I spent last weekend in sunny San Diego, California. I didn’t travel with my pups, so of course I missed them. However! I got my puppy fix when I met up with my friend Kristina, her hubby Kyle and their two Australian Shepherds Shade & Solea, when I met Lindsay from ThatMutt.com and her Lab mix Ace…and then there were the gazillion dogs I saw all over town!!
Los Peñasquitos Canyon Trail
Several of my friends & I met for a 5 mile hike in Los Peñasquitos’ parking lot, located at 12020 Black Mountain Rd, San Diego, CA 92129. The terrain is mostly a mix of stone/gravel/sand and is meant for hikers, joggers, bikers, and equestrians. There’s a huge parking lot right at the beginning of the trail, and also a porta potty.
Just FYI: Use the address mentioned above if you want to check out this hiking area. I found several addresses for Los Peñasquitos Canyon Trail when I googled the place. The first one I typed into Maps lead us into a residential area about 5 miles away from the parking lot we were trying to find.
While we didn’t see any horses at all, we came across several other hikers, some with dogs, joggers and TONS of mountain bikers! They weren’t particularly good about announcing themselves – here in NC, you’ll hear a “on your left/right” when bikers are about to pass you in hiking terrain. Not so much there in southern California, so we had to actively look out for them and move the pups out of the way, especially when the trails were narrow.
Narrow Trails At Los Peñasquitos Canyon Trail
Kristina has always done an excellent job training Shade & Solea, so it was no big deal. They gladly followed her commands and loved their treat rewards Kristina pulled out of her clip-on treat pouch 😉
Both pups’ recalls are spot on, by the way, which was rewarded by allowing them off-leash time on about 2/3 of our 5 mile hike. Whenever they were about 50 feet ahead of us, Kristina or Kyle would call them back, and they came back every.single.time. Right away, claiming their treat rewards 🙂 #DogTrainingAtItsBest
Aussies Shade & Solea
We hiked along the Peñasquitos Creek until we reached a waterfall, just about 2.5 miles into our hike. While there is no manmade crossing, it’s possible to climb the rocks in the water to reach the other side. That’s exactly what we did, including the pups who loved the adventure of course. Yours truly was proud not to have fallen into the water 😉
Yours Truly Crossed The Waterfall Area Without Falling Into The Water
We then hiked back on the other side of the creek, for a total of 5 miles, as mentioned earlier. We walked at a moderate speed and spent about 20 minutes at the waterfall area, for a total of 2 hours.
Map Of Los Peñasquitos Canyon Trail
Los Peñasquitos Canyon Trail is a good hike with ample parking, a porta potty in the parking lot, as well as trash cans. Wear hiking shoes for the best traction, or better yet, vibrams. I wished I would have brought mine when it came time to cross the waterfall area.
As always, you should be respectful of others and nature and pick up after your pup(s), and only let them hike off-leash if their recall is solid. I know it’s hard to fathom, but not everyone likes dogs and some people are outright scared of them…
Leave Only Paw Prints - Not Poop
P.S. If you aren’t familiar with In n Out Burger, you’re missing out. I rarely eat fast food because my stomach can’t handle all the grease and artificial ingredients.
My friend John, who also came along for the hike, convinced me to give this joint a try afterwards, and OMG! Their food is so fresh, it’s unbelievable, and made without the use of any artificial preservatives. I & my stomach loved it (I didn’t feel sick at all afterwards, yay!). After all, I feed my pups minimally processed food, so I allow myself the same treatment.
Preservative-Free Burger Joint "In N Out"
The Original Dog Beach in Ocean Beach
Yes, you probably guessed it, I got my dog fix and then some at the original dog beach, located at Ocean Beach Bike Path, San Diego, CA 92109! It’s about a mile long and allows off-leash dogs year-round.
Most other beaches in San Diego allow dogs as well, but typically have specific time frames when dogs are and aren’t allowed (I saw signs that allowed dogs from Nov 1 – Mar 31 before 9 am and after 4pm, and then between Apr 1 – Oct 31 before 9 am and after 6 pm).
Off-Leash Original Dog Beach
A Surfboard Greets K9s & Humans - Do You See The Paw Print? Took me a moment 😉
Four Pups Enjoying The Water
Happy K9s At The Dog Beach - Big & Small Alike
DanielsCoffee at the Spanish Village Art Center
While touring San Diego, I also got to explore Balboa Park in downtown San Diego, an artsy urban area consisting of wide walking paths lined with museums, theaters, gardens, art galleries, street art (I experienced a live belly dancer performance), gift shops, and restaurants.
It was such a nice experience strolling across the park and very much reminded me of Europe – people were sporting smiles on their faces, many walking around holding hands, some having professional wedding/engagement photos taken, and many were accompanied by their K9 best friends. A very calm and serene setting.
I had a delicious Chai Latte at Daniels Coffee, located right inside the Spanish Village Art Center at 1770 Village Place, San Diego, CA 92101. I couldn’t help but notice the filled water dish for K9 visitors, which made the experience even more enjoyable. I found and followed them on Instagram 🙂
A photo posted by K9s Over Coffee (@k9sovercoffee) on
They’re pretty much all over town, but I only snapped a picture of one mural of an al-fresco bar/restaurant stating that friendly dogs are allowed on their patio until 7 pm (it was somewhere in Pacific Beach).
Dog-Friendly Bar Patio
I noticed it when biking past it on my way to breakfast on the beach at this AWESOMELY delicious place in Pacific Beach that serves breakfast all day, Kono’s (704 Garnet Ave, San Diego, CA 92109-2408). I had their french toast with the perfectly crispy bacon for breakfast/brunch 3 days in a row. Sooo good. Highly recommend it (they don’t take cards, so bring cash!).
If you’re interested in a listing of all dog friendly restaurants in San Diego, check out Bring Fido’s 187 entries for San Diego (that’s the most nationwide.).
I met up with two fellow dog bloggers who are lucky enough to call Southern California their home. You should absolutely check them out if you haven’t just yet – Lindsay from ThatMutt.com, and Colby from PuppyInTraining.com. Both offer incredibly valuable dog training advice, and Lindsay is also a raw feeder.
We met at a Starbucks in La Jolla that has a dog-friendly patio. Reason enough for Lindsay to bring her pup Ace! It was a pleasure to finally meet him as well. He’s such a gentle senior K9 citizen.
Meeting Lindsay From ThatMutt.com & Colby From PuppyInTraining.com
There’s a reason why San Diego is ranked 4th most dog-friendly city in the US! There really aren’t many places where dogs aren’t allowed- I personally noticed only two instances. One was a seal sanctuary/watching area in La Jolla to protect the marine mammals. The other one was on Coronado Central beach right by the famous Hotel del Coronado (but there is a dog beach in Coronado).
Screen Shot Taken From SmartAsset.com - The Most Dog-Friendly Cities in America
Either way, my dog loving heart skipped several beats when I noticed the many runners, bikers, and hikers who were out and about the city with their dogs. I didn’t notice too many obese dogs by the way, which makes sense seeing how much exercise they get.
The one draw back of the city for me is the high cost of living combined with California being the highest-tax state. A one bedroom, 900 sf apartment costs a little more than our 2,500 sf home here in NC… But I’ll be back to visit for sure 🙂
Have you been to San Diego and do you have a dog-friendly location to share with us? As always, we’d love to hear from you in our comment section!