The 10 San Diego Parks Your Dog Will Love (2023)

The 10 San Diego Parks Your Dog Will Love (1)

Health & Fitness

Head to the best dog parks in San Diego to enjoy the fresh air and sunshine with your furry best friend.

4 min read

July 03, 2020

San Diego is well-known for its dog-friendly activities. In a city where you can easily find dog-friendly hotels and restaurants, dog boutiques, and pet spas, it’s no wonder there are plenty of dog parks around, too. Whether you want to take a walk through downtown San Diego or along the Coronado shoreline with your best friend, these dog-friendly places are packed with the doggie essentials—spacious grassy areas, play pens, water stations, and doggie bags—and of course, other dogs to play with. Get ready to let your pup off its leash and enjoy the wide variety of parks that San Diego has to offer.

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Grape Street Dog Park

Spread across five acres, the Grape Street Dog Park is one of the largest in San Diego. Located just outside of beautiful Balboa Park, this open space is surrounded by trees and evergreens, giving your pup just the right amount of sun and shade to make the day enjoyable. Doggie bags are provided in case you forget to bring your own. With picnic areas and public restrooms also available, this park will soon become a favorite Sunday afternoon spot for the entire family.

Poway Dog Park

Poway Dog Park has plenty of leash-free space where your dog can run around without a care in the world. This dog park has three fenced-in areas, all of which include water stations, picnic areas, and ample room for your puppy to roam. (Just make sure you keep your canine on his or her leash until you reach the designated area.) Best of all, the Poway park caters to dogs of all sizes; different areas are designated for small, medium, and large dogs, so you can let your pooch run around with others his own size.

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Fiesta Island Dog Park

Fiesta Island, located in Mission Beach, is a popular destination for many activities such as running, walking, and cycling. However, one of its most beloved attractions is its dog park, where your pup can run free, frolic in the water, and roll in the sand. While you take a leisurely bike ride or stroll alongside the calming waters, your fur baby can happily run by your side or play with other dogs. You might as well bring your picnic and spend a day at the beach with your furry companion.

The Backyard At Petco Park

You can now bring your pup along to watch America’s favorite sport at Petco Park, home of the San Diego Padres. The famous California baseball stadium features five semi-private, dog-friendly viewing areas located in the left-center field with enough room to accommodate up to four humans and two dogs (prices start at $100). Your dog will truly love his or her day out in the sun. Each dog is greeted by a Petco ambassador and then escorted to the designated seating area by a pet concierge. The seating areas are designed to keep your four-legged friend cool and are located close to dog-relief areas as well as water stations. Now, you no longer have to leave your dog behind when you want to go to a ball game.

Rancho Bernardo Dog Park

Situated at the southern end of the Rancho Bernardo Park Community, this dog park consists of 2.66 acres of leash-free fun for your dog. Spend the day relishing San Diego’s beautiful year-round weather with your dog, who can freely roam and play. The park is well kept and features large grassy areas where you can set up a picnic or read a new book while Fido rests. Doggie bags are provided, but be sure to keep your canine on a leash until you reach the fenced areas.

Nate’s Point Dog Park

One of Balboa Park’s dog-friendly spaces, Nate’s Point Dog Park is the ideal place to let your dog roam around and soak up the sun. With many trees surrounding the area, this dog park also provides plenty of shade and can be the perfect setting for an afternoon out with your pup. Approximately 2.3 acres, this dog park has many advantages, including the gorgeous Balboa Park scenery and several dog-friendly hiking trails within walking distance.

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Ocean Beach Dog Beach

With ocean waves crashing on the shore and palm trees looming overhead, this waterside, off-leash park is the ideal place for swimmers and dogs alike. Commonly known as simply Dog Beach, this sandy area is San Diego’s only 24-hour beach for dogs and is situated at the north end of Ocean Beach. You can soak up some vitamin D and spend quality time with your best friend during a nice, sunny day. Your dog will definitely love splashing in the cool water and playing with other dogs. Bring your own picnic or take a nice stroll into town and grab a bite to eat with Fido—be sure to return in time to watch the sunset, though.

Maggie Houlihan Memorial Dog Park

One of the most beautiful and well-maintained dog parks in San Diego, this two-acre space boasts a wide swath of greenery intersected by walking trails. Maggie Houlihan Memorial Dog Park also has well-designed play areas suitable for all dogs, no matter their size. The park provides tables, public bathrooms, and plenty of shade, too, so grab your kids and your pups and enjoy a relaxing day at the park.

The 10 San Diego Parks Your Dog Will Love (6)

Dusty Rhodes Dog Park

Dusty Rhodes is a hit among dog owners and their furry friends. With a one-acre area, the park is a bit smaller than others in the San Diego area, but it still gives dogs ample space to run around. The tree-dotted landscape offers chairs, picnic tables, water stations, and even doggie bags, so it’s easy to while away an afternoon here.

Coronado Dog Beach

Definitely one of the calmer dog beach areas in San Diego, this park is perfect for active, social pups. The leash-free Coronado Beach and Dog Park is a great spot to throw the ball or Frisbee for Fido. (But make sure to keep your dog leashed until you reach the beach, otherwise you might have to pay a $500 fine.) Your family will have a wonderful time surfing the waves and lounging on the white, sandy shores while your dog runs around in the water with other canines.

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How dog friendly is San Diego? ›

San Diego has everything from wooftop bars and yappy hours to leash-free beaches and stand up paddleboarding. Not only is San Diego a great place for people to live, it's one of the dog-friendliest cities we know of.

Are dogs allowed in San Diego parks? ›

All dogs shall be maintained on a leash not to exceed 8 feet, including trails and canyons in all parks. For those parks that have been designated dog off-leash areas, dogs must be leashed until inside the posted boundary for the off-leash area.

How many dogs can you have in San Diego? ›

In the city of San Diego and in unincorporated areas, if you live in a residential zone, you're limited to six dogs. Any more than that is considered a kennel. Carlsbad residents are allowed to have three dogs and/or cats.

Is Torrey Pines dog-friendly? ›

Torrey Pines prohibits dogs anywhere within the reserve and beach boundaries (even within a vehicle).

Can you walk dogs on the beach in San Diego? ›

In general, dogs are allowed on beaches after 6 p.m. from April 1 to Oct. 31 or after 4 p.m. from Nov. 1 to March 31. Licensed dogs are allowed on the beach, and on sidewalks and park areas near the beach, during the night and early morning hours until 9 a.m., but they must be leashed.

Can I take my dog to Balboa Park? ›

Dogs must be leashed and under the control of the owner at all times throughout the park, including trails and canyons. There are three dog parks that do not require a leash: Balboa Dr. at El Prado, Nate's Point, south side of Cabrillo Bridge, open 24 hours.

Is San Diego Zoo dog friendly? ›

No. Pets, comfort animals, and emotional support animals are not permitted at the Zoo or Safari Park. Because we house significant populations of rare and endangered species, both the Zoo and the Safari Park are considered to be quarantined facilities.

Can dogs go on ocean pier? ›

Dogs: Leashed dogs are allowed before 9 AM or after 6 PM (4 PM from Nov. 1 - Mar.

Can dogs go to La Jolla Cove? ›

Leashed dogs allowed on beach before 9am and after 6pm from April-Oct. (changes to 4pm Nov. -March).

Can I walk my dog at Pacific Beach? ›

Dogs are NOT allowed on the beach, boardwalk or adjacent parks between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m. from April 1 through Oct. 31. At all other hours, dogs must be on a leash. Owners are expected to pick up after their dog.

Is it illegal to not pick up dog poop in San Diego? ›

“No person having control of a dog shall allow a dog to defecate or to urinate (yes, urinate) on private property other than property belonging to the dog owner, custodian or person having control of the dog. A person having control of a dog shall curb the dog and immediately remove any feces to a proper receptacle.

Is it illegal to not pick up dog poop in California? ›

It's the law!

Los Angeles County's pooper scooper law is listed under the county's nuisance ordinance and says “Animal defecation on public property or upon private property other than the owner's property is prohibited.” You can read more about dog poop legislation in this California Pooper Scooper Law article.

How long can a dog bark legally in California? ›

An animal violates the Noisy Animal Ordinance if it causes a disturbance to a person by: Making noise for 30 continuous minutes or more ("incessant"), or. Making noise for 60 minutes off and on during a 24-hour period ("intermittent").

Which state has the most dog owners? ›

U.S. states with the most and fewest pet owners
States with the most dog owners (percentage of households that owned a dog):States with the fewest dog owners (percentage of households that owned a dog):
1. Arkansas: 47.9%1. Illinois: 32.4%
2. New Mexico: 46%2. New Jersey: 32.4%
3. Kentucky: 45.9%3. Minnesota: 31.9%
7 more rows

What state euthanized the most animals? ›

And, according to the cat and dog euthanasia rates by state, almost all are in the South. Texas tops the list with around 125,000 animals killed in shelters. California is second with 110,000, followed by Florida with 66,000, and North Carolina with 62,000 euthanized animals.

What is the best place to own a dog? ›

Top 25: Best Cities for Dogs
RankCityForbes Advisor score Out of 100 possible points
1San Francisco, California75
2Henderson, Nevada60
3Denver, Colorado60
4Albuquerque, New Mexico60
22 more rows
Mar 29, 2022

Is La Jolla trail dog friendly? ›

This is an easy trail that offers a spectacular setting and is known as one of the many “rail-trails” in the San Diego area. It is also dog-friendly and a great place to take Fido out for a stroll!

Is Carlsbad beach dog Friendly? ›

Dogs are not allowed on beaches in Carlsbad, but leashed dogs are welcome on the city's extensive trail system. The beaches in Carlsbad include: South Carlsbad State Beach. Carlsbad State Beach.

Is Blacks beach dog Friendly? ›

The north portion of Black's is clothing-optional. Dogs on a leash are allowed on beach before 9 a.m. and after 6 p.m. from April 1 through October 31; and before 9 a.m. and after 4 p.m. from November 1 through March 31. At all other hours, dogs must be on a leash. Owners are expected to pick up after their dog.

Is San Diego a dog friendly city? ›

Beach Time for You and Your dog

Along the beach shoreline and Mission Bay, the City of San Diego has two designated leash-free exercise areas for dogs. Dogs are allowed at Dog Beach and on Fiesta Island. Dogs are restricted at other beach and bay locations.

Are San Diego beaches dog friendly? ›

San Diego city-operated beaches are all open to leashed dogs in the morning before 9 a.m. and in the evening after 6 p.m. (after 4 p.m. November to March). This makes San Diego one of the most dog-friendly cities in Southern California!

Is San Diego Zoo dog friendly? ›

No. Pets, comfort animals, and emotional support animals are not permitted at the Zoo or Safari Park. Because we house significant populations of rare and endangered species, both the Zoo and the Safari Park are considered to be quarantined facilities.

Are dogs allowed on the San Diego Trolley? ›

Non-service animals must be fully contained inside an enclosed carrier that you can hold on your lap and transport by yourself. Animals must be kept under your control at all times. Operators have the right to refuse to transport your animal because of noise or odor.

How many dog owners are in San Diego? ›

Based on the survey results, and given 887,403 households in SDC,2 the owned animal population was determined. The owned dog population of SDC is 374,732, with 30.6% of the county owning an average of 1.4 dogs each. The owned cat population is 371,928, with 24.8% of the county owning 1.7 cats.

What time are dogs allowed on the beach in San Diego? ›

Times when leashed dogs are allowed: City of San Diego beach rules apply. Dogs are allowed before 9 a.m. and after 4 p.m. from November 1 to March 31 and before 9 a.m. and after 6 p.m.between April 1 and October 31.

Can dogs walk around Balboa Park? ›

Balboa Park is very dog-friendly. Most of the gardens, with the exception of the Japanese Friendship Garden, allow dogs, or you may take your dog to any of three dog parks located here. Visit for more details!

Is La Jolla Cove dog friendly? ›

Leashed dogs allowed on beach before 9am and after 6pm from April-Oct. (changes to 4pm Nov. -March).

Is La Jolla beach dog Friendly? ›

Experience La Jolla

April 1 – October 31: Dogs allowed on beach before 9 AM and after 6 PM. November 1 – March 31: Dogs allowed on beach before 9 AM and after 4 PM. While La Jolla Shores is not a designated dog beach, it is a dog beach friendly.

Where can I swim with my dog in San Diego? ›

Dog Swimming Near Me
  • Dog Swimming Near Me. San Diego, CA. All "dog swimming" Results in San Diego, CA. ...
  • Lake Murray. 6.6 mi. 293 reviews. ...
  • Lake Miramar. 9.1 mi. 450 reviews. ...
  • Fiesta Island Off Leash Dog Park. 3.8 mi. 93 reviews. ...
  • Admiral Baker Park. 3.1 mi. Parks. ...
  • Lake Poway Park. 17.0 mi. ...
  • Chollas Lake Park. 6.7 mi. ...
  • Eastlake Lake. 14.0 mi.

Is SeaWorld San Diego pet friendly? ›

SeaWorld provides a pet facility for $25 per day. It operates on a first-come, first-serve basis. We do not take reservations for this facility. Kennels are approximately 4ft by 8ft and are outside under some coverage.

Can I bring my dog to Old Town San Diego? ›

San Diego is even dog-friendly in outdoor historical areas like Old Town San Diego, considered the birthplace of California. Dogs are not allowed inside of the buildings, but you'll still get a feel for what life was like during the Mexican and early American periods of 1821 to 1872.

Are dogs allowed at Coronado Beach? ›

Dogs are not allowed on any area of Coronado Beach except at Dog Beach, which is a sandy area at the north end of the beach. For more information view the Beach Map (PDF). This is a dog-run area where dogs are always permitted without a leash. Dog owners are responsible for the control and clean-up of their dogs.

Can dogs ride Marta? ›

Riding with Pets

However, a pet may be transported on MARTA trains, streetcars and buses, provided it is carried aboard in a secure rigid pet carrier with a lock or latch from which it cannot escape.

Are dogs allowed on the coaster train? ›

Small pets are allowed only in proper enclosed pet carriers. The carrier must be on the floor/lap and not on a seat.

Is the trolley free in San Diego? ›

Ride the Red Trolley

There are three trolley lines (Blue, Orange and Green) that service the downtown San Diego communities and beyond, covering 65 miles of double-track railway and 62 stations total. Trolley and bus adult fares are inexpensive and children 5 and under ride for free.


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