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Have Dog, Will Travel

If you’re planning a trip to Palm Springs, cancel that kennel reservation. In an effort to increase tourism, Palm Springs area locals are rolling out the red carpet for your oft-forgotten family member.

Where to Stay

There are a number of desert hotels that permit pets, including the Ace Hotel and Swim Club. But at the historic La Quinta Resort & Club, they’re not only tolerated, they’re treated like honored guests. Upon arrival, you’ll be offered bottled water. Dogs get biscuits. Fido will also be free to frolic on most every inch of the 45-acre property peppered with towering Palms, flower beds and citrus trees all well-worth sniffing. At days end, tired pups can crash out on a plush dog bed delivered to your room along with food and water bowls. The resort, once the stomping grounds of old Hollywood elite, including Clark Gable and Greta Garbo, has been renovated and expanded over the years.  It’s grown to 718 casitas each of which opens onto either a grassy yard, or and private patio area perfect for your dog to do what dogs do when nature calls. There are also poop bag stations located all over the property.  But with 41 swimming pools, 23 tennis courts, and five golf courses, hominids will also find ways to while away the hours. When you need to beat the heat, schedule a little spa time where service includes everything from facials to foot reflexology. And, yes, they even do doggie massage.

Where to Play

For a gentle stroll check out the Moorten Botanical Garden and Cactarium in Palm Springs where you and your pup can peruse more than 3,000 desert plants plus dinosaur fossils and petrified trees. If you’re up for something challenging, hop on the dog-friendly Palm Springs Museum Trail. It’s a steep one-mile climb, so lap dogs may want need to sit this one out. Those who summit, however, are rewarded with sweeping views of the Coachella Valley. Still have gas in the tank? Merge onto the South Lykken Trail for another four miles of giant boulders and blooming desert plants. 

Where to Eat

There’s no shortage of restaurants that welcome dogs, including Pinzimini in Rancho Mirage.  Dine al fresco on Italian inspired cuisine. And for your dog: a chicken casserole made with dry dog food, cooked chicken, carrots, celery, organic egg, and fish oil. And while there’s no kibble, on the menu at Sherman’s Deli, this storied eatery (with locations in Palm Springs and Palm Desert) serves up a pastrami sandwich certain to please both bipeds and quadrupeds.  Accouterments, including potato salad and dill pickle are best left for human consumption.

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