Carmel: Come, Play, Stay
by Scott Broecker
At times Ocean Avenue in downtown Carmel may resemble some sort of impromptu pet parade or wag-n-walk, with dogs of all shapes and sizes strutting up and down both sides of the street - - some being carried, others sporting new haircuts and fancy clothes while others go au naturel wearing just their salt water coats that are still glistening with that highly prized and status-ized local mineral, Carmel Beach sand. But chances are it is just another pet-friendly day in the artful village by the sea.
Whether you are a local or a visitor from far or near, Carmel offers a relaxed atmosphere in which to spend quality time with your pooch. Starting with one of the most beautiful beaches in the world, and a dog friendly one at that, Carmel Beach would be on any dog’s top ten list of places to visit and romp.
After spending some time on the beach hiking and splashing in the surf, you can’t beat a nice walk up Ocean Avenue or one of the other shade lined streets of downtown Carmel. Your first stop might be one of the many coffee shops or bakeries, or possibly one of the great delis such as Bruno’s on Junipero or Nielsen Brothers on San Carlos. There are also many sit down options with a good number of restaurants that offer pet-friendly outdoor dining.
Another great stop on the way to or from the beach is Diggidy Dog. Here you can find a cool beach toy, pick up some gourmet treats and check out the wide variety of their pet pampering inventory including doggie sweaters, coats, t-shirts, fancy collars, leashes, and elegant bowls. For an afternoon tea, drop into the Cypress Inn where well-behaved dogs are welcomed at the yappy hour inside or outdoors in their beautiful courtyard garden. The Cypress Inn is well-known for it’s famous co-owner, dog lover and animal advocate, Doris Day.
If the relaxed atmosphere of outdoor Carmel isn't enough, step indoors and treat yourself to a massage or hot stone therapy at the Signature Day Spa on San Carlos Street. The great thing is that while you are being rejuvenated, just like in the Wizard of Oz, your little (or big) dog can be getting fancied up as well just across the street at the Signature Paw Spa.
Dinner options are many but one of the best would be The Forge in the Forest, which also serves great lunches on their private pet patio. They provide shade, water, a great dog menu and super staff. (Click here to read Rover’s Review of The Forge.)
If a day or afternoon wasn't enough for you and your pooch, you can always spend the night in one of the many quaint and cozy pet-friendly establishments like the Lincoln Green or Lamplighter Inns. Both are within good walking proximity to the beach.
After exploring downtown Carmel you can head out to Carmel Valley, down the coast, or over to Carmel’s other shopping areas: the Barnyard or the Crossroads Shopping Village. We recommend you stop into The Raw Connection and Pet Food Express for more toys and treats to be sure you thoroughly spoil your dog.
Enjoy your visit and “bone” appetit!
Click Here for an extensive list of pet-friendly lodging, dining, and hiking in Carmel and other cities in Monterey and Santa Cruz Counties.