Reporting Joe McDonnell
When it comes time to truly survey all Southern California has to offer, it’s just not the same without that furry fella by your side. Don’t resign your and yours to that same old dog park when this area offers ample options for the perfect doggy day trip. Head out to a winery in San Diego County, a beach along the Pacific, or to those world-renowned playgrounds at Disneyland in Anaheim.
Camp Bow Wow
1431 N. Daly Street
Anaheim, CA 92806
Click here for prices
If you are planning a trip to Disneyland, but want to include the canine member of your family on this foray, simply pack him or her up and drive the 40 minutes or so from downtown Los Angeles to Anaheim. For a good way to enjoy this famous theme park mecca while still making sure your hound is happy, check out Camp Bow Wow before you check into the Mouse House. That way, while you have fun, Bowser can too. He or she will get to spend the better part of the day with equally furry kin on a play date specifically selected with your pet’s particular personality in mind. No doubt, Bow Wow’s camp counselors are tops at being able to entertain while considering the best interests of your very special hound.
Long Beach Dog Beach Zone
Ocean Boulevard, between Roycroft and Argonne
Long Beach, CA
Pack that Frisbee, start barking with glee, and then take your dog to the Pacific for play dates that won’t disappoint. Long Beach Dog Beach Zone, the only off-leash dog beach in Los Angeles County, includes nearly three acres of un-fenced wonderland in which pups can roam, play and otherwise interact. Let the pups explore the Fountain of Woof, a fresh water source located near the restrooms at the end of Granada Avenue, and just play all day. If you go to the Zone, be sure to keep to the rules: Only one dog allowed per adult, dogs must be 4 months old or older and must be vaccinated and licensed, dogs in heat should stay home, no spiked collars but collars are required with current tags, and dog owners must be totally responsible for their own dog’s actions. That said, free doggie waste bags are on offer here so don’t worry if nature, well, takes its course.
Pasadena Off-Leash Park
3026 E. Orange Grove
Pasadena, CA 91107
The lush city of Pasadena pleases just about everyone, man, woman and beast included. This particular place where dogs may roam free of that annoying leash offers all of the ingredients for the perfect spot for your pooch, with grass, shady spots, double-gate entry and even poop bags. There’s a big dog area for those larger pets who may be a bit scary to the smaller ones (it’s gated) and there are an abundance of fountains, which always come in handy in this part of the Southland where temperatures often soar. One note: Be sure your dog is socialized before visiting because all pooches who hang here must be friendly to both their own kind and to the humans who are on hand.
Related: Best Dog Parks In LA And OC
Witch Creek Winery
1906 Carlsbad Blvd., Highway 101
Carlsbad, CA 92008
For Angelenos heading south to Northern San Diego for a chance to experience Witch Creek Winery, don’t even think about leaving your dog behind. This accommodating facility that uses traditional winemaking methods — a dying breed — allows your dog to follow you everywhere, even into the tasting room at this winery that focuses on handcrafted wines that total about two dozen varietals including nebbiolo, teroldego and montepulciano, aka delicious, heavenly and divine. All of the dog-friendly management at Witch Creek asks is that your pet be well behaved, on a leash and cleaned up after.
The Parker Palm Springs
4200 East Palm Canyon Dr.
Palm Springs, CA 92264
Even if you don’t plan to stay the night, get a room at The Parker for a chance to really relax with your dog by your side. Prices dip during the summer as the temperature soars while, at this Palm Springs hot spot in the middle of town, ways for both (wo)man and beast to stay cool, calm and refreshed abound. The posh property’s gardens are not only great places to roam, but these palm-filled environments are equipped with water spritzers so you and your pet don’t get too hot and bothered. Meanwhile, The Parker Palm Springs’ rooms are glorious, as are the attached balconies from which everyone in your party may look out during down time in the California desert. PS: Expect special pet amenities when you book in here because pooches are just as important as people at The Parker.
Related: Field Trip: Viceroy Palm Springs
Los Angeles freelance travel writer Jane Lasky, contributes to publications such as Travel + Leisure, Vogue and Esquire. Her weekly sojourning column ran in 40 newspapers for 20 years. Jane is anything but an accidental tourist. Check out her articles on Examiner.com.