Mission Viejo is conveniently nestled within Orange County in California; one of the most well-known counties in California. It is situated near Huntington Beach and Anaheim, which is of course home to Disneyland. While all of this is great for humans, what is there to do with pets? Luckily for you, plenty!
Besides the beach only a short drive away, there are a few dog parks to choose from when your pooch needs some socialization. One of the best is the Florence Joyner Olympiad Park. It has 22-acres of beautiful scenery and trails with several of them offering views of the Mission Viejo Lake. Another park you could try is the LaPaws Dog Park. It was made specifically with dogs in mind. Its 6-acre span has three separate areas for dogs to run and play in.
Mission Viejo hosts dozens of pet-friendly events all year so chances are, you will catch one on your visit. One of the most interesting is the Festival of Whales. 2016 will be the 45th annual Festival of Whales at Dana Point, only a short drive from Mission Viejo. This event marks the amazing migration of the Californian Gray Whale from Alaska to Mexico. People attending the festival can watch 40-50 whales pass by the Cliffs in Dana Point every day from March until December. The main festival is held in March, and there are parades, vendors, and, of course, up-close-and-personal whale watches. A really unique event to experience!
When you’re ready to call it a night, tuck you and yourself into the Ayres Hotel. A luxury hotel to splurge on, Ayres Hotels have gorgeous modern rooms and welcome pets under 40lbs. You and Fido, Kitty, or Miss Mouse will feel right at home in one of the suites with a fireplace for sure! Also, what is a trip to Mission Viejo without some quality Californian cuisine? Taco Mesa and Bravo Burgers both offer outdoor seating for you and your pet as well as a water bowl to quench their thirst in the warm California sun.
Mission Viejo makes it their “mission” to keep all pets and humans well-entertained. As a pet owner, you will never run out of things to do with your furry friend in Mission Viejo.
It’s time to jump on the Rails to Trails line, this time right here in Mission Viejo. Aliso Creek Riding and Hiking Trail is the perfect place to explore the historic areas of the city. There are several trails to choose from, spanning more than 18 miles. Some offer a slight climb if you are looking for an adventure, while others are a relaxing stroll. You will need to keep your best pal on the leash for this experience, but all the barktacular views make it completely worth it. With so much to explore, your best pal will practically beg you to come back.
You will definitely want to meet up with your fur buddies at the puntastic La Paws Dog Park. It’s a furrtastic off-leash dog park that offers plenty of room to run and play. There are three separate areas for you to play in: one for small dogs, one for bigger dogs, and one for single owner dogs. The three acres ofer hilly areas for a sense of adventure. The flat areas are furfect for playing fetch with your human. The entire park is designed to be a low impact dog park, which means that it preserves the natural sources around it.
Riverside is a 45-minute car ride from Mission Viejo, but it is well worth the trip. This is the home of Riverwalk Dog Park. You will find two fenced in areas just for your fur buddies to play in. One side offers a agility course where your rambunctious pal can show off all the tricks he knows. You can let your pawesome pal off his leash so he can feel the wind in his fur. The benches do lack consistent shade so be sure to bring extra water and some sunscreen to protect you from those dog days of California summer.
If you go 34 miles north of Mission Viejo, you will find a hidden gem. Carbon Canyon Regional Park is a 124-acre park that has many features to enjoy. Here you will find trails that wind through the nature preserves including coastal Redwood trees that have been left to grow naturally.There are a few developed areas that feature grassy flatland for you to toss a frisbee, play fetch, or just run around with your fur baby. You can even go fishing if you want to! There is so much to do that it makes the perfect day trip. Just remember to bring your leash.
You will want to make the 14-mile trip from Mission Viejo to Central Bark Dog Park in Irvine. Here’s why: they offer you a huge main dog yard with plenty of room to run, fetch, and meet other dogs. The smaller separated area is designed for smaller dogs, older dogs, or dogs that would like to lie in the grass. You’ll find plenty of shaded sitting areas where you can watch Fido play and make new friends. This is an off-leash park, but your fury baby will need to wear his leash on the walk back to the car for the safety of everyone in the park.