Our Picks for the Best Bay Area Dog-Friendly Beaches

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Image Credit: my_little_morty

As one of the most dog-friendly big cities in the United States, San Francisco offers a variety of opportunities for you and your pooch to enjoy all that the Northern California Coast has to offer. If your pup enjoys running free, their paws in the sand and the wind in their fur, be sure to check out the following dog-friendly beaches along the Bay Area’s shoreline.

East Bay

Point Isabel

Image Credit: Cultured Hounds
Image Credit: Cultured Hounds

In the East Bay, Point Isabel provides 23 acres for leash-free dog play. Here, you can have a picnic, go fishing or for a run, all with your best friend at your side. This bay-facing beach even has a dog wash on site called MudPuppy’s, so you can clean up before you head home, and dog-friendly café Sit &Stay, so you can grab a bite before or after your beach adventure.

Here is more information about how to get to the park and rules.

North Bay

Point Reyes 

Image Credit: molliwentworth
Image Credit: molliwentworth

One of the North Bay’s most popular destinations for nature lovers, Point Reyes offers a long stretch of coastline for you and your furry friend to enjoy. Just note that dogs must be leashed here, but they can still enjoy Limantour, Kehoe and Great Beach with a tether, and you can even take your dog on Kehoe Beach Trail, one of the few dog-friendly national park trails. It is well worth putting up with the leash restriction, as Point Reyes is one of our nation’s most beautiful coastal expanses that you can enjoy with your best friend.

Related: This Summer’s Corgi Con Was the Biggest Ever

Here is more information about planning your trip, maps and directions.

Bolinas 

Image Credit: princessaurora1024
Image Credit: princessaurora1024

A secret spot that is often hard to find, since locals keep tearing down the signs, Bolinas is a hidden gem on the Marin County Coastline. In order to find it, follow the winding 1 Highway until you reach Olima Bolinas Road, where you turn toward the coast. Once you reach town, turn right on Brighton or follow Wharf Road to the beach. Since this beach faces south, it is often protected from the big surf coming in from Alaska to the north, so it is a prime spot for beginning surfers – and dog owners. Because of the smaller waves, you can feel comfortable letting your pooch romp in in this area. Because at the present time it is off leash, be respectful and ensure your dog behaves and you clean up after your pup.

Here is more information about planning your trip.

San Francisco

Ocean Beach

Image Credit: liztrombone
Image Credit: liztrombone

Ocean Beach offers a long stretch of dog-friendly shoreline, ranging from stairwell 1 to stairwell 21, which is all designated off-leash. Your pal is sure to make lots of friends of their own along this 3.5-mile strip of coastline. Just make sure you keep an eye on your pooch near the water, as the surf can be quite dangerous in this area.

Related: The 5 Best Places to Bring Your Dog in San Francisco

Head here for more information on Ocean Beach.

Fort Funston

Image Credit: generaljarvis
Image Credit: generaljarvis

Fort Funston is an ideal playground for dogs. The cliff top offers a maze of dunes and brush for your best friend to explore and run around. There are also several winding routes down to the beach, where he or she can run along a wide expanse of coast with old structures to climb on and plenty of sand to roll around in. Plus, at the apex of the cliffs and parking lot, there are several dog-level drinking fountains to rehydrate after a long run.

Find out more information here.

Peninsula

Esplanade Beach

Image Credit: trafalgardog
Image Credit: trafalgardog

Unfortunately, Esplanade Dog Beach’s access washed out during the storms that rolled through in late 2016, which opened up a large sinkhole on the trail that traversed the cliff down to the shore. The city has been working to repair the trail. While there are still opportunities to check out some of the beach, much of it is not open yet. This beach offers more privacy than any of the other dog beaches, as it is located in a residential neighborhood and is surrounded by high cliffs, so it is not visited by tourists or other beachgoers, making it largely dog-exclusive. There are designated areas where dogs can run around off leash.

Find out more information here.

Linda Mar

Image Credit: anitakhart
Image Credit: anitakhart

Related: San Francisco’s Blue and Gold Fleet Lets People And Their Dogs Enjoy Views of the Bay

Also a popular surf beach, Linda Mar formed as a sheltered cove protected from some of the bigger Nor Cal surf, making it an ideal location for your pooch to romp in the waves when the rest of the shoreline is blowing up. Do note, parking costs $5 for four hours, but there are hiking trails not too far to the north that are leashed-dog friendly, if you feel like exploring.

Find out more information here.

 

 

 

 

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