15 Paw-Pular Dog-Friendly Beaches in Newport Beach, CA

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Newport Beach is a tourist attraction in California known for its fantastic beaches, parks, and other entertainment. You will find sunny skies and warm temperatures almost every day, and with an average high of 70 degrees year-round, this is the perfect winter vacation spot. Some of the great attractions you can enjoy here include Balboa Island, Newport Pier, The Wedge, and the Orange County Museum of Art. You will also find a variety of shopping and dining opportunities, as well as the Balboa Fun Zone for the kids. 

Newport Beach has more than 70 parks, including Crystal Cove State Park, Corona Del Mar State Beach, Canyon Park, and Newport Shores, to name a few. City and state parks allow dogs on a leash, and many of the beaches do too. We decided to do some research to find them. We found 15 of the best dog-friendly beaches in Newport Beach where you can bring your furry family member. 

Upper Newport Bay Beach

Upper Newport Bay is also known as The Back Bay and is made up of 1,000 acres of wetlands running from the coast. It is the spot where the saltwater meets the freshwater of Upper Bay and San Diego Creek. There is a 135-acre nature reserve in the northwest corner where you should not let your pup run amok, but the rest of the park allows pets as long as they are on a leash. The dog-friendly beaches are those along the grassy portions of Upper Newport Bay. 

This is one of the largest parks in Orange County and boasts a variety of activities like hiking trails, bike trails, scenic overlooks, and beaches. Much of the park is made up of trails with several to explore. Your pup is welcome on all trails as long as he is leashed at all times. You also need to bring your own doggie waste bags to pick up after your fur baby. 

Newport Beach Dog Park

Also known as the Civic Center Dog Park, this pup haven is in Newport Beach Civic Center Park across from the Newport Center. You may not be right on the water, but here you can take the leash off and let your canine companion run free. It is a fairly large space and popular with the locals. The whole park is fenced, so you do not have to worry about your dog getting lost chasing a squirrel or anything. 

The dog park has separate areas for large and small dogs, as well as shaded seating and water fountains. They do have Mutt Mitt dispensers, but it would not hurt to bring your own, just in case. After you let Fido get rid of some energy, take him on a walk through the rest of the park. One special part of this park is the sculpture exhibit, where you can see a variety of art sculptures, from Ronald Regan to giant rabbits. 

Corona Del Mar State Beach

In between Pirate’s Cove and Inspiration Point, Corona Del Mar is a state beach where your fur buddy can join you in the sand and surf. The only time they are not allowed is between 10 AM and 4:30 PM. Just be sure to keep him on a leash and bring doggie bags to pick up any deposits he leaves. This beach is popular for swimming because the jetties block the rough surf. You will likely see as many locals as you will visitors. 

The golden sand is fun to play in, and the cliffs and jetty are great for adventurous pooches to climb on. While you are enjoying the half-mile of beachfront, you have access to restrooms, showers, volleyball courts, and fire pits. There are several picnic areas with barbecue pits around the park, as well as walking trails and plenty of open space. When you get hungry, hit The Jetty, a fine seafood and burger spot right on the beach.

Bolsa Chica State Beach

The 170-acre Bolsa Chica State Beach Park is located between Sunset Beach and Huntington State Beach Park and extends three miles down the coast. Although your fur baby is not allowed on the beach, there is plenty of other things you can enjoy together. The trail goes along the entire length of the beach and into the campground. In fact, if you keep walking, it will take you all the way past Huntington Beach to the Santa Ana River.

If you want to stay the night, you can camp with your dog here too at one of the 57 campsites. They have showers, restrooms, a convenience store, and a concession stand where you and Fido can get some food and drinks. This is another park with geocaching, which has become a popular activity for all ages. If your pup really needs to swim or play on the sand, take him down the trail to Huntington State Beach Dog Park. 

Huntington Dog Beach

This is one of the only state beaches that allow dogs on the sand and in the water without having a leash on. Huntington Dog Beach is also known as doggie-heaven by most locals and visitors. There are two parking lots between Goldenwest and Seapoint with meters for $2 per hour. This long stretch of sand is almost always busy and full of happy dogs and friendly pup parents. It is open from 5 AM until 10 PM daily.

Do not let your pup chase the wildlife, including the sea birds, and be sure to pick up his droppings as soon as he leaves him. Bring your own poo baggies. Keep your dog’s leash on hand in case you need it, and you are not allowed to bring puppies under four months old or females in heat. Some of the amenities here include restrooms, grassy areas with picnic tables, and drinking fountains for both dogs and their humans.

Huntington State Beach

After running around at the dog park, put your pup’s leash back on and take a walk down through Huntington State Beach. Although the public beach here does not allow dogs, they are happily accepted on the trails and other dog-friendly areas. The park has more than 120 acres to explore and enjoy with your canine companion, so it is worth a visit just for a walk-through. You can also enjoy the picnic areas with barbecue pits. 

The park also has geocaching spots throughout the entire park. Look online to see where they are so you can find them. While you are on the trails, you will likely see some wild critters like birds, squirrels, deer, and rabbits. Please do not let your fur buddy harass them. Also, make sure you bring doggie bags and pick up after your pup. After working up an appetite, visit the concessions to get some grub for both of you. 

Rosie’s Dog Beach

Just past Alamitos Peninsula and before Long Beach, Rosie’s Dog Beach is the perfect spot to stop and let your pupster run around free on the sand. The three acres of sand are not fenced, so if your dog is not voice-controlled, you may want to keep him on a leash, though. Between 6 AM to 8 PM every day, this dog beach is an extremely fun place to watch your dog have fun or join in with him. 

There is plenty of parking spots, but some are metered, so bring some change with you. The street also has limited free parking. The park offers doggie bag dispensers, but they are not always fully stocked, so please bring your own. They do have pooper scoopers, though. Now for the rules. You can only have one dog per adult. If you have two dogs, bring a friend. Dogs need to have a license and collar. They must be over four months old and up-to-date on vaccinations and rabies shots.

Shaws Cove Beach

To the south of Newport Beach down the coast, Shaws Cove is a pup-friendly beach in Laguna Beach. It is right between Crescent Bay Beach and Diver’s Cove. It is a secluded spot where you will likely have the whole beach to yourself during dog-friendly hours. These specific hours change during the year. From June 15th until September 19th, your pup is only allowed between 9 AM and 6 PM. The rest of the year, they are welcome any time of day on a leash. 

This is a long flat stretch of sand with a rock shelf to the north end and bluffs at the other. You will find restrooms, water fountains, and lots of room to run around. Many of the visitors are divers and snorkelers, so that you may be the only one on the beach most of the time. You can bring aboard for paddle boarding if your dog is into that. But also bring some doggie bags to clean up with.

Laguna Main Beach Park

In Laguna Beach, about 10 miles down the coastline, you and your pup can find a swath of sand about one-half mile long. The beach is dog-friendly all the time but only at certain times of the day during the summer season. From September 11th until June 14th, you are welcome to bring him on the sand and in the surf on a leash all day long. This beach features a variety of activities as well as lifeguards, restrooms, and showers.

Sports lovers will be able to play basketball and volleyball as long as they have someone to hang onto your pup while you play. Other fun with Fido includes picnicking with large tables and barbecue pits, tidepools to explore, and a boardwalk where you and your canine companion can take a walk. Make sure you bring canine waste bags to pick up after your pup, as well as water and snacks for you both.

Laguna Beach Dog Park

Just to the north of Laguna Main Beach Park, the Laguna Beach Dog park has a large space for your pooch to run around freely without a leash to play with other pups. It is on the southern end of Crystal Cove State Park and was the very first dog park in the county. It is owned by the city but supported by the Friends of Laguna Beach Dog Park and other sponsors like the Naked Dog Bistro and the Dog Ranch Bed & Biscuit. 

Inside the dog park, you will find two areas, one for large dogs and the other for small or shy pups. The park has about one acre of fenced grassy space with a lot of shade and benches for the pup parents. It is open from dawn until dusk every day but Wednesday, which is cleaning day. Your dog must be vaccinated, have a rabies tag, and be over four months old to join in on the fun here. 

Treasure Island

You may not find any pirates on Treasure Island, but you will find a treasure. That treasure is the golden sand and crystal clear blue water, where your fur baby is welcome to play all day from September 11th through June 14th. During the rest of the year, your pup can still play but only before nine in the morning and after six in the evening. But he has to remain on a leash any time of the year you visit. 

There are various amenities, such as lifeguards, restrooms, and showers. You will see many locals scuba diving and surfing, but you can also see under the water with a pair of goggles. Also, you will be treated like a guest of the Montage Resort even if you are not staying there. They will offer you food and drinks just like the others. Swimming is legal here, but the current is rough sometimes. If you plan to swim here, check for rip currents before entering the water. 

Aliso Beach

Just next door is Aliso Beach, which has a nice piece of sand on the water where your canine companion is welcome all year long. However, just like Treasure Beach, the beach is open to him before 9 AM and after 6 PM from June 15th until September 10th. All other times he is allowed during regular opening hours. This is a fun place to see whales and maybe dolphins as well. A lot of locals come here to do some skimboarding, and it is the home of the skimboarding championship. 

You will need to keep your fur baby on a leash, whether he is playing in the sand or splashing in the surf. But he will still have just as much fun, and so will you. It is so nice to watch your best friend so happily enjoying himself. If you get hungry, there is a concession stand, and there are also restrooms, showers, and a play area for kids. Be sure to bring your own doggie waste bags. 

Balboa Pier Beach

Still, in Newport Beach but to the east, Balboa Pier Beach is located between Newport Beach Park and The Wedge. There are about five miles of beachfront with soft clean sand and turquoise waters where you and your pup can swim, play in the sand, and walk on the pier. Balboa Pier dates back to 1906 and has a restaurant and several outdoor eateries where you can get some food. Be sure to ask first before bringing your pooch into any shops or dining establishments. 

The beach has lifeguards on duty, as well as restrooms and water fountains, but you will need to bring your own poo bags or baggies to pick up after your dog. Also, he needs to be on a leash at all times, no matter where you are here. Peninsula Park is also great for you and your pup to play, where you can enjoy a game of fetch or toss around a frisbee. 

Bluff’s Beach

To the south of San Onofre State Beach, Bluff’s Beach is a long section of beach with six entrance points along the main road. It starts at Trail One and ends at Trail Six, just past the campgrounds. It got its name from the bluffs that surround the beach. These awesome trails are the perfect way for you and your pup to see flora and fauna in the area. But make sure you keep him on a leash and use doggie poo bags to pick up after him. 

You may notice that some of the beaches past Trail Six are clothing-optional so if that sort of thing offends you, stay north of that area. The campground here is small but has restrooms nearby for anyone to use. If you want a larger campground with electricity, water, shoes, and sanitation stations, head up the beach to the San Mateo Campground at San Onofre State Beach. 

San Onofre State Beach

San Onofre State Beach has 3,000 acres to enjoy with your fur baby. Keep him on a leash, and you and he can explore the whole place. However, dogs are not allowed on the sand at the public beach, so if you want to swim, head down the coast a bit to Bluff’s Beach. There are six trails that will take you there from San Onofre. There is so much more to do at this state park, though, so check it out before heading to the water. 

You and your furry family member can have a picnic in one of the picnic areas in the grassy parts of the park and take a walk along the interpretive trail to learn more about the history of the park and its surrounding area. You can also find some geocaching sites and other fun things to do, from fishing to hiking. And the campground has over 170 campsites if you want to stay the night. 

The Final Woof

You will need to know where the best dog-friendly restaurants are in Newport Beach as well. You are both going to get hungry eventually. Check out the food at Newport Landing Restaurant, where you and your canine companion can sit out on the waterfront with a stunning view of the harbor. 

Looking for some Mexican cuisine? Sancho’s Tacos on the Balboa Peninsula serves all sorts of yummy food, and Fido can join you inside. Have a hankerin’ for a brew? Mutt Lynch’s is a dog-friendly bar & grill with 40 beers on tap and almost 200 foods on their menu!

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Patty Oelze is a freelance writer who is also in the process of getting her PhD in Psychology. She has been writing about dogs and other critters for about 10 years and has a plethora of animals at her home including several cats, some chipmunks, a dozen raccoons, two foxes, one coyote, and herds of deer. She and her husband have been living in the Missouri Ozarks for years where she enjoys taking care of wildlife, fishing, photography, boating, and of course, writing.

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