10 Best Dog Beaches in San Diego, California

Are you going to hit the beaches with your four-legged friends? You will be glad to know that there are plenty of dog beaches in San Diego county where your furry friend can play and enjoy full freedom. Also, watching the sunrise from Cowles Mountain with a dog is another great experience.

There are plenty of benefits of traveling with dogs and luckily the weather in San Diego is great for a beach vacation with your pet. It’s important to know what beaches in San Diego allow dogs. Whether you are looking for off-leash or on-leash, crowded or vacant dog beaches, this list of the best dog-friendly beaches in San Diego is got you covered all over.

best dog beaches in san diego

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Off-Leash Dog Beaches in San Diego, California

#1 The Original Dog Beach, Ocean Beach

Location: 5156W W Point Loma Blvd, San Diego, CA 92107

Beach Information

Ocean Beach is one of the best San Diego dog beaches where you can enjoy a relaxing vacation when your pooch plays and runs along the one-mile-long beach shore. It is the first official off-leash dog-friendly beach in the United States.

The Original Dog Beach is wide and not so crowded, with plenty of space for pets to play and explore. It is heaven for dogs and dog owners. You can find the off-leash area at the north end of the beach. Avoid keeping your pups in the area between the path and the beach pier.

best dog beaches in san diego
The Original Dog Beach, Ocean Beach – PC: Flickr

Entry Fee/Parking: Parking is not an issue here. There is a huge parking lot at the west of West Point Loma Boulevard. You can get a lot even during a busy summer weekend.

Dog Rules: Dogs are allowed to roam freely.

Hours of Service: 24 hours a day, daily.

Dog-Friendly Beach Hotels in Ocean Beach

#2 Coronado Dog Beach

Location: 100 Ocean Blvd Coronado, CA 92118

Beach Information

Want to spend a fun day at the beach with your beloved pooch? Come to Coronado dog beach, one of the best dog-friendly beaches in California.

It’s a real treat for your eyes watching 100-200 dogs playing in the water. Located right next to the US Naval Station this beach is a little bit crowded compared to other dog beaches in San Diego.

This scenic stretch of white sand is the only beach along the Coronado shorelines that allows dogs. You can leave your dog off-leash, but you must keep your eye open on your pup. Point Loma skylines to the north and the beautiful Hotel del Coronado on the other side offer amazing views.

At the exit, there is a little hose/water fountain area where you can wash the excess sand off your dog after he has had some fun.

Note: Be sure to have your dog leashed from the parking area to the sand, or else be ready to face a hefty $500 fine.

Coronado Dog Beach | dog-friendly beaches in San Diego
Coronado Dog Beach – PC: Flickr

Entry Fee/Parking: Free street parking can be found along the north end of Ocean Boulevard.

Dog Rules: Dog owners must carry cleaning bags to dispose of the waste. Dogs are allowed to roam off-leash.

Hours of Service: Open 24 hours all year round.

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Dog-Friendly Beach Hotels in Coronado

#3 Fiesta Island Off-Leash Dog Park

Location: 150 E Mission Bay Dr San Diego, CA 92109

Beach Information

Fiesta Island was voted as the ‘best dog park in the US’ by USA TODAY. It is more of a dog park than a dog-friendly beach in San Diego. There’s plenty of open space and your dog will love you for letting them run free without feeling bound-in by fences.

The water of the bay is very calm and perfect for small dogs who are afraid of the waves. There are beautiful sand dunes, hiking trails, and lots of grassy areas for your dogs to run around.

Note: There are no water fountains, no restrooms either. So make sure to bring plenty of water for you and your dog.

Fiesta Island Off-Leash Dog Park
Fiesta Island Off-Leash Dog Park – PC: Flickr

Entry Fee/Parking: Plenty of parking spots are available.

Dog Rules: Dogs are allowed off-leash in the designated area and on-leash everywhere else.

Hours of Service: 6 am – 10 pm every day

Dog-Friendly Beach Hotels near Fiesta Island

#4 Del Mar North Beach – Best Dog Beach in San Diego

Location: 3200 Camino Del Mar, CA 92014

Beach Information

This is one of the best beaches in Southern California that allows dogs to roam without a leash. With long beachfront, shallow water, low winds, and gentle waves, Del Mar North Beach has the ideal settings to be a perfect dog beach in San Diego.

The beach is very clean and most dogs are friendly and well-behaved. Your dog will feel comfortable at the little inlet with calm water. The beach is not all about dogs, the beach itself is very scenic and the sunrise is just mindblowing.

Dog- friendly beaches in San Diego | Del Mar North Dog Beach
Del Mar North Dog Beach – PC: Flickr

Entry Fee/Parking: Metered parking facility is available along Camino del Mar and at 29th Street. It is a very popular San Diego beach, so finding a parking spot during summer weekends could be very difficult.

You can also check out these 10 best beach coolers with wheels to keep your drinks cool and enjoy a beach vacation in summer with your pup.

Dog Rules: Dogs can enjoy their full freedom on the beach from Labor Day to 15th June while off-leash. From June 16th to Labor Day dogs are allowed on-leash. During this time dogs can be off-leash from dawn to 8 am.

Hours of Service: 24 hours throughout the year.

Dog-Friendly Beach Hotels in Del Mar

#5 Solana Beach

Location: 111 S Sierra Ave Solana Beach, CA 92075

Beach Information

Looking for an excellent beach to introduce your beloved pet to the wonders of the sea? Solana Beach in San Diego could be an ideal choice for you and your dogs. This off-leash dog beach in San Diego allows your dogs to run freely once you pass by the south of the staircase at Del Mar Shores beach access.

This is a gorgeous beach with breathtaking views and high cliffs that overlook the beach and the ocean. The beach is clean, spacious, and not overly crowded which is perfect for your dogs to play with the sand and the splash. There you will find plenty of restaurants and boutique shops in Solana Beach.

Off Leash Dog Beach in San Diego - Solana Beach
Off Leash Dog Beach in San Diego – Solana Beach

Entry Fee/Parking: Parking is not an issue on this beach. There are plenty of parking spots available on highway 101.

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Dog Rules: Although dogs are allowed to roam off-leash, owners must keep a watchful eye out after their pets. Verify that your dog is vaccinated before introducing him or her to Solana Beach.

Dog-Friendly Beach Hotels in Solana Beach

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On-Leash Dog Beaches in San Diego, California

#6 La Jolla Shores

Location: 8200 Camino Del Oro, La Jolla, CA 92037

Beach Information

Enjoy a great vacation at La Jolla Shores with your four-legged buddy. This is a long beach, over a mile long, that offers plenty of spaces to go for a long beach walk with your dogs on-leash. The beach is not only loved by dog owners but also couples who are looking for a romantic California getaway.

No matter which type of dog breed you own, your pup will definitely love a stroll along the sandy beach and enjoy the splash. There are plenty of bathrooms, shower stations, volleyball courts, and surfing. Please Note: Your dog must on a leash no longer than 6 feet.

La Jolla Shores
La Jolla Shores

Entry Fee/Parking: Ample parking spots are available in La Jolla Shores. Parking should not be an issue except during peak summer weekends. You can also park in the La Jolla Shores Beach parking lot located next to Kellogg Park.

Dog Rules: It’s important to know about the dog rules before arriving at La Jolla Shores. Dogs are allowed on-leash at any time before 9 AM and after 4 PM during the winter (October – March). You can bring your dog off-leash before 9 AM and after 6 PM in the summer (April – September).

Dog-Friendly Beach Hotels near La Jolla Shores

#7 Imperial Beach

Location: Imperial Beach Blvd, Imperial Beach, CA 91932

Beach Information

Another popular pet-friendly beach in San Diego, California where you can bring your dog to enjoy the splash in and out of the waves. Don’t expect your dog to run freely on the beach. But you can go for a nice walk along the shore with your companion on-leash.

Try to avoid the area between Palm Avenue and Imperial Beach Boulevard. The rest of the places are dog-friendly where you can enjoy the ocean breeze and your buddy can enjoy the splash of the water.

Note: Brings plenty of water for you and your dog as there are no water fountains in this area.

Imperial Beach
Dog Surfing Competition at Imperial Beach – PC: Flickr

Entry Fee/Parking: Numerous parking spots are available along the strip. Street parking, paid parking, and free parking – you can choose as per your need.

Dog Rules: From April 1st to October 31st, dogs are allowed before 9 am and after 6 pm. During the winter months (from November 1st to March 31st) dogs are allowed before 9 am and after 4 pm. Dogs must have at least an 8 feet leash on.

Dog-Friendly Beach Hotels near Imperial Beach

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#8 Cardiff State Beach – San Diego Dog Beach

Location: 2504 S Coast Hwy 101, Cardiff By The Sea, CA 92007

Beach Information

Looking for a spectacular dog beach in San Diego where you can swim and take sunbathe? Go to Cardiff State Beach, the one and only state beach in North County that allows dogs. The beach never gets too crowded(except public holidays and peak summer weekends).

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And the best thing is you can even camp at the adjacent San Elijo State Beach campsite, a popular southern California campground. The beach is clean and the waves are gentle. The beach offers more space for your dogs during low tide. There are many restaurant options that allow dogs just up the highway behind the state beach.

Cardiff State Beach
Cardiff State Beach – PC: Flickr

Entry Fee/Parking: There is a paid parking lot at Seaside Beach on Highway 101. I would recommend free street parking if there is not so much construction.

Dog Rules: Dogs are allowed only under 6 feet leash. Owners must clean up the waste created by his/her dog.

Hours of Service: 6 am – 11 pm daily

Dog-Friendly Beach Hotels near Cardiff State Beach

#9 San Elijo State Beach

Location: 2050 S Coast Hwy 101, Cardiff, CA 92007

Beach Information

San Elijo beach has a beautiful stretch of sand covering about a half-mile of the coast. It is a less crowded dog beach in San Diego compared to other beaches on this list. The beach is open to your pup on-leash. Your dog will enjoy splashing along the edge of the water, sprinting along the shore, and digging holes in the sand.

The beach itself is a very beautiful and romantic destination for couples. It has gentle waves that are perfect for your dog to play with water. This is a perfect opportunity for you and your dog to share some memorable moments. It’s a popular beach for surfers. Watch surfing or visit the park with your four-legged friend along the shore and admire the incredible scenery.

San Elijo Beach
San Elijo Beach

Entry Fee/Parking: Paid and free both types of parking are available. Free street parking can be found along the highway.

Dog Rules: Dogs must be on-leash on the beach. Dog owners must carry a waste bag and dispose of the dog waste in the trash container.

Dog-Friendly Beach Hotels near San Elijo

#10 Pacific Beach

Location: 671 Ocean Blvd #601, San Diego, CA 92109

Beach Information

Pacific Beach is a clean and well-maintained beach and perfect for dog owners who love beaches. Although dogs are not allowed on the sand, you can walk them on-leash along the boardwalk. It is a perfect beach to enjoy a vacation with your dog. You will find people walking and running in the morning.

Pacific Beach is not so crowded, but the water temperature is perfect for swimming. If you want to make some loving memories with your beloved pup, plan a trip to Pacific Beach, walk with your furry friend, enjoy the scenic ocean view and explore the nearby dog-friendly restaurants.

Pacific Beach
Pacific Beach

Entry Fee/Parking: Finding a parking lot can be really challenging throughout Pacific Beach. You can find a lot at Tourmaline Street. If all parking lots are filled check the side roads on the north side of the pier.

Dog Rules: Dogs are allowed on-leash before 9 a.m. and after 4 p.m. during winter (November 1st to March 31st) and before 9 a.m. and after 6 p.m. between 1st April and 31st October. Owners are expected to pick up after their dog.

Dog-Friendly Beach Hotels near Pacific Beach

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