Dog-Friendly Vacationing in Orange County, California

Orange County, California, is blessed not only with many famous tourist attractions for humans, but also many dog-friendly spots and facilities. The towns of Long Beach, Newport Beach, Irvine, Huntington Beach and Anaheim are all packed with wonderful places to take canine companions, whether their human buddies are there for the beaches or Disneyland. As the weather is nice in Orange County almost year-round, there are many times to go enjoy the outdoor dining and recreational activities in this area.


Boat Rentals of America

The branches of this boat rental company (located in Newport Beach and Long Beach) welcome dogs to ride on their boats, so long as they are leashed and cleaned up after.


Central Park

Central Park is in Huntington Beach, and it contains a nice dog park with separate areas for big and little dogs. The remainder of this park takes up 350 acres, and is full of picnic facilities, an exercise course, horseshoes, lakes, paved paths and other facilities. Dogs must be leashed to roam the rest of the park.

Alta Laguna Park

Alta Laguna Park is located in Laguna Beach, and they allow dogs with a leash. It is a beautiful park that features nature trails, historic sites, nature viewing and more.

William R Mason Regional Park

The William R Mason Regional Park of Irvine is over 340 acres big, complete with a large lake, volleyball courts, picnic areas and hiking trails. Leashed dogs are welcome.

Outdoor Restaurants

Avila’s Mexican Restaurant

Avila’s Mexican Restaurant is an authentic restaurant with a few locations around Orange County and Los Angeles. Leashed dogs may sit in the outdoor seating area.

Madison Square

Madison Square is an American-style restaurant in Laguna Beach that serves breakfast and lunch. They have a pretty, landscaped backyard and sell some gifts for home and garden, and welcome dogs at the outdoor tables.

Clancy’s Clubhouse

Located in Anaheim, Clancy’s Clubhouse is a sports bar that also serves American-style comfort foods, and they have a dog-friendly patio.

Veggie Grill

The Veggie Grill is located in Irvine, and they are a vegetarian restaurant that serves healthy soups, salads, greens, sandwiches and children’s food. They allow dogs at a separate patio.

Spark Woodfire Grill

Spark Woodfire Grill has a restaurant in Huntington Beach, and they prepare quality meats and seafood dishes. They allow dogs at the outer tables, unless there is an event going on.

Dog Parks Around Orange County, California

Best Friend Dog Park

Huntington Beach, California

The dog park in Huntington Beach is one half acre in size for dogs to roam off-leash. It is located next to Central Park on Edwards Street. It is fenced, and also separated into large and small dog areas. There is no official charge, but there is an honor system to help maintain the park. Waste bags are provided.

Huntington Dog Beach

Huntington Beach, California

Dog Beach is located on the Pacific Coast Highway, and has a one-mile stretch of golden sand on the mighty Pacific Ocean. Dogs are free to run around the sand and go swimming in the water. It is run by a non-profit corporation with staff, employees and volunteers.

Costa Mesa Bark Park

Costa Mesa, California

This dog park consists of two fenced acres where dogs can roam off-leash. There are separated areas for small/elderly/disabled dogs and large dogs. This park has a double-gated entrance, water, benches, trees, parking, waste bags and a restroom. Costa Mesa Bark Park is closed on Tuesdays for maintenance, but it is otherwise open daily from 9:00 AM until dawn.

Laguna Woods Dog Park

Laguna Woods, California

This dog park is open to large and small dogs, but small dogs are free to go in the east end of the park to be away from the bigger dogs. It is open daily from 7:00 AM-7:00 PM.

Arbor Dog Park

Seal Beach, California

Arbor Dog Park has 2.5 grassy acres, and several shade trees. There are trash cans, benches, waste bags and parking, along with human and dog drinking water. It is a newer park that has only been open since 2004. It is open daily from dusk to dawn. One of the benefits of this park is sometimes it catches ocean breeze, which is lovely on hot summer days.

Orange Dog Park

Orange, California

This dog park is located within the greater Yorba Park, and is a new park that has only been in action since 2005. Dogs can roam off-leash in this park.

Long Beach Dog Beach

Long Beach, California

This dog beach is located in Belmont Shore in Long Beach. There is a dog fountain located in the parking lot, along with 3 acres to run around the sand and go swimming. People are only allowed to bring one dog. It is open from 6:00 AM-8:00 PM daily.

Laguna Niguel Pooch Park

Laguna Niguel, California

This is a fully fenced, one acre off-leash dog park. Amenities include three picnic tables, parking, water, a fire hydrant (for show, not use), shade shelters and a restroom.

Upcoming Pet Events in California

If you’re headed westward with your dog within the next few weeks, there are tons of great outdoor activities and giant expos going on in California, especially in the South. There is also an educational seminar on vaccination, which is great for vets (humans only).

Beach Blanket Bingo Paw Pawty

Huntington Beach Dog Beach

Huntington Beach, California

March 27

This event will be a fun day at the beach, so participants are recommended to take blankets and towels along. It will go on from 11:30 AM-4:00 PM, and there will be tennis balls and other toys for dogs to play with, as well as a photo contest. There will also be a 50/50 raffle to benefit the Club’s Fundraising Campaign for local Orange County pet shelters and rescues.

Safer Pet Vaccination and Health Seminar

Del Mar Hilton

Del Mar, California

March 28

This will be a helpful educational seminar that will go on from 8:00 AM-5:00 PM. People can learn all about vaccinating their pets safely, and cover topics such as over-vaccination, immunity duration and how to tell if the vaccination is effective. Experts will give lectures, followed by question and answer sessions. There will also be handouts, pet care demonstrations and a short film. There will be a continental breakfast and light lunch with vegetarian options. Admission costs $115.

Parents & Paws Easter Eggtravaganza

Laguna Niguel Regional Park

Laguna Niguel, California

April 3

This will be an outdoor event for dogs and humans, in a nice park with assorted natural scenery. There will be Easter Eggs full of fun stuff for your dogs. A basket of goodies will be awarded to the dog who makes the most sniffs! To enter the park, you must pay $5 per car, so it’s a good idea to carpool.

Love Your Pet Expo

Shasta District Fairgrounds

Anderson, California

April 10

This will be the fourth annual pet-friendly event, which costs $4, and is aimed to benefit local rescue organizations. It will start off with a pet parade, and there will be a costume contest, door prizes, craft activities for children, a charity auction, competitions and more. There will be several information booths, covering topics like disaster preparation, pet insurance and dog health. Several vendors will also be present. It will go on from 9:30 AM-5:00 PM.

Woofstock 2010

Balboa Park

San Diego, California

April 10

This Festival for Dogs and People will take place from 10:00 AM-3:00 PM, and is $5 general admission, benefiting Canine Companions for Independence. This year will have a groovy 1960’s theme, and there will be a K-9 playground, disc dogs, flyball, shopping, food, contests, silent auction, 60’s music, and a kids’ zone.