Are you looking to plan a trip with your dog to the central coast? If you said yes you are in the right place!
I LOVE the central coast of California. I grew up going to visit my great aunt and uncle in Morro Bay. I have so many fond memories going to the beach with my great Uncle and looking for sand dollars. Now any time I see a sand dollar I can’t help but think of him. I also remember going to the Shell Shop on the Embarcadero with my great aunt. Don’t go there with your dog though it’s not dog friendly. My mom said I got the loving Morro Bay gene from them. Although my dear great aunt and uncle passed away many years ago my love for the central coast, especially Morro Bay, lives on. One of the main reasons I love it still now is it is so dog friendly! That is huge part of what makes it the perfect place for vacations and it’s also where I do some of my pretty special dog photography sessions with my other business Anja Lou Photography.
Here’s some of my favorite places to bring your pack! I will be adding more to this as time goes on so check back before your next visit.
WHERE TO STAY.
I have stayed at all these places with my dogs. Always check when making a reservation to make sure the policies haven’t changed and they are still dog friendly and in some cases still have breakfast.
456 Embarcadero - Morro Bay - This is a great hotel. It’s across the street from the waterfront and our room had a great view. Plus we had free breakfast while we were there! It can get noisy in the mornings with deliveries trucks on the Embarcadero.
Cayucos Beach Inn - Cayucos - This is a great hotel. It’s a short walk to the beach no matter which way you walk to it. It is also close to the down town area. The rooms are very nice, the beds are comfy, and they have continental breakfast. It’s also across the street from the Sea Shanty (more on that later) and a small park.
Inn At Morro Bay - Morro Bay - This beautiful historic hotel is a delight and by far my most favorite place to stay. We sprang for the full bay view room and let me tell you it did not disappoint! The room was clean, the grounds were immaculate, and there is a restaurant in the lobby that is dog friendly on the patio. The food and service were excellent! The hotel is located in the state park across from the golf course and next to the heron reserve. Walks in this area are beautiful and sometimes with the marine layer and the sun shinning through you really get treated to some stunning views of the golf course and the back bay.
WHAT TO DO.
A Kayak Shack - Morro Bay - While there are lots of places that rent kayaks this is the only one in Morro Bay that rents to people with their dogs. Located in the state park, this was the perfect set up when I took Bella. The rates were very reasonable and included a life jacket for the human, you need to bring one for your dog. The employees that helped me that day were great. Especially Maddie! It was such a great time.
Walk the Elfin Forrest - Los Osos - This is a pretty easy walk with views of the beautiful estuary. BUT Be careful there is poison oak present in parts of it.
Hike the Black Hill Trail - Morro Bay - This is a fun hike that is easy to moderate in my opinion. I took Dorothy on it when she was 15 and she did fine. It has amazing views from the top. I have always seen lot’s of people on the trail as well so I have always felt safe. There's a parking lot at the top of hill coming from there golf course.
Coleman Park and Beach - Morro Bay - Dogs must be on leash. This is the area right around Morro Rock. Theres a couple miles of beach that are dog friendly going towards cayucos. There is also a bike path and a harbor walking path that runs from the back of Morro Rock to the other side of the embarcadero. There is also a public bathroom here if you need one.
Lost Isle Adventure Tiki Boat Ride - Morro Bay - I have not brought my dogs on this but I saw dogs on it when I was on it and i asked and they said they are dog friendly! This is such a fun time being out on the water. The captain is so knowledgeable and shared facts about the area, the bay, and the wildlife. They also off a 21 + sunset cruise where you can buy drinks. Next time I have the girls with me we will go on this! Dogs have to be well behaved and used to being around people.
Bay Cruisers - Morro Bay - If you have the time and the weather is good I definitely recommend taking out an electric boat and touring the bay. This was so fun! We went last minute and they only had a boat with no sides available which meant it was COLD but I loved it. Bella loved it too. When we rented the boat we got instructions to follow, the boat was super easy to drive - no boating license needed, and it made for a very fun hour.
Spooner’s Cove at Montana De Oro State Park - Los Osos - There are no dog friendly hiking trails in Montana De Oro State Park. Spooner’s Cove is the only place that is dog friendly and the drive there is beautiful. Dogs must be on leash. It’s a neat area to explore. Plus I have heard the trails in this state park are known to be crawling with ticks at times so it’s good we can’t bring our furry friends.
Cayucos Beach - Cayucos - The beach is pretty much all dog friendly and beautiful!
Torro Creek Dog Beach - Off leash dog beach
Moonstone Beach Boardwalk - Cambria - The beach because it is part fo the Monterey Marine Sanctuary is not dog friendly but the board walk is. The view of the beach is really beautiful here so definitely check it out.
San Luis Obispo Botanical Garden - San Luis Obispo - The botanical gardens are beautiful! We had a wonderful visit there. Dogs have to be on leash and you must pick up after your pup.
Wine Tasting - If you love wine tasting there are many dog friendly wineries in the area to check out.
Cambria - There are two parts to Cambria so make sure to check them both out. Theres tons of cute shops to check out with local artisans and makers.
San Luis Obispo - The down town area is a great area with so many great shops featuring local handmade makers and artisans. The mission is in SLO and is beautiful to see.
Arroyo Grande - The village area of Arroyo Grande is super cute and filled with lots of great shops.
WHERE TO EAT!
Top Dog Coffee Bar - Morro Bay - This place is great for breakfast and lunch, definitely one of my top favorites. They have a nice variety of yummy eats and specialty drinks. They have dog friendly dining in front of the shop and in the magical back patio. Top Dog also sponsors a service dog, Harley, with New Life K9’s. New Life K9’s trains service dogs through a prison inmate training program at the mens colony in SLO and other prisons and provides service dogs to veterans and first responders. You can also order their coffee from home from Rescue Me Coffee. They also sell lots of cute gifts and accessories from Bella B’s BARK-ery!!!
Taco Temple - Morro Bay and SLO - This place has amazing food and equally amazing customer service and the patio is dog friendly! You can also call in your order for pick up and take it back to the beach or favorite picnic place. I love the cheese enchiladas, the sauce is so delicious, and if you like carrot cake theirs is SOOOOOOO GOOOOOOD! It’s a very busy place so be prepared to possibly wait a bit before getting a table or take out but IT IS WORTH IT.
Splash Cafe - SLO and Pismo Beach - AMAZING CLAM CHOWDER!!!!!!!!!!! If you love clam chowder this is the place to go. Theres also one in Pismo butt he one in SLO doesn't have a line down the street like Pismo does.
Beachin Biscuits - Pismo - This place is great!!! I have only had the biscuits and gravy when I have been there because it's that good! And I have been there many times but everything else looks good too. There is a small patio outside that is dog friendly or you can take it to go and eat by the beach like we do.
Schooners Wharf - Cayucos- They have delicious food and a dog friendly patio. It’s also a short walk to the Cayucos Beach Inn.
Robins Restaurant - Cambria - They have a few dog friendly tables on a beautiful garden patio. Food is delicious and they use a lot of local produce.
Three Stacks and A Rock Brewing Company - Morro Bay - If you like craft brews this is the place for you! They have many craft beers as well as ciders and wines. They also have a limited selection of food that go well with the drinks. Nice outdoor patio so you can bring your pup.
House of JuJu - Morro Bay - Right on the embarcadero. Nice dog friendly Patio. Delicious burgers and salads.
Sea Shanty - Cayucos - Sea shanty has great food and PIES that you can eat on their dog friendly, heated, patio.
Noi and Doi’s Second Street Cafe - Los Osos - This place is known for their delicious Thai food and let me tell you it did not disappoint when we went. They have a few options for out door seating with your pup too.
The Dough Connection - Morro Bay - If you love cookie dough and sweet treats this place has it all! So may delicious options to choose from with cookie doughs that are safe to eat of course, brownies, ice cream and more. The have outside seating that over looks the bay that is dog friendly.
Brown Butter Cookie Company - Cayucos / PasoRobles / SLO - These shortbread cookies are delicious! They come in a variety of flavors like the original brown butter kind with is one of my favorites along with the espresso kind. They also have other flavors like coco, almond and cinnamon and some seasonal and gluten free varieties. This place is popular, especially the Cayucos location but the line moves fast and I think you will agree they are worth it.
Where to Shop.
Maddie Mae’s Pet Pantry - Cambria and Templeton - Did you forget anything you needed for your trip? Poop bags, treats, toys, food? Well all that and more can be found in Cambria at Maddie Mae’s pet pantry!
Tails Pet Boutique - San Luis Obispo - This is in the historic area of SLO close to the mission so it’s a great place to walk around and get some sights in.
Lemos Feed and Supply - Do you have a dirty dog after all your beach and hiking adventures? Lemo's on main street by the freeway has a self wash station to wash your dirty dog.
The Ugly Mug Ceramics - Morro Bay - This place has beautiful handmade pottery and they even make bowls for dogs and pet parent themed mugs. The shop is owned by ceramists Shell and Aimee. They are so sweet and always have a treat for Bella when we stop by. It's definitely one of Bella's favorite places to go because of that.
The Garden Gallery - Morro Bay - This store is beautiful and has plenty of plants but also many lovely gifts for all occasions. They are dog friendly!
House of Jerky - Morro Bay - They have delicious jerky and meat sticks for humans but they also have some for the pups.
Gaia’s Garden - Morro Bay - This shop is stunning. There’s a large selections of plants, crystals, incense, and other spiritual themed goods. If your dog is well behaved it’s dog friendly.
Seven Sisters - Morro Bay - This shop features beautiful art, gifts and jewelry. If you love any of those things you will be sire to find something special for yourself or a loved one.
Feel free to share your favorite central coast places with me! I would love to check them out.