Big Sur, which stretches from Carmel to San Simeon along the central California coastline, is famous for its rugged coastal beauty and unspoiled wilderness. Nestled right in the middle of this popular tourist destination is the spectacularly scenic and wonderfully dog-friendly Sand Dollar Beach.
A narrow strip of sand backed by towering bluffs, Sand Dollar Beach probably isn't what most people picture when they think of the quintessential California beach. But it's even more spectacular than many of the State's better-known beaches, and well worth a look if you're ever in the area.
The beach is part of the Los Padres National Forest and is found about 30 miles south of the village of Big Sur. There's a parking area on-site and a dirt pathway to the bluffs above the beach, but to get down to the beach itself you'll need to descend the stairs.
Once down on the sand, you and your pet can enjoy a relaxing walk along this spectacular, crescent-shaped beach. Sand Dollar Beach is an on-leash-only beach, so make sure your pet is leashed and under your control at all times. You'll also need to take care to clean up after your canine companion and leave no mess behind.
For two-legged visitors, the undoubted highlight of Sand Dollar Beach is the dramatic coastal scenery. For canine visitors, the best part about this stretch of sand is the chance it provides to stretch the legs, sniff some interesting "beachy" smells and feel the waves lapping at their paws. As the largest beach in the area, there's ample room for you and your dog to escape the crowds and enjoy a patch of coastline all to yourself.
A $10 day-use fee applies but it's well worth it if you want to get down and take a stroll on the sand with your pooch.