The Best of Dog-Friendly Marin
Posted in Blogging Marin on Sunday, November 3, 2019 by MCVB Staff
By Megan Eileen McDonough
Marin isn’t just for families and couples; there’s room for everyone, including your dog! From pet-friendly beaches and businesses to hotel tips and restaurant recommendations, here is your ultimate guide to touring Marin County with your pet.
Hit the Beach
Marin has some gorgeous beaches, so bring your pup along for the ride!
Craving a quiet oasis for a few hours? Head to Dillon Beach in the northern part of Marin. Remember to keep your dog on a leash when walking from the parking lot to the high tide line and back. Other than that, you and your pooch are free to run wild with the wind. Parking is $5, making this a very budget-friendly beach break.
For something even more remote, take in the view at Kehoe Beach in Inverness. As Marin’s least accessible beach, it might take a bit longer to reach, but don’t worry; it’s well worth the wait. Since there’s a lot of exotic wildlife in the area, dogs are required to stay on their leashes. Jog along the shore with your pup or find a tranquil spot and sea-gaze away.
As an alternative to Kehoe Beach, consider heading to a beach where partial access is allowed. For example, Limantour Beach in Point Reyes is mostly dog friendly, especially the walk to Santa Maria Beach. Then there’s Stinson Beach/Dog Beach, where you can plan a picnic lunch in Eskoot Creek. If your pooch is full of energy, run off-leash at Bolinas Beach.
Head Off on a Hike
From historical preserves to fire roads, here are two of Marin’s best hikes for dogs.
Marin boasts year-round pleasant weather, but for those select hot days, opt for the Indian Tree Open Space Preserve in Novato. As it’s a preserve, leashes are required. As for the view, this one’s tough to top. The trail weaves through shaded woodlands, with oak trees towering above and beyond. Feel free to take your dog off-leash on the fire roads.
Another scenic hike is through the Gary Giacomini Open Space Preserve in Woodacre. The lower part of the trail is filled with old-growth redwoods, while higher ground is covered in grass. Some owners decide to start their hike from the intersection of the Redwood Canyon Drive, as there’s a nearby trailhead.
In case you didn’t get your fill of adventure, here are some pet-recommended parks.
Craving wide-open spaces? There’s no better place than Cascade Canyon Open Space Preserve in Fairfax. Nature is all around and no two seasons are the same. You’ll see vibrant wildflowers in spring, mushrooms in the winter and enough shaded patches to keep you cool during summer. Perfect for the nature-loving pet owner and the curious pooch.
Another popular dog park is Dogbone Meadow in Novato, which is often crowded with owners and their dogs. It’s a smart spot for owners to take a breather while their pup socializes with other canines. If your dog isn’t very social or used to being around other dogs, keep a closer eye on her while she assimilates.
Tour the Town
Don’t limit your sightseeing to public parks. There are plenty of pet-friendly businesses, too.
Calling all golf pros! At San Geronimo Golf Course, you can play a round or two with your pooch. As long as they are on a leash and well-behaved, dogs are welcome both in the pro shop and on the links.
Is it happy hour yet? It sure is at Trek Winery, where you can sip a glass of fine wine alongside your favorite pal. Head to the outside patio and enjoy the view. The staff is friendly and won’t rush you out, so sit back and savor every sip.
Get Some Grub
Come lunchtime, your pooch is in for a real treat. Here are some of Marin’s best pet-friendly restaurants.
Dogs are treated like royalty at Panama Hotel and Restaurant, which even has a Yappy Hour featuring discounts and even free organic dog biscuits. Stop by Tuesday through Friday from 4 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. to take advantage of that deal. The restaurant also has a few designated areas where dogs can dine with their owners.
Another dog-friendly joint is Nick’s Cove. This casual restaurant offers treats to any dog who swings by with his owner. There are also plenty of water bowls available should your pooch need to rehydrate.
Rain or shine, Left Bank Brasserie has you and your pup covered. Besides offering biscuits and setting out water bowls for dogs, there is also a spacious outdoor patio that owners and their dogs can utilize, complete with headlamps should the temperature drop.
Lay Your Head
Marin has no shortage of dog-friendly hotels, so take your pick!
As pet friendly as Panama Hotel’s restaurant is, the actual hotel is even better. It offers four pet-friendly rooms, complete with tile or hardwood floors, pet bowls, towels and even a canister for waste. There’s a $15 charge per night per pet (two pets maximum). For all the extra amenities and the friendly treatment, it’s well worth the splurge.
Nick’s Cove, mentioned above, also takes great care of its pet guests. Every traveler, including your furry friend, is treated like family. Don’t be surprised if your dog feels right at home here, especially with its signature healthy dog treats up for grabs. There are a few cottages that welcome pets, so make sure to book ahead of time.
While Panama Hotel and Nick’s Cove definitely go above and beyond the call of duty, there are several other hotels worth checking out. SureStay Hotel by Best Western - San Rafael is a peaceful setting to rest and rejuvenate. Suites come with a fireplace and guests have access to an outdoor pool, spa and fitness center, too. Then there’s Inn Marin, which offers grooming and daycare services.