Pet-Friendly Lodging in Wine Country

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dog2.jpgIf you are dog lover, then you surely know a dog who loves a travel adventure.  Those of us sightseeing with our canine and other friends from the animal kingdom used to do so as second class citizens...not any more!  Today, nearly two-thirds of California accommodations are dog-friendly or pet-friendly, so you and your friend don't have to accept the run of the mill.  Many spectacular accommodations throughout Wine Country are ready to welcome you, often with special services and treats for your four-legged friend.

While there are typically nominal fees for the four extra legs, they are usually comparable to biped rates.  As with humans, these accommodations welcome only "well-behaved" animals, and many require leashes. 

So next time, grab the leash and go!  Here are some suggestions for special places to enjoy wherever you and your pet may wander in California's Wine Country. Please share your pet in wine country story with us. Either post below or send story and pictures to


Little River Inn offers a room with a view and a comfortable spot for Rover too.  Picturesque, dramatic ocean views will please you while Fido sniffs the fresh air, perhaps at the hearth in one of the comfortable Fireplace Rooms. Pet guests are pampered with special sheets to cover the furniture, towels for muddy coats, a food-and-water dish, waste bags, and a welcome basket of animal treats. 

Within view of Mendocino, at the exquisite Stanford Inn & Spa, Innkeepers Jeff and Joan Stanford are friends to both animals and humans.  At this terrific bed and breakfast resort, you will enjoy the panoramic ocean views and your pet can socialize with the locals at the warm hearth in the lobby.  This full-service property offers fine organic, animal-friendly vegetarian dining at Raven's restaurant, a spa, and they also provide bikes or kayaks.

In Monterey County, Carmel is a doggie's vacation dream-come-true, as the area has warmly welcomed the K-9 set for many years.  The Carmel Valley Lodge is an ideal treat, where your dog might curl up in front of the fire in one of the fireplace cottages or suites after a busy day.  The friendly staff loves animals, and there's plenty of room for running around.  And, even better than a good squirrel chase, they feature a host of special amenities for everyone in your family, including your dog. 

With consummate Napa hospitality, the Napa River Inn takes the cake, or the bone as the case may be, offering the Very Important Pet (VIP) program.  This unique pet package assures that you, your family and your pet will enjoy your vacation time together.  A custom-designed pet blanket, logo place mat, and Napa Valley-based Cab-Bone-Nay dog biscuits (made with wine of course) will help everyone enjoy their stay.  Your pet also receives a welcome letter from the hotel General Manager with a list of pet support services, including dog walkers, an on-call veterinarian and souvenirs. 

Located on 20 acres in Up-Valley Napa, your dog will have plenty of space to enjoy and exercise at the Meadowlark Inn.  Well-behaved dogs are welcomed in any of the rooms with prior approval.  Many rooms have French doors opening to private decks or flagstone terraces that are convenient for the dogs to be outside.  There is also usually someone in nearby Calistoga who is available to come to Meadowlark to dogsit.


Along the Russian River, at Dawn Ranch Lodge you and your pup can frolic amongst 15 idyllic acres of mown grassy meadows, towering redwoods and direct river access from the private beach.  They provide a sense of history, quaintness and like the area, caters to a diverse clientele.  And while the town of Guerneville is known as "the wild side of wine country", you can enjoy it at any speed you like...all by foot.  While weekends at the resort can be rather busy in the summer, spring and fall travelers may enjoy a glorious retreat to perfect quietude and weather.  The full-service restaurant, bar and selection of quality local wines assure a fine experience on the property as well.

In the town of Sonoma, Casita Carneros brings the dogs running in again and again.  In fact, almost 1/2 of their business has gone to the dogs!  Your pet is welcome to share the spacious backyard and pool, where you will be the only guests.  They can furnish large items that you are unable to travel with, such as crates and doggie beds.  Importantly, the acre is cross-fenced and double-fenced to ensure you and your pet a private, secure, and trouble-free vacation.  You will also be centrally located to experience whatever in the Sonoma and Napa areas appeals to you.

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If you ever do a story about the Shenendoah wine country in the foothills please include us on dog friendly hotels. Thanks Ashley Canty- The Hotel Leger 209-286-1401

I'd have to say after spending the last hour looking around the web for a place to stay with our small, cute, extremely well behaved dog that Napa Valley is one of the least dog friendly places in California, second perhaps only to Santa Cruz.

I completely understand that dogs aren't welcome where fine food and wine is served, but there are VERY few places to stay that allow dogs, which means we'll be heading directly to Mendocino for our upcoming vacation...

Come on Napa... roll out the red carpet for our four-legged family members!


I recently took a trip to Guerneville with our dog and had a wonderful experience. We stayed at Sonoma Orchid Inn which is a pet friendly place with 4 pet friendly rooms. Our innkeepers Brian and Dana were great. They took care of everything that we needed (help making dinner reservations, excursion planning, etc.) and even made sure to get some treats for our Dog. The breakfast in the mornings were fabulous. Overall, our stay at Sonoma Orchid Inn was first rate.

We also ventured out to some very Dog friendly wineries that were very pet friendly. The one winery that stood out the most was Arista Winery. They had some great wines, the grounds were beautiful, and best of all, they allowed our dog into the tasting room.

For dinner, Roadhouse Restaurant had a huge patio where we were able to have a nice dinner with our dog at the table. There were also many other patrons who were dining with their dogs. Oh, and the food was great too!

Overall Guerneville is a great place to visit with your pets :)

We're an adventurous, recently-retired couple who rarely gets to travel because we have a 12-year-old Pomeranian (and we refuse to stay at Motel 6). This summer, we're planning a month-long RV tour of West Coast wineries (WA, OR and CA). I was relieved to learn from your article, that we will be able to spend at least a few nights in a comfy hotel bed. Best regards, Jan Woodruff (PS Once we're home, we'll send any new discoveries re pet-friendly wine touring.)

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