Pet-friendly
Ventura County rolls out red carpet for pets
Let’s face it, our pets are part of the family. And when families 1 go on vacation, that means their four-legged friends are coming along for the fun. VenturaCountyWest has a growing list of hotels, restaurants and attractions that make dogs feel right at home.

More than 20 hotels, inns and RV parks in VenturaCountyWest welcome pets. One is the Ventura Beach Marriott. “The Ventura Beach Marriott has been a pet friendly property for the past eight years,” says Alissa Van Keuren, the hotels director of sales and events.

“More and more guests are choosing to travel with their furry friends,” says Van Keuren. “Our front desk offers a list and a map of local dog-approved parks and walking trails. The chef at our Pacifico Restaurant created a special menu for pets so everyone can enjoy their lunch or dinner. Guests with pets dine in our Visions Gallery, a beautiful sunlight space adjacent to the restaurant and lobby, or they can dine outdoors in our Tropical Courtyard by waterfalls and a koi pond.”

Others VenturaCountyWest pet-friendly lodging include Baymont Inn & Suites, Hilton Garden Inn and Residence Inn by Marriott Camarillo in Camarillo, Grandstay Residential Suites, Residence Inn by Marriott at River Ridge and Vagabond Inn Oxnard in Oxnard and Crowne Plaza Ventura Beach, Marriott Ventura Beach and Wyndham Garden Ventura Pierpont Inn. Pets are welcome at Evergreen RV Park in Oxnard and Ventura Beach R.V. Resort in Ventura.

When your group gets hungry, there is no need to leave your pet behind. Take your dog to one of the over 40 restaurants in VenturaCountyWest that are dog friendly. Stop by The Way Point Cafe (your pooch will enjoy the views of the airplanes landing and taking off from the adjacent Camarillo Airport), Beach House Fish on the Ventura Pier in Ventura (the pier is perfect for a dog walk) and The Waterside Restaurant and Wine Bar in Channel Islands Harbor.

“Our restaurant has been pet-friendly since we opened in September 2013,” says Steve Buenger, co-owner of The Waterside Restaurant and Wine Bar. “Guests can take advantage of the pet-friendly dining patio on a nice afternoon or evening.”

Roxie, a yellow Labrador, is a big part of The Waterside. “She’s our hostess on most weekends and has a station right outside the front door, complete with a nice padded bed and water bowl,” says Buenger. “We recently celebrated her ninth birthday with a party. Guests came with presents--and their dogs.”

The Waterside, like most restaurants, has rules patrons must follow when bringing their dog to the restaurant. Dogs cannot be on the table or on their owner’s lap. They cannot eat off a plate or drink from a glass and servers are not allowed to touch the animals while working. Dogs must be kept on a leash and within reach of their owner.

Dogs (and kids, for that matter) want to be outside while on vacation. Take your canine and family on an excursion along the beachfront walking path stretching from Ventura to Oxnard or to Grant Park, high above the Ventura-Oxnard coastline. Dogs are welcome on beaches and in parks including Surfer’s Point, Marina Park, Harbor Cove and Promenade Park. Dogs have to be leashed and owners must clean up after their dogs.

If your dog has sea legs, head to Hopper Boat Rentals at Fisherman’s Wharf in Oxnard and rent a motor skiff. You and your dog can cruise the Channel Islands Harbor. Want to shop with your dog? No problem. The Camarillo Premium Outlets with its 160 specialty and discount stores is dog friendly. Dogs are allowed in the common areas of the mall. Dogs must be well behaved, leashed, and under their owner's control at all times.

“Retailers such as Splendid | Ella Moss leave water bowls outside so Fido can stay hydrated and cool while walking the center,” says John Best, General Manager of Camarillo Premium Outlets. “Each individual store has its own policies as to whether pets can come inside. Many allow pets as long as they are held by their owners.”

For nice harbor views while you shop, take your dog to Ventura Harbor Village. There is lots to see for both owner and dog plus many of the restaurants and shops at the harbor accommodate pets. Come in summer when there are free outdoor concerts. Dogs are always welcome.

For a list of pet-friendly hotels, restaurants, parks and beaches in VenturaCountyWest, go to www.venturacountywest.com/pet-friendly.
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