Dog Days in Benicia

After enduring one hell of a year and a half at home, it’s safe to say that our appreciation of dogs has grown. It’s no wonder adoption rates soared during the dark days of lockdown. Dogs offer companionship, joy, and purpose. Need to catch a break from the family? Walk the dog. Need someone to hang out with who doesn’t talk or question your life choices? Ah, you guessed it: hang out with your dog.

While your newfound appreciation for your dog hasn’t dwindled, COVID numbers have. Finally, we are able to gather safely and resume our once beloved activities. But where does that leave you and your pup? Lucky for you and your steadfast companion, Benicia is the place to be for dogs and their owners. We have dog friendly trails and beaches, outdoor dining that welcomes furry friends, a dog park, pet shops, and a city culture that seems to scream, “We love dogs!”

As many can attest, a walk downtown with a dog is not always a simple “dog walk.” Rather, it can be a “dog adventure.” With convenient poop bag stations and water dishes speckling our main street, you are set for a long day with your dog no matter how ill equipped you may be. After a lengthy walk and some water breaks, your dog can cool off at the very end of First Street at the dog beach. Just beyond the chained barrier, you will find a dog’s paradise: swimming, other dogs to run with, and endless games of fetch. If this energy-crazed outing induces some hunger pangs for your pup and you’re out of fuel, a quick walk to Pups N Purrz, on the corner of Kuhland Alley and First, offers a tantalizing variety of dog treats and food. But what about you? At this point, you’re probably ready for a meal, or at the very least, some appetizers and a drink. But the dog! You’ll have to drop it off at home. Nope! Never in Benicia.

With an array of al fresco dining options, your dog is welcome at numerous Benicia restaurants. If you’re feeling like some seafood, hop on over to Sailor Jack’s for a killer plate of fish ‘n’ chips without ever leaving your dog’s side. If bar snacks and great drinks are more your speed, come to Cullen’s Tannery Pub & Saloon for a cocktail and snacks. Or better yet, bring a hotdog from Char’s (just next door) over to Cullen’s while you enjoy your Manhattan. The possibilities don’t end there: there’s Union Hotel, Got Plate Lunch, Venticello’s, Lucca Bar & Grill, Rookies Sports Bar & Grill, The Rellik Tavern, and so much more! The best part is that you can now meet your human friends during your outing, and not just those in your “COVID Bubble.”

Benicia’s dog friendly culture doesn’t stop downtown. Benicia State Park, stretching all the way from the end of Military West to Vallejo, offers tons of dog friendly paths. Enjoy some water views with your dog and friends and stop for a picnic at one of the many benches overlooking the Carquinez Straits. If you’re in the mood for a more arduous dog walk, the hills do not disappoint. Trekking towards the Vallejo entrance, the dog friendly paths at the state park provide incline and distance. Other dog friendly and nature filled paths can be found near Lake Herman by the Community Park, where you and your pup can walk along the reservoir and take a sharp incline into the Southampton hills. If a walk or hike around Lake Herman wasn’t enough to tucker your dog, pull over to Benicia’s dog park around the corner for some socialization and play. And of course, if your dog needs some post-outing treats, stop at Benicia’s Pet Food Express in the Raley’s Southampton shopping center for a healthy variety of pup-friendly treats.

Dog and ice cream
Dog on beach with ball
Dog at Benicia state park

Our dogs have always been treasured creatures in our lives, but the pandemic has illuminated the power of their companionship and our love for them. With the doors of businesses opening wider and social circles growing, our loyal furry friends can stay where they belong: next to their owners in our dog friendly Benicia.