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Roam: Over the hills for pet friendly surf in San Francisco

The landscape of San Francisco alone makes the city a wonderful destination for owners traveling with their pups. Everything is compact and walkable, with some hills to really get those little legs working.

Most transportation methods, such as the cable cars, will welcome dogs with good behavior; and hotels, even swanky ones, open their doors to your furry one. Chinatown, Fisherman’s Wharf and other popular districts are loaded with shops and restaurants that are dog friendly too.

Eat

Park Chalet Garden Restaurant offers more than just a patio, but a large lawn for owners and four-legged friends. Paths back directly up to the grassy area, so you can loop around to the beach after dining on a Maine lobster roll with tarragon aioli and malt vinegar slaw atop a buttery brioche roll. A vast beer selection is also at your fingertips.

Universal Café is nestled in the Mission District of the city, and is highly popular for the local and seasonally inspired menu. Artisanal plates, like blue cheese gnocchi, are always masterfully crafted, so it’s easy to understand why the wait for a dog friendly patio can be lengthy at times, especially during the weekend brunch.

Palomino Restaurant & Bar's huge patio welcomes dogs and their owners to enjoy Mediterranean eats, especially mouthwatering pizzas made quite authentically. Pups are delivered personal bowls of water by the friendly staff, and both of you can soak in the picturesque views of the iconic Bay Bridge.

Stay

Kimpton delivers, as always, with the Kimpton Sir Francis Drake Hotel. It’s hard to believe the hyper luxurious digs welcome pups at no cost, as long as you agree not to leave them unattended. Pets enjoy perks such as bowls, beds and even treats. Perfectly located near Union Square Park, it’s bound to be a fun stay.

Argonaut Hotel is located in Fisherman’s Wharf, near San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park, and Hyde Park. All the doggy bells and whistles are on hand, from treats and food, to waste stations. The red brick building has a bit of adorable nautical flare, while being rustic industrial—it’s trendy and upscale. Dogs are allowed for an additional fee. Argonaut is also a Kimpton establishment. We should’ve known.

Hotel Zelos San Francisco is one of the few places where well behaved pets can stay in the room if need be. There’s also a grassy area near the stunning structure, and pups also get treats and food. Located on Market and Fourth street, guests are proximal to many famous sites and museums.

Play

Seeing the Golden Gate Bridge is an essential part to visiting beautiful San Francisco, and it can be enjoyed, dog in tow, at Baker Beach. The bridge is front and center, and the beach is a large stretch of play area. One section is on leash, the other off, so pay attention to signage.

Golden Gate Park is an excellent spot to take furry ones for an off-leash session. Generous, football field sized fenced space allows those babies to really stretch the legs. Other dog owners recommend visiting later in the day, when it’s less crowded.

Fort Funston Doggie Beach is nothing but surf, sand and sun, despite being a bit chilly. Dogs can meander down trails that lead to the open beach area accented by a mountainous background. It’s heaven for four-legged children.

So, start planning your trek to the city of stunning hills, trollies, quaint shopping districts and water views. Traversing the city with your pup is nearly effortless, and more so fun! From the scenery, to the hospitality, you’ll find San Francisco to be an absolutely lovely city to spend time with man’s best friend.


Karyn Wofford is a “Mom” to her fluffy, sweet dog Halli. She spends much of her time traveling and advocating for Type 1 diabetes—and Halli sometimes accompanies her on her adventures. You’ll find Karyn’s work on sites like Mother Earth Living, and in magazines such as Diabetes Forecast.

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