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Man surfing with his dog at the dog beach in Huntington - Surf City USA - photo by Guy Kawasaki from Pexels

#1  Dog Beach In Huntington – The Scoop

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The seaside city of Huntington Beach in Orange County, Southern California, is located a mere 35 miles southeast of downtown Los Angeles. The excellent surfing conditions in the area have earned Huntington Beach the nickname “Surf City”.

Along with its fantastic surfing and favorable weather, Huntington Beach is famed for its beautiful golden sandy beaches, which extend for nearly 10 miles along the Pacific coast.

It boasts 5 beaches in all: Huntington City Beach, Huntington State Beach, Bolsa Chica State Beach, Sunset Beach, and Huntington Dog Beach.

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Note that Huntington Dog Beach is the only one of the five city beaches where dogs are permitted and allowed to roam off-leash. All the other four city beaches are for humans only!

The dog beach in Huntington stretches for around 1.5 miles, nestled between Seapoint Street and Goldenwest Street along the gorgeous Pacific Coast Highway.

In May 2020, U.S. News & World Report listed the dog beach in Huntington as one of the 18 best dog-friendly beaches in the US.

Huntington Dog Beach is open all year round. It is open daily from 5am to 10pm and there is a picnic area with tables, and drinking fountains for pooches.

Doggy clean up bags are available at little kiosks and there are plenty of trash cans dotted around the beach, so there is absolutely NO excuse for any trash to be left lying around!

#2  Activities To Do

There are plenty of activities for you and your furball to do on the dog beach in Huntington. The most obvious one, that doesn’t require any kind of equipment, is for you both to simply stretch your legs, walk or run along the beach, and enjoy the 1.5 miles of beautiful golden sand!

You could also play frisbee with your dog, which is a simple activity that ALL dogs seem to enjoy! Take a tennis ball or two and have lots of fun playing catch with your dog – this is a great activity for their stamina and endurance.

Swimming is of course permitted here, but remember that not all dogs like the water. If your dog is not used to being around water, then go easy on her and just slowly introduce her to the water.

Also, Huntington Beach is known as Surf City for a reason – there are strong currents here and sometimes the waves can be large and powerful. Never underestimate the power of the ocean!

#3  Admission And Parking

Admission to the dog beach in Huntington is free. The beach is open from 5am to 10pm, 7 days a week. As at June 2021, metered parking is currently $2 per hour.

Close to the dog beach, there are 3 parking lots dotted along the Pacific Coast Highway (PCH). Approaching from the north, the first one you will come to is the Dog Beach Bluff Top Parking Lot (North Lot). The parking here gives easy access to the beach boardwalk.

Accessed from the same exit off the PCH, a second parking lot is located a little over 400 feet away. This is known as the 19291 East Pacific Coast Highway Parking. There are 64 spaces in this particular parking lot.

A little farther south on the PCH is the 19341 East Pacific Coast Highway Parking. This is the largest of the 3 bluff top parking lots, with a total of 180 spaces.

Make sure that you don’t leave your vehicle in any of the parking lots after 10pm (when the dog beach closes), as it will get ticketed.

From 5am to 9pm (1 hour before the dog beach closes), free street parking is available in Seapoint Street, close to the Harriett M. Wieder Regional Park. The parking is on the same side as the Regional Park, facing towards the beach and the PCH.

To get there, you need to turn into Seapoint Street off the PCH, drive to the far end of Seapoint Street, at the junction of Garfield Avenue, and do a U-turn.

However, please note that there is only enough space here for around 20 cars, it’s about a 30 minute walk from the dog beach in Huntington, and you have to cross the busy Pacific Coast Highway to get to the beach – although there are stop lights at the junction.

#4  Gorgeous Sites Close To Dog Beach In Huntington

If you’re in the Huntington Beach area for a while, then a great thing to do is to visit Santa Catalina Island. It is often referred to as Catalina Island, or even just Catalina. Catalina Island is the easternmost of the eight Channel Islands of California.

It has a total population of around 4,100 people, most of whom live in Avalon, the island’s only incorporated city. 

Santa Catalina Island is a rocky island, located about 29 miles south-southwest of Long Beach, California. Catalina is 22 miles long and 8 miles wide at its widest point.

The island has a long and colorful history, with evidence of a Native American settlement there as far back as 7000 BC. The Spanish-born explorer, Juan Rodríguez Cabrillo, was the first European to set foot on the island.

#5  Dog-Friendly Hotels Near Dog Beach In Huntington

Pasea Hotel & Spa: This luxurious 4-star hotel is just steps from the sand and sea at Huntington Beach. Named as one of the best dog-friendly hotels in the US, the Pasea describes itself as being “pet passionate”.

The hotel certainly boasts a vast array of dog-friendly accessories and amenities.

There are several take-home welcome gifts for your dog, including a floating dog toy (perfect for the dog beach), a reflective leash and a three-course dog meal.

There’s an in-room bed for your furry friend to curl up in at night and there are no pet deposit fees at this hotel.

Dog walking and pet sitting services are available and the hotel also has a 1,100 square foot outdoor pup play park, where your pooch can frolic around completely off-leash.

The Pasea truly is doggy heaven!

The Waterfront Beach Resort: Just over 2 miles from the dog beach in Huntington is The Waterfront Beach Resort, a Hilton Hotel.

Located at 21100 Pacific Coast Highway, this fabulous 4-star hotel is right on the doorstep of the world-famous Huntington Beach, also known as Surf City USA.

For an additional fee of $99 per stay, the hotel permits 2 pets up to 75lbs – both dogs and cats are allowed. However, unattended pets may not be left in the room.

As long as your dog is on a leash, then it is allowed everywhere on the property. There is even a special pet menu available at Henry’s, the on-site restaurant!

#6  Dog-Friendly Restaurants And Cafes Near Dog Beach In Huntington

Park Bench Cafe: This dog-friendly outdoor cafe is located at 17732 Goldenwest Street, in Huntington Beach Central Park East.

They offer a special dog menu, with such creatively-named dishes as Hound Dog Heaven (juicy ground beef), Bow Wow Wow (chicken breast fillet cut up), and our favorite, Rover Easy (two scrambled eggs)!

Opened in 1988, this wonderful outdoor cafe has firmly established itself as a true “hidden gem” among both locals and dog owners.

As of June 2021, they are currently open from 7:30am to 2pm, Wednesday through Friday, and from 7:30am to 2:30pm on Saturdays and Sundays.

Top Dog Barkery: This fantastic establishment has a gourmet dog bakery on site. They bake fresh doggy birthday cakes, K9 cupcakes and lots of other delicious doggy treats daily!

Their baked goods are preservative-free and also contain no sugar and no salt.

Top Dog also offers dog grooming and doggie day care services and they have both an online and a physical store. They can be found at 21010 Pacific Coast Highway.

#7  Dog-Friendly Bars Near Dog Beach In Huntington

2nd Floor: Located at 126 Main Street, you’ll find this trendy gallery bar and grill on the corner of Walnut Avenue, next to and above the Huntington Surf and Sport Billabong Store. Founded in 2010, 2nd Floor describes itself as “the place for those inspired by food, art, drinks, and music”.

The rooftop patio is dog-friendly and you get great views from up there. There’s usually a special doggy menu for your furry friend and they do some great beers and cocktails – for the humans only, of course!

Beachwood Huntington Beach Tap Room: A couple blocks east from Huntington Central Park East, at 7631 Woodwind Drive, is where you’ll find this fabulous dog-friendly brewery.

They have a large selection of house beers on draft, including El Verano, Amalgamator, Barrels To Alsace, and our favorite, 28 Haze Later!

As of June 2021, the Beachwood Tap Room is open from 12:30pm to 7:30pm, Wednesday through Sunday. It’s closed on Mondays and Tuesdays.

#8  Dog Vaccinations And Dog License Requirements

California law requires that all dogs are kept up-to-date with their vaccinations and that they also display a current dog license. Every dog older than 3 months must be vaccinated against rabies.

You must purchase your dog’s first license before it is 5 months old, or within 30 days of moving, if you have recently moved to the area, and your dog is older than 5 months.

As of June 2021, dog license fees range from $18 to $45 for altered dogs and from $36 to $90 for unaltered dogs.

Dog vaccinations and dog licenses are administered by the San Diego County Department of Animal Services.

The fees help the department to carry out their fantastic work, including helping to pay for the care of lost and orphaned pets, and promoting animal welfare, animal health and animal safety in the community.

#9  Facilities On And Around Dog Beach In Huntington

Beach Area: A huge, 1.5 mile long beach for you and your dog to enjoy!

Fenced Area: No, there is no fenced area at the dog beach

Admission Fee: Dog Beach in Huntington is completely free of charge!

Opening Hours: The beach is open daily from 5am to 10pm

Parking: Metered parking at 3 parking lots dotted along the Pacific Coast Highway (PCH). Currently $2 per hour. The parking lots have handicap access ramps. Limited street parking is also available in Seapoint Street

Popularity: The dog beach can get very busy, especially at weekends. Weekdays are usually quieter. Early mornings and evenings are also quieter times to enjoy the beach in the company of your favorite furry friends

Best Time To Go: If you’re on the dog beach shortly before sunset, that’s a fabulous time to visit. At that time of the evening, the light is simply perfect for photos and the whole area looks exceptionally beautiful!

Dogs: Yes, absolutely!

Beach Rules: Completely off-leash at all times. Your dog is free to run around the beach all day long! However, please note that dogs must be leashed when entering and leaving the beach, and leash laws ARE enforced. Only let your dog off its leash once you are on the beach sand

Swimming: Yes

Surfing: Yes

Lifeguards: Lifeguards are on duty seasonally

Bike Parking: Yes

Good For Groups: Yes

Good For Kids: Yes

Drinking Water: There are several drinking water fountains for both dogs and humans dotted around the beach

Restrooms: Yes

Trash Cans: Several dotted around the beach

More Facilities On And Around Dog Beach In Huntington

Cafes and Restaurants: You’ll find dog-friendly restaurants and cafes in the main downtown area of the city of Huntington Beach, especially along Main Street. Main Street is approximately 1.5 miles from the dog beach

Bars: Lots of dog-friendly bars and breweries close by. Again, head to Main Street and the downtown area, or to the destinations mentioned above

Dog-friendly Hotels: There are several dog-friendly hotels close to the dog beach in Huntington, and many more within a few miles. Here are a couple of ideas

Picnic Area: There is a grassy area with picnic tables available

Fire Pits: There are no fire pits on this beach and barbecues are not allowed 

Volleyball: No

Showers: Unfortunately, there are no showers for dogs

Dog Wash: The excellent Dirty Dog Wash is located at 504 Main Street. Sandy Paws Dog Wash is a little farther afield, at 18971 Beach Boulevard, at the junction of Garfield Avenue

Privacy: People are allowed to bring their dog to the beach whenever the beach is open (daily, from 5am to 10pm), so there is very little privacy.

However, if you head up to the northern part of the dog beach, close to the natural waterway that separates it from the state-run Bolsa Chica State Beach, you’ll find it much quieter there, and the cliffs act as a natural barrier between the beach and the busy Pacific Coast Highway – it’s very beautiful

Beach Address: 100 Goldenwest Street, Huntington Beach, CA 92648

Official Website: https://www.dogbeach.org/

#10  Map Of Dog Beach In Huntington

#11  Conclusion

The dog beach in Huntington is an awesome place! It’s a beautifully wide beach, with easy access on and off, and there is tons of room for dogs to run free and play.

It’s a really nice place for both dog owners and their furry friends, and has a relaxing and friendly atmosphere. As you might expect, it’s also a very good place to make friends with other dog owners.

You can watch surfers riding a wave, hang out with other like-minded dog owners, take a stroll along the gorgeous golden sand, and watch your pup frolicking in the waves, play with other pups and generally have lots and lots of fun!

And when you’ve finished, head to downtown Huntington Beach for a hearty meal and a cool (or hot) refreshing drink with your pooch. What more could you ask for?

In the words of one of the local residents, Huntington Beach Dog Beach is much more than just a dog-friendly beach – it’s a true California classic!

So what do YOU think? Is Dog Beach in Huntington YOUR favorite dog beach? Let us know by leaving a comment – we’d love to hear from you.

Things change all the time, so if any of the information in this article is incorrect or out-of-date, please let us know – just leave us a comment below. Many thanks!

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