4 Best Dog Friendly Beaches in San Diego

Have some doggone fun at four of the best pet friendly beaches, where both you and your dog are welcome to enjoy San Diego’s characteristic sand and surf.
Jess Tucker
Some of the links in this article are affiliate links. This means if you make purchases through them, I may be compensated at no extra cost to you. All opinions remain my own.
Best Dog Friendly Beaches in San Diego
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Have a Dog Day Afternoon on San Diego’s Shores

Doges Chasing Frisbee at Ocean Beach Dog Beach Series 1 of 3Two Dogs Having Fun at  OB Dog Beach

Given the option, I’d choose to take my dogs with me on every vacation! They’re as much a part of my family as the human members, so why shouldn’t they get to enjoy a day of beachside fun too?

While many beaches across the country don’t allow animals, there are a few beaches in San Diego County that are dog friendly. I can’t think of a better way to enjoy San Diego’s sunny weather than bringing my dogs along.

Between digging in the sand, jumping the waves, and playing with new friends, their wagging tails tell me they’re just as wild about the beach as I am.

Read on to see which beaches are pet friendly and where we’ve had the best experiences.

Surfers Going to the Beach at Del Mar South Beach
Surfers Going to the Beach at Del Mar South Beach

There’s Always More to Do in San Diego

While I want to share the details about San Diego’s best dog friendly beaches, let me start with a tip for the humans!

You might know that the Go City San Diego pass is a great way to save when visiting San Diego’s attractions, but did you also know that the pass can help you save on beach gear rentals too?

Use our discount code GVSD5OFF when buying your All-inclusive pass and enjoy discounted rentals for kayaks, snorkels, and other gear to make your beach day, with your dog, the best it can be.

Local Tips
Great Dog Friendly Hotel in Del Mar
One of my favorites is L'Auberge Del Mar Resort and Spa, which allows for up to two 75-pound dogs in a room. The hotel is close to the Del Mar Dog Beach, and services like pet sitting and grooming can be coordinated through the hotel.

San Diego’s 4 Best Dog Friendly Beaches

Find the perfect dog friendly San Diego beach for you and your furry friend using our list of the best dog beaches.

Pool with Ocean View of Del Mar at Lauberge Del Mar Resort and Spa
Pool with Ocean View of Del Mar at Lauberge Del Mar Resort and Spa

Then complete your getaway with a night at a dog friendly hotel like L'Auberge Del Mar Resort and Spa.

Let’s get into our list of San Diego’s dog friendly beaches!

Ocean Beach Dog Beach
Doges Chasing Frisbee at Ocean Beach Dog Beach Series 2 of 3

1) Ocean Beach Dog Beach

Neighborhood:
Ocean Beach

At Ocean Beach, you can find many of the best beaches in San Diego, including a very popular spot for pet parents known as Ocean Beach Dog Beach. In fact, this is the city’s original dog beach!

Dog Beach was one of the country’s first off-leash dog beaches, and unlike many of San Diego’s other dog beaches, the rule still applies today; you can unclip the leash as soon as you arrive on the sand, and your dog is free to run around and splash in the waves.

There are restroom and shower facilities available for visitors right along the beach, and during the summer months, lifeguards are stationed. The beach is routinely kept clean through the efforts of Ocean Beach's Town Council’s dedicated Dog Beach Committee, so you won’t have to worry about your pet digging through trash or getting into trouble.

It’s common to see people playing volleyball on the sand here, and further offshore, there are lots of surfers during peak conditions in the fall. If you’re renting a surfboard, grab a Go City San Diego pass with our discount code first to save on rental costs.

Fiesta Island
Sunset Over Fiesta Island

2) Fiesta Island

Neighborhood:
Mission Bay Park

Just a short way inland from Mission Beach and across the bay from SeaWorld San Diego sits Fiesta Island, a dog friendly beach that’s part of Mission Bay Park. There’s lots to do on the island, but the main draw for pet parents is the dog beach on the eastern side.

Fiesta Island Dog Park is fenced in, so dogs can run without a leash and you can relax, worry-free. The water on the east side of the island is calmer too, while the waves on the west side are more suitable for paddle boarding and jet skiing. This creates a natural separation between dogs playing in the shallows and other visitors at the main beach.

Thanks to its abundance of activities, Fiesta Island is one of the best dog friendly beaches, but it also earns a top spot on our list of the Best Beaches in San Diego. Other fun things to do at this Mission Bay beach include windsurfing, horseback riding, having a picnic, and kayaking. There are also two miles of trails where you can bike or go for a walk with your dog.

Take some scenic photos on the trails that wind through Fiesta Island’s meadows, then kick back by a bonfire to watch the sunset to end a perfect day with your pooch.

Del Mar Dog Beach
Dogs Enjoying the Beach at Del Mar Dog Beach

3) Del Mar Dog Beach

Neighborhood:
Del Mar

Unlike the human-only Del Mar City Beach and Torrey Pines State Beach in Del Mar, Del Mar Dog Beach - also called North Beach - is a half-mile stretch of shoreline that welcomes both dogs and dog lovers. It’s one of the beaches where a leash is not required, so dogs can run free and socialize with each other without restrictions.

Del Mar Dog Beach is wide enough for dogs to roam without overcrowding, and lots of people set up volleyball nets on the sand. The waves further from the shore can get large enough to attract surfers, but dogs won’t have any trouble splashing around right off shore.

In addition to the beach, San Dieguito River Park is just a few steps away. The park is a large nature preserve that allows dogs to walk the trails with their owners, though you’ll have to keep them on a leash while in the park to prevent accidental damage to the ecosystem.

If you look out over the ocean and spot a suspiciously four-legged shape on a surfboard, don’t be surprised! While La Jolla is the neighborhood most famous for its surf culture, Del Mar Dog Beach is one of the only places where pet owners can take their dogs out surfing with them.

Whether you rent a board yourself or you’re just an observer, watching a canine surf is an unforgettable sight!

North Beach (Dog Run Beach)
Coronados Dog Run Beach at Sunset

4) North Beach (Dog Run Beach)

Neighborhood:
Coronado Island

The beaches of Coronado Island are some of my favorites in all of Southern California, including standouts like Silver Strand State Beach. One Coronado Island beach that’s especially popular among pet owners is North Beach, which has developed such a reputation for its pet friendliness that it’s also called both Coronado Dog Beach and Dog Run Beach.

The most appealing aspect of Dog Run Beach is the geography. The beach itself is almost completely flat and wide enough to accommodate dozens of dogs at a time. There aren’t any hills or rocky sections, and dogs are allowed to be off leash, so they can stretch their legs while playing fetch or catching a Frisbee.

Bordering this San Diego dog beach is Sunset Park, a grassy area with a few picnic tables and walking trails. The park has restrooms and fields that can be the stage for an impromptu soccer game when not in use. Dogs are allowed in the park, but they must be on a leash.

A little ways to the south, you’ll spot the iconic red roof of Hotel del Coronado, aka The Del. North Beach is famous for its excellent views, especially at sunset, so definitely bring the camera to snap some pictures of your pet during golden hour.

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Birch Aquarium at Scripps
Meet over 5,000 fish & sea animals at the Birch Aquarium at Scripps. The All-Inclusive Go City Pass includes access to marine exhibits, interactive displays and hands-on experiences, like touching a shark!
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Who can use a Go City San Diego pass?

Adults and children (ages 3 to 12) can use the Go City San Diego pass – All-Inclusive or Explorer pass – to visit the area’s top attractions and activities.

Want to save more? Use our exclusive discount code GVSD5OFF to save an extra 5%!

Before Bringing Fido, Here’s What to Know

Plenty of Room at Ocean Beach Dog Beach
Plenty of Room at Ocean Beach Dog Beach

What Are the Do's and Dont's?

Cleaning up after your pet is required at all of San Diego’s dog beaches, as it helps keep the dog park clean for everyone. Pay attention to signage about where dogs are allowed on each beach if dogs are restricted to a certain area.

Also, make sure to bring lots of water for your dogs to prevent overheating and dehydration.

Coronados Dog Run Beach at Sunset
Coronados Dog Run Beach at Sunset

Which Beaches Have Leash Rules?

Some beaches allow dogs to roam without a leash, while others require dogs to be on a leash at all times.

Currently, all four beaches in the list allow dogs to run without a leash. However, rules may change over time, so always double check before visiting to avoid any issues.

Welcome Dogs to L'Auberge Del Mar Resort and Spa
Welcome Dogs to L'Auberge Del Mar Resort and Spa

Does San Diego Have Dog Friendly Hotels?

Many San Diego hotels have pet friendly policies, including a few on the beach!

One of my favorites is L'Auberge Del Mar Resort and Spa, which allows for up to two 75-pound dogs in a room. The hotel is close to the Dirty Dogs Dog Park, and services like pet sitting and grooming can be coordinated through the hotel.

Featured Hotel
L'Auberge Del Mar Resort and Spa
Pool with Ocean View of Del Mar at L'Auberge Del Mar Resort and Spa
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L’Auberge Del Mar Resort and Spa has a level of luxury that other resorts aspire to. Enjoy the best of everything while you are a guest because you deserve it.
Prices Starting at $288
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