14 Best Dog-Friendly Beaches in Northern California

Just as you deserve to spend a good day at a beach, relaxing and soaking in all the goodness of the sun, so does your pet dog. If you’re a beach lover but can’t really make trips to the beach because you can’t take your dog there, then you just looking for some dog-friendly beaches. Well, worry not. Northern California is not only a beautiful landscape but also you will find a ton of dog-friendly beaches in Northern California which you can’t afford to miss.

The beautiful pacific coastline is home to many pristine beaches and you must visit the beaches to enjoy the natural beauty. So, if you’re wondering whether Northern California is dog-friendly, then let me assure you that this place won’t disappoint you at all. There are plenty of dog beaches in Northern  California where you can spend an amazing day with your beloved doggo.

Dog-Friendly Beach in Northern California

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Let us have a look at what beaches are dog-friendly in Northern California. If you are planning for a dog-friendly vacation in California, the curated list of dog-friendly beaches in Northern California will help you and your furry friend to make some great memories on your beach vacation.

Top Dog-Friendly Beaches in Northern California

1. Crescent Beach

Location: Enderts Beach Rd Crescent City, CA 95531

Located on Enderts Beach Road off Highway 101, Crescent beach is a beautiful beach where you can spend some fun time with your pet dog. The beach is long enough to get your dog some running. You can play with your dog on this wide beach. Crescent Beach is certainly one of the top pet-friendly beaches in Northern California.

Make sure to keep your dog on leash while you are on this beach. It is one of the most scenic beaches at Redwood National Park. However, dogs are not allowed in the park. You can indulge in activities like surfing and go beach-walking with your dog. Get yourself some food and set up a picnic on Crescent beach.

 Dog Playing at Crescent Beach
Dog Playing at Crescent Beach

2. Mitchell’s Cove Beach in Santa Cruz

Location: W Cliff Dr and David Way Santa Cruz, CA 95060

Santa Cruz is loved for its lively culture and picturesque beauty. You will also find pet-friendly beaches in Santa Cruz and Mitchell’s Cove Beach is one of them. This beach is situated near West Cliff Drive. If you want your four-legged friend to roam around freely for some time then you must visit Mitchell’s Cove as it is one great off-leash dog beach in Northern California.

But to keep your dog off-leash, make sure you visit before 10 am or after 4 p.m. during the day, your pet must be on-leash. It does not receive a lot of footfall making it perfect for you and your dog to take some quiet walking together. You can also enjoy watching grey whales and other marine life animals while you are visiting this dog-friendly beach in California.

Dog-friendly beaches in northern California | Mitchell’s Cove Beach in Santa Cruz
Mitchell’s Cove Beach in Santa Cruz

Read Also: 8 Scenic Dog-Friendly Trails in Santa Cruz, Ca

3. Carmel Beach

Location: Ocean Ave and Scenic Rd Carmel, CA 93923

Carmel Beach looks just like a picture from a postcard. It’s a very beautiful beach with white sands and surrounded by cypress trees. It is the most popular beach and also another off-leash dog beach in Northern California. As a pet parent just look out for your dogs so that it does not make any unwanted noise.

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Carry some balls with you to toss around on the beach while your furry friend roams and plays with you. Also, if you happen to be a surfer, Carmel Beach offers great surfing water and you are bound to have a super fun ride. It is located at Ocean Avenue and Scenic Road Carmel. This beach allows bonfire, so you can have your romantic getaway with your partner as well.

Related Also: The Ultimate Dog Friendly Guide to Carmel-by-the-Sea

pet friendly beach in northern California | Carmel Beach
Carmel Beach

4. Big Lagoon County Park Beach

Location: Redwood Hwy and Big Lagoon Park Rd Trinidad, CA 95570

Looking for dog-friendly beach camping in Northern California? Then, Big Lagoon County Park beach is your answer. It offers the most beautiful camping experience with your furry friend alongside the waters. You can keep your dog off-leash on the wet slopes but remember to keep your dog under voice control and on leash on the sandy areas. The beach is located on Redwood Highway.

The beach offers many activities like boating, fishing, sailing, kayaking making it a perfect dog beach with outdoor activities. Set up your camping and enjoy the day with your pet dog.

5. Clam Beach County Park

Location: Clam Beach Dr McKinleyville, CA 95519

Another dog-friendly place to visit in Northern California is Clam Beach County Park where you can bring along your pet without any stress. Located near the city of McKinleyville, this beach is full of razor clams. Clam digging, biking, surfing, bonfires are some of the favorite activities at this beach.

You can also set up your little camping. However, for camping, you need to pay fees. The pet policy of this beach is also simple. You can keep your dog off-leash on the wet parts, and on-leash on the dry areas. The beach has a vast area of sandy dunes making it perfect for your dog to have some long walks and good exercise for itself.

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Clam Beach County Park
Clam Beach County Park

6. Mad River Beach County Park

Location: 1 Mad River Rd Arcata, CA 95521

You will never run out of options for dog-friendly beaches in Northern California. There are many Northern California beaches that allow dogs and Mad River Beach County Park is one of them. The beach is situated near Mad River Road and it is a very safe boat launch area.

The beach is spread across a vast area. So your pet can run freely on this beach. This also has a separate horse staging area which is an attraction for the horseback riders. Birdwatching, boating, fishing are quite popular activities in this dog beach in Northern California. You have to keep your dog on leash when it’s roaming on the dry sand. However, you are free to keep it off-leash on the slopes.

7. Noyo Beach

Location: Fort Bragg, CA 95437

Noyo Beach is a fairly popular off-leash dog beach in Northern California. Though small in the area, it is great for your dog to run free along the beach. Since its situated right in the middle of the town, the location is easy to access and is great for a fun day at the beach with your pet friend.

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If you have little time in hand and yet want to explore beaches in Northern California with your dog, then put Noyo Beach on your list. Don’t forget to stop at Nemo’s Fishmarket when you’re done exploring the beach with your dog. Have a delicious lunch at the harbor. The beach is a bit rocky, so keep an eye on your dog especially if it’s a puppy.

Noyo Beach
Noyo Beach

8. Luffenholtz Beach County Park

Location: Scenic Dr and Trinima Rd Trinidad, CA 95570

Look beside the south of the beautiful town Trinidad and you have Luffenholtz Becah County Park. It’s a very beautiful beach that allows your pet dog too. You can enjoy the spectacular view of the Pacific ocean while your dog runs along the coastline.

This beach also offers stunning beach life. It has picnic tables as well. So make sure to carry some food with you and spend some quality time with your family members. Keep your dog off-leash on the wave slopes. Don’t forget to put the leash on while it enjoys in the dry sand areas.

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9. MacKerricher State Park Beach

Location: 24100 MacKerricher Park Rd Fort Bragg, CA 95437

MacKerricher State Park Beach is a long beach covering a large area. This one is another great option for a dog-friendly beach in Northern California. You not only get long sandy stretches for your dog to run freely but also there are places for tents and campgrounds.

You can indulge yourself in bird watching, walking, lake fishing, hiking, biking at this beach. If you walk towards the north of this beach, you will find Ten Mile Beach which gives you an incredible opportunity for beachcombing. Keep your dog on leash when you visit MacKerricher State Park Beach.

MacKerricher State Park Beach
MacKerricher State Park Beach

10. Regan Beach

Location: 3199 Sacramento Avenue, South Lake Tahoe, CA 96150

There are a lot of options for dog-friendly beaches in Lake Tahoe and Regan Beach is one that allows your dog off-leash. Although off-leash, you must keep your pet dog under voice control all the time.

Also, your dog only can roam around in the dog park section. The beach offers a stunning view of Lake Tahoe. You will surely have a great experience at the beach with your dog. Make sure to carry your own bags to pick up your dog poop.

11. Kiva Beach

Location: Fallen Leaf Rd at Hwy 89 at Tallac Historic Site sign

Kiva Beach is another beautiful pet-friendly beach in Lake Tahoe that definitely should be on your bucket list. You can experience some amazing sunrise while enjoying the scenic beauty of this marvelous beach.

On the Kiva shoreline, you can certainly bring along your dog. But remember to keep them on leash. Also, cleaning up the waste after your dog is your responsibility too.

Kiva Beach
Kiva Beach

Read other Dog Beach Guide:

12. Centerville County Park Beach

Location: Centerville Rd Ferndale, CA 95536

Looking for a day out with your pup at the beach? Go to the long beach of Centerville County Park Beach with white clean, sand. Bonus point for your pet dog too, as this beach allows your furry friend to be off leash. So definitely carry the favorite toys of your dog and let it run free at the beach as you enjoy the scenic view.

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The beach ends with marshy lands, farmlands and this is also a great place for birdwatching, beachcombing, and beach driving, etc.

13. Caspar State Beach

Location: Co Rd 409, Caspar, CA 95420, United States

Caspar State Beach is a popular dog friendly beach located between two beautiful creeks Caspar Creek and Doyle Creek. Bring your dog to this beautiful beach and keep it on leash.

This beach is also famous among swimmers as it provides great water for swimming. Apart from that, you can certainly enjoy activities like hiking, surfing, camping. If you want to capture some breathtaking views of the ocean, make sure to visit the Caspar Headlands State Natural Reserve which is at the south of the beach.

14. Blind Beach

Location: Highway 1 and Goat Rock Rd Jenner, CA 95450

Blind Beach is a popular beach among pet lovers in Sonoma County. The beach is narrow but it’s quite long, so perfect for you to bring your dog for a chill beach fun day out. You will also get to see the amazing view of the arched rock.

Keep your dog on leash and you can have some fun activities like beach walking, beachcombing, etc. the waves can be a bit dangerous so be careful if you plan to swim.

Blind Beach
Blind Beach

Dog-Friendly Hotels in Northern California

Casa Munras Garden Hotel and Spa is a dog-friendly hotel in Northern California. The hotel has all the modern facilities like an outdoor pool, gym, wifi. You can explore nearby famous areas from this hotel with your dog too.

Ocean Pacific Lodge also offers a great stay not just for you but for your dog too. The Santa Cruz Beach Broadwalk is just a few minutes away from this hotel, hence it’s a perfect location for you to stay in the middle of the town with your pet friend.

Final Words

So, here is your list of the best dog beaches in Northern California. It’s time to pack your bags, take your pet dog along with you and spend an exciting day at the dog-friendly Northern California beaches.

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FAQ – Dog-Friendly Beach in Northern California

1. What Sonoma County beaches allow dogs?

Ans– Sonoma County has many beaches that allow dogs. Blind Beach, Carmet Beach, Healdsburg Veterans Memoria Beach are some of the popular dog-friendly beaches in Northern California.

2. Is Pismo State beach Dog Friendly?

Ans– Pismo State Beach is a dog-friendly beach but you must keep your dog on leash. Also, you need to pick up after your pet so don’t forget to carry waste bags along with you.

3. Is Oceano beach dog-Friendly?

Ans– Oceano Beach allows dogs only when it’s leashed. Make sure to clean after your dog and you can have a great day at Oceano Beach.

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