Like many people who move to California, Jeff says they wanted to do things on their own terms. “It’s just automatic.” Even in the sitting area in the lobby, just outside the hotel’s Ravens’ Restaurant, you can eat breakfast in the company of your dog.
The food is organic and vegetarian (with many vegan options), which is how Jeff wants it. Play: Many local parks, restaurants, and other businesses, go way beyond merely allowing dogs.
While hotels increasingly allow dogs—hoping to cash in on the 39 percent of U. households that own one—the Stanford has been pet-friendly since Jeff Stanford and his wife, Joan, bought it in the 1980s, shortly after moving from the Midwest.
Back then, if you traveled with a dog, “you had to stay at a Holiday Inn or nothing,” says Jeff.
They welcome them, and their canine quirks, openly.
This is why there are so many dog-friendly beach towns on the rocky, rugged coast—there’s so much for a dog to do, and relatively little trouble to get into.
Play: Dogs vie in hanging 10 and performing other oceanic stunts at the annual Imperial Beach Surf Dog Competition held in Orange County’s surf capital.
“Any breed can succeed at dog surfing,” says contest organizer Lisa Scolman.Dog highlights include the weekday afternoon Yappy Hour at Terry’s Lounge, where dogs join their guardians for meals and drinks.You can also take your dog for an off-leash romp at nearby Carmel Beach.While you’re out enjoying Santa Barbara’s pleasures, rest assured your dog is having a good time too. Eat: Added bonus: Camp Canine is walking distance from the world’s best taco joint, La Super-Rica Taqueria Play: Spot celebrities—Charlize Theron and Jake Gyllenhaal are among those who’ve been seen here with their mutts—at Runyon Canyon, a 168-acre park in the Hollywood Hills.There are three main trails and an off-leash area, and on clear days, views stretch from downtown to Palos Verdes to the Pacific.Shop: Two swank blocks from Rodeo Drive, this 12,000-square-foot doggy “lifestyle center” serves the modern metropolitan dog with custom beds and a private shopping room that offers one-of-a-kind dresses and blingy collars.