These Are San Diego’s Most Dog-Friendly Places

San Diego has everything from wooftop bars and yappy hours to leash-free beaches and stand up paddleboarding.

SUP Pups
Photo courtesy of SUP Pups
Photo courtesy of SUP Pups

Not only is San Diego a great place for people to live, it’s one of the dog-friendliest cities we know of. From off-leash beaches and parks to bakeries stocked with doggie treats, plus breweries, restaurants, bars and even movie theaters, America’s Finest City has an amazing array of places where pups and their humans can eat, drink, and have fun together. We’ve gathered some of our favorite places that you’ll both love to visit:

Second Chance Brewing Co.
Photo courtesy of Second Chance Brewing Co.

Carmel Mountain, North Park
Everyone deserves a second chance, including our animal pals, and dogs are always welcome at Second Chance Beer Company. The Carmel Mountain-based brewery donates a portion of all sales and events to San Diego dog rescues The Animal Pad and Second Chance Dog Rescue, and has raised more than $21,035.70 since 2015. Like Second Chance Beer Company, these charities are dedicated to saving homeless dogs and giving them a second chance at life. Second Chance hosts several adoption events throughout the year like “Pupapalooza” and “Adopt First, Drink Second,” as well as regular yoga and beer sessions, trivia and comedy nights, paint your pet events, dog training, and a regular Monday night $6 pint sale.

Rooftop Cinema Club
Photo courtesy of Rooftop Cinema Club

Take your pooch to the movies at Rooftop Cinema Club’s rooftop pet-friendly screenings atop the Manchester Grand Hyatt San Diego’s fourth floor deck. Offering select showings of cult favorites against a backdrop of stars and panoramic views of downtown San Diego, it’s more than just movies with a view—state-of-the-art wireless headphones and comfy, adjustable deck chairs with ample leg room let you sit back and enjoy the show in style. Leashed dogs up to 50 pounds are allowed, and there’s a special “relief area” for all your pup’s “business” needs.

Monkey Bar
Photo courtesy of Monkey Bar

Mission Valley
An expansive outdoor patio, firepits, and swaying palm trees provide a gorgeous, mid-century chic backdrop for lounging with your best bud after a long workday. Dogs are always welcome, and every Wednesday your pup can join you for Yappy Hour from 4–6 pm, when they have Good Boy Dog Beer Crotch Sniffin' Ale and Pooch Creamery vanilla or peanut butter doggie ice cream for the pooches, while you enjoy $6 draft beers, house chardonnay and cabernet, or their signature cocktail, The Drunken Monkey, for just $11.

Original Paw Pleasers
Photo courtesy of Original Paw Pleasers

North Park
Whenever your dog’s birthday, adoption day, or any special occasion rolls around, let Original Paw Pleasers pet bakery and boutique make your pup’s day with grain- and lactose-free doggie birthday cakes, colorful themed cookies, doggie beer, and ice cream available by the scoop or pint. Custom cakes have to be ordered ten days in advance, but if you need something in a hurry, give them a call—they have a limited number of decorated cakes available daily, or opt for cookies; if you buy three, they throw in a fourth for free.

Carruth Cellars Liberty Station
Photo courtesy of Carruth Cellars Liberty Station

Various locations
San Diego’s only urban winery, Carruth Cellars, purchases premium grapes from some of the most prestigious vineyards on the West Coast, transports them to its production facility at HANGAR76 in Oceanside, and turns it into what Benjamin Franklin famously called “a constant proof that God loves us, and loves to see us happy,” available by the glass or bottle. All four locations are dog friendly, especially the new wine garden and tasting room in the historic Arts District in Liberty Station. It’s an impressive 15,000 feet of indoor/outdoor space in one of San Diego’s buzziest neighborhoods, with massive shade trees and plenty of umbrellas on the patio to keep everyone cool, plus water bowls and a welcome bowl of dog treats at the entrance.

SUP Pups
Photo courtesy of SUP Pups

Liberty Station
Spend quality time with your best friend and learn how to stand up paddleboard at West Coast Paddle Board Rental’s SUP Pups San Diego. Led by certified SUP instructor Samantha and her dog, Captain Dingo Jack, your one-hour lesson includes the basics, terminology, and technique of how to Stand Up Paddle board, paddle board rental, human and pup life vests, and GoPro action photos. Launch point is the sandy beach located right behind the Courtyard Marriott Hotel in Liberty Station.
Price: $55 for a one hour lesson.

Sally’s Fish House & Bar
Photo courtesy of Sally’s Fish House & Bar

You and your pup can soak up some rays on the patio at Sally’s Fish House & Bar located in the Grand Manchester Hyatt. Enjoy the panoramic views of the harbor, Coronado Bay Bridge, and skyline, plus some of the best people- and dog-watching in the city. Your dog even has its own menu, which includes indulgent plates like Surf & T-Arf with salmon, grilled chicken, tomato, steamed spinach, peas, and Yukon potatoes, topped with bacon; Howlin Good Chicken—grilled chicken, potatoes, peas, and gravy; or Frozen Yogurt Pawpsicles that sound good enough for humans to eat. (We’ll pass on the rawhide bones.) Bonus: Complimentary self-parking is available in the Grand Hyatt San Diego garage for three hours with validation. Reservations are recommended and can be made via OpenTable, but walk-ins are accepted if seating is available.

Level 9 Rooftop Bar
Photo courtesy of Level 9 Rooftop Bar

East Village
Located in the shadow of Petco Park, Level 9 has one advantage over all the other rooftop bars—it’s dog friendly. Perched atop the Hotel Indigo, Level 9 lets you enjoy cocktails and light bites with your doggo at elevation. There’s no specific menu for pets, so you’ll have to share your burger, but you probably do that anyway, right?

Grape Street Dog Park
Photo courtesy of Balboa Park

Balboa Park isn’t just full of culture, it's also full of hiking trails and other fun places for you and your dog to explore. Trails range from short, flat jaunts that are readily accessible for most to longer and more rugged challenges. Access the trails from one of five trailhead gateways, where you’ll find info on length, difficulty and type of hike, and can download maps of specific areas or the entire park.

While dogs must remain leashed when on the trails, there’s a trio of off-leash parks where pets can run free. Morley Field Dog Park is located near the west end of the Morley Field Sports Complex, just southwest of the tennis courts, and has a huge off-leash area with small shade trees and plenty of litter bag dispensers. From there, you can easily access the Florida Canyon Nature Trails. Located on Balboa Park’s West Mesa, south of El Prado/Laurel Street and east of Balboa Drive is Nate’s Point Dog Park. With more than two acres of space that can tame even the wildest zoomies, it’s completely fenced and has amenities like a drinking fountain and picnic tables. The popular Grape Street Dog Park, the largest of the three at five acres, is in a quiet residential area at Grape and 28th Streets in South Park. Large stands of eucalyptus trees line the open fields, including two dog water fountains and a restroom for humans. Off-leash hours for Grape Street Dog Park are 7:30 am-9 pm on weekdays and 9 am-9 pm on weekends and holidays.

More dog parks

San Diego has numerous other leash free dog parks, including the popular Little Italy Dog Park, and Capehart Dog Park in Pacific Beach, which boasts separate, fenced pens for small dogs and large dogs, a drinking fountain, picnic tables, and benches. A complete list and map of approved leash free San Diego City parks can be found online.


Various locations
Dog Beach is a nationally famous no-leash beach in Ocean Beach where your pups can run free with all their buddies. Part of OB City Beach, the no leash area is north of the OB Beach Bike Path, and has a wide, sandy embankment. Dogs are not allowed south of the bike path between the OB Pier.

Dogs can also get some sandy fun at Coronado Beach’s Dog Run Beach. Head to North Beach and look for the signs to the off-leash area (dogs must remain leashed from the parking lot to the designated area). Fiesta Island on Mission Bay, with its soft, sandy dunes, and Del Mar Dog Beach are also popular for tennis ball fetch and splashies. Del Mar Dog Beach has its own strict rules about when and where dogs are allowed off leash, so plan accordingly.

At all other San Diego city-operated beaches, you can walk your leashed dogs in the morning before 9 am and in the evening after 6 pm (after 4 pm November to March). Keep in mind that beaches sometimes have their own rules regarding dogs, so be sure to check online before you pack up the pups and head out.

Ocean Beach
Nothing’s more fun than a sunny, splashy session at Dog Beach, but driving a wet, sandy dog home for a bath, well, not so much. Luckily, Dog Beach Dog Wash, just a short two-and-a-half blocks from the shore, has been cleaning up happy, dirty dogs since 1993. You can DIY it, or spring for a full shampoo, wash, and dry. DBDW offers a full range of other services, from a simple warm water rinse off to a nail trim and even skunk treatments. The shop also has a great assortment of treats, toys, t-shirts, leashes, harnesses and other accessories.

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Mary Beth Abate is a San Diego-based freelance writer by way of Chicago and Los Angeles. Her hobbies include yoga, pickling and fermenting stuff, reading cookbooks and drinking fabulous gin. Keep up with her experiments @MaryBeth_Abate.