It’s that time of year where we’re all just itching to get away from home. Not only are warmer temperatures with us, but we’re finally seeing the light at the end of the pandemic tunnel. We could all use a change of scenery, even if it’s just for a few hours. Now is the perfect time to plan an adventure. Even if you don’t have time for a long vacation, you can still enjoy some time away from home!
We’ve put together some trip ideas that are just perfect for a day trip or even a long weekend. Worried about leaving your furry friend alone for too long? No problem! Our pets could all use a change of scenery too, and these trips are all pet-friendly and perfect for an outing with your best pal.
At just under 2 hours away, Santa Barbara is the perfect destination for a day jaunt. It’s a dog-friendly city with plenty of businesses that will welcome you with open paws.
When you arrive, you’ll probably feel like a quick bite. Stop in at The Brewhouse and enjoy one of their delicious sandwiches and sample a beer from a local brewery while you enjoy the fresh, ocean air on their dog-friendly patio. The Brewhouse is popular for its warm welcoming atmosphere, the small-batch beers from their own brewery, and their extensive menu. Don’t worry about finding something dog-friendly on the menu. They offer a special doggy menu chock-full of yummy dog-safe eats like chicken fingers, biscuits and gravy, or a frozen marrow bone!
After a meal and a brew, you’ll want to stretch your legs. Take the Red Tile Walking Tour, and enjoy a look at the unique architecture of Santa Barbara. This is a self-guided tour, and the city provides a pdf map so you can go at your own pace. While you enjoy the architecture downtown, you and your pup can also stop and browse through the outdoor shops and meet local vendors.
If you are looking for more of an adventure, find your sea legs and take a cruise on the Sunset Kidd. You and your pup can enjoy the sea air while you try to spot whales and other sea life.
Finish off your day with a stop at the Grassini Family Tasting Room. While you sip one of their wines on the patio, your dog can enjoy a refreshing bowl of water and one of the treats they provide for visiting pups.
At only 2 and a half hours away, you can’t miss the chance to make a trip to the village of Solvang. This beautiful Danish village prides itself on being dog-friendly, so there is no shortage of things to do there.
Stop in the Succulent Cafe and enjoy their casual atmosphere and Southern-inspired comfort food. They offer a variety of local wines and craft beers for you and peanut butter dog treats for your traveling companion.
If you’re looking for some quirky fun, take your pup to meet the ostriches out at OstrichLand. You are welcome to feed the ostriches and emus, and your dog can stretch their legs and enjoy a good sniff around.
Many of the boutiques and shops at Solvang are happy to welcome a tail-wagging customer. Solvang Knives Inc, which offers unique cutlery and Designs in Gold, which has a selection of antique jewelry, are just two of the pet-friendly shops you’ll find in Solvang.
You can relax and find your new favorite vintage at one of Solvang’s many pet-friendly wine tasting rooms. If your travel buddy is not of the canine persuasion, check out the Royal Oaks tasting room. They welcome furry friends of every kind.
Irvine Regional Park
Looking for something a little closer to home? At just half an hour from Long Beach, Irvine Regional Park is a beautiful outdoor oasis and the perfect way to get out and stretch your legs.
Get to the park early, so you can stake a claim to one of the BBQ grills provided in the park. Invite a few animal-loving friends out to grill in the park, and let your pets socialize.
Take a stroll with your leashed pet down one of the many nature trails in the Irvine Park natural areas. There are bike trails as well as walking trails, so if your pet isn’t a hiker, bring your bike and your pet-safe bike trailer and let them enjoy the air while you log some miles on your bike.
Irvine Regional Park is equestrian-friendly, so why not take the opportunity to get out on a trail ride with your horse. Horse trailer parking is available only in designated areas, so be sure to check for availability.
Dana Point is a dog-friendly beach community less than an hour away from Long Beach. With dog-friendly restaurants and parks, it’s perfect for an afternoon getaway with your pet.
Start at the Bonjour Cafe for breakfast or lunch inspired by French bistro cuisine. The Bonjour Cafe has been in operation for 28 years and is an integral part of Dana Point. Their patio is pet-friendly, so soak up some sun, and treat yourself to a taste of France in coastal California.
Take some time to amble along Salt Creek Trail. There you can enjoy canyon views and explore the many branches of the trail. One of these branches ends at a dog park on Golden Lantern Street where your dog can enjoy a little off-leash time.
If you are looking for a truly unique experience, go to Airbnb.com and book an adventure catching lobsters with a professional fisherman. If your pup enjoys a boat ride, they are welcome to join you on this adventure, where you can learn about the art of catching lobsters. Catch Lobsters With A Fisherman is tailored to the participants, and best of all, at the end, you get to take home fresh lobsters for dinner! Don’t forget to share with your pup after all their hard work!
This list wouldn’t be complete without including San Diego. Only an hour and forty-five minutes away, San Diego is one of the most dog-friendly day trip destinations in California.
Head down to the Prado at Balboa Park for brunch on their pet-friendly patio. Located in a historic landmark, they feature Mediterranean-inspired dishes with a Latin flair. Try the Prado Paella, and don’t forget to drop a shrimp or two for your furry lunch date.
While you’re out, why not treat your pet to something special? Pop into Paw Pleasers and pick up a specialty baked good for your cat or dog. They can choose from cookies, cakes, or ice cream made with human-grade ingredients. And yes, all of their goodies are safe for your dog or cat!
You can’t make a trip to San Diego without a trip to the beach. Fortunately, San Diego has a number of pet-friendly beaches. Dog Beach, located in Ocean Beach, is an off-leash beach where your dog can frolic and socialize. You can also check out Del Mar Beach and Fiesta Island in Mission Bay.
Why wait? The weather is perfect to get out and start exploring. You may find your new favorite place to get away for a day, or you can explore a new place with your pet every weekend. With so many pet-friendly day trips from Long Beach, there’s sure to be a place that’s perfect for you!