California Has Almost 100 Dog-Friendly Beaches
Hold on to your beach towels, because California has almost 100 dog friendly beaches! So no matter what part of the state you are in, you have no excuse not to visit the beach with your pooch.
Before you go, be sure to read 5 Things You Need for a Trip to the Beach With Your Dog.
It’s every pet parent’s nightmare, but if your dog is somehow swept into the ocean, it’s very important not to go in after him. Dogs almost always manage to make it safely back to shore, but humans aren’t as fortunate. Click here for safety tips from the U.S. Coast Guard and other groups.
Before you head out to the beach, be sure to read 5 Things You Need for a Trip to the Beach with Your Dog for a safe and happy trip.
The Northern Coast stretches from the Oregon border to San Francisco and, according to frommers.com, “bears little resemblance to the southern part of the state. The landscape, climate, flora and fauna are distinct, and you can forget about surfing and bikinis; instead, you’ll find miles of rough shoreline with broad beaches and tiny bays harboring fantastic rock chimneystacks, blowholes and bridges carved by the ocean waves.”
This remarkable coastline has 20 dog friendly beaches, the following seven of which are off-leash:
Five of the other beaches are both on-leash and off-leash, meaning they have some areas in which you will have to leash your dog.
The Sonoma Coast covers 13 miles along Highway 1 (Pacific Coast Highway) from Bodega Bay to Goat Rock Beach in Jenner.
Frommers.com says, “Each beach is clearly marked from the road, and numerous pullouts are available for parking. Even if you don’t stop at a beach, the drive alone is spectacular.”
They have seven dog friendly beaches, but not a single one of them is off-leash. However, it’s still worth a stop.
Lake Tahoe is an outdoor lover’s dream come true. A pristine lake, majestic mountains and an exciting nightlife come together to make this a little piece of heaven right here on earth.
The USDA Forest Service notes, “The Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit (LTBMU) manages about 75 percent of the land within the Lake Tahoe Basin, so if you want to take your dog hiking, camping or snowshoeing, chances are you will end up on National Forest System lands. Your well-behaved, leashed dog is welcome almost anywhere within the LTBMU, with the notable exceptions of designated swimming beaches and areas that are restricted for wildlife protection.”
All of Lake Tahoe’s beaches require your well-behaved dog to be on leash.
The amazing City by the Bay is surrounded by beautiful landscapes, woods and, of course, beaches! This dog friendly area has 20 beaches where wet noses are welcome and 11 on which your dog can run freely off-leash.
Note that your dog will need to be leashed in the parking lots. Read the signs carefully as some areas do not allow dogs.
The Central Coast of California is arguably one of the most beautiful in the state. Covering 100 miles from San Simeon to Ventura, frommers.com calls it “an amalgam of beaches, lakes, rolling hills and the state’s most diverse region. The narrow strip spans several climate zones and supports an eclectic mix of college students, middle-class workers, wealthy retirees, winemakers, strawberry farmers, ranchers, immigrant laborers and fishermen.”
The Central Coast is also home to 20 dog-friendly beaches. Only two are off-leash: City Beach in Carmel-by-the-Sea and Moss Landing Beach in Moss Landing. Some of the beaches, however, do allow dogs to be off-leash during certain hours, including Avila Beach and Olde Port Beach in Avila Beach, and Mitchell’s Cove Beach in Santa Cruz.
Right in the middle of the California coast, Santa Barbara and Ventura counties represent some of the most beautiful landscapes the Golden State has to offer. An ideal combination of ocean, mountains and great weather make this area a top destination for travelers from all over the world.
Some will try to tell you this area isn’t the most dog friendly, but we think 11 dog friendly beaches proves them wrong. Why else would the locals bother to name Arroyo Burro County Beach, aka Hendry’s Beach, the best off-leash dog beach in the Santa Barbara area? Or what about Summerland Beach? As an added bonus, both have washing stations, although you’ll have to pay a fee at Summerland.
Did you know that L.A. County has 75 miles of coastline? Sadly, it only has three dog friendly beaches, and of these, only Rosie’s Dog Beach in Long Beach is off-leash. The other two can be found in Malibu: Leo Carillo State Park & Beach and Thornhill Broom Beach in Point Mugu State Park.
Orange County, or the OC as it is more commonly known, is home to the rich, but that doesn’t mean they don’t appreciate dogs or a day at one of their gorgeous beaches.
They have four spots dedicated to dog lovers, but only one of them, Huntington Dog Beach in Huntington Beach, is off-leash. It is a favorite of the locals as you can also surf, jog or hunt for sea shells while your pooch chases waves and plays with his furfriends. It’s also worth mentioning that this beach is very clean, so do your fellow beach lovers a solid and make sure you pick up after your dog.
The other off-leash beaches are: