Carmel-by-the-Sea, Dog Lovers Dream Town


We had an opportunity to visit the coastal cities in Monterey County back in April. We’ve never been up there, so I was excited. I was especially excited about visiting Carmel-by-the-Sea. The town is known for being dog-friendly.

Carmel-by-the-Sea is located on the Pacific coast, about 330 miles (530 km) north of Los Angeles and 120 miles (190 km) south of San Francisco.

I’ve said it before and I’d say it again. A lot of times when establishments advertise that they are pet-friendly, most of the time, I found that they are pet-tolerated. It just meant they allow dogs. You don’t get a friendly vibe when you visit. There are a few pleasant exceptions but most of the time, this has been my experience. So my expectation of these places has become low over the years. But in Carmel, the town was truly dog-friendly. The town lived up to its reputation, and we had a wonderful time. Xena was able to go everywhere with us. Shops and restaurants welcomed her with treats and water bowls.

We didn’t stay in town but there are also dog-friendly accommodations where your dog can stay with you. The most well-known hotel is elegant Cypress Inn by legendary singer, actress and animal activist Doris Day. We stopped for a happy hour at Terry’s with Xena. They have a charming dog-friendly courtyard.

A few fun facts of this quaint town.

  • There are no street addresses in Carmel. To this date, the town has a central post office by choice.
  • Artists dominated early City Councils. Several of the city’s mayors have been poets or actors, including actor-director Clint Eastwood in the ’80s.
  • You need a permit to wear high-heels. Say what? Yes, it’s true. Heels more than 2 inches in height or with a base of less than one square inch shoes are prohibited. Not because they are against fashion, but it’s to defend the city from lawsuits resulting from wearers of high-heeled shoes tripping over irregular pavement distorted by tree roots.
  • You won’t see any fast-food chain restaurants in town which pushes up this small coastal town on a charming scale even more. There are plenty of casual eateries to fine dining options available, and the food was great.

By the end of the day, Xena was happy and thoroughly exhausted from walking all day, eating an obscene amount of treats, getting the pet from shop owners and visitors alike. Not to mention playtime at the beach. We had to save hiking for another day. 😊

Get Our Latest Comprehensive Dog-friendly Trail List Here. Enjoy!

8 comments on “Carmel-by-the-Sea, Dog Lovers Dream Town”

  1. Fun in the sun! Have not visited Carmel -I’ll remember this post! We got out sorta your way recently and got in some nice hiking in the Sedona area… it had been awhile. Have a good 4th holiday!

  2. We hiked part of Boynton Canyon, then cut over to Fay Canyon Trail (via Aerie Trail), and then did about 2 mi. (in and out) of Bear Mountain Trail before one of the grand-kids ran out of energy- about 7-8 mi total. We caught a bit of rain showers a couple of times, but overall, it was a great set of day-hikes and everyone enjoyed the red-rock views immensely! It had been over a decade since we’d visited the Sedona-area.

    1. Sounds like an awesome hike! Yea…that red rock views are hard to beat! 7…8 miles is a lot for kids. Good for them! 👏

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