If you’ve ever owned a dog—or known someone who does—you know how important pups can be, how they’re veritable valued members of the family.  And that’s why it’s so wonderful that Rancho Mirage has so many great options for dog lovers who like to not only go out but eat out with their favorite, furry, four-legged friends.

Since many a successful evening seems to start out with a cocktail—at least in my book—you may wish to imbibe at either of the two Rancho Mirage resorts that host puppy-friendly happy hours.  Every Tuesday, the Westin Mission Hills Golf Resort & Spa puts on “Paws on the Patio” between 4:30 and 7:00 p.m. outside its signature restaurant Pinzimini.  Human libations are 2-for-1, and doggie treats served with fresh bowls of water are free.  (Also don’t forget that the Westin, known for its popular Heavenly Dog Bed program, is the only resort in the Palm Springs Valley that does not charge an additional fee for overnight canine guests.)  But back to tasty concoctions with little pink umbrellas in them:  Over at Omni Rancho Las Palmas Resort & Spa, every third Thursday of the month from 4:00 to 6:00 p.m., in its courtyard adjacent to signature restaurant bluEmber, the property hosts Yappy Hour, a time when owners, their dogs, and those who love them can come together for some socializing.  The $10 admission price is worth two drink tickets, and $5 of that fee goes directly an animal charity.

All that lapping up of liquids is bound to make a pair of pals hungry, so when dinnertime comes, any of Rancho Mirage’s restaurants boasting a patio or terrace are great options to bring Fluffy along.  Think of the many eateries at The River—a dog-friendly spot in town if ever there was one—such as Babe’s Bar-B-Que Grill & Brewhouse, The Cheesecake Factory, Five Guys Burgers and Fries, and Fleming’s, just for starters.  Then there are non-River dining hot spots with outdoor seating such as Las Casuelas Nuevas, Johnny Rockets, D’Carlos Italian Café, Sabatino’s, The Slice NY, and Maracas Mexican Cantina & Grill.  If you want to do the progressive dining thing and have dessert elsewhere, Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream, Brandini Toffee, and Koffi are safe bets to boot.

I just love seeing dog-owners out with their pups.  It brings a smile to my face, as well as a lick if I’m lucky.



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