- Off-Leash Allowed
- Dedicated Parking Lot
- Large Benches in Sand Facing Water
- Water Fountains
- Dog Waste Clean-Up Amenities
- Beautiful Scenery
- Close to Dog-Friendly Bars & Restaurants
Ocean Beach Dog Beach
Known to most locals as the “original” dog beach in San Diego, CA it was one of the first official leash free beaches in the United States. It’s located at the northern end of Ocean Beach, wedged between the Mission Bay Harbor Channel and the jetty. Ocean Beach is a laid-back surfer community that is extremely dog friendly. Just up the road from the beach are plenty of dog friendly bars and restaurants, all within walking distance.
Located at the intersection of Voltaire and W. Point Loma Blvd, there is a free parking lot that is right in front of Ocean Beach Dog Beach, but prepare to get there early as parking fills up quickly, especially on a weekend during the summer months. You always have the option to park a little further out on the street and just walk in. To the left of the parking lot is the beach designated for just people. There are bathrooms and drinking fountains located on this side. To the right of the parking lot is where the dog beach begins.
Ocean Beach Dog Beach is a very large beach that is not enclosed by any fencing. For this reason, we recommend the use of a dog GPS tracker to ensure they won’t get lost, something that does happen to other dogs here as evidenced by the main sign.
Water Fountains, doggie bags, trashcans, and even some tennis balls and toys can be found at the top of the beach. Once you make your way down to the sand, your dog has two options to swim; there is a beach side that can see some pretty large waves, and a bay side with much calmer waters. If you decide to step off of the beach, there are both walking and biking trails that start at the top of the beach and will take you all the way to Hotel Circle in San Diego.
The beach is open 24/7 for your enjoyment. Please make sure that your dog is wearing a current and valid license from the County Department of Animal Services and is up to date on all vaccines.
Great Scenery For You & Pooch
For the beach-loving dog owner, this place is simply perfect. You have spectacular views of the ocean, jetties, hillsides, cliffs overlooking the ocean, palm trees and more. Whether you enjoy taking a dip in the waves with your canine friend, walking along the sand at the edge of the surf or just relaxing on a bench watching the sun set over the ocean, you can do it all here.
Dog Beach Address & Rules
The dog-friendly, off-leash area of the beach is actually just a portion of Ocean Beach on the north end. Drive up West Point Loma Boulevard or Voltaire Street towards Ocean Beach. At the intersection of these two roads, you’ll find the entrance to a parking lot that is the best place to stop, if you can find a spot there. From there, just head north up the beach – the entire area to the north of the Flood Control Jetty and Ocean Beach Bike Path until you hit the water is Dog Beach. You can stay along the ocean side and walk parallel to the jetty down to Smiley Lagoon if your pet likes calmer waters.
You should be following the same laws here as you would in any San Diego dog park. There are signs available if you are unsure of what these are, but the main ones you should worry about are staying in the correct location, picking up after your pet’s waste, and displaying a current license on their collar.
Around the parking area and fishing pier, you’ll also find a place to grab a tennis ball to play with if you forgot a toy. Anyone can go to the fishing pier without a license to fish, but you are required to follow catch regulations and laws. There is also a lifeguard stand here. If you are looking to find a hotel to stay in with your dog, try the Ocean Villa Inn that actually borders Dog Beach. They are a very trendy hotel that even offers pet perks!
Dogs Love This Beach
On any warm day, you can often find many dogs running around this beach playing, socializing and even swimming around in the ocean. Even if your pet doesn’t like to get in the water, they can still enjoy the company of others that stay on the shore and you can enjoy the cool coastal breeze and amazing scenery.
Between Dog Beach and the jetty is a popular place for both owners and their animals to hang out. The waves are calmer here, making it especially ideal for smaller dogs or those simply new to the water. You might actually be surprised that some dogs actually take an extreme liking to water from hanging out here and watching the others enjoy it so much.