Carmel wins bragging rights. With approximately 4090 two-legged residents, the town is also home to about 850 dogs. Few towns can bark a statistic like that.

Dogs must be on the Board of Supervisors in Carmel. The local beaches are leash-free, many of the shops either allow dogs or provide water bowls outside, and over forty-three restaurants allow guests to dine with their dogs on outside patios. Our personal fave, Forge in the Forest even offers a Dog Pound Menu, including light appetizers like “Plain ol’ Kibble,”“Quarter Hounders” (i.e., doggie burgers) and “Good Dog” plates, which are sliced 6 oz. New York Strip steaks!

Also try these dog friendly restaurants:
Hog’s Breath Inn
Casanova Restaurant
Carmel Bistro
Le Coq D’Or

Probably the best-known dog friendly hotel is the elegant adobe style Cypress Inn, which is partially owned by Doris Day. The rooms are delightful and plush, some with cozy fireplaces and ocean views. All offer snuggly doggie blankets, alongside your fluffy bathrobe and slippers. Pets are greeted with treats on display and they are welcome to join guests for tea or happy hour on the patio. This is the place for jet-settin’ pups to see and be seen.

Even if the Cypress is booked, there are many other hotels and inns that are equally as close to shops, restaurants and the beach. See the link below for other four paw-worthy ones.

And if your pup is not much for sand, there is always shopping. Cute, unique shops line the quaint streets of downtown and naturally, there are two wonderful dog boutiques. Mackie’s Parlour has everything your pooch could desire in this two-story playground filled with everything from tuff toys to dainty dresses. Diggity Dog, just a short trot away, is for the true dog park fashionista, stocked with the latest fashion accessories along with bones galore, treats, toys, and lots of other tasty chewables.

So take a road trip down to the dog-friendliest city in the country. Your pup will be wagging his tail all the way home.

The Scoop:

Cypress Inn

Additional dog-friendly lodging

More activities and Carmel pet resources

Thank you to and photographer Cory Sligar for the photo.