When most people think of Southern California, they imagine miles of miles of golden beaches dotted with towering palm trees, beautiful multicolored rocks carved out of the Pacific Ocean, smiling beachgoers soaked in the sun, and surfers dominating the waves. Well, I have good news! The beaches of San Diego, California, are all that and more, and there are a few that allow your pets to experience it all with you.
After visiting all the dog-friendly beaches in San Diego, we ranked our absolute favorites, so you and your little ones will know exactly where to go for a family beach day on the Gold Coast!
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4. Del Mar dog beach
Also known as North Beach Del Mar, The Del Mar Dog Beach in San Diego is a great option for those who want to spend a few hours in the California sun. I have taken Lady to this beach several times when we come home from work so that she can run and stretch her legs after a whole day in the office, and this is always the highlight of our day!
The entire two-mile beach is accessible to people and their dogs all year round. They must be tied up on June 15 until Labor Day, but they are allowed to walk after the holiday until June 14.
* Parking *: There are measured parking spaces on the street right next to the beach, but if you want to avoid paying for parking, just drive across the bridge to a nearby residential area and park on the street there. You will need a further walk, but personally it is not far enough that it is not worth saving a few dollars.
3. The original beach for dogs
The name may seem simple, but that’s because this piece of coastline was one of the first marked dog beaches outside the country! Dog beach is a favorite of many locals and visitors because of its landmark status and the wide variety of dogs that come to enjoy it. Dogs are always invited to run freely along the shore, splash in the ocean and relax with their owners on any day of the year.
What I love most about this dog friendly beach in San Diego is that it is incredibly clean and well maintained despite the huge number of people and dogs that visit it daily.
* Parking * A large public car park is located right at the entrance to the dog beach. On a busy day, you can also find parking spaces on West Point Loma Boulevard.
2. Coronado dog beach
Although this dog beach is the smallest on the list, I and many other pet owners appreciate it. Its location right on the beach of the famous Hotel Del Coronado is also one of many ideal, the sand is so beautiful that it shines (quite literally) and there are always many other friendly little ones to play with.
After a full day in Coronado Dog Beach, the charming city center is just a short walk away and offers several restaurants and shops where you can relax with pets to relax with your dogs.
* Parking * You can usually find many street car parks in the residential area that borders the entrance to the beach. Parking on Ocean Boulevard next to the main beach (just a short walk from the dog beach) and Orange Avenue in the city center is free, but spaces can be filled quickly. I highly recommend planning to arrive earlier if you do not want to look for parking, especially during the holidays and summer season.
1. Fiesta Island Dog Beach
We kept the best for last! Island party is a small peninsula in Mission Bay, which is popular for the many charity walks and bike races that take place here. However, it is also well known among dog owners in the San Diego community for its huge fenced beach and dog park. Whether you are looking for a place to enjoy a fun day at the beach with your whole family or a blissful walk with your puppy … this is it!
When you arrive on the island, follow the main road to the west side of the island. Here you will be greeted by open fields, a wide beach overlooking Holiday Island and the Pacific Beach, a coastal beach with calmer waters and shady picnic areas. The best part? It’s all OFF-LEASH, which means your dog can explore all that this San Diego gem has to offer freely.
In addition, you will be treated to a wonderful view of Mission Bay, downtown San Diego and Sea World virtually everywhere you go on the island. The lady and I spent whole days just hanging out on the beach and exploring the fields on foot, and I’m sure you and your four-legged companions will be happy to do the same!
* Parking * You can park your car practically anywhere on the island. In some areas you can even park right on the beach! To use the dog park, you will find a large parking area on the street to the right when you arrive.
Have you visited any of the above dog beaches in San Diego? If so, would you rank them differently? Let us know in the comments!
Check out some of the best destinations suitable for dogs that Lady and I visited alone! You can also consider these useful dog health and safety tips which will keep your pets safe and healthy while you are on the road or at home.
We also have great ones pet reviews that we have used and given two paws to parents of pets like you!