Guide to Dog Friendly Attractions in Santa Cruz, California

Last Updated 09-22-2022

Santa Cruz is a very wonderful coastal town in Northern California, and it is celebrated for its fantastic boardwalk.

There is an altogether different side to this drowsy little shoreline town that incorporates shrouded shorelines, redwood forests with a portion of the world's tallest trees and charming minimal midtown with bunches of good eats.

Santa Cruz is so amicable to dogs, and it is only 1.5 hours from San Francisco.

Today in this article, we will talk about the dog-friendly attractions and additional tips on places to live in Santa Cruz with your canine buddy. Let’s dig into it.

13 Dog Friendly Attractions in Santa Cruz

1. Aptos Dog Park

Aptos Dog ParkAptos Dog Park

This park, comprising little and huge dog encased zones, has beautiful tree-lined slopes encompassing it. Leave the fenced-in areas, and you and your puppy can walk knoll's trails on-chain.

A tent structure gives some shade alleviation on hot days. Seats, benches and toys are nearby. There is a porta-potty at the huge parking garage. You’ll also find soccer fields, baseball fields, grassy parks, and kitty-corner to the dog park.

2. Lighthouse Field State Beach

Lighthouse Field State BeachLighthouse Field State Beach

If you didn't know better, you would assume without a doubt this was an off-rope shoreline. Google Maps has it named as "Dog Beach." This is one of the dog friendly attractions in Santa Cruz this is a dog’s favorite place. On any given day, you'll discover dogs fetching, swimming, and playing.

The state has reclaimed it from the city, and it’s no longer an off-leash park.  It’s curved with the view of Seal Rock and the Lighthouse. You'll need to snap a photo at dusk of the stone curve on one side. A delicate pool flows under the curve for more settled water which is ideal for four-legged swimmers.

Look at the tide pools on the opposite side of the curve at low tide.  There are bunches of trails here to walk your puppy on-chain.

You will find an ample supply of poop sacks at numerous spots along the trails and at the shoreline entrance. On hectic days, stroll through the trails over to the shoreline.

3. Chanticleer Avenue Park

Chanticleer Avenue ParkChanticleer Avenue Park

Chanticleer Avenue Park is a 4.5-acre Live Oak community park that is expected to be finished and opening in 2020.  Not only will there be an off-leash dog area, but additional improvements are expected to include a play area, parking, and new restrooms.  The community also will enjoy the new bike pump tract, community garden and fencing.  

4. DeLaveaga Park

Five trails take into account dogs, mountain bikers, and joggers. The Branciforte Creek trail is a top choice, somewhat following a brook and with a lofty move to a remunerating view at the circle golf territory.  Starting in 2014, an encased dog park has been included close to the stopping area at the off-rope trail segment entrance. 

Dogs are very appreciated here on-leash, likewise the BBQ areas, picnic, and park field. Pups are not allowed in the playground or ball field. They don’t provide poop bags; however, they are sometimes donated by the public. 

5. Mitchell’s Cove Beach

Mitchell’s Cove BeachMitchell’s Cove Beach

Mitchell's Cove is the main shoreline in Santa Cruz County, a dog friendly attraction in Santa Cruz where your dog can run off-leash before 10:00 am and after 4:00 pm. This is a little shoreline west of the more well known, yet not legitimate off-rope, Lighthouse State Beach (Its Beach).

It can become busy here on decent days and ends of the week, and since it's a generally little shoreline, there isn't a ton of space to play once the tide comes in.

6. Frederick Street Park

This park will give you the vibes of a neighborhood feel. It’s very grassy, and it will ensure that your puppy listens to you when you call him as the dog area isn’t enclosed.

There are paved trails, playgrounds, picnic spots, and a small skate park in places where he ought to be back on the leash.

We adore this dog friendly attraction in Santa Cruz since it's an excellent bouncing off point to make a beeline for the harbor or proceed to the Seabright State Beach, Arana Gulch trails, or stoppage at some fantastic pet-friendly hotel in Santa Cruz.

7. Grant Street Park

This enclosed off-leash dog area is situated behind the restrooms. There is a little hill with bunches of trees which make it a fun obstacle course.

There are picnic grills, baseball field, and a playground, but these spots are dog restricted. But this park slightly feels less safe as the homeless folks have used this park for sleeping at times.  

8. Mimi De Marta Park

Mimi De Marta ParkMimi De Marta Park

This park was created in 2013 and stays along Broadways close to Laurel Street.  As dog friendly attractions in Santa Cruz, this is a desirable area as long as you're willing to endure some clamor and fumes.

You can head out and meander the trails of San Lorenzo River or go to the place where dogs have been allowed after a 35-year ban, Pacific Avenue. The recreation center is totally encased, with access to poop bags and trash facilities.  There are spaces for 4 vehicles and close-by road parking.

9. Beer Can Beach, Rio Del Mar

Somewhat more covered up than Hidden Beach is its neighbor, Beer Can Beach. Notwithstanding the name, we didn't discover any brew jars here.

What we found is a lovely shoreline. This shoreline has a genuine loosened up frame of mind where you'll discover other dog-minded individuals. 

10. University Terrace Park

This park is concealed and close UCSC. It has a decent measured slope region for puppies to run and play off-rope. In the event that your little puppy meanders, he may end up wandering the roadway along the unenclosed side.

Here, climbers and bikers navigate between the university and Mission Street. Don't hesitate to investigate this on-leash.  The recreation center additionally has a play area, ball court, and tennis courts. Given water containers and dog’s bowls are found at the outdoor table.

The public contributes the poop bags and canine first aid kit additionally, making the University Terrace Park another of the many popular dog friendly attractions in Santa Cruz.

As an aside and cautionary note,  there have been various coyote sightings in the nights and early mornings.

11. Skypark Dog Park

On the off chance that you end up in Scotts Valley, this an extraordinary spot for individuals and puppies to mingle. You'll see one and a half sections of land of an encased little and enormous dog park.

Seats, pooper scooper, toys, swimming pool. hose, dog bowls, and poop bags are provided at this park. There are no trees yet local people set up a tent shade here and there.

Nearby you'll locate a play area, ball court, and skate park. This spot has a genuine mutual feel and it's not abnormal to discover groups of friends even in the center of the weeks’ worth of work.

12. Pacheco Dog Park

This is an exceptionally little, totally encased wood chip dog park not a long way from DeLavaega Park. Concealed close to the slope, very few individuals even think about it, yet it could be a decent spot to go to on the off chance that you live close by and need to get some brisk puppy play in, giving any companions can be found here.

13. Pleasure Point Beach

Look at one of Santa Cruz's acclaimed surf spots with your dog in toe. Hang on tight while he races down one of the stairways to the shoreline.

It's broad yet it isolates at elevated tide. No stresses, simply change gears to strolling along the promenade above. You can find the shower rinse and restrooms at the parking lot. The lot will, in general, become busy. In the city, a private road license is required during high season.

More California Resources

For more pet friendly resources and attractions, visit, EverythingPetsNearYou such as their page on San Francisco.

Where should I stay with my little buddy?

Dog Friendly Attractions in Santa CruzDog Friendly Attractions in Santa Cruz, California

Dog friendly attractions in Santa Cruz includes pet friendly lodging in addition to the numerous dog parks.  Santa Cruz is filled with alternatives for pet lovers, places that enable dogs to remain with/without a charge/night.

The thing is, on the off chance, that you begin scanning for pet friendly hotels on the web, you will find both chain lodgings that appreciated dogs in Santa Cruz or comparative fancier lodging located downtown or those that brag of being close to the shoreline and footpath.

In light of the area, these pet amicable lodgings are really costly and every one of them charges an additional expense for dogs. On the opposite part of the bargain are the dinky motels, that may come shabby yet truly don't give an inch of solace and are places to rest your butt following multi-day out. 

Now envision such a spot directly in the center of a lavish redwood forest, thick vegetation, greenery and sections of land of redwood trees, tall and quiet.

Rural hotels with present-day conveniences set inside with steps flanked by blossoming bushes and a home-prepared morning breakfast served in a grass in the midst of the redwoods. Find one hotel which has these qualities and you don’t have to take any more hassle.

Conclusion:  Dog Friendly Attractions in Santa Cruz

Santa Cruz County is a magnificent spot to possess a dog. There is a some difficulty in the event that you plan on bringing your dog into any State Park regions.

Plan ahead and survey a trail guide to see which territories are dog-accommodating, and which are not. In any case, you'll discover a lot of extraordinary trails and shorelines that welcome your dog.

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About Janice (author and voice behind this site)

Having lived with dogs and cats most of her life, Janice served as a veterinary technician for ten years in Maryland and twelve years as a Shih Tzu dog breeder in Ohio.

Her education includes undergraduate degrees in Psychology with a minor in biology, Early Childhood Education, and Nursing, and a master's in Mental Health Counseling.

She is a lifelong learner, a dog lover, and passionate about the welfare of animals. Her favorite breed for over 50 years has been the Shih Tzu, but she has also lived with Poodles, Maltese, Yorkshire Terriers, Beagles, English Bulldogs, Carin Terriers, and a Cocker Spaniel.

When not writing, reading, and researching dog-related topics, she likes to spend time with her eight Shih Tzu dogs, husband, and family, as well as knitting and crocheting. She is also the voice behind Miracle Shih Tzu and Smart-Knit-Crocheting

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