The Dog-Friendliest City of Carmel

Among the many reasons to visit the stunningly beautiful city of Carmel-by-the-Sea is that it is incredibly dog-friendly. Coming from Reno, Nevada, a city that claims to be “dog-friendly” but has recently been the subject on an (in my opinion) overzealous health department crack-down and now pups aren’t allowed on most outdoor patios, we didn’t expect much from a city touting itself to be dog-friendly.

Carmel more than exceeded our expectations! Judge was welcomed with open arms during our visit to Carmel.

Outdoor Activities

If you are in Carmel with your pup, you MUST go to Carmel Beach. There is a scenic road above the beach with a packed dirt path alongside for joggers, on-leash dog walkers and sightseers. The path offers incredible views of Carmel Point, Point Lobos State Reserve, Pebble Beach Golf Links, and the beautiful beach below.

For a real treat for your four-legged friend, head down to the beach where they can roam free (as long as they are under your voice control) and frolic with the many other dogs enjoying the surf. There were so many dogs (and lots of golden retrievers!) enjoying the long stretch of sandy, beautiful beach. Judge was in doggy heaven.

After the beach, we strolled along the Carmel Business District and Carmel Plaza. Many of the shops are dog friendly. Some of the small business even supply dog biscuits at the counter and offer water dishes at the door.

Restaurants / Bars

We wished we could have enjoyed all the dog-friendly restaurants in Carmel, but our time was limited. We had a fantastic dinner at the Forge in the Forest. Their dog-friendly patio is cozy and comfortable, with heaters, fireplaces and lush gardens. Not only are dogs welcome, they have their own menu featuring hot dogs, chicken and steak. And their human menu is pretty great too.

We also enjoyed beers at the dog-friendly patio at Yeast of Eden Brewery. Excellent beers. And its a mixed-fermentation brewery so they have a great selection of really unique sour beers.


While we didn't have the opportunity to stay at a hotel during our Carmel visit (since we stayed in the comfort of our own mobile home), there are many dog-friendly options for those without mobile accommodations. The Getaway and The Hideaway are on our list to try during our next visit. For a more complete list of the dog-friendly accommodations, check out this site.

For the Golf Loving Pet-Parents

The legendary Pebble Beach Golf Links is a must-see. Even if you aren't a golf-enthusiast, the grounds and the shops and restaurants are worth a trip. Pebble Beach is incredibly dog friendly, and we were able to bring Judge to enjoy cocktail hour overlooking the iconic 18th hole at The Bench. Pro tip - if you are a whiskey fan, order the Manhattan. This cocktail was well worth the price!

To take in all the beauty of this area, we highly recommend the 17-mile drive through Pebble Beach Resort. And its accessible even if you have a 31-foot RV!

Carmel is, in one word, quaint. We so enjoyed visiting with Judge, and would recommend for anyone traveling with their own fur baby.

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