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Leashless In San Diego

Outdoor places to take your dog sans leash


Leashless In San Diego

My dog, Sparky

Inigo Figuracion
With our awesome weather and spectacular scenery, it's no wonder San Diegans are also big dog lovers. You see, with so much to do outdoors, it only makes sense to have a canine companion alongside when you’re out and about, either walking through the neighborhood or strolling along the boardwalk or stopping at a coffeehouse. But our dogs need a place to let go and romp around and be, well, dogs.

San Diego has some specifically designated outdoor spots to take your dog to socialize with others of their ilk and do whatever dogs love to do: you know, sniff, bark, growl, chase, pant, and, uh, mark. Here’s a rundown of some of the more popular doggie-friendly designated dog off-leash areas around the county. And remember, as a responsible dog-owner, please adhere to each area’s rules and regulations – and no matter where you are with your dog, PLEASE CLEAN UP AFTER HE OR SHE DOES ITS BUSINESS!!

Rancho Bernardo Park
The newest addition to the City of San Diego's off-leash dog parks is located at 18448 West Bernardo Drive in Rancho Bernardo. The 2.5 acre park offers leash free space adjacent to Rancho Bernardo Community Park, and includes additional parking for dog park users. Google Map

Wells Park - El Cajon
This 1.4 acre spread within El Cajon's Wells Park is the East County's second leashless dog park and is a grassy haven for pooches. And it's been getting rave reviews from East County residents who sometimes traveled far away just to let their dogs run wild. It has gravel and grassy sun areas and dual drinking fountains (for pets and their owners). Located in the southwest part of Wells Park at 1153 E. Madison Ave., the off-leash area is open daily from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. and is lighted for night use. Google Map

Dog Beach - Ocean Beach
Located in northern Ocean Beach, Dog Beach is the original dog beach and one of the most popular places to take your dog. This beach area is located at the west end of the San Diego River Floodway, also known as the Ocean Beach Flood Control Channel. With a wide swath of sand and the Pacific surf to roll in, Dog Beach is a special place to bring your mutt, or just to come and watch dogs be dogs in the surf and sand. Beware of “land mines,” even though most owners are conscientious about cleaning up after their dogs. Open 24 hours. Google Map

Fiesta Island - Mission Bay
Most of this large sandy island in Mission Bay is designated leash-free for dogs. Lots of sandy dunes to romp in, and the calm bay waters lets the more adventurous dogs take a quick dip. Open 24 hours. Google Map

Nate’s Point – Balboa Park
Balboa Drive at El Prado, on the south side of the Cabrillo Bridge. This is an enjoyable setting for dogs and owners alike. A large grassy lawn in the middle of Balboa Park is the perfect place to play catch with balls and frisbees, and to socialize – both for the dogs and their owners. Open 24 hours. Google Map

Morley Field – Balboa Park
On the east side of Balboa Park, northwest of the tennis courts. Ideal for residents of nearby North Park. Google Map

Dog Beach – Coronado
Located in the picturesque city of Coronado, the dog beach in Coronado is at the most northern end of the beach next to the Naval Air Station. Wide and sandy, with the Pacific surf and the Hotel del Coronado in the background, Coronado’s dog beach is a nice getaway. Located on Ocean Blvd. near Sunset Park. Google Map

Poway Dog Park
Poway Dog Park is an award-winning 1.75 acre fenced-in, lighted, off-leash area for dogs within the City of Poway's Community Park. Poway Community Park is open from sunrise to sunset daily. Lights in the dog park off-leash area extend evening hours to 9:30 p.m. 13094 Bowron Road, Poway. Google Map

Dog Beach – Del Mar
A nice, low key spit of sand to let your dog roam in lovely Del Mar, but with limitations: the off-leash designated is seasonal only, so bring your dog without its leash only from September to June. Parking is also at a premium, and parking tickets flow freely in Del Mar. Camino del Mar, Del Mar. Google Map

Harry Griffen Park – La Mesa
This large, pleasant neighborhood park in La Mesa has a designated acre for off-leash dogs. Rumor has it there are lots of tennis balls available to play fetch! 9550 Milden Street, La Mesa. Google Map

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