Dog Friendly San Diego

26 04 2011

I had last Friday off from work so my younger brother Graham and I took a three day weekend to visit our dad in San Diego.  Here are Graham and Dad outside of the Scripps Aquarium in San Diego.

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Aren't they handsome?

Throughout our three day vacay to idyllic San Diego we spent a lot of quality time together, drove all around San Diego to take in the sights, ate lots of good food, drank some frosty beverages, visited Scripps Aquarium (which deserves a post all to itself), biked around Coronado Island, and ultimately discussed how dog friendly the area is.  I’ve written about a few of the places we noticed around San Diego for dogs but of course this is by no means an exhaustive list, rather just a couple of observations from a tourist.  Unfortunately I don’t have any of my own pictures to help paint the picture so fire up that imagination.

We ate two different times at a place called Mc P’s Irish Pub on Coronado Island.  They have great food and drinks, friendly service, and a large patio.  The patio is the dog friendly part of Mc P’s – the waitstaff will even bring you a bowl of water for your dog.  From what I could tell, dogs must be on a leash.  Mc P’s is known as a Navy Seal bar but is popular with service men and woman from all of the branches so if you’re looking to “meet the fleet” this is a great spot.  On our second venture to Mc P’s we sat near a lovely six month old Airedale Terrier named Piper; she was quite the little lady.

Mc P's Irish Pub on Coronado Island, San Diego. Picture from Mc P's website.

The patio at Mc P's. Picture from the Mc P's website.

As you would expect, the dog beach on Coronado Island near the Navy base is another very dog friendly spot.  For those not familiar with dog beaches, they’re much like dog parks but with sand and surf instead of grass or dirt.  You’ll want to obey local signs and regulations regarding leash restrictions, etc. since each beach or park varies.  We didn’t go to the dog beach this visit but I have been before (unfortunately without Hamlet in tow) and it’s a hoot, even just to watch all the pooches for a few minutes.  This beach is just off Ocean Blvd. near Sunset Park.  The area in which dogs are allowed is north of North Beach to the North Island (military base) fence.  There is some grass and shrubbery along the walk up to the beach as well as human and dog drinking fountains.

The sign at Coronado Island Dog Beach, courtesy of Mr.Martee on flickr.

We also drove by the Del Mar Dog Beach and it looked beautiful.  I don’t have as much detail about this beach since we just happened by it while in Del Mar but as far as scenery, it was lovely.  The beach is technically called North Beach but dog lovers refer to it as Dog Beach.  It’s located north of 29th Street and stretches to the border of Solana Beach.

This About.com article on dog friendly parks and beaches in San Diego provides more details and maps about the above mentioned beaches and a host of others I’ve never visited.  You can also check out Go Pet Friendly for restaurants, parks, and hotels all across America that are dog friendly.  The Go Pet Friendly folks are also on Twitter and I’ve found them quite friendly and responsive to questions and so forth.

As a Boston Terrier sidenote, I’ve started playing a new game while traveling outside of my home base in Denver.  It’s called How Many Boston Terriers Can You Spot?  San Diego is currently in the lead since I saw four Bostons on my trip there last weekend.  The other competing cities have been Grand Rapids, MI and Milwaukee, WI on a recent business trip, each of which racked up zero.  Sacramento made a decent showing in January with one Boston spotted while on a walk with Cash and my bestie Amanda.  Am I the only weirdo who plays this game while traveling?  I imagine if you have a Labrador, Golden Retriever or other more popular breed it would be more difficult to keep track.

Do you make mental notes of dog friendly places while you travel?  What are your experiences with dogs and travel?  Hamlet has yet to come along on any kind of vacation other than camping; he usually experiences his own vacation of sorts while I’m away in which he’s spoiled at Chateau Grammy et Grandad (a.k.a. my mom and stepdad’s house).  I’m hoping I can bring him on an airplane in the next couple of years because I think it would be great fun to have him along on a “real” vacation.  Fingers and paws crossed…