Flat out, I think the best part of California is the Dog Beach in Huntington Beach. On our first trip to California over Thanksgiving in 2018, when our dog Gregor was only 6 months old, we discovered this absolute gem of a beach. And two years later, we made the drive back to California over the same Thanksgiving weekend to go Huntingdon Dog Beach again, because it’s that incredible. And after three days, back to back to back at the dog beach, Gregor was completely wiped out and slept the entire 12hr drive back to Utah.
What exactly is the the Huntington Dog Beach and why is worth driving the 12hrs from Utah to visit? Simply put, it’s a heaven for doggos and dog-lovers alike. The beach is a stretch of sand that sits along the Pacific Coast Highway between Seapoint Avenue and 21st Street, in Huntingdon Beach. Which equals 1.2 miles of sandy beaches where dogs can roam freely, off-leash, in and out of the water, wherever they please. Can you picture that? It’s longer than the length of the Brooklyn Bridge or half the length of Central Park in New York City. So thankfully, Huntington Beach, CA has set aside so much of their pristine coastline to the four-legged beach goers as much as their two legged residents.
Unlike a normal dog park, where all the humans have to stand awkwardly near the fences or the entrance, while their dogs run around and play (or just lays down), the dog beach is just a pseudo-normal beach where you can sit and enjoy the ocean too. This is the main reason why we love it so much. We get to go sit on our beach towel, take in the warm sun, listen to the waves crashing on the shoreline, and of course watch our dog play with the dozens of other dogs that are nearby or walking passed us. Gregor and all the dogs make friends super quickly either chasing one another or tennis balls.
And of course, after I went surfing, I came back in to see if Gregor would take to the waves like his dad. I guess the one wave he caught in Oregon was a fluke, because he wanted nothing to do with surfing this time around. I got him up onto the board, but before I could spin it around to catch a wave, he would jump off and swim ashore. I guess he’s much more a river and lake dog than an ocean dog. Or maybe, the distraction of all the other dogs on the beach that are much more fun than hanging out with me in the water. Either way, surfing didn’t stand a chance…. maybe next year.
So if you have the chance, get to Huntington Beach Dog Beach! You and your dog will not regret it!
My name is Zachary Kenney and I’m an adventure filmmaker & photographer. My passion is to tell stories that will hopefully motivate you to go live a more adventurous life. Whether that is to experience the view from the summit of a mountain, or wandering through a new town on a road trip. Currently based out of Park City, UT.