Dog Friendly Things to Do in San Diego
Fiesta Island, photo courtesy Yelper Danielle Y.
Planning a getaway to San Diego? Don't forget, our city is full of fun for the whole family! We've rounded up our favorite dog-friendly things to do in San Diego–and whether your pooch wants to be pampered or craves endless adventure, we've got you covered.
Dog-Friendly Beaches in San Diego
With 19 off-leash dog parks and beaches in San Diego, you could easily spend your whole vacation exploring each one! Some of the most favored parks, by dog and owner alike, include Nate's Point Off-leash Dog Park, Dusty Rhodes Dog Park, and Doyle Community and Dog Park. But when you're on the coast, you'll want to explore beaches as well—here are our two can't-miss spots:
: As if the draw to visit gorgeous Mission Bay wasn't already heightened enough, now you know you can even bring your dog—and unleashed to boot! Fiesta Island's beach is easy to find, with the fenced-in area marked by plenty of signs. There are ample sandy dunes to dig in, and being in the bay means wave-free water for the dogs to take a dip and cool off.
The Original Dog Beach
: Set in funky Ocean Beach on the southwestern shores of San Diego, this popular hotspot boasts an open beach where canines can roam off-leash all day long! There are sure to be other dog friends for your furry family member to interact with, or bring a frisbee and play fetch along the sandy shores.
Dog-Friendly Outdoor Activities in San Diego
Been there, done Dog Beach? Grab the leash and water bottle and head out to try one of these truly unique bonding adventures in San Diego:
The SUP Connection
: SUP Pups is the perfect way to learn how to stand-up paddleboard with your dog! Owned and operated by Samantha Lee, both you and your dog will thoroughly enjoy the hour-long lesson and tour of San Diego Bay. Start by giving Samantha a call to schedule your lesson (only open 10am - 2pm each day), currently priced at $35.00, then head over to Liberty Station when it's lesson time! Sam is absolutely amazing at making the dogs and owners feel at ease, so no need to feel stressed out about trying a new adventure. And if you're dog just isn't feeling it, take your time and maybe even try another day—but most pups will find riding the front of your paddleboard to be the best part of their San Diego vacation.
Leash Your Fitness
: The founder of Leash Your Fitness Dawn Celapino—and her Cairn Terrier Jack—will help you scoot past the boring walks with your dog and create a fun and sweat-inducing workout for you both! Classes are typically Sunday, Wednesday, and Saturday, and range from Bonding with Bootcamp to K9 and Core Conditioning. Beginners will love the Strut With Your Mutt classes, and don't miss out on catching the special events like yoga, kayaking, or hikes. Each class consists of dog obedience mixed with plenty of cardio and strength training for dog and owner alike. Feel free to drop in for just one class and pay $20, or if you're staying awhile, sign up for four classes in four weeks for $60. And if you catch the Leash Your Fitness bug and just can't get enough, $156 will get you unlimited classes for one month!
Pamper Your Pooch
Vacation is a time to treat yourself—both humans and canines alike! Forget the store-bought biscuits and spoil your pooch with a trip to these tail-wagging local businesses:
You may have purchased an ice cold "pawcicles" at one of Paw Pleaser's "Paws on the Run" food carts around town, but a trip to their bakery is a great way to treat your canine to a one-of-a-kind fresh-baked treat. Claiming the name of San Diego's very first pet bakery, with a convenient location just minutes from downtown, you and Fido will be in awe of the wonderful assortment of intricately designed cookies and specialty cakes that are absolutely free of preservatives, corn, soy, and wheat. And if you're looking for an extraordinary way to celebrate your dog during your getaway, order one of the Tail Waggin' birthday cakes!
Bow Wow Boutique:
What fur baby doesn't want to be pampered for a day? Spoil your pet with a trip to this fun upscale pet boutique and grooming salon. Clients come from all over the country to experience the highest quality service possible, so if you're in the area, you truly won't want to miss making an appointment here! Just note that before your appointment, there are a few things they'll need, like vaccination records (they are happy to call your vet for verification if you don't have a hard copy on hand). And although the pristine Bow Wow Boutique groomers are not pet-sitters, they do offer late pick-up for an extra cost—so you can squeeze in a trip to the zoo while your pooch enjoys a walk and good care after pampering.
is our kind of souvenir. Try something new while capturing your best friend's personality and your unbreakable bond in a photography session with Terran Bayer at Westway Studio. Terran has a true talent for snapping majestic shots of your furry family members you'll forever cherish. She will travel to you, or you can ask the seasoned photographer for advice on the best location around San Diego to fit exactly what you're looking for. Choose from a few different packages, including a multi-day session at the private Skye Valley Ranch or an on-site photo session at your favorite location (Dog Beach, anyone?). Please note that you will need an appointment, so if you're only in San Diego for a short amount of time, please contact her well in advance by phone, email, or through her website to book an appointment!
Dog-Friendly Restaurants in San Diego
If you haven't gathered by now, San Diego is a very dog-friendly town—and many eateries around town allow pets on their patios. Here are our top picks for restaurants that offer something extra special for your dog:Market Cafe and Cays Lounge
at Coronado Bay Resort: Not only does this upscale restaurant serve delicious food for owners, but there's even a choice between six dishes for your hound, thoughtfully created by a licensed veterinarian. Your dogs will be begging for more food after tasting the supreme chicken, salmon, liver, veggies, beef, or name-brand pet food.
Lazy Dog Restaurant and Bar
: This mouth-watering spot is located in the Westfield Mission Valley Mall and is a perfect spot to relax after a fun day. The shaded patio welcomes leashed dogs, and offers a choice of white or brown rice with fresh beef or chicken for your hungry pup.
The Wine Pub
: Looking to kick back and end the evening with a couple of drinks with friends and enjoy tasty food? Then the Wine Pub in Point Loma is just the spot! Of course the pub offers a variety of wine and a full menu for humans, but their intriguing canine menu features homemade biscuits with peanut butter or a chicken and rice entree.
Convinced yet? Time to make your bucket list of San Diego dog-friendly activities, and book one of our vacation rentals so you always have a comfy spot—with lots of leg room—to rest your had after a day of adventure!