If you live near, or are visiting the San Diego area, Fiesta Island Dog Beach needs to be on your list. It’s the largest leash-free beach for dogs down south, providing nearly 100 acres of romping grounds. Bordering the calm waters of Mission Bay, it may be a great chance to introduce your Saint to the water!
Want to spend the day at the beach with your dog, but prefer something on a smaller scale? If you are willing to take a short, relatively rugged hike from the bluffs to the beach below, San Onofre State Park, straddling the San Diego/Orange County line, is your place. Dogs are allowed (on leash) on trails one and six. If you time your visit right, you may just have a beautiful, desolate beach all to yourself. A cup of coffee, a chuckit and tennis ball may make for a perfect morning. If you’re staying longer, take an umbrella for sun protection for you and your Saint’s pink skin. On the down side, unfortunately, the state’s budget woes have hiked the price of admission to our state parks to $15 per day, or about $200 for an annual pass.
Is your Saint more of the “let’s do lunch” type? Head north on the coast again, to the quaint town of Seal Beach, to the River’s End Café. Right on the sand, this establishment offers dog-friendly, outdoor dining. A Sunny Saint supporter also strongly recommends 2nd Street in Belmont Shore (Long Beach), noting that almost all of 2nd Street is dog-friendly, including Lucille’s Smokehouse BBQ and La Creperie Café.
If you’re not fitting into that Saint-kini, and lunch is just not on your menu, head upwards to the local mountains. Big Bear Lake’s Alpine Pedal Path is an easy 3.5 mile-long trail that follows the lake on it’s north side. There are picnic areas for lunch, and plenty of shoreline for your Saint to dip his feet. If you are staying overnight, several of our Sunny Saints recommend the Golden Bear Cottages in Big Bear Lake because they appreciate the pet-friendly cabins with the fenced-in yards.
There are plenty of “dog-friendly” resources and websites available, but it’s always better to hear what’s good from a friend. Do you have a favorite spot? Let us know! And if you’re gone overnight, are there any especially Saint-friendly places to stay? Please, don’t forget those “insider tips” that can really make or break an outing.