Nose Out the Window: Around the Lake We Go

August 12, 2019

Close to a dozen communities sit on or near the shores of Clear Lake. While it would take days to explore them all, we can suggest a few highlights in Lakeport, Kelseyville, Clearlake and Upper Lake. Start in Lakeport, on the lake’s northwest shore, travel counter-clockwise and make time for meals, wineries, brew pubs and other places you can enjoy with your canine companion.
LAKEPORT: Need a romp in a park to burn off some energy before you start your day? Head straight to the 60-acre Westside Community Park, which boasts a fenced dog park as well as sports fields and dog-friendly hiking trails. Lakeside County Park, right on the water, also is dog-friendly and has an off-leash area where you can practice your fetching skills. If you’d like to make Lakeport your base camp, you’ll find half a dozen dog-friendly places to stay and numerous restaurants with dog-friendly outdoor dining, including Park Place Restaurant, specializing in house-made pasta and homegrown veggies. Longing to get out on the water? Disney’s Water Sports is one of several full-service boat rental operations that can fix you and yours up with a dog-friendly pontoon or fishing boat.
KELSEYVILLE: This community on the southwest side of Clear Lake is in the middle of wine country, but you’ll also find a craft brewery, Kelsey Creek Brewing, that invites your well-behaved dog to accompany you as you sample concoctions with clever names like Black Fedora, Irish Donkey and Night of the New Moon. Moving onto wine, you’ll find dog-friendly tasting rooms right on or near walkable Main Street.
A standout is  Smiling Dogs Ranch, where you and your pup might meet a pair of resident Samoyeds. A four-paw place to stay within walking distance of downtown restaurants and attractions is Suite on Main, a renovated 1940s building with six comfy suites, each with a living room, kitchen and bedroom. Keep an eye on K’ville events calendar for vibrant street fests where dogs are welcome.
CLEARLAKE: Both Clear Lake and neighboring Clearlake Oaks are busy places with many dog-friendly lodging options, from campgrounds and RV parks to chain motels, waterfront resorts, cabins and cottages and B&Bs. A DogTrekker favorite is Bed & Barrel at Stonehouse Cellars, where a century-old cottage offers dog-friendly lodging on the grounds of a farm with llamas and sheep as well as vineyards and a winery. It’s kid-friendly as well as dog-friendly, so don’t hesitate to bring the entire gang. Lots of hiking trails are accessible from this area, including the Perkins-Creek Ridge Trail, the Judge Davis Trail and the Redbud Trail, all in the nearby Cache Creek Natural Area.
UPPER LAKEThis community on the north (upper) side of nearby Blue Lakes, is known for their pristine water and 5 mph speed limit for boats. The Lodge at Blue Lakes offers the largest fleet of rentals in the county and for a $10 fee welcomes dogs on its environmentally friendly electric “yachts.” When it’s time for a bite, you and your four-legged friend are welcome on the patio of the hugely popular Blue Wing Saloon, showcasing gourmet pub fare, local wines and artisanal micro-brews.
Photo Credit: Jennifer Waicukauski