Between Los Angeles and San Diego, Laguna Beach is a popular beach destination in California. This city in Orange County boasts a population of more than 23,000, and almost half of them have at least one dog. It is not hard to tell that people in Laguna Beach love dogs if you look around. You will see them everywhere, from the beach to the mall and even in some museums. Many of the hotels allow dogs as well, so you can bring your pup on vacation with you.
Besides the dog-friendly eateries, shops, and motels, the beaches are the most important to many dog lovers in Laguna Beach. It gets hot in the summer and never really gets cold, so you can expect the beaches to be open all year long. Your pooch will not mind if it is only 70 degrees outside. He is always up for a splash in the shallows. Here are 15 beaches your fur baby will love in Laguna Beach to get you started.
Shaws Cove Beach
Located between Crescent Bay Beach and Heisler Park, Shaws Cove Beach is a nice flat piece of sand with natural boundaries. This is where divers and snorkelers go to see the underwater world. Your dog can even go snorkeling with you. However, it is best to put a life vest on him just in case. Other popular activities here are paddleboarding, kayaking, and body surfing. Bring a picnic lunch and enjoy a meal in the picnic area while you are here.
This is a family beach with a swimming area with soft sand, tide pools, and restrooms, as well as water fountains and benches for relaxing. Although dogs are welcome to the beach on leashes, the times, can depend on what time of year it is. From June 15th until September 10th, the dog-friendly times are between 9 AM and 6 PM. Between September 11th and June 14th, you can bring your pooch anytime. You and your fur buddy will love spending the day at this fun spot.
Named after Howard G. Heisler, who was the original owner, Heisler Beach is right next to Shaws Cove Beach. It is a large natural space with its own sandy beach as well as other amenities. This is a favorite park for art lovers. There are walking paths with art sculptures and artsy benches that are perfect for unique selfies. Besides the large beach, you will also find a lawn bowling space and an amphitheater in the center of the park.
The large picnic area has its own name (Picnic Cove) because it is so popular with the locals for a scenic day at the beach. On the eastern end of the park, there is a gazebo where you and your pup can have a seat and watch the volleyball games or families having fun on the beach. The boardwalk is a nice way to get an overall view of the whole place, and there are showers, restrooms, a playground, and a lifeguard too.
Main Beach Park
Just to the east of Heisler Park, Main Beach Park is a wide patch of sand about one-half mile long, right near downtown Laguna Beach. Dogs are totally welcome as long as you keep them on a leash that is six feet long or shorter. However, there are time restrictions, like at Shaws Cove, where dogs are allowed from 9 AM and 6 PM on June 15th until September 10th and all day during the rest of the year.
This beach is actually larger than the other two and features a variety of activities as well as restrooms, showers, and lifeguards. The playground here is awesome, with really nice new equipment, and there are volleyball courts in the sand as well. The park also features a boardwalk, tidepools, and picnic areas with tables and barbecue pits. Be sure to bring doggie waste bags to pick up after your pup and extra water and snacks for you both.
Huntington Dog Beach
Located in Huntington State Beach Park, Huntington Dog Beach is a pooch’s dream park as he can play uninhibited on the beach and in the water. Unlike most public city beaches nearby, you and your fur baby can play in the sand and the surf all day and into the evening at this fun beach. Your canine companion is welcome to be off the leash, but he has to be under voice control at all times. Keep your leash on hand, just in case.
This dog beach is a favorite with the locals as well as people visiting from all over the world. It has drinking fountains for dogs and their humans, restrooms, and waste bags so you can clean up whatever he happens to drop. The rest of the state park is dog-friendly, too but your pooch has to stay on a leash, and he cannot go on the beach here. However, you can enjoy the interpretive exhibits, picnic areas, and geocaching.
Central Park Dog Park
Just behind Huntington Dog Beach, you will find another favorite spot for dogs in this area, as well as visiting canines. Located on Goldenwest Street, this park has more than 340 acres with a bunch of amenities and activities. There are three restaurants, an exercise trail, a few lakes, horseshoe games, disc golf, and four playgrounds. You can also go fishing here or visit the nature center.
Besides all that, there is even a dog park here where Fido can play off the leash with other fur babies. There are sections for small dogs and large dogs, both fenced in and full of grass and dirt to play in. This fun place also provides scooby snacks for a small fee, mutt mitts for picking up after your pup, and water features. There is even a Doggie Walk of Fame where you can get great selfies with your fur baby.
Corona Del Mar State Beach
There is a half-mile of clean sand and beautiful blue waters for you and your pup to enjoy at Corona Del Mar State Beach. The only time your dog is not allowed on the beach is between 10 AM and 4:30 PM. The cliffs make a stunning border around the beach where you can stroll to get some insane views of the ocean and all the surfers who frequent the beach. You can also enjoy snorkeling here to see some vibrant sea life.
You will need to keep your dog on a leash and bring along some doggie bags and extra water. There are restrooms and outdoor showers available for your convenience. Nobody wants a sandy dog in their car. The beach also has a restaurant called The Jetty, where you and your buddy can get some burgers, quesadillas, or even a lobster roll. Your pup may enjoy some catfish or chicken.
San Onofre State Beach
Just to the east, between San Clemente and Vista Point, San Onofre State Beach is a 3,000-acre playground for four-legged family members to enjoy. Although your pup is not allowed on the sand, there are other ways to get to the water at this park. If your dog is not voice-controlled, keep him on a leash. The leash law only applies to those dogs that have no boundaries. There are 10 endangered animals in the park so keep him from bothering the wildlife too.
There are several trails for you and your dog to explore here. On Trails one and six, you can enjoy a swim at the end of the walk because dogs are allowed to get in the water here. Each of the seven trails will take you through the backcountry in the woods and cliffs. They are about ¼ mile each and are easy to moderate. The park also has 175 campsites if you decide to stay for a while.
Newport Beach is a large coastal city with a huge harbor, two piers, and several beaches. Your dog is welcome at all of them, but some of them do not allow dogs on the beach at certain times. For example, on the main beach, your pooch is allowed before 10 AM and after 4:30 PM. At the bayfront beaches, dogs are not allowed from 9 AM to 5 PM. Some of the others allow pups all day as long as he is on a leash.
The huge Newport Municipal Beach is the favorite for most as it offers five miles of soft sand and calm surf. This is a humongous beach, so you can almost always find a stretch of sand that is empty if you need some solitude. There is a trail here that takes you around the whole peninsula, but it will take you a while. If you decide to explore it, bring extra water, dog cleanup bags, and snacks.
Balboa Pier Beach
Just to the east but still in Newport Beach, Balboa Pier Beach features some awesome amenities. The main one is the park’s namesake, the Balboa Pier. The three-mile boardwalk takes you here from West Newport Beach, and you and your pup will see some great views as well as eateries, shops, and entertainment along the way. Please inquire about the dog policy before entering any of the establishments.
Opened in 1906, this pier is a fun place to take a walk, try some fishing, or enjoy a bite to eat. Peninsula Park is just a few short steps away, with thick grass to play a game of frisbee or fetch. Further south, the sandy area of the beach is a popular swimming spot with lifeguards, restrooms, and water fountains. Please bring your own cleanup baggies and water, just in case. The sand dunes here are tricky so keep your pup on a leash at all times.
Treasure Island Beach
Just past Victoria Beach, the name of this beach is intriguing for many as it gives you the idea of pirates and buried riches. However, you will not find either of these on this lovely stretch of golden sand. The beach is kept pristine all year long, as are the restrooms and showers, with help from the city and Montage Resort. You and your fur baby can enjoy the sun and surf all day but keep him on a leash for his own safety.
At the southern end of the beach, Treasure Island Park also has access to the sand from the bluffs, where you can get a stunning view. However, dogs are not allowed between 9 AM and 6 PM between June 15th and September 10th. The locals come here to surf and dive, and you can enjoy seeing the marine life with a pair of goggles and a snorkel. What’s more, the Montage Resort staff treats everyone like a guest whether you are staying there or not!
Right next to Treasure Island, Aliso Beach is a fun place to see whales far off the coast, and dolphins even visit up close at times. The main activity here is skimboarding. This is the place they hold the annual championship of skimboarding (the Vic), and it can be really crowded sometimes. In case you did not know, a skimboard is a shorter and thinner board. It is similar to surfing, but you do not need huge waves for this sport. You may even get to see some local skimboarding stars.
If your pup wants to dive in, keep him on a leash. The beach is open to him before 9 AM and after 6 PM from June 15th until September 10th. Other fun activities here include paddleboarding, exploring the tide pools, and walking along the trails. There are showers, restrooms, and concessions, as well as a playground for the kids.
Talbert Regional Park
Located on the Santa Ana River, Talbert Regional Park boasts almost 180 acres to explore with nine trails, each one set up with different varieties of plant life. Some of these include Border Planting, Coastal Strands, and Native Grasslands. There are nine short trails that you and your canine companion can enjoy as long as you keep him on a leash. Please bring doggie waste bags to pick up after him too.
The Santa Ana River is a fine spot for your pup to dip his toes in, but you may not want to let him go too far. There is a current here that can be dangerous. It is best to put a doggie life jacket on him if you allow him to swim and keep him on a short leash. You can also let him swim in Victoria Pond, where there is no current. Always remember to clean up after your fur baby, and do not let him annoy the wildlife or parkgoers.
Crystal Cove State Park
With over three miles of beach and 2,400 acres of space, Crystal Cove State Park is a fun way to spend the day. Although you cannot let your dog play in the sand or in the ocean, you and your fur buddy can enjoy the rest of the park. There are numerous activities for you and your canine companion such as hiking, biking, and exploring the various reefs and bluffs. However, you will not be able to play in the sand or in the water here.
The best thing about Crystal Cove State Park is the Laguna Beach Dog Park. Located on Laguna Canyon Road at the eastern edge of the park, this off-leash pup paradise is open from 6 AM until dusk and has a huge space to run around and play fetch. There is a separate small dog area for little pups and shy pooches, too, as well as lots of shade, benches, and water fountains.
Uptown Dog Park
Also known as Gayle Carter Dog Park, you may not be at the beach, but your dog will have access to a lake, and you are not far from the river as well. With almost an acre of fenced play space, including sections for large and small dogs, this dog park in Scherer Park is open from dawn to dusk every day. You can take off his leash in the double-gated entry, and he can run free all day long.
The drinking fountain is perfect for both dogs and their humans, and they have benches and mutt mitt dispensers too! The favorite spots for dogs and kids are on top of the giant colorful concrete balls inside the park. You will often find pups hanging out on one of them just looking around. If you want to enjoy the rest of the park (Scherer Park), you are welcome to do so, but you will have to put Fido’s leash back on.
Rosie’s Dog Beach
There are four acres of soft sand and warm surf at Rosie’s Dog Beach in Long Beach for your fur baby to enjoy. You will love it, too, because seeing your pooch splash and play in the water without being leashed is worth it! He is also free to dig in the sand, and you can play fetch until your arm gets tired. Located on Ocean Boulevard, the doggie beach is open from 6 AM until 8 PM daily unless the weather is bad.
Please bring your own bags. They have a dispenser, but this is a popular park. There is a pooper scooper that you can use to make picking up after your canine compadre easier. You will also find numerous benches, so you do not have to sit in the sand unless you want to. The double entrance gates are great for security, and you will be required to put his leash back on when leaving the beach.
The Final Woof
There is more to do in Laguna Beach than hanging out at the beach, although that is the highlight! One unique activity is the Faux Paw Productions Artique Gallery. This is a dog-friendly art studio where you can get dog art like toys, paintings, bowls, tote bags, and other customized art pieces.
Or you can enjoy tasting some delicious wines on the 5 Star Wine Tasting Tour. If you are more of a beer person, take your fur baby to Brewheim for a tour and some homemade brew.
Another way to enjoy the waters of Laguna Beach is to take a tour with the Fun Zone Boat Company. No matter what you do in Laguna Beach with your pup, you are sure to have a great time!