Great weather, fun things to do, good food, and what we loved most was how pet-friendly the city was! Read more below to hear about our experience with flying Maya across country for the FIRST time and all the fun things we did!
Our trip to San Francisco was Maya’s first plane ride. Leading up to this moment, we were nervous wrecks that she was not going to do well in the plane. We opted to not get her as an Emotional Support Dog due to various reasons, so she traveled in a pet carrier with us. The first hour, Maya kept crying so we did various things to get her to feel less anxious: giving her treats, playing with her & petting her with one hand through the crate, putting our foot into the carrier so that she felt more comfortable that we were there with her. Nothing seemed to work, but as soon as the plane was steady in the air, she passed out and that gave us a sigh of relief! The flight back home was much better. She did not cry at all and was use to being on the flight, so we had no troubles at all. I think it just the unfamiliar sounds and movements the plane made that scared her in the beginning, but we are confident she will be fine going forward now that she has experienced this before.
We traveled on board Virgin America and all the flight attendants were extremely pleasant to deal with. They often checked in with us to make sure Maya was doing all right during the flight. Overall, lots of leg room and they provided us with an empty row, which made things a lot easier. Our pet carrier was AMAZING. It is from Amazon and expands so that your pet can spread out a little bit more when you place the carrier down.
We stayed at the Clift Hotel in downtown San Francisco for half of our trip. There are a TON hotels in San Francisco, but the reason we opted to go with the Clift is because of their location, great ratings, and just because they are very pet friendly. From the moment we stepped foot into the hotel, the receptionists were all over Maya and giving her love and attention (exactly what she always wants). It was about a 25 minute ride straight from the San Francisco International Airport, walking distance from many great (pet-friendly) restaurants, and a nice little park two blocks away (great plus if your dog is not use to going #1 or #2 on the sidewalk). It is by far one of the most unique hotels we’ve ever visited: From their lavender colored bedrooms, beautiful spiral staircase, to the historic Redwood Room, and variety of unique chairs, everything was astonishingly detailed and appeasing to the eye.
Pet Friendly Things We Did!
- Pier 39 – This is a strip of shops and restaurants right by the bay. Great spot to buy souvenirs to take home and grab dessert! If you love seafood, we highly recommend the Pier Market. They have plenty of (heated) outdoor seating and the food is amazing. If you go in the daytime, you can catch the sea lions! Because we went at night, they were hard to find unfortunately, so we missed out!
- Fisherman’s Wharf – Just a few blocks walking from the Pier 39 area, this is a big tourist attraction area. Plenty of restaurants with outdoor seating and shops! You can also find the famous Ghiradelli Square (for you chocolate lovers).
- Painted Ladies – For those of you who have watched Full House, you’ll understand why this area is a must to go to! The row of beautiful Victorian Houses sit on this hill and makes for a great photo op with your loved ones (and pets)! We had the chance to spend the day here with our IG friends, @lana_the_mini, @kamatis.the.dachshund, & @hollytheminidoxie!
- Bike Rides across the City – This is probably our most favorite activity thing we did throughout our time in San Francisco!! We rented a tandem bike at Blazing Saddles and rode from Fisherman’s Wharf area all the way through the Golden Gate Bridge. They even had a cute basket that attached to the back of our bike so that Maya can ride along! If you are riding a single bike, you would be able to put the basket in the front! The best part of this was how simple the bike ride path was and all the beautiful scenery we were able to see as we were riding through. On the other side of the bridge is the beautiful city of Sausalito. It’s a cute little town and we wish we had more time to spend here, but had to catch the Ferry back. At this point of riding for about close to an hour, we were way too tired to ride back. (Recommendations: Rent a bike earlier in the day if you can. We rented at around 4:30PM so by the time we got to the Ferry, it was pretty dark already. Beware there are a few big hills on the bike ride up to the Golden Gate Bridge, but you can DO IT. I’m not one bit athletic, so it was a tad of a struggle). There’s a few nice areas near the top where you can take a good photo with the bridge!
- 16th Avenue Tiled Steps – Beautiful steps hidden in the middle of the city. We went around 4PM and the sun caused a lot of shadows in our photos so I highly recommend going during golden hour or earlier hours of the day. We went on a Saturday so it was a bit busier there than I wished, but we still were able to enjoy the beautiful designs of the mosaic steps and take some great photos from the top and bottom.
- Riding the Cable Car/Trolley – Fun (and cheap) little downhill or uphill sightseeing of the city on the iconic Cable Car. It is required for pets to be in a carrier or muzzled with a leash, so we decided to just bring Maya in her Pawfect Pets backpack (also a great carrier for your short-legged pets who cannot handle a ton of walking ;)). We took the Cable Car from Fisherman’s Wharf all the way up to Union Square, which was approximately a 20 minute ride.
- Tennessee Valley Beach – This is a 20-30 minute car ride north from the city. Once you get there, you have to hike about 2 miles or so to the actual beach, but it is worth every second of the walk. Honestly, not a bad hike, because most of it was straightforward with the exception of two hills. The beach is in a small secluded area, so there weren’t a ton of folks there. The best part is that you can see the sparking water from about a mile away, so it made for good motivation to get there ASAP! Maya has never stepped foot onto the beach and she actually enjoyed the sand, but not the water as much 🙂 There were lots of little trails along the way that you could definitely explore and a few picnic tables as well during the hike!
- Going for Walks! – Honestly, we found ourselves just exploring the city by foot for the most part of the trip and was able to explore the city best that way! There are tons of shops, restaurants, and dog friendly parks throughout the city! The best part is that most of the parks are off-leash so we let Maya run free through the fields of people and she enjoyed giving kisses to the residents of SF 🙂
Weens & Followers Meetup
While in San Francisco, we attended the SF Weens Meetup at Crissy Field and met some lovely “furriends” that we’ve been friends with in the IG community for months, if not, years!! Crissy Field is also another great area to take your pet as the beach is within walking distance! The beautiful Golden Gate bridge overlooks this park! We met so many adorable dachshunds in this group, plus their wonderful parents 🙂
Chloe & Penny from @sfdoxrox
Lena from @lenathedox
Kiwi from @weeniekiwi
We also held a meetup for our wonderful followers right after the SF Weens Meetup! We were astonished at how many followers that wanted to come out to meet Maya. At this point, Maya was beyond tired, so for anyone to get a photo of her with her eyes opened was an accomplishment 🙂 Thank you to all the wonderful followers that came out to meet us! We loved being able to speak with each one of you and hope you enjoyed Maya’s snuggles!
Visiting Northern California
Last but not least was our visit out to Petaluma, CA and Wine Country, which was spent with Maya’s boyfriend, Dave (@davegrowlthedachshund)! For those that do not know, Dave is simply the sweetest English Cream Dachshund, with the cutest derp tongue! We enjoyed spending our time with him and his parents as they gave us a tour around their area!
We visited two beautiful wineries in Sonoma County – Alpha Omega Winery & Peju Province Winery! Both are extremely pet friendly and the views were gorgeous!..the wine was also not that bad 😉
Where would we go next? Stay tuned!