted-milk ball, root beer float, and wild berry chocolate crisp.

For Fido, choose a Chilly Dog. This frozen treat is made with organic yogurt, bananas, peanut butter and a hint of molasses. And while he may not be keen on sharing, you can definitely ask for a taste.

Dog-friendly hotel
Photo: Jay Sinclair, Courtesy of Visit Santa Barbara

Where to Play

Head to Arroyo Burro Beach Park for a scenic walk along the bluffs. Or just grab a beach blanket and park yourselves on a gorgeous stretch of sand. Your dog is free to enjoy the entire stretch, and can even roam off leash on the park’s south end, just east of the creek. And. if he thrills with the idea of rolling around in dead fish, don’t sweat it. Upon exiting, you can suds him up and wash him clean at one the park’s three dog wash stations.

Another adventure: The Sunset Kidd, a 41-foot, double-mast sailing yacht, welcomes dogs on both daytime and twilight cruises. The boat carries a maximum of 14 passengers, so expect a civilized adventure and not a hedonistic booze cruise.

This article originally appeared on Marin Magazine’s website under the headline:”The Most Dog-friendly Vacation Spots in Santa Barbara, California For You to Visit.”


Dawn Denberg

Dawn Margolis Denberg is a freelance writer and dog lover. She is also co-founder of ModMath, a free iPad app for kids who’s math success is impeded by dysgraphia—a condition that can co-occur with ADHD, Autism, and Dyslexia


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