A Dog Lover’s Essential Guide to San Francisco
Have you been thinking about taking a road trip and taking your dog along for the ride? Consider a visit to the San Francisco Bay Area, where there are plenty of canine-friendly attractions to enjoy together.
According to a recent article in USA Today, there are an estimated 40,000 more dogs than children residing in San Francisco, making the city a top destination for you and your pooch. Have a look at these pet friendly places as you start planning your itinerary.
For Outdoor fun: In San Francisco you’ll both be delighted by the number of dog parks, beaches, hiking trails and more that weave throughout the city.
- Hiking trails: If you’re into hiking, then Land’s End Trail is a must. You can do a three-mile loop or opt for a shorter trek. You’ll get great views of the Pacific Ocean, Golden Gate Bridge and Sutro Baths along the way.
- Parks: You’ll find dedicated dog parks like the Bernal Hill Dog Park and dog-friendly parks like Golden Gate Park where your pooch can enjoy freedom from his leash for awhile—and maybe even a game of Frisbee.
- Beaches: Whether walking along the seawall in Pacifica or checking out the views from Baker Beach, there are several off-leash stretches of beach for your dog to run free and take in the fresh sea air.
- Ball games: Once a year, the San Francisco Giants host the “Dog Days of Summer” event where your four-legged friend can enjoy the baseball game with you and get free water and doggie treats. You can even walk around the field in a pregame doggie parade.
Shopping: If you plan to do a little shopping during your road trip, your dog can come along, too. Here are just a couple of the city’s many shopping areas that are welcoming of man’s best friend.
- Union Square: Stroll through high-end retail shops like Sak’s Fifth Avenue and Neiman Marcus to everyday stores like Blockbuster Video.
- Fisherman’s Wharf: Enjoy views of the Bay, tourist shops, boutiques, and plenty of outdoor dining at Pier 39.
Dining: Whether it’s breakfast, lunch or dinner, places to dine with dogs in San Francisco are abundant. Here are a few places you shouldn’t miss:
- Yappy Hour: Several spots around the city also offer “Yappy Hours,” when you can relax after a long day of sightseeing with complimentary hors d’ouevres—and, of course, dog treats. If you’re in town on a Friday, check out the Yappy Hour at Doc’s Clock; all proceeds are donated to a local dog rescue.
- Zazie: An award-winning French bistro in Cole Valley, guests are invited to bring their dogs to dinner every Monday night at Zazie. When you do, you get a discount on a bottle of wine to treat yourself.
- Revolution Café: Located in the Mission District, live music and great food provide a laidback atmosphere you both can enjoy.
There are several smartphone apps you can download to find additional dog-friendly locations throughout the Bay Area (and across the United States), such as Fido Factor and Off Leash. Wherever you decide to go, be sure to call ahead of time to inquire about dog policies, since some restrictions on weight, breed and leashes may apply.
By Guest Author: Nicole Tomassetti
Photo Credit: Flickr-Tony Fischer Photography