Looking for a dog friendly get away close to Los Angeles? Grab your leash and head up the coast to Santa Barbara – it is just 1.5 – 2 hours away (depending on LA traffic).
Santa Barbara Sightseeing and Activities
Cabrillo Boulevard hugs the coast near Stearn’s Wharf. Take a long stroll along the sidewalk to people watch.
Walk (or drive) down the very long peer at Stearn’s Wharf. There are several shops and restaurants at the end. Indy’s nose was very busy sniffing the salty sea air.
Sunday Art Fair
If you like art and are in town on Sunday, stop by the outdoor arts and crafts fair on Cabrillo Blvd near Stearn’s Wharf.
Santa Barbara Botanic Garden
The Santa Barbara Botanic Garden is a great place for your furry friend to burn off some energy. Indy was super interested in all of the new smells. They even have a dog bowl by the water fountain and jar of treats at the front desk.
Santa Barbara Mission
I don’t think the Santa Barbara Mission allows dogs inside, but you can check out the grounds. We were going to take turns going in, but they were closed for a staff meeting when we stopped by.
Dog Friendly Beach
Just like in Los Angeles, dogs are not allowed on the beach in Santa Barbara. But there is a dog friendly beach – Arroyo Burro Beach / Hendry’s Beach. The weather was a bit cold when we were there, so we skipped a visit to Hendry’s.
Santa Barbara Wine Tasting
If you like wine, you can do lots of tasting right in Santa Barbara without having to go to wine country. When we went to Solvang last year, I did a lot of research to identify the wineries that allowed dogs in the tasting room. This time, we just winged it and headed over to the tasting rooms on the Urban Wine Trail. Every place we popped into welcomed dogs. Indy made lots of friends at Au Bon, Climat, Santa Barbara Winery, DV8, and Corks n’ Crowns.
Since our hotel room had a full kitchen, we ate breakfast and dinner in the room, but tried the restaurants for lunch when we were out and about.
Downtown Area near State Street
The Savoy Café has a cute, covered dog friendly patio in the back (walk around the building through the parking lot). Everything looked so good, it was hard to decide. Pick a few cold salads and grab a glass of wine and you will be good to go.
If you need a sugar fix, stop into Rocket Fizz nearby for some candy or a soda. I’m not too into taffy, but loved the smooth creamy bite-sized collection. The chocolate and licorice were tasty.
Funk Zone / Urban Wine Trail
Don’t forget to stop for a hearty lunch while wine tasting in the Funk Zone. Order inside at Lucky Penny and then grab a table on the front patio at the Lark. Try the wood fired chicken sandwich.
To satisfy your sweet tooth, walk over to Helena Avenue Bakery and get some goodies to go (try the chocolate scone and persimmon bread). We also got an olive loaf for dinner – it was also great, but be on the alert – the olives still have pits.
Where we Stayed
There are several dot-friendly hotels in Santa Barbara. We selected Casa Del Mar Inn because of the room amenities and location (one block to the beach). We stayed in a two room suite deluxe with full kitchen. The fireplace was perfect on a rare chilly southern California weekend.