Los Angeles, the city of year-long sunshine, makes you want to enjoy the beach no matter what season. But what if you aren't sure whether you can take your furry friend who loves to sunbathe with you? Keep reading to learn about five dog-friendly beaches in Los Angeles. Some are closer than you think!
First Things First: Pre-Planning Your Beach Day
Before jumping into your car and packing a picnic basket, here are a few things to consider. If this is your first beach trip, try to predict your dog's behavior. You know their habits better than anyone else, and you should remain of any common behavioral issues in dogs, such as barking or growling, before taking them to a new place with dozens of dogs.
Also, make sure to clean up after yourself and your pets. Nothing ruins the cozy feeling of digging your toes (or paws!) in the sand like stepping on food, trash, or dog poop. Eww! Pack extra trash bags, so you don’t leave behind wrappers and can scoop up your pet’s waste.
Now, that being said, here are some great dog-friendly beaches in Los Angeles.
Leo Carrillo State Park
Leo Carrillo State Park is located in Malibu off the Pacific Coast Highway. While only 1.5 miles in length, it is a great spot for swimming, surfing, hiking, and camping. Dogs are allowed on leash anywhere north of Lifeguard Tower 3, in the day-use areas, and the campgrounds. Unfortunately, they are not allowed in South Beach (south of Tower 3) or on any backcountry hiking trails.
There is also paid, on-site parking and hours are from 8 a.m.- to 10 p.m. Bonus tip: take your dogs’ rain booties or watch the ground, as it can be rocky and bumpy in the tide pool areas.
When googling your next dog-friendly day trip, you’ll likely find Point Mugu State Park. Although it’s technically labeled a “park,” it features five miles of beaches, sand dunes, and river canyons. Point Mugu requires dogs to stay on leashes, and they are free to enjoy the entire coastline! If you are looking for a longer visit, the campgrounds and day-use spots are also canine-friendly. Just stay off the hiking trails and dirt roads because pets aren’t allowed there.
It’s open from 8 a.m. to sunset (which means a later closing time in summer and an earlier one in winter) and has a small lot for paid on-site parking.
Rosie’s Dog Beach
Of course, the iconic Rosie’s Dog Beach made it on the list! Located on Long Beach, this spot offers 4.1 acres of off-leash shenanigans between Granada Avenue and Raycroft Avenue. Let your dog enjoy the leash-free freedom and mingle with other furry friends. Be sure to check out the sign for Rosie the Bulldog, whom the beach is named after.
You can find paid, on-site parking or metered street parking in case the lot is full. Keep in mind that dogs must be on leash as you walk to the dog zone, but it’s a free-for-all once you get there. Stop by between 6 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Huntington Beach Dog Beach
This one might be a drive from Los Angeles, but Huntington Beach Dog Beach is worth the visit. Dogs can roam around off-leash when they are in the designated area between Seapoint Street and 21st Street. You and your dog can enjoy the biking and walking trails or get in the water for surfing, swimming, and frisbee catching.
Huntington Beach Dog Beach has the most generous hours and opens from 5 a.m. to 10 p.m. There are paid, metered parking lots on-site and within walking distance. They also host a biannual Corgi Beach Day where owners and all dogs can celebrate this adorable breed!
Honorable Mention: Point Fermin Park
Point Fermin Park rounds out the list of five dog-friendly beaches in Los Angeles. There are plenty of things to see and do in the area like visiting the lighthouse or Korean friendship bell. Sadly, you cannot take your dog onto the beach, but they are allowed on leash in the day-use park area. Take them for a cliffside stroll and enjoy the ocean views.
Bring your doggo here between 6:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. and look for the paid, on-site parking or free street parking a few blocks down. Stop and smell the sea salt on your walk to the park.
Keeping a Dog Entertained on the Beach
Humans, unlike dogs, are fine just lounging around and napping at the beach. Our furry friends need a bit more activity and stimulation, so they aren’t bored on the day out. Why not try one of the three activities below?
Splash Around in the Water
You may wonder if dogs instinctively know how to swim. This is actually a myth, and it might be challenging for certain breeds (such as the brachycephalic bulldog) to swim depending on their body and facial features. If you aren’t sure whether your dog can paddle, play it safe by splashing in the water. Chase the waves as they go back into the ocean, hop around, or even toss a frisbee.
Teach Your Dog a New Trick
If your dog isn’t too busy making new friends or splashing around, you can use the downtime to teach them a new trick. It doesn’t have to be “rollover” or jumping through a hoop. Any of these five easy tricks can stimulate their mind.
Go for a Run
For those pet owners with energetic canines, go on a run and let out their extra energy. This might not go smoothly at first, especially if your dog hasn’t been running before, but you can prepare them. Choosing the right leash and going slowly are two of the best tips for teaching your dog how to run with you.
These beaches and hundreds of dog parks across the state make California one of the most dog-friendly travel destinations in the U.S. Which beaches are your favorite?