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SOCAL Dog Adventures, Del Mar Dog Beach in San Diego

Updated: May 21

Dachshund running by the water's edge on the sand of Del Mar Dog Beach

Visit Del Mar Dog Beach

Calling all adventure-seeking dog lovers in San Diego! Say goodbye to the same old, same old and say hello to exciting outdoor fun! Discover the legendary Dog Beach in picturesque Del Mar, where it all began for our brand. This is the birthplace of our amazing design: No Ruff Waves. Get ready for wagging tails, sandy paws, and unforgettable memories. It's time to unleash the adventure!

Things to do at Del Mar Dog Beach

Two dogs tandem surfing on a wave in the ocean
Go Faith and Rusty!

Del Mar Dog Beach is a great spot for dogs to play and get fresh air. There’s a huge sand beach to run on and dig up, and lots of ocean to play in. In fact, it’s a common sight to see dogs surfing here and it is home to Helen Woodward’s annual Surf Dog-A-Thon.

Two dogs playing in the surf at the beach

Del Mar Dog Beach is also a great place for owners to relax and watch their furry friends enjoy the outdoors. You can take a picnic to eat while you sit on the beach and let your pup frolic around in the surf. There’s also plenty of space for you to set up a game of fetch or a round of tug of war.

Want to take your dog surfing but not sure where to begin? Check out our Adventure Guide on Surfing With Your Dog.

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Are There Places to Hike at Del Mar Dog Beach

Large dog sitting on the bluff at Del Mar Dog Beach

Yes! Not only is Del Mar Dog Beach an amazing place for you and your pup to play in the sand and water but there is also some hiking with amazing scenery. Overlooking Dog Beach is a bluff with steps and a hiking trail leading up to the top. Once atop, there is a short circular hiking path with scenic, 360-degree views. To the east, you can get a glimpse of Del Mar Racetrack. Look west and you'll get a panoramic view of all of Del Mar Dog Beach, all the way down to 15th Street.

Safety Tips & Best Practices at Del Mar Dog Beach

Red and white caution sign warning of dangerous currents at the beach

  • Make sure you use a leash/harness

  • Use a dog life jacket if your pup gets in the water

  • Bring plenty of water

  • Stay up-to-date on your dog's vaccines

  • Be mindful of the surface/sand temperature

  • Make sure your dog has identification

While there’s a leash law here, it is very loosely enforced. Dogs can be off leash in the off-season, the day after Labor Day to June 15th. In the summer months, from June 16th through Labor Day, dogs can be off leash from Dawn to 8:00 am and must be leashed from 8:00 am to Dawn. Again, this is loosely enforced, but officially, you could be fined for breaking the leash law. Either way, expect many dogs off-leash.

If you plan to let your dog go into the water, it’s highly recommended that they wear a dog life jacket and you should always watch your dog closely while they are in and/or near the water. Additionally, it's always a good idea to make sure your dog knows how to swim before letting them venture into the ocean. Check out our tips on Taking Your Dog Swimming.

Check out our tips on Taking Your Dog Swimming.

During some of San Diego’s hotter days, the sand could get very hot and hurt a dog’s paws. There’s a lot of room to run, so please make sure your dog’s license and tag is affixed to their collar. Bring plenty of water for you and your pup. As always, please pick up after your dog.

Hours and Location

Open year-round, Del Mar Dog Beach is located on Highway 101 (Camino Del Mar), just south of Via De La Valle and north of the San Dieguito river mouth; a short trip from most spots in San Diego.

Large dog photobombing a man and his pup at the beach.

Heads up, parking could get congested in the summer months, but it’s not too bad in the off-season. There's paid, metered parking along Highway 101 (Camino Del Mar) and eastbound Via De La Valle. There is also some limited free parking along Border Ave.

Dog-Friendly Restaurants Near Del Mar Dog Beach

After a fun-filled day of beach activities, you and your pup may need to refuel. Here are some dog-friendly restaurants near Del Mar Dog Beach:

Pacifica Breeze Café

1555 Camino Del Mar, Del Mar, CA 92014. Famous for their fresh seafood and small plates, this dog-friendly restaurant has something for everyone.

En Fuego Cantina & Grill

1342 Camino Del Mar, Del Mar, CA 92014. Amazing Mexican fare served in a fun, welcoming atmosphere. The Baja Fish Street Tacos are a Fetch The Sun favorite!

Burger Lounge

2720 Via De La Valle, Del Mar, CA 92014. Dogs are welcome at their outdoor seating area. Dine on their amazing grass-fed burgers and sip tasty, fresh local brews.

Take a Trip to Del Mar Dog Beach

Four large dogs playing with each other on the rocks at Del Mar Dog Beach

Del Mar Dog Beach is a great spot for you and your pup to get some fresh air and have an adventure. Whether it’s running on the sandy beach, playing in the ocean, hiking up the bluff, or simply taking a leisurely stroll down the coast, Del Mar Dog Beach has something for everyone. Just make sure you follow all safety tips and best practices so you can have the most enjoyable experience possible. Happy exploring!

Discover our Action-Packed Adventure Guide! Unleash a wave of excitement with our insider tips, must-try activities, and essential items for a pawsitively amazing time at the dog beach.


Q: Is there a leash law at Del Mar Dog Beach?

Q: Is there parking at Del Mar Dog Beach?

Q: Are there any safety tips or best practices for visiting Del Mar Dog Beach?

Looking for more Dog Beaches in San Diego? Check out our blog on Ocean Beach!


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