The 10 Best Dog-Friendly Beaches in San Diego

Raising a dog in San Diego is among the best locations you can hope for in the country. But only the best dog-friendly beaches in San Diego can be truly considered for happy canines.

Since you risk a fine on other beaches, the following locations are among the easiest to walk your dog at.

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10. San Elijo State Beach

Beeld: Flickr / Bjorn

The beach offers a few sights to enjoy for you and your dog. Before heading to San Elijo beach, you need to know your dog must remain on the leash at all times. This is mandatory inside the water as well. But the large waves here don’t make for the best quick dip experience. On the upside, the nearby park is also dog-friendly which means you can spend an entire day in the area.

9. La Jolla Shores Beach

This beach is known for its excellent views of San Diego and its surroundings. As one of the most interesting spots to watch the sunset, it surely makes you forget your dog is only allowed here after 6 PM during the summer. Since days are shorter during the winter, you can walk your dog here after 4 PM during the cold months. With a long pier and fantastic views, La Jolla is hard to match for its natural beauty when compared to other San Diego beaches.

8. Cardiff State Beach

So many locals love Cardiff State Beach that it’s almost impossible to have it all to yourself even at sunrise. But the good news is the beach is considerably wider than others in the San Diego area. It offers so much open space for your dog to run and enjoy. But what many people enjoy here are the quirky restaurants and cafes that are never out of fresh food. If you feel like grabbing a bite while your dog is running around, it might just be the place to visit.

7. Mission Bay Park

If you’re around Mission Bay Park, there are plenty of methods to relax. But the best is simply walking your dog along the beach with its rough sand and rocky surroundings. The area is not necessarily a top attraction for sunbathing which means you’ll find more dogs here than on other beaches. At the same time, this can be an advantage if you’re looking to meet other dog owners and share your best tips to take care of the man’s best friend.

6. Imperial Beach

Imperial Beach does look royal as its name suggests. It has a wide beach space with the waves breaking further from the sand. You can walk your dog or simply sit with your dog to enjoy the fresh air here with one condition. You need a leash. If your dog has no trouble adapting to the leash, you might not need to travel further. Given there are hundreds of kids on the beach every day, you might want to keep your dog on the leash from the first hours of the morning.

5. Solana Beach

One of the most underrated beaches to walk your dog is Solana Beach. Your dog can run around freely without a leash here which makes the beach even more attractive. You have to go down a few stairs to get to the beach and once on the sand, your doggy can run around without any worries. There are many dog owners here but at the same time, the lower popularity of the beach means you can have more of it to yourself.

4. North Beach

The beautiful and popular North Beach is one of the main attractions for dog owners in Del Mar. Located north of the city, the beach mostly requires your dog to be on a leash during the summer season after June the 15th. But the good news is the beach allows your dog to run freely once the season is over. You can take your canine swimming or allow the dog to dig freely once the masses of sunbathers are gone. At the same time, the popularity of the beach and its easy access make it almost impossible to overlook if you live in San Diego.

3. Fiesta Island Dog Park

If you want a bay-type beach instead of an ocean-type beach, look no further than Fiesta Island Dog Park. This is the perfect place to run away from the crows with your dog. Waves are few and far in between here. Your dog can freely get into the water without any fear. Sand is found in abundance here and it provides the smooth running surface the little paws get to enjoy so much. Getting here is a bit more complicated but it’s well worth the visit for a day spent outdoors.

2. Coronado Dog Beach

Coronado Dog Beach is situated on Coronado Island. It offers one of the most relaxed beach atmospheres around San Diego which makes it a pleasant experience for both you and your dog. You don’t need to worry about leashes either. Of course, you still need to keep your dog under observation but at least without a leash. We also love the shops and cafes around the island which almost makes you feel you are on holiday while still close to a major US city.

1. The Original Dog Beach

Right next to the Ocean Beach Athletic Area Robb Field you find Original Dog Beach, also simply known as Dog Beach. This vast open area with cycling and walking paths is perfect for all types of dog breeds. Small and large dogs have sufficient space to freely round around here.

One thing you need to keep in mind is that your dog requires special collar issues by the County Department of Animal Services that allows your canine to run freely around the beach.

Accessing the beach is very easy, on the other hand. Ocean Beach Highway and Kumeyaay Highway are the best options to get there quickly from anywhere around San Diego.