15 Top Dog-Friendly Parks in Huntington Beach, California

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Located in southern California, or So-Cal, Huntington Beach is just about 30 miles southeast of Los Angeles and 15 miles from Long Beach, running along the Atlantic Ocean. The city was named after the man who helped develop it in the late 1800s, Henry Huntington, who owned the Pacific Railway. There are almost 200,000 residents in Huntington Beach, many of whom came for the surf. Surfing is extremely popular there, and it is home to the Surfing Museum, Surfing Hall of Fame, and Surfers Walk of Fame.

Huntington Beach is perfect for surfing as well as any other outdoor activities, with a warm climate all year long. During the summer, it is typically in the 70s, and in the winter, it is in the upper 50s, with an average of 275 days of sunshine per year. The city boasts seven fantastic beaches and 80 different city parks to enjoy all year long, most of them dog-friendly. Here are 15 of our top picks for off-leash dog parks in Huntington Beach. 

Best Friend Dog Park 

Your canine companion is certainly your best friend. So why not take him to the Best Friend, Dog Park in northeastern Huntington Beach? This fun pooch playground, also known as Central Park Dog Park, is in the southwestern corner of Central Park off Edwards Street. Best Friend Dog Park has almost two whole acres of space, with a smaller section of about a half acre for the smaller pooches. The larger section has about 1.4 acres of space with a whole lot of room to run around. 

Each section has its own drinking stations and cleanup stations with doggie bags for your convenience. However, it could not hurt to bring some of your own just in case they run out. The terrain is mostly wood chips and mulch in both sections, and there are several climbing obstacles like mounds and rocks. Pup parents will enjoy the snack section and the dog walk of fame. Put your pup’s leash back on, and you can explore the rest of Central Park, including Lake Huntington.

Central Bark Dog Park 

About 16 miles east of downtown Huntington Beach, Central Bark Dog Park in Irvine is a real treat for dogs and their humans. One of the neat things about this pooch paradise is that it has its own space. In other words, it is not in the middle of another park. There are three acres separated, with one section of two acres for the big dogs and a smaller section of one acre for the little ones. 

There are paved areas with pavilions and seating for the pet parents as well as chairs that you can move as needed to get some shade or to mingle with other pet parents. The pups really love the fire hydrant because they like to leave their mark. And they even have lights at night so your cuddle buddy can play safely after dark. It does get a little bit muddy after it rains, so be prepared for that. 

Corona Del Mar State Beach

Corona Del Mar State Beach in Newport Beach has some pretty specific rules about where your dog can go and when he can go there. Before 10 AM and after 4:30 PM, your fur baby is allowed on the beach and in the water. Between those hours, he is welcome to join you in the rest of the park. However, your fur puppy has to be on a leash whether you are in the park or at the beach.

You can grab some food and drinks from the concession stand and have a meal with your pup and then take a walk on the hiking trails for a while. Once you do all that, you can hit the beach to cool off. The water is beautiful, and the half a mile of golden sand is soft on pup paws as well as human feet. However, it can be hot in sunny areas. There are outdoor showers where you and your pooch can clean up after swimming and playing on the beach. 

Costa Mesa Bark Park 

Pack some water, poop bags, and your pup’s leash, and head east to Costa Mesa, where you will find the Costa Mesa Bark Park. This two-acre pup playspace has picnic tables, water, and restrooms for the humans as well as drinking stations, room to roam, and lots of trees for the pups. It is right across from the equestrian park, so you can often see horses, and on the other side is a skate park that is fun to watch too. 

Small, elderly, and disabled dogs have their own space to play with dogs their own size and abilities. The large dog section is decidedly bigger, but it needs to be. That section gets an average of 75 dogs per hour visiting. If you forgot to bring your canine companion’s ball, there is usually plenty to go around for a game of fetch. The park also has doggie bag dispensers around the park, but it is a good idea to bring some anyway. 

El Dorado Park Dog Park

Inside El Dorado East Regional Park in Long Beach, about 15 miles north of Huntington Beach, El Dorado Dog Park is a large off-leash dog park for your pooch. It has 1.5 acres of recreational space for both large and small dogs as well as a double-gated entrance. What’s more, the small and large dog sections have space between them so they do not bark at each other. Each section has mutt mitt dispensers for cleanup and trash receptacles to get rid of them. 

Also, there are water fountains with levels for both humans and pooches so everyone can stay hydrated and shaded seating for pet parents. If the dog park gets too crowded, put your fur baby’s leash back on and go see the rest of the huge park where they have several lakes, including a model sailboat lake and duck pond. They also have an RC airplane field, fishing lakes, picnic areas with tables and barbecue grills, and trails to explore. 

Fullerton Pooch Park

About 25 miles to the north near Anaheim and Disneyland, you will come across one of the best pooch parks in the city, according to locals. It is like Disneyland for dogs here, with giant tires to jump through, huge boulders to climb, tunnels to zip through, and a few ramps to run up and down. And that is just in the big dog section. Across the sidewalk, you will find the small dog park for dogs under 25 pounds. 

But that is not all there is! In fact, Fullerton Pooch Park also has a third fenced area for all breeds and sizes to play together. This is especially important for families with multiple dogs of different sizes. You will have to register, though. There is no fee, but you can only get in with a key, and you have to pass a background check first. The park also provides water stations and doggie bag dispensers for easy clean-up. 

Home Run Dog Park 

Located in the upper half of Ryerson Park, just four miles north of El Dorado Dog Park, Home Run Dog Park has two acres of fenced space for your pup to play off the leash. There are two sections here. One for little and elderly fur babies 25 pounds and under and another for large, boisterous dogs. This is good for little tykes that get overwhelmed by the big boys. The park also has a variety of natural obstacles like tree stumps and logs to climb on. 

You will find lots of benches in the shade for you to relax and watch your pooch play, as well as a few picnic tables. There are doggie bag dispensers all over the park, so there is no excuse for pet parents not to pick up anything their pups drop. You can bring your own baggies just to be safe. And bring water for you and Fido too. 

Huntington Dog Beach Park

Huntington Dog Beach is conveniently situated just 1.5 miles from downtown Huntington Beach and is the most pup popular beach in the city. In fact, people come from all over to bring their pooches to this beach. Maybe because your dog is allowed to swim and play in the sand without a leash holding him back. The fun that your pup can have, splashing around and chasing other pups without his leash, is outstanding. 

If your dog is not a swimmer or has a habit of running off, you should keep his leash on anyway. You do not want your best friend to go swimming out to sea! There are doggie bag dispensers on the path between Seapoint and the pier, but it is better to pack your own. They are refilled twice a week, but they go through 3,000 bags a day! Bring some water too, and a bowl for your pupster.

Laguna Beach Dog Park

Laguna Beach Dog Park is a dog park in the middle of Laguna Beach, but do not let the name mislead you. There is no beach here. Not even a pond or a lake. But what you will find is one of the largest off-leash open spaces in the city. About four acres in total, with three acres for the big dogs and one for the littles, there is so much room to run around, your cuddly buddy will definitely get rid of those zoomies. 

The park is cared for by the Friends of Laguna Beach Dog Park (FLBDP) corporation, which believes that all dogs should have an off-leash park to play in. It is the perfect spot to help your pooch socialize and make new friends, and you can do the same. There are dozens of benches and some tables with umbrellas, two water fountains, and doggie bags for cleanup.

Newport Beach Park

Newport Beach Dog Park is about 10 miles down the coast from Huntington Beach and has a lovely off-leash pooch playground for your pup. It is one of the nicest dog parks in the area because of its synthetic grass, sand, and pavement ground cover. It looks like a baseball field with its well-cared-for green space, and the whole place is maintained well by the city as well as the pup parents. 

The large and small dog sections are completely separate, giving them both the peace of mind they need to have fun. The water fountains are like brand new and are always working, and the doggie bag dispensers always seem to be full. While you are there with your canine compadre, you can enjoy some stunning views of the ocean and comfortable seating in the shade. After playing, put Fido’s leash back on and take a walk through the sculpture garden in Civic Center Park. 

Olive Hills Dog Park

Bring your fur buddy to Olive Hills Dog Park to run around and play without his leash for a while. It is about 18 miles north of Huntington Beach, next to the Nohl Canyon Elementary School. You will notice right away the bronze dog statue honoring the K9 Anaheim Police dogs. This pooch place has the usual water fountains, benches, and cleanup stations, but it also has some great agility equipment that your fur baby will love. 

Your pup can run through hoops, slither through weave poles, zoom up and down over ramps, and scoot through tunnels with a big goofy smile on his furry face. The artificial turf is soft on your dog’s paws and will prevent mud puddles too. There is a separate section for small, shy, and elderly dogs so they do not feel intimidated by the big pups. Although they have doggie bags, bring your own, just in case. 

Orange Dog Park

Orange Dog Park is a pup popular pooch paradise about 20 miles northeast of downtown Huntington Beach. Conveniently located on Yorba Street just off the Costa Mesa Freeway and Chapman Avenue, you will have no trouble finding this place no matter where you are coming from. The park has separate spaces for large and small pups, dog-drinking fountains, and tons of space to play. And now they have vending machines for pet parents to get a snack for themselves and their fur babies. 

There is so much space here, it is perfect for a game of frisbee or fetch, so bring some toys. Or you can sit on one of the comfy benches and watch your cuddly canine companion play chase with the other pups. The dog waste stations are almost always full of poop bags, but you should bring some anyway because this is a popular park with the dogs and pup parents.  

Recreation Park Dog Park

Bring your fur puppy to the two-acre Recreation Park Dog Park in Long Beach, about 18 minutes up the coast from Huntington Beach downtown. It is just north of the Colorado Lagoon and aquatic park, where you and the kids can play after you finish at the dog park. This place has some spectacular obstacles, both natural and man-made. There are colorful plastic ramps and tunnels, huge downed trees to walk on and jump over, and a variety of jump-overs and climb-on. 

The small pups have their own section for those that have big-dog anxiety and may get overwhelmed. Both sides have lots of seating, both shaded and in the open, including benches, picnic tables, and chairs you can move where you want them. The doggie cleanup stations have lots of doggie poo baggies, and the water fountains always work. However, I recommend you bring your own doggie bags and water anyway. 

Rosie’s Dog Beach Park

Another popular dog beach, Rosie’s Dog Beach, is just 11 miles up the coastline. This is four acres of soft golden sand and blue waters for you and your pup to enjoy. He can dig in the sand, splash in the waves, and chase other pooches until his heart is content or until he gets worn out. It has all the usual amenities as most swimming beaches, like water fountains, restrooms, and outdoor showers too. 

If you like volleyball and have the extra help watching your pup, you can get in a game here most days. It is always warm and sunny enough for swimming, so bring a bathing suit, and you can play together. Frisbee is fun here, so bring along a doggie disc. You should also bring poop bags and extra water as well. There is always someone out in the water, too, surfing, kiteboarding, and boating, so keep your camera ready. 

South Gate Dog Park at Hollydale Regional Park

A few minutes north of Rosie’s Dog Beach in the southwestern corner of Hollydale Regional Park, South Gate Dog Park has an obstacle course for both small and large pooches. The fenced area is mostly sand and small gravel, and there are over a dozen agility stations like ramps to climb up and down, tunnels to run through, hoops to jump through, and balance beams to walk on. Besides the agility course, dogs have a blast playing with each other. 

The small dog park only allows dogs weighing 25 pounds and under but the large dog section is open to all sizes and breeds. Dogs have to be six months and older and be fully immunized and spayed or neutered. There are water fountains, doggie bag dispensers, and numerous seating arrangements both in and out of the shade for the pet parents. The rest of the park is not dog-friendly, so make sure you keep that in mind. 

Uptown Dog Park

Pack up your pup and go play at Uptown Dog Park in Long Beach, just seven miles north of Recreation Dog Park. This is a newly opened park, so everything is modern and well-maintained. It is located in the southwestern corner of Scherer Park on Long Beach Boulevard. Your fur kid is going to have a blast running around in the sand with the other pooches, no matter what size he is. Small dogs 20 pounds and under have their own area to play in without getting stepped on.

The park provides dog waste stations with poop bags, but bring your own. There are always people with pups here, and they run out sometimes. The fountains are usually working well, but bring water anyway, just in case you need it. Make sure you do not bring any food into the park, they are strict about that. Also, no glass bottles or alcohol. 

The Final Woof

Getting tired of all the dog parks? Take your pup shopping at Belmont Shore. There are more than 250 shops in this little beach town, and many of them allow dogs. If you are more of a fashionista, the place you need to visit is Fashion Island. They have about 100 different retailers and eateries like Bloomingdales, Armani, Hopdoddy Burger Bar, and JOEY Newport Beach. If you want something more adventurous, take your cuddly canine out on the water with a boat from Huntington Harbor Boat Rentals. Or stay on land and take a ride on the El Dorado Frontier Train. Your ticket gets you and your leashed pup unlimited rides all weekend. 

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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