If you live in the Los Angeles Metro, you probably already know that the be-all and end-all of Southland dog beaches is Huntington Dog Beach.
San Diego dog beaches are plentiful, but far. And, yes, if you’re a pooch parent living in LA County you’ve probably heard of, or even visited Rosie’s Dog Beach in Long Beach. That’s cool. But, I am here to tell you, drive the extra 20 minutes south, cross the Orange Curtain, and get thee to Huntington.
Parking on non-summer days is a breeze. There are two pay-per-space lots ($1.50/hr, accessible from PCH) that are a couple-minutes’ walk down to the beach. When these lots fill up, street parking and garage parking closer to downtown Huntington Beach will ensure you have your day in the sun if you don’t mind a bit of a hike first. The latter option is totally workable, by the way, if you’re of the mind that any activity that drains your four-legged friend’s batteries is a good activity.
The surf and turf at Huntington are sprawling enough that your pup, no matter the size, may run or swim with the abandon normally reserved for furlough day at San Quentin. Not only that, sandy terrain is usually in good enough supply to claim your own sliver of beach and work on training, or just avoid the pushy poodle who sniffed your dog’s butt a few seconds too long upon arrival.
Despite municipal regulations to the contrary, leash requirements aren’t enforced at Dog Beach unless your dog is “potentially dangerous.” But, guys, seriously: always use particular caution when previously unacquainted dogs hang together, regardless of leash laws. You wouldn’t turn a two-year-old loose on the beach without close supervision, so please don’t trust the furry family member, whose intelligence rivals a human two-year-old’s only on his best day, to mind his Ps and Qs when you’ve just introduced him to the happiest place on dog earth.
All told, the crowning achievement of Huntington Dog Beach is its appeal to bipeds and quadrupeds alike. It’s about a mile long, so human chaperones can sneak in some respectable cardio while their dogs smell all the things. More still, Dog Beach is situated so ideally in the heart of Surf City’s famous waves that it draws a faithful crowd of surfers hoping to catch a wave while the Retrievers retrieve.
At the end of the day, pooches will leave pooped, humans will leave happy, and everyone will look forward to their next trip to Huntington Dog Beach. Siiiiiiiiiick.