Dog Friendly Beaches in Southern California

South Californian Beaches Which Allow Dogs

For dog owners, a trip to the beach wouldn’t be complete without the company of their four legged companion; fortunately, in California, this isn’t too much of a problem, as many Californian beaches allow dogs, some of which are leash free. However, to fully enjoy doggy days at the beach, it is essential that all dog owners are responsible and follow a few basic rules.

The Rules of Dog Beach Etiquette

The rules of beach etiquette for dogs are there for a reason; dog beach rules allow both dog owners and others sharing the beach to enjoy their time together both safely and happily. It is wise to check the particular rules associated with a certain beach but the basic rules of beach etiquette for any dog beach are as follows:

  • if there is a leash law in place, dogs must be kept on a leash
  • for leash free beaches, it is essential that the dog be kept under control at all times and obeys commands; a dog running wild along the beach can cause both havoc and confusion amongst other dogs and their owners
  • always clean up after the dog; some beaches will provide poop bags, and a place to dispose of a used bag, but it is a good idea to be prepared when visiting the beach
  • make sure the dog is well behaved and welcomed by other dog owners on the beach for a visit before allowing two or more dogs to socialize; dog bites (both on humans and on dogs) are a costly consideration in the USA
  • consider taking a ball or a dog toy to occupy the dog on the beach and to avoid trouble.

Dog Friendly Beaches in California

California has a multitude of beaches which allow dogs. In Northern California, dogs are allowed on most beaches; restrictions may apply in some wildlife preservation areas, notices of which are usually posted at the beach. In Central California, there are numerous dog beaches too. However, Southern California has some of the best beaches which allow dogs.

Dog Beach at Ocean Beach, San Diego

The small beach town of Ocean Beach has always been known for its ‘alternative’ lifestyle, residents and visitors; some of those residents and visitors include the four legged variety who can enjoy the beach life leash free on the aptly named Dog Beach, located at the northern end of the town. Dogs can run free on Dog Beach at Ocean Beach or can enjoy a walk along the paved path which runs parallel to the water estuary.

  • Location: Ocean Beach is situated 7 miles downtown of San Diego, close to Sea World, just off I-8
  • Beach Accessibility: parking and entrance to the beach is free.

Huntington Dog Beach, Orange County

Huntington Beach is renowned for being dog friendly; in addition to a leash free dog beach, Huntington Beach has dog parks, dog bakeries and even The Doggie Spa! Dogs clearly are thought of as ‘man’s best friend’ in Huntington Beach; however, adhering to basic dog beach etiquette will ensure that Huntington Dog Beach will maintain its reputation for being one of the cleanest and safest dog beaches in California.

  • Location: close to Newport Beach and popular with visitors to Disneyland at Anaheim; dog beach is part of Huntington City Beach
  • Beach Accessibility: check locally with the City of Huntington Beach.

Dog Beach at Newport Beach, Orange County

Newport Dog Beach is a favorite of many local dog owners; however, the City of Newport Beach has several restrictions in place for dog owners taking their dog to the beach. These restrictions include:

  • all dogs must be be kept on a leash no longer than six feet in length
  • dogs are not permitted on the beach, or beach front sidewalks, between the hours of 9.00 am and 5.00 pm
  • dogs must be capable of being restrained if necessary
  • it is essential to pick up after the dog.
  • Location: Newport beach is located 85 miles north of San Diego and 50 miles south of Los Angeles
  • Beach Accessibility: check locally with the requirements of individual beach access with the City of Newport Beach.

How to Enjoy Dog Days at the Beach

Rules and regulations governing the operation of dog friendly beaches in California are constantly changing; it is wise to check locally in case of any changes. However, providing dog owners adhere to basic dog beach etiquette, it is likely that Californian dog owners can enjoy a day at the beach with their best friend for many days to come!