Hearing there is a beach where dogs are free to enjoy the sun and sea is music to the ears of all dog owners. This epic event takes place on a regular basis at Rivermouth Beach, a chunky stretch of shore where the San Dieguito river says hello to the Pacific sea and locals can be seen all year long with their doggy pals.
Close by, the charming seaside village of Del Mar in Orange County boasts its pet-friendly mantra with half a mile of coastline dedicated to birdlife and dogs. If you are passing through, check out the infamous Del Mar horse-racing track and the concerts throughout the endless days of sun.
In the summer months all pooches must be on a leash no longer than six feet in length, but in the off-season (running from October 26th to June 15th), your pooch can romp around off-leash. Dogs have it good here and owners know to respect the rules and pick up after their pooches. Litter bags are available at an organized waste station plus there are portable restrooms on site.
Barefaced cliffs form a natural fence-line on either side of the beach making it a reasonably safe haven when your woofer is off-leash, although there is a busy road behind. Parking works out to be around $3 an hour or you could obtain an all-day pass. If you take a drive toward 29th street, there are free parking spaces available that tend to fill up fast on the weekend. This awesome dog beach can get really crowded in the summer, so all pooches need to be aware of their owner’s vocal cues and keep a distance from other folks having their own beach fun.
The cliffs provide some shade, but an umbrella or pop-up doggy tent ensures your pooch is protected from the sun's harsh UV rays. Don’t forget to bring fresh water as playing on the beach gets a dog hankering for their drink bowl.
This is also a popular surfing hang out and volleyball nets are a common sight during the season. Lifeguards have their eyes glued to the sea and are ready to help swimmers from 8 am in the morning. You’re bound to make new friends at Rivermouth beach as travelers often stop with their woofers for a quick dip in the Pacific or to play fetch on the sand.