Ladera Ranch, California is the best of both worlds. Here, you'll find breathtakingly beautiful rural areas in addition to the bustling atmosphere of a big city, making it the perfect place for both country and city dogs to live or visit.
Located in Orange County, the city is a 4,000-acre extension between Rancho Santa Margarita and Rancho Mission Viejo. The city does not have any pet-friendly facilities apart from a few eateries, you can find parks, recreational areas, and plenty of outdoor activities in the surrounding areas. Ladera Ranch has three veterinary clinics of its own, but you can find more in nearby Santa Ana and Los Angeles.
If you're looking for a cool place to visit with Fido and let him run off-leash, then Mission Viejo Dog Park in the eastern part of Mission Viejo is a perfect choice! This park is set in front of the vast, leafy area of Tijeras Canyon and features three separate sections for small pooches, large mutts and those who prefer playing and exercising alone. Let Fido off his leash so he can make friends with the local dogs who pawsitively love this park!
For pooches keen on exploring and sniffing out new places, Mission Viejo has something up its sleeve. Almost 19 miles of Aliso Creek Riding and Hiking Trail -- stretching from South Laguna to Rancho Santo Margarita -- passes through the heart of Mission Viejo. There are plenty of recreation opportunities, parks and hidden spots for picnics along the trail, so pack up your essentials and hit the trail!
While Ladera Ranch doesn't have many dog-friendly places and spaces of its own, its convenient proximity to muttropolises like Santa Ana and Los Angeles means that Fido-friendly fun is never far away!
Bordering with Aliso Viejo to the north, most of Laguna Niguel is occupied by the extensive area of Laguna Niguel Regional Park. This park provides visitors with plenty of space to find a retreat or spend a weekend with the family. The alluring banks of the Sulphur Creek Reservoir are the perfect place to enjoy some outdoor activity. The park is totally dog-friendly, so feel free to put your pup on their leash and explore miles of walking trails, sandy and green paths to the water, and lots of shaded places to exercise or just relax and unwind. This is a perfect spot for those who love fishing! Two dog-friendly eateries are located right across the street from the northern part of the park, near Aliso Village Shopping Center. These include Jersey Mike’s Subs and Avila’s El Ranchito.
Downtown Laguna Niguel will welcome you and your pup with busy roads and loud traffic coupled with a few recreation areas to find some peace and stay calm and cool on hot days. Crown Valley Park, which is maintained by Laguna Niguel Parks and Recreation, is a dog-friendly place to visit with Fido. Apart from the vast area of the main park, the on-site Niguel Botanical Preserve offers more than 18 acres of free space and walking trails to explore! Your pup should be leashed at all times and keep to the walking paths. Pigging out with your pooch is always fun, especially at places with an upbeat and friendly atmosphere like Bistro K. This fur-friendly eatery serves up Italian cuisine to pups and their parents at the outdoor tables.
The western part of Laguna Niguel is a heaven for outdoor activity lovers and adventure seekers. Apart from public parks, the area has a hot spot for pups to chill and socialize with others! Laguna Niguel Dog Park is set close to Street of the Golden Lantern and next to Orange County Fire Station. This is a simple facility for pooches to play and run off-leash, enjoying the intoxicating freedom of a good run! Taking some drinking water with you will be a good idea; otherwise, your mutt will end up thirsty. Another cool place to explore with a leashed pup is Salt Creek Trail, adjacent to Park Vista Overlook and Chapparosa Park. The trail stretches for about 5 miles from Laguna Niguel Regional Park to Salt Creek Beach Park in Dana Point.
Taking its roots in the city center, Laguna Canyon Road follows along the border of an extensive recreation area. Along the drive, you'll see public parks, fields, and other places for outdoor activities with furry friends. On your way north to Lake Forest or Irvin, make sure to stop by Laguna Beach Dog Park, the best place for pooches in the area to exercise and socialize with some new friends! The park is a simple, fenced facility with plenty of room to run, and is open daily from dawn to dusk except on Wednesdays. The rules in the park are simple: your mutt is allowed to have as much off-leash fun as he wants within the dog park, but keep him on the leash when entering and exiting the park. Bringing your own water will be a good call.
Oak Creek is a large neighborhood in Irvine featuring a few public parks, a golf course and a section of San Diego Creek. You won't be able to resist the allure of Irvine Central Bark Park! (And why would you want to?) Hidden behind the vast area of Oak Creek Golf Club, this doggie heaven has two separate area for small and large pooches, some shaded spots, plenty of room to run, and drinking water facilities! The place is usually packed on weekends and late evenings. If you have been looking for the best place for your mutt to socialize, look no further! While you're here, don't forget to check Square One Pizza Café, a dog-friendly, family-owned restaurant with outdoor tables.