Your Dog-Friendly Guide to Santa Barbara

dog friendly hotels santa barbara

I recently got a puppy shortly after my graduation. Living alone without having anyone to give my endless love was starting to bother me. Plus, as far as the word goes- A dog is a man’s best friend, it’s very true.

So I got myself some time off from work and decided to travel to Santa Barbara. But I was in a real pinch. I have a four-legged friend who needs constant attention and care. I didn’t have anyone to leave him behind with, and I personally didn’t want to. So I decided to embark on the journey with my roomie and experience traveling in with a fur friend.

It was a bit hard at first to look for dog-friendly hotels in Santa Barbara. Still, after going there with my research work, I realized it was not as difficult with a little guidance from the Internet. So here I am laying it out for you guys.

Journey to Santa Barbara with your furry friend

Santa Barbara

Litter Check

I can’t stress this enough but PLAN your POOP. Imagine the awkward moment when everyone is staring you down for getting the strong smell of dog poop trapped into a closed vehicle. As planned, I had no such difficulty. I rented a car. My Boomie poops only once a day when I take him to the park, so it was effortless. I just waited till his late evening bowel push. I stopped the car, got him out, and voila- Fresh manure out in the open for mother nature to get fertilized.

Carry Meds

Bring pills and potions for your dog and yourself. Another thing you should consider is motion sickness. Most over-the-counter meds will do the job right but still run it through your vet and carry pouch for quick clean up.

Mode of Transportation

Mode of Transportation

As we all know, it’s a tad bit difficult to keep your pet dog with you when you’re in public transportation, but not impossible.


This one’s a no-brainer. Just make sure to keep the windows closed. If your dog sticks his/her head out the window, he’s opening himself to potential accidents and worse. Also, another thing to remember is never to leave your furry friend trapped in a car. It is illegal to do so, depending on where you are.


This will probably be the least favorite method of traveling for your four-legged friend. There are a few requirements you will need to meet to travel with a dog. First of all, the Certification of Health will need to be submitted 10 days prior, and you will need to carry up-to-date vaccination documents. Also, keep an emergency vet contact for the location you’re visiting.


Taking your canine friend by rail has its limitations. They only allow dogs with a weight restriction of up to 20 lbs.

Other things to consider are bringing recent photos, strong leash, and harness. If you can, get your dog a tracking microchip, it will help you find and locate in case you two get separated. It’s super handy to apply to your pet’s outdoor accessories in general.

Dog friendly hotels in Santa Barbara

Dog friendly hotels in Santa Barbara

Finding dog friendly hotels in Santa Barbara was surprisingly easy and effortless. I have compiled a list of all the lodging options I came over and considered. There are individual fees you should consider for some of these. So, you don’t have to worry about leaving your wallet broke. I also put in a few luxury hotels as well in case you wanted your furry friend to have a posh stay. So here are my top picks:

  1. Motel 6 Santa Barbara Beach
  2. Blue Sands Inn
  3. La Quinta Inn & Suites
  4. Fremont Campground
  5. Ocean Mesa at El Capitan Canyon
  6. VRBO Santa Barbara
  7. Ala Marby the Sea

Activities to do with your Doggo

Beach day out

Yes, the pun was intended with the title. If Santa Barabra is famous for anything, then it’s definitely all the beaches there. It’s one of the most liberating feels your dog will ever experience, running on the beach and playing with a little water. Plus, you get to have the same amount of fun and with your bestie.

Parks and Rec

Dogs are allowed in most parks with a leash. There are many things you can do with your dog, just be sure to keep your curious partner in your field of vision.  Santa Barbara Botanic Garden and Douglas Family Preserve are 2 of the parks I visited, and I recommend you do as well.

Wine and Dine

What’s a trip to Santa Barbara without visiting the favorite tourist wineries.  Deep-Sea Tasting Room, Carr Winery, Fox Wine Co, Potek Winery, and Municipal Winemakers are some of the best wineries to date. Plus, all the strong smell of fermentation all around is sure to pack a punch on your partner’s keen sense of smell.

Dog-Friendly Restaurants

Finding the dog-friendly restaurants to sit with your paw pal can be hard. I have gathered and mentioned all the positively reviewed places you can sit back and have a meal with your friend. I went to most of these, but all of them came up great in my research and local suggestions.

  1. Black Sheep
  2. State & Fig
  3. On the Alley
  4. The Black Sheep
  5. Scarlett Begonia
  6. Summerland Beach Cafe
  7. Renaud’s Patisserie & Bistro
  8. Louie’s Bistro
  9. Mesa Verde
  10. The Creekside Restaurant & Bar

I hope you found this travel guide to be useful and remember to follow the instructions and pre-book your lodgings in case you don’t find one on the spot. Keep an eye out, bring extra packs of toys and toiletries and anything that may match your specific needs. Bon Voyage!


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