Dog-Friendly Parks and Beaches in Santa Cruz, California

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Santa Cruz, California, is a great place to escape for nice weather and beautiful beaches. There are a few dog-friendly beaches and off-leash parks in Santa Cruz, just make sure you pay attention to the rules and what hours your dog is allowed on the sites.

Off-Leash Dog Parks

University Terrace Dog Run

Dogs are allowed in this park from sunrise to sunset, but they must be on leash from 10:00 AM-4:00 PM. It is not fenced, so be careful about your dog running off; there is a large dirt area for dogs to run around.

Scotts Valley Dog Park
Scotts Valley Dog Park

Scotts Valley Dog Park

This dog park is located in Scotts Valley, California, in the Skypark complex, close to soccer fields. It takes up 1.2 acres, which are enclosed and divided into two sections for large and small dogs. It also features water bowls, tennis balls, dog toys, shaded areas, drinking fountains, waste bags and wading pools.

Polo Grounds Dog Park

This off-leash dog park is located in Aptos, California, and is one acre in size and fenced. It is open during sunrise to sunset, and has water and benches.

Beaches

Its Beach
Its Beach

Its Beach

Its Beach is located on West Cliff Drive in Santa Cruz, north of the lighthouse. It is a smaller beach where your dog can walk into the water and play in the sand. Dogs must be leashed, and cannot go on the beach from 10:00 AM-4:00 PM.

Mitchell's Cove Beach
Mitchell's Cove Beach

Mitchell’s Cove Beach

Dogs are allowed at Mitchell’s Cove Beach from 10:00 AM-4:00 PM on leash, and off leash during other open hours. This beach is located on West Cliff Drive, between Almar and Woodrow. It is the only off-leash dog beach in Santa Cruz. It is a beautiful beach full of rocks and cliffs, but it is not fenced, so be careful.

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Seabright Beach

Seabright Beach is located on the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk, north of Santa Cruz Harbor. Dogs are allowed to go here on leash, and it is open sunrise to sunset. They have fire rings available for bonfires.

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Twin Lakes State Beach

This is the warmest beach in the area, and dogs are allowed here on leash. It is located just south of the Santa Cruz Harbor. They have fire rings for bonfires, as well as outdoor showers and restrooms. People also come to this park for swimming, picnicking and bird watching.

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