Surf's Up at America's Best Dog Beach

Surfboard paw entrance sign to Ocean Beach
Arden Moore
Ocean Beach Dog Beach knows how to welcome its canine visitors.

If you're looking for what is arguably the best dog beach to visit this summer, then make plans to unleash your dog at Ocean Beach Dog Beach in San Diego, Calif.

I've traveled with my two dogs, Chipper and Cleo, throughout the country, so I've certainly seen my share of great (and not-so-great!) canine-friendly strips of sand.

That said, here are eight reasons why this spot gets top billing in my book — and why you should look for these stellar features at dog beaches in your area.

Historical Import

Ocean Beach Dog Beach was a pioneer: It opened in 1972 as one of the first leash-free beaches in the country and is proudly known as "The Original Dog Beach" in San Diego.

Ample Real Estate

At Ocean Beach Dog Beach, located in one of Southern California’s last genuine beach towns, pups get to romp on 38 acres of sand that borders the Pacific Ocean and the San Diego River.

Easy Access

This dog beach provides plenty of free parking in a large lot — and it's just minutes off Interstate 5 and Interstate 8.

Roaming Rights

Unlike some beaches that significantly restrict the hours that canines can be off-leash, Ocean Beach Dog Beach allows pups to play off-leash year-round. Plus, it's open 24/7.

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