Chances are, if you have walked on any Benicia outdoor trails or downtown, you have come across more than your fair share of happy dogs and their owners. The draw of Benicia as a dog town is not without reason – beyond the sheer number of loyal dog owners walking their furry friends, the town’s love for pups can be seen in these five dog-friendly factors:
Outdoor Dining Accommodations
When walking your dog on First Street, if you feel the need for a cup of coffee and a snack or dinner and drinks, your pup will not act as a hindrance to your cravings. It is safe to say that most downtown restaurants have outdoor dining (especially now!) that will accommodate dog owners. From Got Plate Lunch to Sailor Jack’s, dining dog owners have their pick when walking on our mainstreet. However, options are not limited to just First Street: The Workshop and The Cellar offer meals and drinks with their outdoor seating, as well.
Both in Southampton and downtown, residents and visitors can buy supplies for their pets. Pet Food Express offers an abundance of petcare items, specialty dog food and treats, and toys for all domestic animals. If you are walking down First Street with your pet, you can walk into Pups n Purrz for a dog friendly visit. This store not only offers organic treats to give your dog en route to the car, but several staple items. Pups n Purrz has natural cat and dog food, accessories, toys, and holistic pet care products. Slightly off the main drag, you’ll find Featherer Pet. Featherer offers pet food and supplies as well as superb salon services. They even have a mobile grooming van that will come to you!
While strolling through downtown, you might spot a sopping wet dog. This is likely due to the dog friendly beach at the very bottom of First Street. Dog owners can let their dogs off leash to plunge into the bay water for fetch or a swim.
Dog Friendly Trails and Parks
Nearly every hiking trail in Benicia is dog friendly. On the West side of town, the State Park welcomes dogs on main trails. While they are not allowed on trails close to environmentally sensitive areas near the water, they are welcome on main trails in the hills and near the entrances. If you are looking to walk or hike in Southampton, there are several options ranging from Benicia Community Park, Lake Herman Recreation Area, and certain trails in Jack London Park. Dogs are fully allowed off leash to socialize with other pups at the Benicia Dog Park located inside of Benicia Community Park.
Prior to shelter in place orders brought on by COVID-19, many who visited the Raley’s Southampton Shopping Center on the weekend can recall the adoption events put on by Solano County Friends of Animals, NORSLED (Northern California Sled Dog Rescue) and others. Many Benicians and residents have adopted pets in need from this very location. While these events have been changed due to the pandemic, both organizations are still in operation.
Of course, the reasons for Benicia’s dog friendliness extend far beyond this list. Next time you’re downtown, look for our town’s love of dogs in the storefront water bowls, dog friendly shops, and caring dog owners.