Traveling to San Diego with your Dog

As any dog owner who travels with their pooch knows, it takes a little advanced planning to make the trip go smoothly. If you are flying or using some other form of commercial transportation, you need to call ahead to make arrangements for your beloved pet. If you are going to be driving to your destination it may be a little easier, but you still have to find suitable places along the way to walk your dog.

Photo credit ‏@Preston_Speaks

Preston enjoys the beach!  Photo credit  –   ‏@Preston_Speaks

A vacation in San Diego sounds appealing anytime of the year. So, if you can make it happen, and the thought of leaving your precious pooch in a kennel makes your stomach turn, bring your four-legged family member along. Look for a pet-friendly San Diego hotel. Ideally, the hotel you choose will have plenty of outdoor space where you can take your dog out for a walk.

Photo Credit Ellen Lovelidge ‏@djlilelle

Returning your ball! Let’s play again!  Photo Credit Ellen Lovelidge ‏@djlilelle   –

Just like you would not bring your children to San Diego and lock them up in the hotel room while you go out and have fun, you should not force man’s best friend to spend all day in a confined space. Remember, your dog is on vacation just like you and the rest of the family. There are more than a dozen leash-free city parks that your dog will love and hundreds of other pet-friendly places in San Diego where a leash is required. Following are some of the best places in San Diego to take your pup for a walk, run, or other kind of fun.

Sunshine and Sadie surfing - Photo credit Esmeralda Robles Art ‏@SDart619

Sunshine and Sadie surfing – Photo credit Esmeralda Robles Art ‏@SDart619   –

 Emily Kloss ‏@emily_kloss

Fiesta island is a great place to walk dogs!  Emily Kloss ‏@emily_kloss

Nate’s Point Off-Leash Dog Park

Considered by many to be the best dog park in San Diego, Nate’s Point is conveniently located at 2500 Balboa Drive in Balboa Park. Your dog will have plenty of room to run in this completely fenced in green space. There’s plenty of water and a number of picnic benches.

Bailey - Photo credit CinelliGirl ‏@CinelliGirl_CA

Bailey in the cool shade  – Photo credit CinelliGirl ‏@CinelliGirl_CA

Photo credit Carolyn P. Fox ‏@carolynpfox

There is a place to bring dogs in Balboa Park – Photo credit Carolyn P. Fox ‏@carolynpfox  –

Layla - Photo credit Roxy Rosales ‏@theroxyrosales

My name is Layla and I am all smiles here in Balboa Park!  – Photo credit Roxy Rosales ‏@theroxyrosales

Coronado Dog Beach

It’s not unusual to find a crowd of dogs and their owners on this well-maintained stretch of beach designated for dogs and their masters. Head over the bridge to Coronado Island and point your car toward 100 Ocean Boulevard. Let your dog play in the sand and surf. Take a few snapshots and soak in some rays.

Photo credit Stacia Naquin ‏@stacia_naquin

Charley (L) and Payton (R) love to play frisbee… – Photo credit Stacia Naquin Consumer Reporter @stacia_naquin

Seaport Village

Complete with quaint shops, excellent restaurants, beautifully landscaped grounds, and a million dollar view of the Bay, Seaport Village is a top destination for tourists. Located along Harbor Drive, next to the San Diego Convention Center, dogs are also invited to walk along the water’s edge.

4th of July Dog Parade - Photo credit Sergio Marmolejo ‏@shango1120

Patriotic Pooch at the 4th of July Dog Parade – Photo credit Sergio Marmolejo ‏@shango1120

Photo credit Sean D. ‏@WonkoSD

Sunset stroll at Seaport Village.  Photo credit Sean D. ‏@WonkoSD

Ocean Beach Dog Beach

Known as “The Original Dog Beach,” dog lovers have been bringing their pets to Voltaire Street, at the northern end of Ocean Beach, for years. There is plenty of parking and even small puppies can frolic in the calm and shallow waters.

Armani - Photo credit Sarahi Pitones ‏@SPitones

My dog is so stylish we named it Armani. – Photo credit Sarahi Pitones ‏@SPitones

Photo credit Joseph ‏@GayleJoseph

Family time at the Original Dog Beach in San Diego  – Photo credit Gayle Joseph ‏@GayleJoseph

Heritage Park

Set among the historic homes and buildings in Old Town, Heritage Park offers a small grassy area that is just perfect for small dogs.

Photo credit tombudd ‏@tombudd

Old Town Market – we always forgive our furry friends!  Photo credit tombudd ‏@tombudd

Pioneer Park

Originally used as a cemetery, the sprawling grassy area located at 1500 Washington Place is now a quiet and peaceful place that will make dog owners and their four-legged companions quite happy.

SOX - Photo credit  ✨Deni✨ ‏@denilovesyou

My dog SOX and I love our time together in Pioneer Park.  – Photo credit ✨Deni✨ ‏@denilovesyou

Cabrillo National Monument

While this historic San Diego monument is a sight to behold, what makes it worth the trip with your pooch is the cool tide pools and inviting coastal area. If you visit 1800 Cabrillo Memorial Drive, bring your camera. The panoramic views of San Diego are out of this world.

If the sand's in your face, you're in the right place! - Photo credit DoggieBeerBones ‏@DoggieBeerBones

My name is Biscuit, I am 3 and am adopted dog from The Barking Lot in El Cajon. I love my owners who adopted me when I was 2 yrs old! – Photo credit DoggieBeerBones ‏@DoggieBeerBones  –

Fiesta Island Park

Another favorite place where locals bring their dogs to run and play in the wide open spaces. It is usually not too crowded and you can bike, run, or walk alongside your dog. Located in the Mission Bay section of San Diego.

Jack - Barking Beast ‏@taniamilberg

My dog Jack love Fiesta Island – Photo credit Barking Beast @taniamilberg TV Correspondent for @hashtagSDLive airs on @FOXSportsSD‏ also Creator of

- Photo Credit Kimberly Primerano ‏@cboots2highheel

 Please stand in line for photos! Fiesta Island beauty. – Photo Credit Kimberly Primerano ‏@cboots2highheel  –

Other Fun Stuff You Can Do With Your Dog When Visiting San Diego


Located at 930 W. Washington Street, Howlistic is a great place to buy your dog some natural pet food and treats. The shop also has a spa-like room where you can wash and pamper your dog (self-service) for a small fee.

Photo credit Howlistic

Photo credit Howlistic

The Original Paw Pleasers Dog Bakery

Celebrate your dog’s birthday or just get him/her a specially baked cake.

Photo credit Paw Pleasers ‏@pawpleaserssd -

Photo credit Paw Pleasers ‏@pawpleaserssd

Yappy Hour at the Hotel Del Coronado

From 4-5 pm on Sundays dogs and their owners can gather on the sundeck for some light fare and drinks. For the four-legged crowd, the hotel offers Evian water and some special doggie treats. For the humans, there will be some light food offerings and cocktails with names like the “Greyhound” and the “Salty Dog.”

The Doghouse Bar and Grill

Self described as “San Diego’s First and Most Intimate Pet-Friendly Bar & Grill,” the back patio area features a dog run plus on and off-leash areas. For people there are juicy hamburgers, tasty sandwiches and cold craft beers on tap.

Photo credit Apollo ‏@awpollo

My favorite businesses allow dogs.  Photo credit Apollo ‏@awpollo

Now that you know that San Diego is one of the most pet-friendly cities in the entire country, why not bring your beloved pup along with your entire family? Pets are important and for many they are family members. You’ll have more fun when you travel to San Diego with your dog!

 Photographers: thank you for sharing your gorgeous fun filled photos! We wish everyone a wonderful time in San Diego and hope to see you all one day at the Mission Valley Resort! and yes, we are pet-friendly!  🐶 🐾 ❤️



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