"Dog Central" Pacific Grove
by Carie Broecker
We have lived in Pacific Grove (P.G.) for the past nineteen years, and it has always been a great place to enjoy with a pup; but in the last few years, P.G. has become a downright “Dog-topia.” The main entrance to P.G. is on Central Avenue, which should actually be called “Dog Central Avenue.”
Within the first block aftering entering P.G. are the following: the Zoom Room (a doggy gym and social club); the pet-friendly Vistor’s Center; the American Tin Cannery pet-friendly mall; First Awakenings restaurant, which allows pooches on the patio; Ocean View Veterinary Hosptial, which is open seven days a week; Best Pet Care and Supplies, a family-owned pet supply shop with all your doggie needs including a self-wash service, Doggie Day Care, and the start of the P.G. Recreation Trail, which includes miles of coastal trail taking you from the Monterey Bay Aquarium, past Berwick Park, Lover’s Point, and all the way to Asilomar State Beach on the other side of town.
Whether you live in P.G., are visiting for the day, or enjoying an extended stay, there is plenty to do with your dog. If you are looking for dog-friendly lodging, you have your choice between several inns that will make you and your four-legged friend feel welcome.
The Andril Fireplace Cottages, Lighthouse Lodge (with suites and cottages), Bide-A-Wee Hotel, Pacific Gardens Inn, Deer Haven Inn, and Sea Breeze Inn are all within walking distance of downtown or the coastal trail and beaches.
If your dog is looking for some off-leash romping fun, head over to Asilomar State Beach, but take note: the first 100 yards of beach your dog must stay on leash. Look out for the orange flag marker in the dunes, which is located just about at the little creek if it’s running. Once past this landmark, your dog is free to romp off leash. At low tide you can walk to the south end of the beach and keep going all the way onto Spanish Bay Beach in Pebble Beach. When the tide is higher, you can climb the stairs at the end of the beach and walk the boardwalk, which will connect you to Spanish Bay Beach. Once on this beach you are a little closer to a road, so only pups with great recall should be off leash on this side of the beach.
Another place where locals hike and romp is Rip Van Winkle Park, located on Congress Avenue just across the street and up the road from Forest Grove Elementary School. The park entrance is marked by eight pull-in parking spots and another eight parallel parking spots along the road. There is no signage announcing the park. Just look for the parking spaces located on Congress Avenue between Sunset Avenue and Forest Lodge Road.
Dog must be on leash for the first 100 yards at this park as well. This is for their safety. This is not a fenced-in dog park, but it does have off-leash hiking trails. All the trails eventually lead out to a road, so keep a keen lookout for where you are headed and keep your dog close. Dogs who chase wildlife are better off kept on leash in this park.
Another one of our favorite places to walk our dogs is Asilomar Conference Grounds. The entrance to the conference grounds is located on Asilomar Boulevard at the end of Sinex Avenue. You can park outside the gate or drive in and find parking. On the western side of the conference grounds are boardwalk trails that take you out into the dunes for some spectacular views of Asilomar Beach in the distance. Dogs must be on leash at all times while on the boardwalk and in the conference grounds.
Now that you’ve romped and hiked and walked, you and your pup are probably both hungry. As mentioned earlier, First Awakenings (at the American Tin Cannery) is a local favorite when it comes to dining with your furry best friend. They serve world-famous pancakes and other scrumptious breakfast items. They are also open for lunch.
The Red House Café, located in the heart of downtown P.G., is a bustling, fine-food restaurant with a few outdoor tables for you and your dog. The café is open for lunch and dinner every day and open for breakfast on the weekends. A few blocks down the road is more casual fare at the 17th Street Grille. The Grille has a large dog-friendly patio with a wind shield and a fire pit for chilly days. The grill is open for lunch and dinner seven days a week.
Come enjoy our hometown with your pups. We sure do!