Sun, Sand and Fun in San Diego

Updated: May 16, 2019

Ahhhh. San Diego. So many people in the Phoenix area love and visit there that we have been given our own name: Zonies. You can call me what you like, just please make way because my dog and I are here…


Ahhhh. San Diego. So many people in the Phoenix area love and visit there that we have been given our own name: Zonies. You can call me what you like, just please make way because my dog and I are headed to the beach.


A word of caution if you visit in the summer. If the sand is too hot for you to walk on, it is

too hot for your dog. Carry a smaller dog to the water. For a large dog, booties are readily available at local stores, or put infant socks on the dog just toget past the hot, white sand.


There are several off-leash dog beaches in San Diego and each has its fans. The oldest dog beach in San Diego is in Ocean Beach. Located at the end of the San Diego River Floodway where Voltaire ends, it is a favorite of many, both locals and visitors. There is lots of free parking and it is readily accessible. When you and your happily exhausted friend are ready to leave, there are outdoor showers to rinse feet, both yours and the dog’s.


Raith E, a visitor from Texas, and representative of most visitors’ comments, described the scene there on Yelp. “A beach full of dogs who are in charge of the fun and it all works out. A chaotic game of pickup with someone’s ball — who knows where it came from. Charging into the water, prancing like a deer on the return. Rita, the small uncertain dog, being encouraged to wade in and get the ball– who finally does it. Like a toddler. German Shepherds and other powerhouses galloping along and creating wakes. Nothing more refreshing than crazy dog fun with matching owners — calling their often-entertaining names. A lot of them do look alike. This place will do your heart much good.”


Another year-round dog beach in San Diego is on Coronado Island, next to the Naval Air Station. This beach is also very popular with both locals and visitors, its main drawback is the scarcity of close parking. Being willing to walk a few blocks from a side street is well worth it. This park features a hose for rinsing off your dog, as well as water fountains for both two and four-legged visitors. There is a large grassy area before reaching the beach, and this is where many dogs choose to take care of potty business. There are bags readily available, and people keep it clean.


A third park is Fiesta Island Dog Park. It is huge! Walking the perimeter of the area takes about an hour. Along the way, you and your dog can swim, climb hills, play in the dunes, and just be free. It’s great for people who like to exercise with their dogs off leash. There may be a hundred dogs there, but it never feels crowded because of the size and space. One visitor told me her dog “had a blast going in and out of the water, nice calm water so he could really get his swim on vs. big waves. There were water bowls at many different points in the park – no water, but we brought our own. It’s really open on top, so you can see for a long distance.”


Finding the park was difficult for this first-time visitor. From Interstate 5, take the Sea World Drive exit and head southwest, then make a right onto East Mission Bay Drive, then turn left to Fiesta Island. There is free parking throughout the island. One could easily spend a whole day here just hanging out with your pup.


In this Zonie’s opinion, there just isn’t anything better than beaching it with a dog.

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