From beaches to dog parks to restaurants, shopping and more – San Diego is a terrific pet friendly city! Get the inside scoop on the top 10 things locals love to do with their dogs in San Diego.

Couple and their dog in lawn chairs admiring the San Diego skyline across the water
 

With so many dog friendly things to do in San Diego, you’ll have no trouble staying busy. In fact, you might not have time to fit in everything you want to see!

It’s tempting to dash around and try to do it all. But it won’t make you or your dog very happy. Instead, make a short list of your “must sees” and take your time enjoying them.

If you find you have time to spare, you can always come back to this list and pick something that didn’t make the initial cut!

Top 10 Dog Friendly Things To Do In San Diego

1. Spend A Day At The Beach

San Diego just doesn’t have one dog friendly beach … it has eight great ones for dogs to socialize and get wet. There’s even an annual dog surfing competition in July! Here are our favorite places to splash in the waves:

North Beach Dog Run

In Coronado, this dog friendly beach is off-leash 24/7 and is great for dogs who love strong surf.

Double Trouble: Surfing dogs in San Diego
Double Trouble: Surfing dogs in San Diego. Photo by Dan Merchant
 

Dog Beach

On Ocean Beach, this popular spot is off-leash all the time!

Top Dog Beaches in San Diego | GoPetFriendly.com

Fiesta Island

Located in Mission Bay, Fiesta Island has still waters and sandy dunes for dogs more interested in a calm stroll than catching big waves.

Fiesta Island - San Diego, CA

READ MORE ⇒ Find More Dog Friendly Beaches in San Diego

2. Work Out Together

Beyond running on the beach, there are tons of exercise options to do with your dog in San Diego. Check out Leash Your Fitness to find out about dog friendly runs, kayaking, and exercise classes like yoga and doga!

Woman in white costume doing Yoga and looking at the dog on the beach near the ocean
 

3. Pups In Parks

The City of San Diego has an official page for you to find both on- and off-leash parks. Their map off off-leash areas, including beaches, is very handy.

Famous Balboa Park, the nation’s largest urban cultural park, is one of our favorite places to go for a stroll.

Off-Leash Dog Parks in San Diego
Photo copyright: SanDiego.gov

4. Eating Out

Oh yes, our dogs love dining out just as much – OK, maybe more – than we do! We love the laid back vibe at the Regal Beagle, but with 80 dog friendly bars and restaurants in San Diego listed on GoPetFriendly’s website, there’s no way you’ll go hungry in this town!

Man and Dog Getting Coffee at a dog friendly café in San Diego
 

5. Shopping

Dogs are not limited to window shopping in San Diego – in fact, many stores encourage pups to come in for a belly rub! Seaport Village is a fun spot to take your dog, though actually getting into the stores may be ruff with all the people wanting to say hello to your pooch!

If art is more your thing, browse the beautiful works in the Spanish Village Arts Center.

Happy woman with small dog and shopping bags

6. Rent A Boat

Ahoy, Fido! Perhaps your dog likes being on the water better than being in it. Why not explore San Diego Bay with a pedal boat and let your best mate play skipper for the day? Head over to Eco Boat Rentals at 2803 Emerson Street, Dock #1.

READ MORE ⇒ 5 Questions To Ask BEFORE Taking A Dog On A Boat

Happy family, father and son enjoy sea adventure on watercraft catamaran at summer vacation
 

7. Pet Boutiques

Is your dog a diva, always on the hunt for a new outfit, perfect shampoo, or food to keep him fit and trim? He’ll find his inner growl at the amazing pet boutiques in San Diego!

Stop by Howlistic, with it’s spa-like dog wash. Or check out Dexter’s Deli in North Park or just up the road in Del Mar (and in Carlsbad). Billed as the “original health food store for your pet,” keep an eye out for our favorite pet food, The Honest Kitchen – San Diego’s their home, too!

Woman in a white shirt holding a small white dog

8. Historic Walks

San Diego is packed with history, but missing the famous Gaslamp Quarter would be criminal. It’s crowded at night, so take a stroll earlier in the day when you can admire the historic Victorian buildings that are now home to a dazzling collection of restaurants, bars, and clubs.

San Diego, California
 

9. Visit The Past

For a little history, visit Old Town San Diego Sate Historic Site and Presidio Park. This is the oldest settled area in San Diego and the site of the first European settlement in present-day California.

Townsfolk and merchants in period-attire are happy to chat about what life was like in the 1800’s as they go about the daily chores of bygone times.

Ty and Buster at Old Town San Diego - San Diego, CA

10. Pet Friendly Accommodations

You can’t have a pet friendly city without lots of pet friendly hotel choices. San Diego has them all, from budget to ultra luxury, like the US Grant, Hilton Bayfront, Hotel Solamar, Loews Coronado Bay, and the grand Hotel Del Coronado.

Mini Schnauzer in a pink harness lying on the grass in front of a classic hotel with a red shingle roof
Photo copyright: Instagram user @avatheminischnauzer
 

We hope these tips help you plan the perfect trip to dog friendly San Diego!

About the Author: Emily Randolph is an award-winning author of children’s books and the co-author of the ‘It’s a King’s Life‘ kids’ book series about very special, dog-friendly places. You can find her books on (affiliate link) Amazon.

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