Everyone around the world has heard of Los Angeles, California. The city of the rich and famous as well as vibrant culture and natural spaces. There are almost four million people living in LA, making it the second most populated city in the US, behind New York. Being such a popular place, of course, you will find plenty of dog-friendly places in Los Angeles. From the Santa Monica Pier on the ocean to Hollywood, you will find over a dozen dog parks, 25+ dog-friendly trails, and more than 400 pup-popular restaurants.
Being southern California, the weather is warm all year, with summer highs in the 80s and winters in the 60s. With that being said, although there are more than 70 miles of beaches, only one is officially an off-leash dog beach. In fact, most of LA county beaches do not allow dogs on the sand at all. That is why you have to be adventurous and go to dog-friendly parks and recreational areas near the water to take your pup for a swim. Here are 15 of the ones we think are the best.
Echo Park Lake
Less than two miles northwest of downtown LA, Echo Park may not be on the ocean, but it has a large lake with lots of pup-friendly waterfront. As long as you keep him on a leash, he is welcome to join you in enjoying the many aspects of the recreational space. Since 1895, people have been coming to Echo Park Lake for relaxation and recreation. From picnicking to partying, the park is a popular spot for the locals.
Not only can your pup play around the edges of the lake, but you can rent a swan boat and get out on the water in style. There are also several pieces of public art to see as well as tennis courts, playgrounds, and even a taco truck at the northern end of the park as well as other food trucks and vendors. Always remember to pack extra doggie bags and drinking water for both of you.
Lincoln Park Lake
A few minutes to the east of LA, Lincoln Park is also dog-friendly. One of the first public parks in Los Angeles, it opened in 1881 and was first known as East Los Angeles Park, Eastside Park, and then Eastlake Park. Keep your canine companion attached to a leash no longer than six feet and pick up after him, and he is welcome to accompany you to this fun historic park. The large lake is perfect for letting your pup cool off while you are there.
The rest of the park is fun, too. There are picnic areas with tables and barbecue grills, baseball diamonds, a tennis court, a skatepark, and a children’s play area with all sorts of modern equipment including swings, slides, monkey bars, and interactive activities. There is also a plaza north of the lake where they hold events, and there is a monument called The Wall right next to that.
Silver Lake Dog Park
Silver Lake Dog Park may not have a beach on the ocean, but it has miles of waterfront fun for your canine companion to enjoy. You and he can spend a whole day playing in the water as long as you bring plenty of doggie bags to pick up after him. Also, bring enough water for the both of you. The off-leash park is at the southern end of the reservoir where Duane Street meets Silver Lake Boulevard, just under four miles from downtown LA.
The fenced area is about 1.25 acres for your pooch to play without a leash, and there are almost always other fur babies to play with. The pet parents have shaded benches, chairs, and picnic tables as well as doggie bags and poop scoopers. There is also a separate space for dogs under 30 pounds so small dogs do not have to worry about being trampled.
Hermon Dog Park
Also known as the Arroyo Seco Dog Park, this is a large area for off-leash play right next to the Arroyo Seco River in the middle of the park at Avenue 60 and Highway 110. The crystal clear water is always cool and fresh so your pooch can cool off in it and have a drink too. At times, the water is barely a trickle while other times, it can be several feet deep so check the previous rainfall totals before you go if you want to swim.
Besides playing in the water, the most pup popular activity here is the agility course. There are tubes to dash through, a ramp to run over, a pole jump, and a platform for healing. The cute doggie bone benches offer seating for the pup parents, and there are water fountains and waste stations. After playing in the park, you can go back to the water and cool off.
Griffith Park Dog Park
Less than 10 minutes from LA city center, Griffith Park has more than 4,200 acres of space, and most of it is dog-friendly for leashed dogs. And being right on the Los Angeles means your cuddly buddy can play in the water while you are there. It is home to many attractions, too, including the iconic Hollywood Sign. They also have several playgrounds, picnic areas, ball fields, and over 50 miles of hiking trails.
There are also the Bronson Cakes, a carousel, the Southern Railroad, and the LA Zoo. However, dogs are not allowed in the zoo. In the northeastern corner of the park, next to the John Ferraro Athletic Fields, there is a fenced area where pups can romp around without a leash. The fenced dog park has lots of space to run around, with a designated area for small and shy dogs. There is a porta potty and drinking fountain outside the fence and lots of seating inside. They also have doggie bags, but bring your own anyway.
Whittier Narrows Recreation Area
There may not be an ocean, but Whittier Narrows Recreation Area has three different lakes to enjoy. Legg Lake is the largest and is the most popular for fishing and picnicking. The Whittier Narrows Park Trail will take you and your leashed pup all around the park and each lake so you can check out all of them. There are also a couple of small ponds on the other side of Durfee Avenue to explore.
The park has nearly 1,500 acres and is only a few minutes east of downtown LA at the intersection of Highways 60 and 164. It is one of the most popular community dog parks in the area and boasts a long list of activities, including playgrounds, picnic areas with barbecue grills, bike trails, boating, disc golf, and hiking, as well as horseshoe games, an RC airplane area, an outdoor fitness course, and concession stands. They even rent paddleboats. Bring your own poop bags and water, though.
Santa Monica Pier
This fishing pier on the Pacific Ocean is a popular seaside destination with a vast array of awesome fun things to do just a few minutes from downtown LA. Some of them do not allow fur babies, but some of them do! Is it worth the trip? Well, yeah, because your pup can play in the sand and water just west of the pier at Crescent Bay Park. Also, there is so much to see on the Santa Monica Pier; your dog (and you) will never forget the trip.
Be sure to pack a bunch of doggie cleanup baggies to pick up anything your doggo drops. Nobody wants that stuck to their shoe! Keep your canine compadre on a leash six feet or shorter, too. If it is crowded, you may want to do three feet or shorter. But your pup can join you on the carousel, in the game arcade, at the outdoor cafe, and you can even shop at some of the vendors along the way.
Crescent Bay Park
As mentioned above, Crescent Bay Park is another dog-friendly location where your puppers can get a bit of sand, sun, and surf. There are two levels to this park, covering almost 2.3 acres. The upper level has a large open grassy space with a number of benches, a beautiful gazebo, and a sensational view of the ocean. There is a retaining wall and staircases that take you down to the sand and water.
Down at sea level, you and your leashed pooch can get out onto the sand and walk out to the water. The beach is massive, so you will not have any trouble finding a nice spot to spread out your towel or blanket. The only thing to worry about is keeping on the dog-friendly side of the beach. There should be signs, but you may have to ask. You will also need to bring some poop bags and water for both of you.
Burton Chace Park
Burton Chace Park is a 10-acre recreational space just 15 miles from the city of Los Angeles at Marina Del Rey. Keep your little buddy on a leash no longer than six feet, and you can walk along the boardwalk in the marina to see the huge yachts at the Windjammers Yacht Club or enjoy a picnic at one of the picnic tables right on the water. They even have barbecue grills you can use! Or you can use one of the covered picnic pavilions.
Named after a popular mayor and member of the board of LA County, Burton W. Chase made a big impact on the businesses and recreational areas in the city. You and your pooch can also take the Marina Del Rey water bus for a ride around the harbor for just one dollar! If you want to take a nice long walk, the South Bay Bike Trail runs through here and goes from Torrance County Beach to Will Rogers State Beach.
Sepulveda Basin Recreation Area
If freshwater fun is more your style, the Sepulveda Basin Recreation Area is a gorgeous spot for playing in the river or the lake. The recreation area features 2,000 acres of space sectioned off into different attractions. The only place you cannot bring your leashed dog is the wildlife refuge. Everywhere else is built around the Sepulveda Dam that holds back the river at the southeastern corner of the park, including several parks and two off-leash dog areas.
The Sepulveda Basin Off-Leash Dog Park has over six acres where your pup can play off the leash. There are three fenced areas, including a small dog area, a timid dog area, and a space for all dogs, as well as some places along the river where you and Fido can play. In the northeastern section of the recreation area, Woodley Park also has a special fenced section for dogs to play unleashed.
White Point Park Beach
Between Point Fermin Park and Royal Palms Beach Park, White Point Park has a dog-friendly patch of sand on the San Pedro Escarpment area of the ocean. In fact, there are about three miles of beach that have absolutely stellar views of the water as well as Catalina Island. As long as you keep your fuzzy buddy on a leash and clean up after him, he is welcome to play in and out of the water.
The rest of the park has 30 acres of various activity areas, including picnic areas with tables and barbecue grills shaded by huge palm trees, a modern interactive play area for the kiddos, and lots of big huge rocks to have a seat and do some fishing. Do not forget to get a fishing license, though or you may get an expensive ticket. Swimming is not recommended because of the rocks, but your pup can wade if you keep him on a short leash.
Starting at the end of Long Beach City Beach and running past the Prospect Tower to Rosie’s Dog Beach, Granada Beach has about a mile of golden sand and grassy areas to enjoy on the ocean. Keep your pup on a short leash, and he is welcome to play in the sand and the surf. There are volleyball courts and a pool, but you need to keep Fido away because fur babies are not allowed.
You will have to pay to park, but it is only a few dollars, and the beach is definitely worth it. The smooth sand is perfect for laying in the sun while your pooch digs some holes. Do not forget to fill the holes in before you leave! Also, bring doggie bags to pick up after him and water for both of you. While you are there, take a walk on the Belmont Veteran’s Memorial Pier, where you can see for miles.
Rosie’s Dog Beach (Long Beach)
Right next door to Granada Beach, there are four acres of sand for pups to play off the leash! From 6 a.m. to 8 p.m., the Rosie’s Dog Beach is open for unleashed dogs to run around and have fun. You will need to bring your own doggie bags and water. They have waste stations with bag dispensers, but they run out fast, especially during the summer months. This is a pup popular beach because of the off-leash opportunities for Fido.
It is located between Prospect Tower at Roycroft Avenue and Granada Avenue at Volitude Sports. One thing to note, you should make sure your pooch is voice-controlled because there are no fences to keep him in. The beach also has outdoor showers to clean off the sand and saltwater before getting back in the car, which is a big plus! And remember that the beach closes during special events.
Huntington Dog Beach
Less than 10 miles down the sand, Huntington Beach is just off Highway 1, starting at Seapoint Street and ending at Goldenwest Street. That is more than one and a half miles of off-leash fun for pups and their pup parents. This beach is large and has quite a few waste stations with doggie bags and trash receptacles. You can spread out a blanket or set up some chairs and soak up the sun while your pup plays.
Bring a ball and frisbee too, because it is the perfect spot for fetch. You will want to make sure he has excellent recall because, like Rosie’s Dog Beach, there are no fences here, either. And being so close to a main road can be dangerous for cuddle buddies who are not voice-trained. Parking requires debit cards because there are meters that cost $2 per hour. Be sure to stay for the gorgeous sunset!
Newport Municipal Beach
Keep heading down the beach for about 17 miles, and you will find another popular dog-friendly spot between Newport Beach Pier and Balboa Pier. Although dogs are only allowed on Newport Beach before 10 a.m. and after 4:30 p.m., those are perfect times to enjoy the sand and surf. The beach is over five miles, so there is plenty of space to play. Keep your pooch on a short leash, though, because seagulls and pelicans do not like being chased.
If you keep your eyes on the surf, you may also see some marine animals, including dolphins, whales, and sea lions. The beach has quite a few eateries and shops where you can grab some food or rent some beach toys. There is even a kids’ playground if you have any little humans with you. The beach does not have any doggie bag dispensers, so be sure to pack plenty to clean up after your pup.
The Final Woof
Being in Los Angeles, you know there is going to be a vast array of attractions and entertainment. Whether you want to go on a shopping spree or enjoy a meal with your buddy, you can find plenty of places to choose from. For example, you and your pupster can visit the Travel Town Museum at Griffith Park to learn about trains or check out the seven acres of incredible plants and flowers at Mildred E. Mathias Botanical Garden. If you want to shop, take your pup to Westfield Century City on Santa Monica Boulevard. There are over 180 stores and 60 eating establishments to explore.
To get the most out of your Los Angeles visit with your dog, don’t forget to check our dog-friendly Los Angeles travel guide. This comprehensive resource offers a wealth of information on dog-friendly activities, shopping centers, gardens, and more, ensuring a fun and seamless experience for you and your canine companion in the City of Angels.