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Top 10 Dog-Friendly Beaches in California in 2024: Off & On-Leash Places to Go

Written by: Nicole Cosgrove

Last Updated on June 12, 2024 by Dogster Team

bernese mountain dog lying on the sand

Top 10 Dog-Friendly Beaches in California in 2024: Off & On-Leash Places to Go

While California’s natural landscape varies widely, the beach life and all that comes with it will always be among the first things people think of about the state. Dog lovers living or traveling in the Golden State will be pleased to learn that their canine friends are also welcome at many beaches in California. Here are California’s top 10 dog-friendly beaches, listed from north to south.

Top 10 Dog-Friendly Beaches in California

1. Moonstone Beach

️ Address: 100 Moonstone Beach Rd, Trinidad, CA 95570
Open Times: 6:30 AM–9 PM
Cost: Free
Off-Leash: Yes
  • Located just south of the Oregon border
  • You’ll share the space with swimmers, surfers, and rock climbers
  • Portable restroom only
  • No overnight stays, day-use only
  • Be aware that there’s another Moonstone Beach in California that is NOT dog-friendly

2. Rodeo Beach

️ Address: 1049 Mitchell Rd, Sausalito, CA 94965
Open Times: 24 hours, parking lots open between sunrise and sunset
Cost: Free
Off-Leash: Yes, dogs must be under voice control
  • Beach is covered in pebbles, not sand
  • Located three miles northwest of Golden Gate Bridge
  • You’ll find dog-friendly hiking trails nearby
  • Don’t let your dog explore the lagoon and disturb endangered species
  • Restrooms, parking, picnic spots, and outdoor showers are available

3. Fort Funston

️ Address: Fort Funston Rd, San Francisco, CA 94132
Open Times: 7 AM–9 PM
Cost: Free
Off-Leash: Yes
  • Steep hike to the beach
  • A popular location for hang gliding
  • Some protected areas are off-limits, pay attention to signs
  • Strong undertow, monitor your dog while swimming

4. Baker Beach

️ Address: 12 25th Avenue, San Francisco, CA 94121
Open Times: 24 hours, parking lots open between sunrise and sunset
Cost: Free
Off-Leash: In one section only, check signs to confirm
  • Features gorgeous views of the Golden Gate Bridge
  • Can be very crowded on weekends
  • Follow signs; not all areas are off-leash
  • Hiking, picnic area, restrooms, and grills are available
  • Some parts of the beach are clothing-optional (for humans)

5. Carmel Beach

️ Address: Ocean and Scenic Ave, Carmel-by-the-Sea, CA
Open Times: 24 hours
Cost: Free, some parking may be metered
Off-Leash: Yes, dogs must be under voice control
  • Keep dogs on leash until reaching the beach
  • Walking path nearby, stay on the trail to avoid damaging the bluffs
  • You’ll share the beach with surfers
  • Restrooms and dog waste bags are available
  • Many local shops and restaurants are dog-friendly, too

6. Arroyo Burro Beach

️ Address: 2981 Cliff Dr. Santa Barbara, CA 93109
Open Times: 8 AM–sunset
Cost: Free
Off-Leash: Yes, in designated areas only
  • Follow signs; not all areas are off-leash
  • Free beach wheelchairs are available
  • Parking, grills, showers, picnic areas, and dog wash areas are available
  • Known locally as Hendry’s Beach
  • Nearby nature preserve also allows off-leash dogs

7. Rosie’s Dog Beach

️ Address: 5000 E. Ocean Blvd, Long Beach, CA 90803
Open Times: 6 AM–8 PM
Cost: Free, metered parking
Off-Leash: Yes
  • Located just south of Los Angeles
  • Keep dogs on leashes while walking to the beach
  • You’ll share the space with families, and it can get crowded
  • Trash cans, limited dog waste bags, and restrooms are available

8. Huntington Dog Beach

️ Address: 100 Goldenwest St, Huntington Beach, CA 92648
Open Times: 5 AM–10 PM
Cost: $2/hour parking
Off-Leash: Yes
  • Restrooms, water fountains, waste bags, and picnic tables are available
  • Don’t leave used waste bags on the beach
  • Keep dogs on leash until reaching the beach
  • Busy highway nearby; make sure dogs are under voice control

9. Del Mar Dog Beach

️ Address: 3902 29th St, Del Mar, CA 92014
Open Times: 24 hours
Cost: Free
Off-Leash: On Main and North Beach, with seasonal and time restrictions
  • Follow signs carefully for off-leash areas
  • Dogs must wear a license and be on a maximum 6-foot leash
  • Dog surfing and paddleboarding lessons are available
  • Excellent swimming beach with gentle waves

10. Ocean Beach

️ Address: Dog Beach, San Diego, CA 92107
Open Times: 24 hours
Cost: Free
Off-Leash: Yes
  • Known as the “Original Dog Beach”
  • Showers, restrooms, parking, and a picnic area are available
  • You’ll share the beach with surfers and swimmers
  • Arrive early, especially on weekends, gets crowded fast
  • Located blocks from restaurants and breweries

Conclusion

These 10 dog-friendly California beaches all feature off-leash areas, which is why they made our list as the best. However, many other beaches in the state allow leashed dogs, so check the rules at your favorite spot before you assume your pup is forbidden. Keep safety in mind when planning any beach day, and make sure your dog stays cool and hydrated. Always be respectful of other beach users, keep your dog under control, and pick up all waste.

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Featured Image Credit: Piqsels

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