Mitchell’s Cove Beach is a small, crescent-shaped strand located below the bluffs along West Cliff Drive in Santa Cruz. It welcomes doggos on and off-leash. Dog parents love the bluffs’ natural barrier that keeps Fido contained, but if your pooch has a little mountain goat in them, it’s best to keep them on a leash. The best time to visit this beach is during the summer when the spring’s seaweed piles have been washed back out to sea and there’s plenty of beach at low tide.
This fur-tastic spot is never crowded, it's always quiet, and there’s plenty to look at – daring surfers, birds, and if you’re lucky, gray whales migrating just offshore. The soothing sound of the waves is a paw-some background for taking in the fur-bulous view. Stairs descend from the bluff’s top to the sand and a large rock monolith, and at low tide, there are tide pools and a cave to explore. There isn’t much beach at high tide, so it’s a good idea to consult a tide table before you come and watch the incoming tide during your stay. Also, the currents in the chilly water can be strong, so be sure to keep an eye on your canine swimmer!
A free parking area lies atop the bluff, and a portable toilet is available for visitors. Dog waste, however, must be bagged and carried off the beach. Keep in mind you’ll need to supply your own bags. There’s no fresh water source, so be sure to bring some for you and the pup. If a stroll is what you want after a day at the beach, a long walking path weaves along West Cliff Drive above.
If you don’t live in Santa Cruz, traveling to the beach with a pup can seem daunting, but it doesn’t need to be. Fido doesn’t need much for a day trip, and an overnight stay at a Santa Cruz dog-friendly hotel or motel would be paw-rfect! As always, keep beach etiquette rules in mind.
New adventures are exciting, but they can sometimes result in an injury. Before visiting the beach, compare pet health insurance plans to keep your fur child in the best “paw-ssible” shape for all your outdoor adventures!