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Dog-Friendly California: Orange County & Los Angeles

Exactly one year ago today, on March 3, 2020, we took our first vacation with Henry to dog-friendly California! Little did we know it would be our last trip for awhile… We have so many fantastic memories from this vacay, including getting to spend time with our friends Herky and Milton, Mai and Andy, who showed us some of their favorite dog-friendly spots!

We planned this trip for months; traveling with a dog was unfamiliar territory for us. I share all our planning tips for traveling with your dog for the first time here, and all I can say is, prepare for the unexpected (LOL if you know, you know!)

I love how dog-friendly California is. We literally brought Henry everywhere we went! Hope you enjoy some of the highlights of our trip! We can’t wait to be able to travel with Henry again soon.

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dog-friendly california
dog-friendly california
HENRY THE SMOL

Dog-Friendly California: Where To Bring Your Dog in Orange County and Los Angeles

Pasea Dog-Friendly Hotel

If you read the blog post about traveling with your dog for the first time, then you already know how much I love Pasea Hotel & Spa, in Orange County, California. Named #1 best pet-friendly hotel by USA Today Readers Choice Awards (2020), Pasea is a dog mom’s dream! With special attentions like dog bowls, a dog bed and dog treats when you check in, they make the overall experience so enjoyable.

Be sure to snap some pics in their adorable dog park equipped with a sky blue, dog-sized lifeguard station and angel wing painted mural!

You can find more information about their Paw-sea, pet package here.

Huntington Dog Beach

As soon as we arrived, our friends Herky & Milton showed us their favorite beach! (This was after we stopped at In and Out for a pup patty!!) Henry absolutely loved running free in the sand. This was his first experience on the beach, and it was a memorable one. I have lots of heart-warming videos of happy Smol chasing Dad!

Hungtington Dog Beach is one of the best dog beaches in the U.S. For all the guidelines and amenities, you can find more details here.

Pacific City: Outdoor Shopping & Dining

We loved walking through this ocean front dining, shopping and entertainment center. Pacific City is right next to the hotel, and we would stop here for a quick lunch or ice cream. It was a nice place to walk through to get Henry used to his surroundings. We didn’t try to go in any stores with him, although the OC is so dog friendly, I wouldn’t be surprised if they allowed it.

This is also where we found the Top Dog pet boutique. Of course, Henry was welcomed with delicious treats as soon as we walked in! They’re actually affiliated with Pasea Hotel, if ever you need to bring your furbaby to doggy daycare.

It’s always good to know you have a pet store nearby, in case you forget to pack something!

dog-friendly california
dog-friendly california
dog-friendly california

Newport Beach

Ok, it’s not Los Angeles nor OC, but one of the highlights of the trip (for me!) was spending the day at Newport Beach, specifically Balboa Island. What a dream it would be to live there!  Everything is so beautiful, so serene and so quaint all at the same time. As they say, “it’s where small town charm meets million-dollar views.” Definitely on the list of places I’d like to retire!

We made sure to stop by Dad’s, for the famous frozen bananas and Balboa Bars, then we rode the Balboa Island Ferry to the Peninsula. This was the day Henry discovered birds, and lost his mind barking, so that visit was cut short!

I’d love to go back to Newport Beach some day, and check more off this list of things to do!

dog-friendly california
dog-friendly california
dog-friendly california

West Hollywood

Toward the end of our trip, we stayed in L.A. and met up with our friends Herky & Milton who showed us around! For this portion of the trip, we stayed at The Standard (which was such a change from Pasea, and less our speed, if I’m being totally honest).

It’s advertised as a pet-friendly hotel, but there were no special attentions or perks. At least there wasn’t an additional pet fee!

Our friends brought us to their favorite hiking spot, at Runyon Canyon Park, where we enjoyed views for days, and off leash exploring—well, not Henry because his recall’s not very good, but the girls, geared up in the coyote suits, explored fearlessly!

We then did some window shopping on Rodeo Drive, and snapped a selfie in front of the Beverly Hills sign. Henry was so excited about it, he almost jumped in the pond!

We finished up the evening with loaded hot dog’s at Pink’s, in Hollywood, and by this time the dogs were pooped! We never struggled to get Henry to sleep at the end of each day, that’s for sure!

dog-friendly california
dog-friendly california
dog-friendly california

Our first vacation with Henry could not have ended any better. Henry got to meet so many new friends at the OC Cavalier meet-up and Cavology Spring Pop Up at Pet Wants OC South: definitely one of the highlights of our trip! Meet-ups are such a great way to get to know other Cavalier parents within in the same area!

This was such a fun day! It was also the same day Henry met his first “girlfriend” (@cavalier.morgane) and started marking. Definitely an unforgettable meet-up for us LOL. And we also met our IG buddy @kingarthur_thecav (in the picture below). They’ve both grown so much since then!

We can’t wait to be able to gather in large groups again, so we can pet all the dogs!!! 

dog-friendly california
dog-friendly california

Our experience traveling with a dog for the first time was unforgettable, and pretty easy, all things considered! We would definitely do it again. Where should we go next!?

If you’re looking for tips on how to prepare for your first trip with your dog, read this blog post.

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