Play on the sand and take a dip in the ocean with your canine companion at San Diego’s local dog beaches! These are the best off-leash spots for you and your pooch to visit the next time you are in America’s Finest City.
I broadly proclaim this place to be the happiest place in San Diego! Ocean Beach has a vibe all its own; hippie, artistic, funky. Situated where the San Diego River meets the Pacific Ocean, the OB Dog Beach is a mile long and open 24 hours a day. The wide sandy spit north of the bike path is popular with pooches and locals alike, and can get busy on Saturdays and Sundays. Come during the week with a blanket and a good book, and bask in the unbridled happiness of dogs running along the sand, in and out of the water. It’s pure doggie joy.
Across the scenic Coronado Bridge, at the northern end of the island, you will find Coronado Dog Beach. This beautiful stretch of white sand is the only beach on the island that welcomes dogs, and with sweeping views from Point Loma to the Hotel del Coronado, it’s definitely worth the trek. You may even catch a glimpse of Navy SEALS in training on the banks of the US Naval Station, which sits right next to the dog beach. There is no parking lot, only street parking, so be prepared for a bit of a walk – this place gets busy on the weekends! Dogs must be leashed until reaching the designated beachfront area. These rules are strictly enforced by patrolling Coronado Animal Control units, and violations carry a $500 fine.
Del Mar North Beach, commonly referred to as “Dog Beach,” stretches nearly a half mile to Solana Beach. The beach includes the mouth of the San Dieguito River and the bluff along the coast. Like a lot of Southern California, the Del Mar community is very dog friendly. However, dogs are only allowed off leash during the off season – during the summer they must be on leash. Parking is metered, and expect to hunt for a spot on the weekends.
From the sandy beaches to the large open fields, Fiesta Island is a perfect destination for an afternoon at the beach. And don’t take my word for it … Fiesta Island was voted Best Dog Park in the Country. In addition to the happy pooches, views of Mission Bay, Sea World and the San Diego skyline are on display. Dogs are allowed off-leash throughout most of the park, and there are many fire rings where you can warm up after playing in the calm bay water. Make sure to bring plenty of water for you and your dog, as there are no water fountains located on the island. Or restrooms for that matter, only a handful out outhouses. But parking is free and plentiful.
Are there other dog friendly beaches that make your cut? Let us know about them in the comments!
About the Author: Laura Ferguson is content creator by day and a hiking, camping, adventurer by night. She loves to create and tell stories through words, graphics, video and photography at Laura Ferguson Creative. When she’s not out exploring, you’ll find her in yoga clothes, working on the computer, coffee in hand, a smile on her face and a small pup in her lap. All photos in this post are Laura’s.
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