Dog lovers traveling to the beautiful city of Morro Bay along the coast of Central California can bring their canine along for the trip. Not only are there several dog friendly places to stay, there are also 11 dog-friendly restaurants in this quaint seaside village, not to mention the many pet-friendly places and activities to discover.
The restaurants on the waterfront offer great bayside views and delicious meals for owners and their pups. Bliss came with me recently on a girlfriend's getaway to this picture-perfect destination.
Here are a couple of our favorite places to eat:
Waiting to eat at Bayside Cafe!
Dorn’s Breakers Cafe serves only the freshest seafood primarily from local waters with amazing views of the famous Morro Rock. A local favorite, Dorn's has quite a history that dates back to 1942. The night we ate there, it was too windy to sit outside on the dog-friendly patio so Bliss waited in the car and took a much needed nap after a busy day exploring while we dined and had a great time. The next morning, we went back to try out the dog friendly patio (and the delicious breakfast). Dorn's is also open for lunch and although we considered eating all three meals there, we decided to try another spot. What impressed us most was the wonderful, fresh cuisine and friendly service for both two legged and four legged guests.
Then there's the Bayside Café located in the back bay on the Marina. Bliss joined us on the patio for a delicious meal on a lovely sunny afternoon. The cafe was originally opened in 1986 by Cal Poly graduate Dawn Borst as a "walk up" serving her own personal recipes. It became so popular so quickly that Dawn had to expand. Try the California Chowder, burritos, fish tacos and albacore skewers. You may have to wait for your table but the view makes it go by quickly. Don't forget to order the Mud Pie for desert but don't give any to your dog!
While you're in Morro Bay, Bliss recommends you take your dog to one of the off leash dog beaches along the Central Coast of California. The one she enjoyed is just north of Morro Bay on the way to Cayucos. This two mile stretch of sandy shoreline is a great place for a playful afternoon or a full beach day with your BFFs.
In the majestic mountain and lake filled region in the north eastern corner of California lies Redding and Shasta Cascade, one of America’s most spectacular, pristine and DOG FRIENDLY regional destinations. Boasting 300+ days of beautiful weather a year, this area is rich in culture and heritage offering boundless outdoor recreation with magnificent landscapes and breathtaking vistas. From towering volcanoes, alpine ranges and glaciers to endless waterfalls, lush forests, pristine lakes and roaring rivers, this travel destination is one of a kind.
Known as the trail capital of California with over 200 miles of hiking, (many dog friendly), Redding is an outdoor adventurers dream. Not only are they known for endless trails, but with an abundance of nearby lakes, rivers and streams, everything from kayaking and paddle boarding to boating and fishing is available here. On top of the trials and the rivers, California’s Shasta Cascade contains seven national forests, eight national and state parks, and several mountain ranges including the Trinity Alps, the northern Sierra Nevada and the California Cascade range. Not to mention two massive glaciated volcanoes: the dormant 14,162 foot Mt. Shasta and the still-active 10,457 foot Lassen Peak.
Among the first cities covered by DogTrekker.com, this breath-taking region is brimming with dog-friendly hotels, resorts, restaurants, shops, tours, historic sites, dog parks, cabins and vacation rentals. There are plenty of areas for dogs and their owners to explore where rivers, mountains, wildlife and spectacular scenery collide. There are also dog-friendly events including the annual Ducky Derby, Art in the Park and the Bark, Wine and Brew celebration.
On a recent visit, Bliss had a blast! She went paddle boarding, kayaking, hiking and Whiskeytown National Recreation area where beautiful sapphire-blue waters are surrounded by mountain peaks. At the end of the day, Bliss fell right to sleep at TownPlace Suites, a dog friendly hotel that is convenient to Turtle Bay Exploration Park and Redding Civic Auditorium, within close proximity of Sundial Bridge, Whiskey Town and Lake Redding. We stopped for lunch at Buddha Bowl, a dog friendly low-key restaurant that is a locals favorite, featuring gluten-free (highly addictive) concoction of brown rice, red beans, chicken or tofu, avocado, shredded cabbage, jalapenos, cilantro and two sauces (a sesame and soy-based dressing and a spicy garlic chili aouli). YUM!
Being the guardian of a busy Australian Shepherd who loves to be the center of attention keeps me on my toes. Considering I like to take Bliss everywhere with me, and she's a therapy dog who visits children in the hospital, I had
to come up with a way for her to show off her talents in any
situation. Being a writer, I started to
string tricks together into little vignettes in the form of Fairy Tails. The
first was “Sleeping Doggie Beauty,” starring Bliss, of course. Now you and your dog can entertain and amaze humans wherever you go!
“Sleeping Doggie Beauty”
Sit up, Speak, Weave through legs, Hide (behind your back), Roll over, Play
dead (Go to sleep), Jump in the air.
Once upon a time, there was a Princess named ___________
Have dog give you its
She liked to sit pretty on her throne
Dog sits up on hind
She liked to speak to her constituents
Cue dog to speak
And she liked to walk through the forest
Dog weaves through
One day, she was walking through the forest and she saw a
scary witch so she hid
Dog hides behind your
But the witch saw her and placed a spell on her
Dog rolls over
So she fell asleep
Dog lies on side with
Until her handsome prince came and woke her up to dance all
Dog jumps in the air
·Hold treat above nose
·Guide dog by raising treat slightly above its
·When he sits, give verbal command, “Sit”
·Keep food close to the nose the entire time
·Praise and reward in position
·Say the command only once
Hand Signal: Hold hand palm up facing toward you at waist
Give Paw (Shake, High
Five and Wave)
·Kneel in front of your dog and pick up its paw
·Place dog’s pad on your open palm about dog’s
·Reward (Fine Dining) as long as dog’s paw is in
·If dog removes paw, remove treat
·If you run out of treats, release paw
·Cue verbal command, “Shake,” as long as dog
Tip: Reward only
while in position
Hand Signal: Hold hand palm forward at waist level.
Sit up (Beg, Pretty
·Start with dog sitting in front of you
·Lure into sit by holding treat over dog’s nose,
slightly out of reach
·Let dog stretch up for treat while sitting
·Help it raise front feet by gently lifting them
·Say command, “Sit Pretty”
·Reward dog in position.
position requires the dog to have a strong core to support its spine. While
training, position dog against a support such as a couch or wall to build up
Hand Signal: Hand above dog’s head, palm facing toward floor.
Speak (Start training
by capturing dog’s natural behavior)
·Have someone knock on the door
·When dog barks, cue verbal command, “Speak”
Finger on side of your face
Weave through legs
·Start with dog in heel position (on your left
·Place your feet a little more than shoulder
·With treats in both hands, lure dog with left
hand to turn into you
·With right hand, lure dog through your legs to
your right side
·Repeat from right to left, luring dog from left
·Reward dog each time
Hands at both sides of your legs.
Dog hides behind back
·Lure dog to hide behind you
·Reward while in position behind your back
·Cue verbal command, “Hide”
Hand behind your back.
Roll over (From
·Lure dog’s head to middle of his body until he
transfers weight to one hip.
·Lure into rolling onto his back and onto other
Tip: Luring is
helpful while dog has its paws in the air.
Hand in circular motion in front of dog.
Sleep/Play Dead (This
is one of the more difficult to train)
·Put dog in down position
·With treat in hand, get dog to transfer weight
to one hip until lying on its side
·Lure head to floor
·Keep treat close to dog’s nose to keep its head
·Fine Dine, then quickly slide treat away and
instantly back along floor
·Reward, while repeating verbal cue, “Sleep”
·Repeat and lengthen time away from dog’s nose
Circle wrist, then open palm
·Lure dog on hind legs with a treat
·Use command “Dance” when dog is up on hind legs
·Add seconds to time and lure in a circle
·Use treats or toys
Hand above head.
From Sitting Position
in front of your dog.
your dog sitting, place a treat in your fingers and lure his head down
between his front paws. Pull lure (toy or treat) forward until his elbows are
on the ground and he has settled into the down position. Applying gentle
pressure or stroking over his shoulders will encourage him to lower his
body and keep his hind end on the floor.
Hand Signal: Point finger towards floor.
in front of your dog.
your dog standing, lure him by lowering food or a toy straight down
between his front paws until he lowers his elbows to the ground and folds
back on his haunches. (This is faster than Down from a Sit.)
Hand Signal: Point finger towards floor.
Note: The most
important part of the Stay is the Release. “OK!” “Finish!” “Release!” are some
verbal release commands to choose from.
your dog on a 6-foot leash
for a sit
your dog, say the command, “Stay,” once.
verbal command with hand signal: Open palm facing dog.
back one step, count two seconds (silently), return to your original
position and reward. If your dog does not break, try stepping back two
steps, then three, etc., until you can go to the end of your leash without
him breaking the sit.
to quickly return and reward after each sequence of steps.
job is to smile and repeat in a calm, low, encouraging voice, “Good Stay.”
breaks, move in quickly, put him back in the position and request the
“Stay” again. Smile.
becomes confident in the behavior, add more time and distance.
Tip: It is essential
not to rush the process. Do not add distance or time until you know your dog
will not break.
palm facing dog. If dog is in heel position, fingers are facing toward floor;
if facing your dog, fingers face up as in the “Stop” signal.