I lived in Long Beach, California for 10 years but it wasn’t until I got my dog Diesel that I started to search the city for outdoors activities to partake in with my four-legged best friend. Having a dog in a city is not an easy task and often required a good amount of planning and research to find places where dogs are allowed. If you live in the Los Angeles – Orange County area, here are some suggestions of fun activities where you and your furry companion can enjoy the never ending sun:
- Dog beach
Many cities block off areas at their beaches for dogs to roam around freely. My favorite places in SoCal are Rosie’s Dog Beach in Long Beach and the Huntington Beach Dog Beach. Although the dog area at Huntington Beach is a lot longer and wider, I have found the dogs in Long Beach to be much friendlier and better behaved. Weekends can get packed so I suggest to go early or to go during the week. My dog likes nothing more than spending an hour swimming in the water, chasing around with other dogs and then digging for his ball in the sand.
One of my favorite weekend activities in the city is going on hikes, and two of my favorite hikes are in Palos Verdes and Huntington Beach. Huntington Beach Wetlands is a protected wildlife area right off the beach with great ocean views, but the downside is that dogs must always be leashed. Abalone Beach is an area in Palos Verdes that has trails, secluded beaches, and amazing views of the ocean from just about anywhere. While your pup should technically always be leashed, the trails are usually empty and almost all of them lead down to empty beaches.
- Kayaking and paddle boarding
If you are feeling extra adventurous, head down to Sunset Beach and rent a two seater kayak for you and your pup. The downside of this activity is that the dog has to stay seated in the kayak for an hour or two while you paddle around, so it might not be enough activity to tire your dog out. However, there are multiple small beaches where you can pull the kayak over and let the dog run around. I suggest buying a life vest for your pup to wear during the kayaking part in case your dog happens to fall in or tip the kayak over. Another similar activity to kayaking is paddle boarding. This is a fun activity, but might be restricted to your dog’s size and activity level. If your dog is mellow and small, this will be a fun activity to do, but if your dog is bigger in size or antsy, it will be more difficult.
- Dog park
If the sun is shining bright outside, there’s no better way to spend the day than running at a local park or bringing some snacks and a book for a picnic with your four legged friend. Many parks have built in areas designated for dogs to run around free and mingle with other dogs. Just like the dog beaches, dog parks can get crowded on the weekends and are usually separated into two areas for big and small dogs.
After all the fun activities with your pup, you deserve to enjoy an ice cold beer and some good food. One of my favorite places is the Attic in Long Beach which not only has great food and atmosphere, but even has a dog menu! For humans, I recommend the Mac and Cheese dish with Flaming Hot Cheetos and the build-you-own Bloody Mary. If you are looking for a place to eat after a hike in Palos Verdes, you must check out Nelson’s, a casual cliffside restaurant at the Terranea Resort. There is no better place to enjoy a glass of chardonnay and a delicious lobster roll, all while watching the sunset over the Pacific next to a warm fire pit and your furry best friend.