Top Dog Friendly Beaches in California

Dog friendly beaches are heaven on earth for Fido. And since sandy paws equal happy dogs, we’ve sniffed out the best beaches in California where dogs can run, swim, and frolic in the sand. Use the links/map below to find a dog-friendly beach in California.

Fiesta Island Off Leash Dog Park

Most of this large sandy island in Mission Bay is designated leash-free for dogs. Lots of sandy dunes to romp in, and the calm bay waters lets the more adventurous dogs take a quick dip. There is a designated off leash location on the backside of the island as Sea World will be on your left, fenced in front with signs. Very private with endless shores to run. Bring water for your dogs, there are porta-potties located around the island.

Rosie's Dog Beach

Long Beach is home to the only off-leash dog beach in L.A. County, CA. This 3-acre park is located at the waterfront between Roycroft and Argonne Avenues, a few blocks east of the Belmont Pier and Olympic pool. Ample paid parking is available along Ocean Boulevard. Free parking is available at the beachfront lot at the end of Granada Avenue daily after 5:00 p.m. Only one dog per adult is permitted, and no aggressive dogs are allowed. Please see the website for more dog beach rules.

Arroyo Burro Beach Park

This off-leash beach in City of Santa Barbara is the beach that runs below the Douglas Family Preserve -- it begins east of the slough at Arroyo Burro Beach (the locals call it Hendry's Beach), and stretches almost to the steps at Mesa Lane. The fallen eucalyptus trees are considered the eastern boundary. From the parking lot at Arroyo Burro, walk to the beach, turn left, and cross the slough -- this will bring you to the off-leash legal area. Please be sure your dog is leashed in the parking lot and on the beach until you cross the slough.

The Original Dog Beach

Perhaps the most popular canine hotspot in San Diego is The Original Dog Beach located at the northern end of Ocean Beach. Here, dogs can roam off leash at any time of the day. Owners should take care to pick up after their pets. After a day at the beach, you may want to head over to the Dog Beach Dog Wash to give Fido a bath. Located at 4933 Voltaire Street, the Dog Wash is just two blocks away from the beach.

Coronado Dog Beach

Coronado's Dog Beach is leash-free year-round on the western part of the beach. It's marked by signs that run along Ocean Blvd. from Sunset Park on Ocean Drive to the border of the U.S. Naval Station. For scenery, it doesn't get much better than this. On one side there's the beautiful Hotel del Coronado; the Point Loma skyline fills the view to the north. Parking is available along Ocean Boulevard, but it is a rather long walk to the beach from there, so be sure to keep your dog leashed until you reach the beach. Coronado Animal Patrol maintains a zero-tolerance policy with fines up to $500 for unleashed dogs. The dog beach is open 24 hours. Owners must monitor their dogs at all times and clean up after them. Dogs must have current licenses and be free from contagious diseases. Excessive barking and aggressive behavior are not permitted by dogs or humans. No food or pet treats allowed. There are no restrooms, but there is a foot shower south of the entrance on Ocean Blvd. The city provides free dog litter bags at the entrance to the run.

Baker Beach

Located approximately 1 mile south of the Golden Gate Bridge, this beach is a great spot to take your dog for a view of the famous landmark. Dogs are permitted off-leash on Baker Beach north of Lobos Creek, but they must be on a leash south of Lobos Creek.

Carmel Beach

This is a beautiful beach with the happiest dogs on the planet -- you'll see every shape, size, and age, running in the sugar sand and splashing in the aquamarine surf. There is no leash law for dogs and fires are permitted on the beach south of 10th Avenue. Public restrooms and a public telephone are available at the Ocean Avenue end of Carmel Beach. Open 6am to 10pm.

Monterey State Beach

Your pet will jump for joy at the chance to play at this dog-friendly beach. Dogs are supposed to be leashed, but many regulars will let their dogs play off leash. Dogs are not at all permitted on Monterey State Beach north of the Monterey Beach Hotel resort.

Poplar Beach

Pets are welcome to join you on-leash at this busy Half Moon Bay beach.

Montara State Beach

Local dog lovers rave about this clean, popular beach, where pets are welcome to join you as long as they remain on-leash.

San Onofre State Beach

Dogs are welcome on-leash on trails one and six of this beachside hiking park, but not on the beaches.

Huntington Dog Beach

Huntington Dog Beach is considered doggy-heaven by most visitors. Dogs come from all over the world to play in the sand and splash in the surf. Visitors are asked to abide by good doggy etiquette which includes properly disposing of pet waste and ensuring that your dog is non-aggressive and under control at all times.

Big Bear Lake Beaches

All of the beaches along Highway 38 in Big Bear Lake are dog friendly, and can be accessed via the Alpine Pedal Path.

Capehart Dog Park

Located at the corner of Felspar and Soledad Mountain Road, this one acre park offers two fenced pens on turfed areas. One is for small dogs and the other is for large dogs. Both areas provide water for dogs, a drinking fountain, picnic tables and benches, and a parking area.

Seabright Beach

Bring your pet along with you as you relax on the sandy shores of this Santa Cruz beach. They're welcome to join you as long as they're on-leash.

North Beach (Dog Beach)

Nine months of the year, dogs are allowed along the entire two plus mile stretch of beach in addition to the City’s two major parks, Seagrove Park and Powerhouse Park. Dogs must be leashed June 15th through Labor Day. Dogs able to run under voice control of owner from the day after Labor Day through June 14th.

Twin Lakes State Beach

Bring your pet with you as you enjoy this beach. They're welcome as long as they remain on-leash. Outdoor showers and restrooms nearby.

Its Beach

Your pet will love a romp on this lovely Santa Cruz beach, where they're welcome to join you as long as they remain on-leash.

Del Monte Beach

Pets are welcome to join you on-leash at this laid back, family-friendly Monterey beach.

San Elijo State Beach

Dogs are welcome on-leash at this beautiful beach, which is also popular with local surfers.

Newport Beach

Leashed dogs are allowed before 10:00 am and after 4:30 pm on ocean front beaches. On bay front beaches, leashed dogs are allowed before 9:00 am and after 5:00 pm. The person in control of the dog must have in his or her possession, an implement or device capable of removing any feces deposited by the animal.

Kiva Beach

Pets are welcome on-leash at this wonderful dog-friendly beach.

Summerland Beach

Horses and dogs are allowed on this beautiful beach about 5 minutes south of Santa Barbara. Porpoises and seals dance in the surf, and it's never crowded. Parking is available at both ends of the beach.

New Brighton Beach

Pets go wild for the chance to play at the beach! Yours is welcome to join you here, as long as they remain on-leash.

Fort Funston Doggie Beach

An off leash doggie beach with a huge area of tons of trails. There are typically hundreds of well socialized and well behaved dogs for your dog to play with.

Noyo Beach

Off-leash pets are welcome to enjoy this gorgeous, rocky beach with you. To go to the Noyo Beach park, turn east on the north end of the Noyo Bridge (left coming south, right going north) on N. Harbor Drive and follow the road down the steep hill into the harbor, then under the bridge and to the beach. After visiting the beach, stop at Nemo's Fishmarket on N. Harbor Drive where you and your dog can sit on the deck and have lunch.

Pfeiffer Beach

Dogs on leash are welcome. From Big Sur, start heading south on Highway 1 and look carefully for Sycamore Road. Take Sycamore Road just over 2 miles to the beach. There is a $5 entrance fee per car.

Lands End Beach Off Leash Dog Area

Lands End Beach Off Leash Dog Area is unfenced. Watch for signs designating certain areas that require leash use.

Dillon Beach

Dillon Beach is a dog friendly beach as long as your dog is under your control. There is a parking fee to park in the lot, sunrise to sunset.

Asilomar Beach

Although Fido is not allowed to be off-leash at Asilomar State Beach, you both will still enjoy the beauty of coastal California at this popular destination. Explore the forest, the coast, or the Dune Boardwalk with your pup and enjoy the day spent surrounded by the delights of nature. Dogs and humans must stay on trails or boardwalks at all time. Leashes must be six feet long or less.

McAbee Beach

Pets are welcome to join you on-leash at this Monterey Beach. Restrooms are available nearby.

Carmel River State Beach

Soak up the serenity at this quiet, gorgeous Carmel beach which ends at a protected bird sanctuary. Leashed pets are welcome.

Fisherman's Beach

Fisherman’s Beach is the smallest of the beaches in Avila & Port San Luis Harbor and its called dog beach by the locals. No matter what time of day it is, you will more than likely find dogs running free through the surf. The Port San Luis Harbor District currently allows well behaved dogs to be off the leash anytime on this beach and Olde Port Beach. Please make sure to keep your dog under control and pick up after your dog so we don’t lose this privilege. Also please remember to remove all your trash when you leave as anything you leave behind will end up in our oceans!!!

Rio Del Mar Beach

Dogs are welcome to join you on-leash at this dog-friendly beach with hardly any traffic.

Heart's Desire Beach at Tomales Bay State Park

Pets are welcome on-leash at this uncrowded beach with dunes and free parking, making it well worth the drive.

Pismo Beach State Beach

This is one of the few state beaches in California that allows you to camp at the state campground (we stayed at North Beach loop) and take your dog on the beach provided he stays on the leash. There are short coastal walking trails along the sand & you're a short walk from the town of Pismo which is very dog friendly.

Moss Landing Beach

Located behind Phil's Fish Market and the Monterey Aquarium Research facility. Uncrowded beach and offleash dog area, the state beach aerea just to the south is not dog okay.

Esplanade Beach

Your dog will thank you for bringing them to the only off leash pet-friendly beach in Pacifica. Located near the Land's End apartments.

Pillar Point Harbor

Enclosed within a sea wall, it's an area where dogs and kids can swim and play. Parking lot fills up early on weekends.

Half Moon Bay State Beach

Dogs are prohibited on the beaches at all times, but they are permitted in the campground, in the day-use picnic areas, and on the Coastal Trail, provided they are controlled with a leash of no more than six feet at all times.

Boathouse Dog Beach

Well-behaved, off-leash dogs are welcome at this dog-friendly beach bar with great food, volleyball, horseshoes, and a boat tie-up for customers of the Boathouse Lakeside Tavern.

Sand Dollar Beach

Dogs must be on leash. Parking lot with short walk out to cliffs overlooking the Pacific. Short but steep walk (5-10 minutes) down to the largest crescent of sandy beach in Big Sur, set below the dramatic Pacific Valley cliffs. About a mile from end to end. Pit toilets in parking lot.

Manresa State Beach

Leashed dogs are welcome to join you at this Watsonville beach.

Cayucos Beach

The town of Cayucos seems to be dog-friendly overall, and the beach is leash-free all up and down it!

Silverstrand Beach

Dogs allowed on beach until 9 a.m. And after 5:00 p.m. On leash

Limantour Beach

Between Drakes Bay and an estuary, Limantour Beach serves as the home to birds who enjoy the land and sea. Walk along the dog-friendly southeast area of the beach with your pup! Dogs must be kept on leashes of six or less feet.

Bean Hollow State Beach

Pets are welcome to join you on-leash as you explore the rocky shores of this Pescadero beach. A great spot for for tide-pooling and beachcombing.

Pacifica State Beach

Bring your pet with you on-leash for a stroll along this beautiful Pacifica beach with stunning ocean views.

Bolinas Beach

Leashed dogs are welcome to watch the surfers with you at this beautiful beach.

Sunset State Beach

Pets are welcome on-leash at this Watsonville beach with soft sands, dunes, restrooms and an outdoor shower.

Garrapata State Park

Leashed dogs are welcome in the park on Garrapata Beach only. Dogs must be on a six-foot leash at all times.

Basin AH1 Dog Park and Pond

Basin AH1 Dog Park and Pond is a seasonal dog park that offers a wading pool for dogs to use during the summer.

Hollywood Beach

Dogs allowed on beach until 9 a.m. And after 5:00 p.m. On leash

Mad River Beach

Pets are welcome on-leash at this dog-friendly Arcata beach with dunes and wide expanses of sand.

Rodeo Beach

Pets may join you on-leash at this Saulsalito beach.

Davenport Beach

This beautiful Davenport beach is a great place to get some sun, and your pet is welcome to join you as long as they remain on-leash.

Montara State Beach

Pets are welcome to join you on-leash at this rarely crowded, beautiful state beach.

Pismo State Beach

Your pet is welcome to join you as you enjoy this lovely Oceano beach, as long as they remain on leash and do not go into the dunes preserve.

Horseshoe Lake

Horseshoe Lake is a perfect spot for your dog to relax. Dogs are allowed to swim in the lake and explore the surrounding beach. You can also spend the day hiking in the surrounding area with your leashed pet.

Albany Bulb

Pets are welcome to play off-leash in the designated area of this park, which includes a small beach, or escape the crowds for an on-leash stroll along the secluded trails.

Moonstone Beach

Pets are welcome to join you on-leash at this Trinidad beach, which is also a great spot to watch the surfers.

Clam Beach Off Leash Area

From October through February, dogs are allowed off-leash on the entire beach. The rest of the year, dogs are restricted to the waveslope.

Centerville Beach

From October through February, dogs are allowed off-leash on the entire beach. The rest of the year, dogs are restricted to the waveslope.

Lake Mendocino

Pets are welcome to join you on-leash at this lovely Ukiah beach.

Buchanan Dog Beach

Small little beach where dogs can go un-leashed.

Point Reyes Beach

Point Reyes Beach (also known the Great Beach) allows dogs. However, they must not go north of the North Beach entrance. Dogs must be kept on a leash six feet or shorter at all times. Be careful in the water as this area is known for riptides.

Stinson Beach

Leashed dogs are welcome on the county beach and in picnic areas, but not on the National Park Service section of the beach.

Kehoe Beach

With a scenic backdrop of sandstone and granite cliffs, wander Kehoe Beach's dog-friendly north trail with your four-legged companion. Dogs must be on a leash of six or less feet at all times.

Monte Rio Public Beach

Monte Rio Community Beach has a dog beach on the west side of the bridge crossing the Russian River, where dogs are welcome to romp and play in the river and on the beach.