It’s no secret that San Diego boasts some of the best year-round weather in the country, and with that comes the endless desire to get out and about and enjoy the spectacular coastline. With this combination of great weather and gorgeous scenery, it only makes sense that you’d want to bring your favorite four-legged friend(s) along.
Here’s a rundown of the dog-friendly designated beaches within San Diego County. And remember, as a responsible dog-owner, make sure to be aware of and adhere to each area’s rules and regulations. This helps to keep these beaches safe and clean!
This Dog Beach is often referred to as San Diego’s original dog beach and one of the largest and most popular places to take your dog. This melting pot for dogs and their owners allows dogs to roam off leash at all hours of the day. After a long day at the beach, you can even head over to the Dog Beach Dog Wash to give your pup a much-needed bath.
Located in Mission Bay Park on a nice stretch of sand, this beach allows dogs to run leash-free in most areas, excluding the Youth Campground and (in certain seasons) various bird nesting sites. The calm waters of the bay are perfect for less-adventurous dogs, and gorgeous sunsets offer humans with a relaxing retreat. Open daily from 6:00 am – 10:00 pm.
Coronado North Beach Dog Run
Located adjacent to the gorgeous Hotel Del Coronado with views of the Point Loma skyline to the north, this beach offers 24-hour off-leash access to pups people. Take note that dogs must be leashed until you actually reach the beach, but once on the sand it’s free-reign to all. The city provides free dog-litter bags at the entrance to the run and there is also a foot-shower for easy clean up.
If you’re looking for something a little farther up north, Del Mar Dog Beach is a great low-key place to bring your pup. Located at Via De La Valle and Hwy. 101 at the river mouth, this beach allows off-leash dogs post-Labor Day through mid-June. The rest of the year requires a leash but still offers a great social experience and beach access for all involved.
Seaside Cardiff State Beach
This San Diego dog beach allows leashed dogs only and is such an expansive beach that it can be a perfect spot to set up shop with your pup for the entire day. A parking lot makes for easy access, and with a bit of patience, free parking can even be found on Highway 101 just steps from the sand.
San Elijo State Beach and Campground
Dogs are welcome on-leash at this beautiful stretch, which is also popular with local surfers and is directly accessed via the San Elijo Campground facilities. If you’re lucky enough to score a spot in this prime campground location, feel free to bring your leashed dog down to the beach with you as well.
With the exception of the beaches spotlighted above, most beaches in San Diego do not allow dogs during the summer season and peak hours. There are some that allow you to walk your dog in early morning/later evening hours in the off season, but be sure to check with local rules and specific dates to avoid hefty fines.