Huntington’s Dog Beach and Orange County’s Dog Parks are useful when Travelin’ Local

Aug 11, 2010 by Sandy Schroeder

If your dog goes everywhere you do, Orange County’s dog beach and dog parks provide venues for your dog to run free and play without a leash:

At the beach, it’s endless summer; in the parks, its turf, shade and comfortable facilities with equally devoted dog lovers. If you live nearby, or plan to drive up or down the coast with your dog, this is a nice option.

Huntington’s Dog Beach

This beach is named the top dog-friendly spot in the Country by FIDO-Friendly magazine. It’s located in Huntington Beach on the west side of Pacific Coast Highway, between Seapoint Street on the north, and 21st Street on the south.

Hours: Open from 5:00am to 10:00pm, every day of the year. Parking lots close at 10:00pm.

What are the rules? Maintain control of your dog(s) at all times. Pick up after your dog(s) and dispose of the waste in the trash cans. Check out for the entire set of rules.

History: Tribute to original founder, Martin Senate, who recently passed away. He said he found his greatest happiness with his dog Kemper, " in a small strip of sand and water, now known as Dog Beach."

Parking: There is plenty of metered parking in lots along side of Pacific Coast Highway. Meter fee is $.25 for each 10 minutes. Meters accept quarters, dimes, and nickels. The city may ticket for early morning parking violations. After 8:00am, you will almost certainly get a citation if you don’t feed the meter.

Annual parking permits valid to Dec. 31 are $150 (senior rate is $50). As of July 1, permits are valid to Dec 31, for $75 (senior rate is $30). Seniors are 62+.

Permits will be available in late December for 2011 at Marine Safety Division, 103 Pacific Coast Hwy., just south of the pier.

They have Dog Dining too!

Alice’s Breakfast in Huntington Beach’s Center Park is open from 7:00am ’till 2:00pm. Dogs are welcome in the outdoor dining area and dog biscuits are on the menu, along with homemade breads, hearty breakfasts, salads, sandwiches, burgers, hotdogs, Fernando’s Famous Monte Cristo Sandwich and Mary Beth’s Outrageous Cinnamon Rolls.

Orange County Dog Parks

Bellis Park in Buena Park is a leash-free, fenced park located on a 1/2 acre section of George Bellis Park behind the tennis courts. Turf: Grass. Shade: Trees. Restroom: In Main Bellis Park. Hours: Open daily 8am to dusk,Wednesdays:10am to dusk. Located at 7171 8th Street.

Costa Mesa Bark Park is located on the corner of Arlington Drive & Newport Boulevard in Te Winkle Park. Turf: Grass, dirt. Shade: Plenty of shady trees. Small Park: Yes, small, eldery and disabled dogs welcome. Restroom: permanent facility shared with the skate park. Large, open park with plenty of parking and all new lights. Note: aggressive dogs have been encountered here in the past. Hours: Dawn to 9:00pm Closed Tuesday.

The Fullerton Pooch Park at 303 W. Commonwealth Avenue is next to the Hunt Branch Library and behind Pacific Drive Elementary School. Turf: Grass, bark. Shade: Trees, umbrellas. Small Park: Yes. Restroom: in library. Large open park with plenty of shade. Hours: 7:00 am to 8:00 pm. Closed Wednesdays. There’s a small dog area for pooches under 25lbs as well as a large dog area for big, active, high energy pooches. Pooch Park also features a third "wood chip" area that is open to all dogs.

Huntington Central Park includes a fenced leash-free park with separate, sizable areas for both small & large dogs with its own Doggy Walk of Fame. Turf: wood chips. Shade: Trees, shelters. Small Park: Large separate park. Restroom: In main Central Park. Plenty of shade and chairs, close to Alice’s Breakfast in the Park. Note: Wood chips rough on paws. Hours: For Large Dark Park: Weekdays, 9:00am to 5:00pm Weekends, 10:00am to 5:00pm. For Small Dog Park: Weekdays, 9 a.m. to 7:00pm, Weekends, 10:00am to 7:00pm. Location: HB Central Park, Edwards & Inlet Sts.

Irvine’s Central Bark provides almost 3 acres of open field for off-leash play. Turf: Grass and dirt. Shade: Large umbrellas, shelter and trees. Small Park: Large separate fenced area. Restroom: Portable facilities. Lots of space and parking, handicap friendly. Hours: 6:30am to 9:00pm daily. Closed: Wednesdays.

Laguna Beach Laguna Canyon Park, 20612 Laguna Canyon Rd. Turf: Grass. Shade: Just a few trees. Small Park: Yes. Restroom: Portable facility. Huge grassy park, lots of space to run. Note: Metered parking on busy Laguna Canyon Road. Hours: Dawn to Dusk. Closed Wednesdays and also closed during and after rain.

Laguna Niguel Pooch Park, 31461 Golden Lantern (near Firestation #49 & Chapparosa Park). Turf: Wood chips. Shade: 2 shelters, some trees. Small Park: No. Restroom:Yes. One acre park with plenty of parking and short winding trek to the park. Note: Wood chips rough on paws. Hours: Monday and Friday: noon-dusk. Tuesday – Thursday and Saturday: 7:00am – dusk. Sunday: 8:00am – dusk.

Laguna Woods – A Place for Paws Park: Ridge Route Drive. Turf: Grass & dirt. Shade: Umbrellas, shelter. Small Park: No, but small area at East end of park that can be used exclusively for small dogs, if bigger dogs are in the park. Restroom: No. Note: Very small park on busy street. Hours: 7:00am – 7:00pm daily.

Orange Dog Park – 190 South Yorba St. Turf: Grass. Shade: Lots of trees. Small Park: Separate fenced area. Hours: 7:00am to dusk. Note: Daily watering 9:00-10:00 am and 1:00-2:00pm in park.

Rancho Santa Margarita Canada Vista Dog Park: Part of Canada Vista Park, which includes its own skate park. Turf: Wood chips. Shade: 4 covered picnic tables. Small Park: Small fenced area. Restroom: In main part Canada Vista Park.  Note: Wood chips in small park can be rough on paws. Hours: Dawn to dusk.

San Clemente Baron Von Willard Memorial Day Park: 301 Avenida La Pata. Turf: Decomposed granite, glass. Shade: 2 Sunshades. Small Park: Separate glass enclosure. Restroom: Not yet, on wish list Two separate parks for large and small dogs, wilderness hiking trail behind the park. Note: Limited shade. Hours: 6:00a.. to sunset. Closed Tuesdays till 1:00pm.

Seal Beach Arbor Dog Park: 4665 Lampson Ave. Turf: Grass. Shade: Trees. Small Park: No. Restroom: No. Hours: Dawn to dusk, weather permitting. Closed – Thursdays from 8:00am to Noon.

To help you find these parks, here’s a map:

View Huntington’s Dog Beach and Orange County’s Dog Parks in a larger map

Safe & Sane Sanitary Dog Park Rules- Also check individual sites for rules and guidelines

No more than three (3) dogs per person in the park at one time. This is an off-leash only dog park. Dogs are to be unleashed inside the entrance safety zone before entering the park. Enter at your own risk. Dog owners are solely responsible for the actions of their pets and use this facility at their own risk. Clean up after your pet. Park maintenance is the responsibility of users and volunteers.

Children must remain within arms’ reach of a supervising adult at all times. It is not fair to dog owners to have to be aware of unsupervised children. Dog scuffles will occur and a single incident between two dogs does not mean a dog is "aggressive." However, a dog that consistently exhibits aggression toward other dogs must leave the park immediately without debate. This is a judgment call by the consensus of people in the park at the time.

If you own a small dog and are in the large dog side, you may be risking the dog’s safety. Existing court cases have ruled that owners of large dogs that injure small dogs are not liable if there is a separate area designated specifically for small dogs only. Food, dog treats, sports activities, bicycles, dog training or dogs in season are absolutely prohibited. All dogs must be currently licensed.

Photos by Scott Schroeder

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3 Responses to “Huntington’s Dog Beach and Orange County’s Dog Parks are useful when Travelin’ Local”

  1. David LaRue says:

    Another great article. But I wonder, what does Squeaky think, and why isn’t there a ‘cat’ beach? But then again, since cats own the world, why settle for a beach.
    Love the pictures. why isn’t the author featured in the pictures??
    You sure know your local sites. I’d never heard of Dog Beach or the Dog Parks.
    Keep up the fun and good work.



    Sandy Schroeder Reply:

    @David LaRue,
    Hi Dave,

    Loved your comments! Squeaky did too!



    Sandy Schroeder Reply:

    @Sandy Schroeder,
    Sandy Schroeder´s last blog ..Fullerton’s Hungry Bear Restaurant – A Family Tradition My ComLuv Profile


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