A Dog’s Perfect Weekend in San Francisco

Written by: Dr. Katy Nelson

April 21, 2016

I think a dog would disagree that rice-a-roni is the San Francisco treat! They would tell you it’s the incredible parks, dog-friendly destinations and scenic views. This city is a desirable destination for out-of-towners and their dogs. Here is my guide on how to have the best dog-friendly weekend in San Francisco.

Let’s Start with where to stay:
Without question, Hotel Nikko is the most dog-friendly hotel we have ever encountered. Complete with a dog run and plenty of outdoor seating, this hotel offers a very special welcome package with comforts like stylish doggie beds, food and water bowls, pet placemats and toys to enjoy during your stay.

Your pooch might even be served a special breakfast in bed!

And be sure to ask for Buster, Hotel Nikko’s COO (Canine Operating Officer), who loves to play and give you a tour around the hotel! You can even follow his adventures on Instagram @nikkopupsf! Hotel Nikko is definitely a dream destination for any pooch to visit.

Now that you’ve found your hotel, let’s talk about where you need to explore:

The Ferry Plaza Farmer’s Market:
This market is renowned throughout the country as one of the top farmers markets to visit. Open on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday, some of San Francisco’s best known chefs, and most famous farmers, can be seen at the market.
Note: Due to the restaurants and food facilitations, dogs are not allowed INSIDE of the Ferry Building or in the back area. Most of the Farmer’s Market itself takes place along the front of the building on the sidewalk where you are welcome to walk with your pets. Grab an iced coffee and even shop for some beautiful trinkets made by local artists.

Fisherman’s Wharf:
Fisherman’s Wharf is not only entertaining for you, but also for your dog. Besides grabbing a bread bowl of clam chowder and getting a caricature portrait painted, head directly to Pier 39 to see the sea lions. Here you can enjoy daily presentations, fun artifacts, and one-on-one interactions with naturalists. Never in my life have I seen my dog more enthused (and confused) than watching the sea lions “bark” and swim around. We stood there for over an hour laughing, and tourists even began to crowd around to watch her reaction as well. I thought my dog’s little head was going to spin right off! We never wanted to leave.

The Presidio:
The Presidio of San Francisco is a park and former military base on the northern tip of the San Francisco Peninsula and is part of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area. There are many trails, beaches, and open spaces where dogs and their owners are welcome to visit both on and off leash. From the Palace of the Fine Arts to the Golden Gate Bridge, you can certainly spend hours at this beautiful destination by itself.

Lands End:
This park offers hiking trails, caves to explore and scenic views from the furthest west point on the peninsula. The best part? All dogs are welcome! If the wind happens to be too strong, certain parts of the hike may be closed due to the height of the waves, so you will definitely want to visit the Lands End Trail on a clear day when it isn’t too windy.

Time to Play!
What dog doesn’t want to go off-leash? Especially in a new city where every inch of land is a new opportunity to sniff! These two destinations are our top choices for off-the-leash fun in San Fran.

Chrissy Field & East Beach:
Not only is this massive field designated for dogs to be off leash, but it is also connected to a wonderful beach where you are sure to see dozens of other dogs with giant smiles on their faces. It also offers one of the best views of The Golden Gate Bridge in the entire city, so get your cameras ready. This park is every dog’s dream.

Lafayette Park:
Last but not least, we arrive at Lafayette Park – a hill-top park set amid the Pacific Height’s graceful homes. This terraced park offers commanding views of the entire city and the San Francisco Bay and Golden Gate Bridge. The 7,000 square feet of synthetic turf was opened in 2014 and is a very popular spot (especially on weekends).

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Written by: Dr. Katy Nelson

April 21, 2016

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