15 of the Best Dog-Friendly Beaches in Ventura, CA You Have to Visit

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Ventura is a coastal city in California, just northwest of Los Angeles. It is well-known for its beaches, warm weather, and casual, laid-back atmosphere. Some of the beaches are popular for their features, such as San Buenaventura State Beach, which has Ventura Pier, and Surfer’s Point for the awesome waves. And some of the attractions there include Mission Basilica San Buenaventura from 1782, Ventura Botanical Gardens, and Ventura Harbor Village. 

But since you have your dog with you, it may be of more interest to you to find out which beaches allow dogs. The most famous beach in the city, Ventura, allows dogs as long as they are leashed. Some of the others include Surfer’s Point, Marina Park, and Harbor Cove. Also, Hollywood Beach, Marina Park Beach, and Oxnard Beach Park are all dog-friendly. 

We did some research for you and listed here the top 15 dog-friendly beaches in Ventura for you and your canine companion to visit. 

Ventura Beach

Located in the middle of Pierpont Bay near San Buenaventura State Beach, Ventura Beach is a nice-sized patch of sand where your pup can enjoy playing in the surf and sand as long as he is on a leash. The beach starts at San Pedro Street by the Ventura Beach Bike Trail and ends at Dover Lane by Pierpont Tacos. Between the sand dunes and the beach, there is plenty of room to roam, and you can even play a game of frisbee if you lengthen your dog’s leash enough. 

San Buenaventura State Beach next door does not allow dogs on the beach but its trails, picnic areas, and other amenities like restrooms and showers are dog-friendly. The park also has geocaching spots, so if you have the app, see if you can find them. If you get hungry, the parking lot usually has food trucks like the Jolly Oyster and Good to Go Juice Truck. 

Surfer’s Point Beach

Head north up the coastline, and you will find Surfer’s Point Beach at Seaside Park between Promenade Park and the Ventura Raceway. The park is located on Shoreline Drive, and as the name implies, it is one of the most popular beaches for surfing in the city. The promenade here will take you all the way to Ventura Pier to the south and Emma Wood to the north. 

If you and your canine companion want to take a walk, just remember to keep him on a leash at all times and be sure to bring doggie bags to pick up whatever he drops. Seaside Park, where the beach is located, boasts more than 60 acres and is home to the Ventura County Fair as well as other festivals, concerts, and trade shows. You and your fur buddy can also enjoy a picnic or barbecue and have access to the restrooms and showers. 

Marina Park Beach

South of Ventura Beach, Marina Park Beach has 15 acres of beachfront where you and your pup can play as long as he is on a leash. Also known as Mother’s Beach because of how family-friendly it is, this park boasts a ⅓-mile sandy patch with calm and shallow water great for kids and dogs. Pups are more than welcome to swim and play in the sand as long as they are on a leash the whole time. 

Besides the sandy beach, the park also features several large grassy areas with barbecue grills and picnic tables, a playground, and a paved path that takes you on a tour of the whole place. The pier here is a great place to watch the boats go by or do some fishing. You can often see dolphins and whales out at sea playing in the surf. They even have a place where you can rent kayaks or get a sailing lesson. 

Harbor Cove Beach

Just across the water to the south, Harbor Cove Beach is a large park that is also part of what locals call Mother’s Beach. It is protected by the breakwater and jetties that keep the rip currents and rough surf at bay. In fact, it is considered to be one of the safest swimming beaches in Ventura. Here, you will find locals surfing, fishing, swimming, and just hanging out at the beach. There are sand volleyball courts, large restrooms, showers, and water fountains. 

Even though it is generally safe, there are still lifeguards on duty from Memorial Day until Labor Day from 9 AM until 6 PM. Along the beach, you will find shops and eateries, including a rental shop for water toys and fishing gear, as well as the Harbor Cove Cafe, where you can grab a bite to eat. At the southern end of the beach, Ventura Harbor Village, which is also dog-friendly that includes an ice cream shop with Pupcream ice cream for dogs! 

McGrath State Beach

Just a little further south, past the mouth of the Santa Clara River, McGrath State Beach is a popular camping beach with huge sand dunes, clean water, and golden sand to enjoy. Your canine companion is not allowed on the sand and will have to stay on a leash, but that does not mean you cannot have fun. Besides two miles of beach, the park also has a mile of space where your pooch can swim in the Santa Clara River. 

The day-use spots provide excellent fishing spots, geocaching, guided tours, and the best birding in the state. Amenities include restrooms, outdoor showers, and water fountains, as well as a camp store, visitor’s center, and 174 campsites if you want to stay the night. However, you should book before visiting because it is a popular campground. Each spot has a fire pit, barbecue grate, and picnic table as well.

Oxnard Beach

A little bit further down the beach, past Neptune Square Park, Oxnard Beach Park is a large public beach along the Pacific Coast Bike Route and California Coast Trail, so you and Fido can get a workout before your swim. The paths are lined with gorgeous palm trees and other greenery to make this more like a tropical island than a city in California. Your dog is welcome on this beach as long as he is on a leash at all times. 

Like the other parks and beaches, Oxnard also has grassy spaces with room to play Frisbee, a playground for the kids, picnic tables with barbecue pits, and restrooms. You will also find volleyball courts, a basketball court, and some fantastic sand dunes for your fur buddy to hop around on. Be sure to bring some doggie poo bags and pick up anything your dog drops to keep the beach and park clean. 

Hollywood Beach

You and your pup can also romp to the beach next door, Hollywood Beach, if it is before 9 AM or after 5 PM. He will still need to be on a leash though, so keep that in mind. This is a huge beach where you and your canine companion can have an isolated spot off on your own or right in the middle of the action. The sand here is perfect for making sandcastles, even though your pooch may decide to knock them down. 

Being right next to Oxnard Beach, this part of the sand also has humongous sand dunes to play around in. The beach was named for its popularity with local movie stars. In fact, this is where Clark Gable used to live, and there have even been movies filmed here. Hop on in the harbor for some swimming, paddling, or kayaking. If you do not have the equipment, you can rent it nearby.  

Silver Strand Beach

Across the Channel Island Harbor to the south, Silver Strand Beach is another pup-friendly place where your fur baby can play on a leash before 9 AM and after 5 PM. The park has smooth, clear water where your pup can splash in the water and play on the beach. On one end of the beach, you will find the Channel Island Harbor, and the other end of the beach has the Port of Hueneme. And, of course, there is the Pacific Ocean in the middle. 

Silver Strand Beach is backed up by the Naval CBC (Construction Battalion Center) Port Hueneme, so you may see a few of the navy crew sunning themselves here. The most popular sport here is surfing, which is great from summer until winter. Kayaking and fishing are also fun things to do at Silver Strand Beach. It is one of the local favorites, so there is almost always someone out on the sand. 

Emma Wood State Beach

North of Ventura, past Surfer’s Point Beach, you will run into Emma Wood State Beach. Named after Emma Grubb Wood, who used to own the Taylor Ranch, her husband, Adrian Wood, donated 112 acres to the state when she died. Although they do not allow dogs on the beach section of the park, there is plenty of other things to do here, including a nature trail, hiking trail, and paved walking trail. 

There is also a campground at Emma Wood State Beach with 90 campsites for RVs. This is primitive camping, though, so you will not find showers, restrooms, and a camp store here. However, in the day-use section of the park, there are a lot of picnic tables with barbecue grills to enjoy a meal or just hang out and watch the water. Sometimes you can see dolphins playing nearby. You will need to keep your canine companion on a leash at all times and pick up after him.  

Faria Beach Park

Head up the Pacific Coast Highway a few miles, and you will find Faria Beach Park just past Mondo’s Beach to the north. Faria Beach welcomes dogs as long as they are on a leash the whole time you are there. Also, you will need to bring your own doggie cleanup bags to pick up whatever your pooch drops. It is more of a modern park with a campground that features a cafe, camp store, showers, and restrooms. 

There is a small fee for camping with your pup, and there is a maximum number allowed per person or family. Although the beach is small, depending on the tide, many locals come to Faria Beach Park to surf or fish. Most people do not swim here, but you and your fur baby are allowed to brave the waters if you wish. It is best to keep a life jacket for dogs on your canine companion due to the large waves.  

Hobson Beach Park

Not far from Faria Beach, Hobson Beach Park boasts some of the prettiest scenery in the area, being at the foot of the Santa Ynez Mountains. The beach is a combination of soft golden sand and large rocks and boulders, so there is something for everyone to enjoy. Your dog will need to be on a leash no longer than six feet at all times, and you need to bring your own doggie bags to pick up after him. 

There is also a campground at Hobson Beach Park, but it is significantly smaller than the others. There are only 31 sites, but some are on the beach, and 10 of them have all the hookups you need, including cable TV! If you need anything, you will have no trouble finding it here at the camp store or snack bar. Like Faria, they charge a small fee and have limits for dogs at the campsites. 

Oil Piers Beach

Just past Hobson Beach Park to the north, Oil Piers Beach is a nice pup-friendly place where you can let him play in the surf and the sand. The water is calmer here, so it is fine for you both to go for a swim. The beach got its name from the oil piers left over from the oil drilling days, but the water is clean and clear, and the sand is golden. The waves are fantastic for surfing most of the time, but your pooch is welcome to swim and play in the water along the shore.

Feel free to play in the sand and surf with your pooch or build a sandcastle for him to knock down. You can also enjoy kayaking or jet-skiing if you have those with you. Windsurfing, paddle boarding, and kitesurfing are also popular here. But put a life jacket on your dog for safety, and you should wear one too. 

Carpinteria State Beach

Keep going north, and you will run into Carpinteria Bluffs Nature Preserve and State Beach. The nature preserve allows dogs everywhere except at the Seal Rookery. Here you will find over 50 acres of green space, woodlands, and salt marshes, as well as trails that take you deep into the bluffs. As long as you keep your fur baby on a leash, you will probably see some kind of wildlife. Some to look for include raccoons, western fence lizards, black-bellied plovers, brown pelicans, and squirrels.

Carpinteria State Beach has about a mile of the beach, but dogs are not allowed on the sand, so you will have to take him further south to get in the water. However, there are plenty of other things to do here, including picnicking, hiking, biking, and geocaching. There are also a number of restrooms and drinking water but make sure you check to see if your fur buddy is allowed inside. 

Point Mugu State Park

This is one of the only state parks that allow dogs on their beach, so it is worth the extra few minutes to get there. Just about 20 minutes from Ventura, Point Mugu State Park boasts 14,000 acres of space with more than 60 miles of trails. Some of the amazing views you can see here include two incredible canyons with rivers flowing through them, mountains, sand dunes, bluffs, and palisades, as well as beaches and wilderness areas. 

Inside the park, there are also two campgrounds where you and your fur buddy can stay the night. Sycamore Canyon and Thornhill Broome. Both of these are attached to beaches that allow dogs as long as they are on a leash at all times. Sycamore Canyon has 57 campsites, and Thornhill Broome has 62. Besides camping and swimming, you and your canine companion are also welcome to go fishing, geocaching, or kayaking. 

Leo Carrillo State Beach

Also near Point Mugu, the Leo Carrillo State Beach has more than 2,500 acres and is named after a local conservationist and actor, Leo Carrillo. This popular beach has been the site of many movies in the past, with stars like Dick Clark, Nancy Sinatra, Jerry Lewis, and Elvis Presley. It was also featured in The Rockford Files television show from the 1970s. Besides all that, it is a great place to take your pup (on a leash) to the beach. 

Your pup is allowed on the beach north of Lifeguard Tower Three as well as in the campgrounds, picnic areas, and other day-use areas. You can also enjoy some fishing or kayaking. The park has places where you can rent or buy whatever you need. But one of the best things to do at Leo Carrillo State Beach is to relax on the sand with your canine companion. 

The Final Woof

Ventura has plenty of other fun activities to do and places to visit while you are in town with your pup. In fact, there are more than a dozen off-leash dog parks you can take your fur baby to where he can run around with other pups without his leash to slow him down. Windrow Dog Park is right by the Santa Clara River and has a bunch of agility equipment like tunnels and ramps. Another one with lots of agility obstacles is College Dog Park at College Park in Oxnard. Need to pick up a few things? Your dog can join you at Camarillo Premium Outlets just east of Oxnard. 

Photo of author
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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