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The Dog Days of SLO

Posted April 25, 2017

Is it really a vacation if you can’t bring your four-legged friend along? We don’t think so either!

Start planning your trip to San Luis Obispo and be sure to bring your pup along for the fun! Now, what should you do during your stay? We interviewed a local black lab named Buck Wallace Pollock to find out his top 10 favorite dog friendly activities in San Luis Obispo.

Top Dog-Friendly Activities in San Luis Obispo

1) Cruise to the Beach

Just 10 minutes away from San Luis Obispo, Avila Beach allows dogs on leashes before 10:00 a.m. and after 5:00 p.m. daily. If your furry friend wants to explore the water on their own, Avila also has some leash-free options at Olde Port Beach, or “The Dog Beach” as locals call it. It is one of the warmest beaches along the Central Coast since it is tucked in a cove and surrounded by mountains.

This mile-long beach looks out to San Luis Obispo Bay and Port San Luis Harbor, home to docked sailboats, paddling kayakers and standup paddle boarders. While you’re launching the ball into the ocean, you’ll have a picturesque backdrop. North Point Beach is a leashed dog beach if you head north towards Morro Bay.

2) Find a New Hiking Trail

San Luis Obispo is full of great views and hiking trails that you and your dog are sure to love. With an abundant number of trails all throughout San Luis Obispo, picking which one you want to go on might be the hardest decision of your trip.

3) Make Some New Friends at the Dog Park

Laguna Lake Dog Park has plenty of space for fido to roam and play! The park also offers ample seating for dog owners to watch from the sidelines. As a bonus, it’s a large enough space for a substantial game of fetch with the Chuck-It. Head to the park any weekday evening around 5:00 p.m. and you’re guaranteed to have plenty of company. Adjacent to the Laguna Lake open space, this park provides access to several dog-friendly hiking trails (leash required). Not only can your dog get his or her exercise on, but you can, too!

4) Lounge in the Grass While the Humans Wine Taste

The Central Coast is known for its exceptional coastal blends and Pinot Noirs. While your pup might not care, they sure will love hanging out on the lawn while you enjoy San Luis Obispo wine country. There is a multitude of unique wineries in the area, making wine tasting in San Luis Obispo fun for everyone. Some even offer special treats for your four-legged friends!

5) Check out the Local Breweries

Why stop at wine tasting when San Luis Obispo is chalked full of breweries as well? If you are interested in exploring the San Luis Obispo’s booming craft beer scene, look no further. The laid-back vibe at breweries makes for the perfect afternoon hang out spot for you and your dog!


6) Go Wildflower Hunting at Carrizo Plains

Did someone say SUPER BLOOM!? Buck heard about the wildflowers and couldn’t wait to get out and explore them. Carrizo Plain National Monument is a large enclosed grassland plain in south east of San Luis Obispo. During the spring months, especially after a wet winter season, the plains come alive with wildflowers, a must see if you are visiting SLO during the months of March or April.

Check out the top wildflower spots around San Luis Obispo today!


7) Explore Montaña de Oro

A quick drive out Osos Valley Road to the coast will lead you to Montaña de Oro State Park, or “MDO” as locals call it. This state park is anything but your typical beach. You’ll experience rolling dunes and untouched coastline for as far as the eye can see. Montaña de Oro is a sure haven for you and your dog during your stay in San Luis Obispo!

8) Take a Morning Walk to SLO Donut Company

There’s nothing better than a Sunday morning stroll that involves coffee and donuts. We recommend you put on your sneakers, grab a leash and head on over to SLO Donut Company, locally known as “SLO Do Co.” This one-of-a-kind donut shop serves up unique sweets and even offers treats for your pup, too!

9) Jam out at the Summer Concerts in the Plaza

If your dog loves to listen to good music, Downtown San Luis Obispo is the place to be on a Friday night in the summer. The Summer Concerts in the Plaza series takes place every Friday from June through September with music playing in Mission Plaza from 5:00 – 8:00 p.m.

10) Enjoy the Sunset on Top of Prefumo Canyon

The mountains that separate San Luis Obispo and Avila Beach give you views of the whole valley and are easily accessed by car. This 3.6-mile loop, located off Los Osos Valley Road, will surely not disappoint you or your furry friend.  Catching a sunset up here will be the picture-perfect ending to your dog-friendly vacation to San Luis Obispo!



  • Leashes are required in San Luis Obispo at all times, unless specified by a sign or other posting.
  • Be sure to bring along an extra water bottle and portable dog bowl if you plan on adventuring around San Luis Obispo with your pup!