Posted Wednesday, April 3, 2019 by MCVB Staff
By Joe Kukura
If your peeve is having your pet turned away when you’re traveling or exploring, let your furry friends sniff out northern California’s pet-friendly paradise of Marin County.
Known as the “Backyard of the Bay Area” for its pastoral location on the northern end of the Golden Gate Bridge, Marin County is a great place to venture with your pets proudly in tow, whether you’re taking a family trip, a weekend romantic getaway, or a northern California staycation.
Our comprehensive list of where to take your pets in Marin County lets you know of many pet-friendly beaches, hiking trails, dog-friendly restaurants, and pet-friendly businesses across the Marin County landscape. Whether you want to take your pet to discover the Pacific Ocean coastline, the famed Marin County redwood forests, the tops of mighty mountains — or maybe just a great place to eat — here are some of the very best pet-friendly things to do in Marin County.
Marin County has many beach spots where your pet can roam the western coast of the continental United States and trot along the majestic Pacific shores. The coastal wilderness wonderland Point Reyes National Seashore has a few pet-friendly beaches, including Kehoe Beach, Limantour Beach, and the North and South Point Reyes Beaches along the seashore’s outer section. The Bolinas Bay’s iconic Stinson Beach also lets your pets mingle with the California hang gliders, surfers, and beachcombers.
You can also take your pet along for Marin County bird watching at the Bolinas Lagoon, a coastal wildlife preserve with more than 1,000 acres and millions of different migratory birds visiting at specific times of the year. If you’d like instead, take your pet fishing in Marin County! Novato’s Black Point Boat Launch and the Miller Boat Launch in Marshall both offer pet-friendly areas. And pets are allowed on leash at the China Camp State Park, a scenic panorama with views of both the San Francisco Bay and the San Pablo Bay.
The mountains and coasts of Marin County are full of unforgettable parks that welcome your pets. In mountainous Mill Valley, the Bayfront Park has a canine-friendly view of Mount Tamalpais State Park. Novato boasts a number of pet-friendly parks, including the Mount Burdell Open Space Preserve, the appropriately named Dogbone Meadow, and the Deer Island Open Space Preserve, where pets of all stripes are welcome. In San Rafael, you’ll find remarkable pet-friendly trails at the Santa Venetia Marsh Open Space Preserve, where pets are permitted on-leash.
Pet-friendly places to eat
Many of Marin County’s renowned farm-to-table restaurants have outside areas that can host your furry friends.
Tomales Bay’s famed Nick’s Cove Restaurant, Oyster Bar and Cottages has welcoming water bowls galore at its outside dining area that features unforgettable coastal views. San Rafael’s magnificent time capsule, the Panama Hotel and Restaurant, offers a dog-friendly “Yappy Hour” from 4 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, and even has specified areas where dogs can dine with owners. And Point Reyes’ Side Street Kitchen has fantastic California cuisine and a pet-friendly patio for the pups.
You’ll also find Marin County pet-friendly cafes in the outdoor dining areas at specialty shopping gems like the Town Center Corte Madera, which features a farmers market on Wednesdays. The Village at Corte Madera and Greenbrae’s Bon Air also feature open-air shopping centers with plenty of cafes, but each cafe’s policy may differ with pets.
Marin County’s four-legged visitors are welcome across the region’s forests, Pacific Coast waters, and hospitable range of pet-friendly places to stay in Marin County. Every dog can have their day along the beaches, coastal and mountain hiking trails, farm-to-table restaurants, and cafes of Marin County. So choose the pick of the litter in Marin County, a destination with unforgettable options whether you have your pet, a special someone, or the entire household in tow.