Ask any Santa Barbara local which beach is the best for you to take your dog to, and they will respond without hesitation. Though it’s official park name is Arroyo Burro Beach, the beach locally known as Hendry’s Beach features Santa Barbara’s most beloved off-leash dog play area. And if you visit, you can be sure to meet many other dogs and dog lovers there.
Hendry’s is perhaps the most popular local beach in the area, known to accommodate everyone from sunbathers and brunch-goers to windsurfers and equestrians. The beach offers a beachside restaurant, barbeque grills, picnic benches, clean restrooms, fresh water, seasonal lifeguards, and even provides beach wheelchairs free of charge to visitors. The beautiful, clean beach is a dog paradise. Your dog can splash in the ocean, run free on wide open stretches of beach, and nap in either the sun or the shade of the bluffs. The county even provides self-service dog wash stations so that your dog can come home clean.
When you first arrive at the beach, make sure that your dog is on a leash. Dogs are not allowed to go off-leash until they have crossed the Arroyo Burro Slough just a few paces south of the entrance. The rest of the area north of the slough is a bathing and swimming area. There are poop bags and trash bins at the entrance to the park, and due to the high volume of dogs in the area, it is important for every dog owner to pick up their dog’s poop and keep the beach clean. There are plenty of other dog owners to keep you accountable, and luckily, they have a reputation for being extremely nice and friendly.
There are many beaches along the Santa Barbara coast, but Hendry’s is the local gem. You and your dog can spend some time hanging out with the local dogs, and if you feel like staying for dinner, put in a reservation at the restaurant and enjoy a meal while the sun goes down.