Welcome to the your online magazine dedicated to DOG FRIENDLY CARMEL. Thanks to celebrities such as Doris Day and Betty White, pets get the limelight in Carmel.Devoted pet owners - who travel with their cats and dogs - seek first top-notch amenities and dedication to details in care for their best friends. This guide aims to help you with this. Your four-legged friends will enjoy Carmel as the perfect getaway; it is one the most pet friendly towns in the United States. Carmel-by-the-Sea offers you and your hound(s) miles of hiking trails, beach walks and lovely dog friendly hotels, and restaurants.

Overview of the Area

Carmel-by-the-Sea (also called Carmel) is a small beach city on California's Monterey Peninsula. A lovely place to visit which delights travelers with a wealth of art galleries, restaurants and one-of-a-kind shops. It's known for the museums and  historic Carmel Mission, fairytale cottages and wonderful beach. (see PDF).  Monterey County offers iconic California experiences: South lie the sea animals of Point Lobos State Natural Reserve and a short drive away is Big Sur. North:  Pebble Beach, Pacific Grove and rest your pet's paws in Monterey at the famed Cannery Row with a nice big bowl of cold water. And  going East: wonderful nature walks.

SEE: MAPS on the Carmel Chamber of Commerce site.


There are TWO main beaches in Carmel: "Carmel City Beach" where dogs are allowed unleashed and "Carmel River State Beach" where dogs must be on a leash. 

Carmel City Beach - known locally as Carmel Beach is boredered by cypress trees and week days you will find huge amounts of space for your dog to run free.  Weekends (especially in the summer) the beach does get crowded with humans and this may require attention if your hound(s) tend to think that anyone eating a picnic is simply passing time till they arrive to finish off the meal.

The best access to Carmel Beach by car is from Highway 1 to Ocean Avenue and drive to the very end of the street to find a large parking:

"It is unlawful for a person having charge or control over any female dog to permit any such dog to run at large while in heat or season and every such female dog found so running at large will be immediately seized and impounded ." (...)  "It is unlawful for the owner or the person having charge of any dog, having knowledge that the dog has menaced, attacked or bitten any person or domestic animal, to permit the dog to run at large anywhere within the City, other than enclosed within private property from which it cannot escape, unless the dog is wearing a muzzle. Further, such dogs will not be tethered on any sidewalk or public property unless similarly muzzled" (CMC 6.08.050).

"It is unlawful to permit a dog to run at large on any City owned beach lands or park lands unless the owner or person having charge is also present and in control of the dog at such time as it is running loose". (CMC 6.08.030).

The walk between beaches:

By car Carmel River State Beach is best reached off Highway 1 on Ribera Road (Map).  Note DOGS MUST HELD ON A LEASH at all times on this beach south of Carmel.


Mission Trail Park - Dogs must be ON a leach as you wonder the 37-acre preserve . See this post (on our site) about Carmel Mission Trail Park Safety Tips

Carmel Scenic Road - Dogs must ON a leach

"On Scenic Road, from its eastern property edge to the base of the beach embankment, between Eighth Avenue and the south City limits, all dogs will be considered running at large unless on a leash which is held by a person or made fast to a stationary object" (CMC 6.08.031).Do enjoy a wonderful postcard view stroll. Here is a map of the walk which takes about 35 minutes each way.  And images from the walk:

NOTE: One NON-DOG friendly park in the center of town (strange as this may sound)

Did you know that there is ONE PARK in Carmel which DOES NOT allow dogs?It is Devendorf Park (on Ocean Ave. between Junipero and Mission Streets).

Local code states:
"It is unlawful for any dog, unless a guide dog for the blind, to enter Devendorf Park, whether on a leash or not".

Again: Make sure to see the maps on the Carmel Chamber of Commerce site.


Dogs in the Business District:
It is unlawful to allow a dog to "Run at Large" within the business district of the City. Dogs that are not on a leash, which is held by a person, or made fast to some stationary object, will be considered running at large. Also, with the exception of guide dogs engaged in guiding a blind person, it is also unlawful to permit dogs to enter any grocery store or restaurant in the City (CMC 6.08.010).

Dogs in Residential Districts:

It is unlawful to allow a dog to "Run at Large" on any public street or park within the residential district of the City. In these areas however, a dog may be off a leash, but only if under "voice command." A dog will be deemed "under voice command" only if: 1) the person having charge over the dog has a leash in their possession so he or she can quickly put the dog on a leash; 2) the dog is not more than 25 feet from the person at any time; 3) the dog will return to within three feet of the person upon command; and 4) the dog will remain within three feet of the person when other people or animals are present. If any of these four criteria are not met, the dog will be considered not under voice command and running at large (CMC 6.08.015). See more local rules here.