The seaside community of Monterey is proud to call itself a pet-friendly city, and there are plenty of coastal access areas for you and your dog to walk and play in. A favorite among locals is Monterey State Beach, where posted signs inform visitors that dogs are only allowed in the area on-leash. The local culture, of course, is a bit less restrictive.
Monterey State Beach is one of several stretches of beach along the coast of the Pacific coast highway. It extends from Wharf #2 across from El Estero Park to about a mile north where the coast gives way to the Fort Ord Dunes State Park. The beach is clean and flat, with waves breaking gently against the shore. Dogs that like to swim can splash in the waves to their heart’s content, and many do.
As with most beaches, there is no naturally occurring shade, nor are there benches or places to sit and rest. That being said, you and your dog can sit on the sand comfortably and across the beach, within walking distance, there are a plethora of shopping centers and establishments with restrooms and clean water.
Once upon a time, dogs were strongly discouraged at Monterey State Beach, but the culture of the area has gradually been changing away from the restrictive and heavily regulated pet rules. At any given time, there are typically numerous local dog owners who allow their dogs to run free off-leash, despite the established on-leash rule.
They encourage visitors to disregard the rule as well, and there are no reports of rangers or authorities fining or penalizing anyone for letting their dog loose. If you remember to pick up after your dog and respect the community, no one should take issue with you letting your dog enjoy the beach at leisure.
Many people report that Monterey State Beach locals are among the most communicative, friendly, and outgoing dog lovers that they have met. You and your dog should go to enjoy a bright, sunny day and stroll along the pristine, flat beach.