The Six Best Dog-Friendly Beaches in Southern California

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dog beach

One of the best things about living in California is our glorious abundance of surf and sand. And these days, with no shortage of pet-friendly hotels, it’s easy to bring man’s best friend along for the adventure.

Dogs are curious and love to explore the vast stretches of the beach. Some love to swim and will spend hours frolicking in the surf. Whichever they prefer, going to the beach is one of the best outings for a furry friend.

If you’re not from California, that’s not a problem! You can browse through this guide to the USA’s best pet-friendly hotel chains to find the perfect overnight spot where your dog will be welcome. It could extend your beach days without having to rush home.

Nevertheless, it’s important to note that not all SoCal beaches welcome canines, but don’t worry! We dog paddled our way down the coast and discovered six of the best dog-friendly beaches in Southern California. Read on to explore them!

Coronado Dog Beach  | Ocean Boulevard | Coronado
Located on the northern end of Coronado Beach in the tiny hamlet of Coronado (near San Diego), this stretch of sand sees a near-constant stream of dogs but still manages to be one of the cleanest beaches in Southern California.

Huntington Dog Beach | Pacific Coast Highway | Huntington Beach
Officially, dogs are to remain leashed on this “mile of doggie heaven,” but recently authorities have only removed potentially harmful unleashed dogs (and almost all pooches here are well behaved, so problems aren’t likely to arise).

Visiting this beach will help you and your dog get some much-needed time in the sun while everyone remains respectful of each other’s boundaries.

Rosie’s Dog Beach | Ocean Boulevard | Long Beach
This three-acre, unfenced site in Belmont Shore is the only legal off-leash dog beach in LA County. So, take Fido for a free, fun day out on the beach. Just remember to remain mindful of others enjoying their time on the beach and keep an eye on your dog, so it doesn’t wander over to bother others.

Leo Carrillo State Beach | 35000 Pacific Coast Highway | Malibu
If Leo Carrillo State Beach looks familiar, it’s because this 1.5-mile strip of Malibu coast has made its fair share of appearances in Hollywood films, from 1960s bikini blockbusters to modern action-packed flicks like Inception. Leashed dogs are allowed everywhere, but the area between towers two and three are the busiest part of the beach.

Fiesta Island Dog Beach | Fiesta Island Road | San Diego
Your pal can run off leash at this huge San Diego dog beach on Mission Bay. There is a fenced-in area for those that need to be contained, but most of the park is leash free, and there are plenty of sand dunes for romping, trails for hiking, and calm bay waters for swimming.

Enjoy a fiesta with your furry friend at this beach by packing a picnic lunch with snacks and drinks for you both. Who can expect anything less from a place with an idyllic-sounding name like Fiesta Island?

Ocean Beach | Voltaire Street | San Diego
Also known as “the original dog beach,” this unassuming stretch of sand in the perfect San Diego beach town for canines and bathers alike.  Dog owners can take their furry friends for a lovely day out while being close enough to town for some shopping before heading home. Beach towns like these are perfect for everyone to enjoy, not only for their beaches.

Photo:  mark sebastian