The iconic actress and devoted animal lover, who passed away May 13, owned a seaside outpost in Carmel for more than three decades. 

By Marisa Spyker
May 15, 2019
Courtesy of Manny Espinoza/Cypress Inn; Inset: ullstein bild Dtl. / Contributor / Getty

Any traveler with a regular canine companion has no doubt sniffed out the town of Carmel, California. Perched on the picturesque Monterey peninsula, the one-square-mile village has earned a reputation among dog lovers as a pet-friendly paradise—and for that, we have iconic film star Doris Day to thank.

According to Monterey County Weekly, it was the Old Hollywood starlet who was perhaps most instrumental in earning the sleepy little beach town its nationwide canine cred when she purchased a beautiful Spanish colonial-style B&B, called the Cypress Inn, on one condition: That pets be welcomed as openly as humans.

The actress on the set of the 1960 film "Please Don't Eat the Daisies"
Hulton Archive/Getty Images

More than three decades later, it’s this devotion to animals that Day, who passed away in her Carmel Valley home on May 13, leaves behind perhaps most saliently as a legacy in her adopted hometown. In addition to spearheading Carmel’s pet-friendly tourism trend, Day was also an ardent supporter of animal rights and welfare, founding her Doris Day Animal Foundation in the late ‘70s after setting down permanent roots along the Monterey Bay.

According to a press release issued by the foundation, “[Day’s] lifelong compassion for animals compelled her to fight animal testing and to advocate for spay/neuter education and outreach programs in the U.S. Today, her early Spay Day program has become an international event.”

Cypress Inn

Back at the Cypress Inn—which hosted numerous fundraisers for the foundation over the years, most recently in honor of Day’s 97th birthday—visitors flock for its charming design and pets-allowed-everywhere policies, as well as for the Day connection itself. Inside its stately stone entrance, elegant décor pairs with photos and vintage movie posters that pay homage to the actress’s longtime Hollywood career spanning 39 films. Grab a seat at Terry’s Lounge—named after Day’s late son Terry Melcher—for happy hour, and you’ll likely find one of those iconic flicks streaming on a TV.

Cypress Inn

While there’s no shortage of human-approved comforts (luxe linens, plush robes, and complimentary in-room sherry, to name a few), perks for pups are also aplenty. Guests who come with their furry friends in tow can expect pet blankets, treats, a designated dog shower in the hotel courtyard, and regular “Yappy Hours” featuring tasty sips and bites for pets as well as people.

Ready to plan an escape to this Fido-friendly town? Learn more about Day’s Cypress Inn, and her animal-loving legacy, here

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