Top 9 Dog-Friendly Beaches in & Near Santa Cruz, CA (2023 Update)


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Santa Cruz, California, is a wonderful city with many beaches for surfing and swimming. It’s also home to magnificent state parks. If you are thinking about visiting the area with your dog, you will be happy to know that there are several places in and near Santa Cruz where you can take your pet to cool off and have fun.

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Top 9 Dog-Friendly Beaches in & Near Santa Cruz, CA

1. Twin Lakes State Beach

  • Plenty of room to run or walk
  • Swimming with lifeguard
  • Bathrooms
  • Lighthouse nearby

2. It’s Beach

πŸ—ΊοΈ Address: πŸ“ Santa Cruz, CA 95060
πŸ• Open Times: 7 a.m. to sunset
πŸ’² Cost: Free
πŸ• Off-Leash: Yes
  • Close to a lighthouse
  • Plenty of room to run
  • Specific area of Lighthouse Field State Beach where dogs can be off leash
  • Access to water

3. Seabright Beach

πŸ—ΊοΈ Address: πŸ“ Santa Cruz, CA 95062
πŸ• Open Times: 6 a.m. to 10 p.m.
πŸ’² Cost: Free
πŸ• Off-Leash: Yes
  • Swimming and surfing
  • Plenty of room to run
  • Sailboat races and nearby lighthouse

4. Natural Bridges State Beach

  • Amazing rock formations
  • Plenty of parking
  • Picnic areas

5. Lighthouse Field State Beach

  • Surfing museum
  • Large area
  • Includes It’s Beach, where dogs can be off leash
  • Surfing and swimming

6. Mitchell’s Cove Beach

πŸ—ΊοΈ Address: πŸ“ Santa Cruz, CA
πŸ• Open Times: Sunrise to sunset
πŸ’² Cost: Free
πŸ• Off-Leash: Yes
  • Plenty of parking
  • Large beach
  • Access to water
  • Friendly pet owners

7. Hooper Beach

πŸ—ΊοΈ Address: πŸ“ Capitola, CA 95010
πŸ• Open Times: Sunrise to sunset
πŸ’² Cost: Metered street parking
πŸ• Off-Leash: Yes
  • Fishing pier
  • Access to water
  • Clean beach

8. Black’s Beach

πŸ—ΊοΈ Address: πŸ“ Twin Lakes, CA 95062
πŸ• Open Times: Sunrise to sunset
πŸ’² Cost: Metered street parking
πŸ• Off-Leash: Yes
  • Benches to sit on
  • Close to the lighthouse
  • Lifeguard for swimming
  • Not too crowded

9. Palm Beach State Park

  • Restrooms
  • Water fountains
  • Several shaded trees

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Summary

There are several dog-friendly beaches in Santa Cruz, California, including Twin Lakes State Beach, which has plenty of room to walk and run, and Seabright Beach, which provides space for your dog to play and is also great for swimming and surfing. While many beaches require you to keep your pet on a leash, a few will let dogs run free in certain areas or at specific times.


Featured Image Credit: sharkolot, Pixabay

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