Dog Friendly Beaches and Parks in California

Dogs are increasingly being banned from beaches and parks due to poor owner etiquette and aggressive canine behavior. Make a good impression on other beach/ park goers when you and your dog are playing or camping on these places by picking up your dog’s waste and maintaining good voice control over your dog. When you visit a California dog friendly beach or park, watch the practices of owners and act accordingly. It’s possible to have fun and share these treasured resources with a pet.


A few California beaches permit and even encourage dog visitation. One of the best is Carmel Beach located in Carmel-by-the-Sea. On any given day, more dogs roam this beach than people — and they can roam leash-free.

The north end of San Diego’s Ocean Beach calls itself “The Original Dog Beach.” It’s also leash-free. Del Mar City Beach has a dog section that extends from 29th Street to Solano Beach. Known as “Surf City USA,” Orange County’s Huntington Beach might as well be called “Dog City USA.” The north end between Seapoint Avenue and 21st Street allows pets.

Santa Barbara’s Arroyo Burro Beach permits pets to be off leash past the slough, while Montara State Beach in the Bay Area’s Coastside invites dogs as long as they’re leashed.


The second largest park in San Francisco, McLaren Park has dog play areas. The Coastside Trail is a paved dog-friendly path that connects various Half Moon Bay beaches and the adjacent shoreline. One of the Monterey Peninsula’s best places to hike with your dog is Carmel Valley’s Garland Ranch Regional Park. The park has off-leash areas and water fountains designed to hydrate both you and your pet.

The California State Parks on the coast generally allow leashed dogs dogs in the day use areas but not on the trails. Contact the specific state park that you will be visiting to confirm where your pet is permitted.