Ocean Beach is the closest San Diego beach to downtown and the airport. Known by locals as OB, Ocean Beach has its own unique atmosphere. At the very north end of Ocean Beach is the unique and self-descriptive Dog Beach. This is the Fun Diego Family Dog Beach Guide.
Location: Parking lot at end of Voltaire St and West Point Loma Blvd
Beach Type: Active beach scene for people with pets
Access: flat beach accessed right from parking lot
Parking: Free street parking and several free beach lots
Facilities: Restrooms/changing facilities
Good For: Swimming, Surfing, Family Day at the Beach, Nearby Restaurants and Bars
Not Good For: Crowds, People that don’t like dogs
Ocean Beach, or OB as locals know it, is a classic sandy beach great for spending a day in the sun. About a half-mile north of the Ocean Beach Pier, Ocean Beach ends at the mouth of the San Diego River. The area from the parking lot and bike path to the river is a wide-open sandy area. Dogs are allowed to run free 24-hours a day.
This is where the bike path along the San Diego River starts. To see a bike ride along this trail go here.
The parking lot by Dog Beach is quite large. In addition, there is a great deal of free parking along the side streets. Additional parking can be found a short distance up West Point Loma at Robb Field. Even on crowded summer days, parking is not too bad.
Of course, if you don’t have a dog you probably have no desire to come to Dog Beach. The good news is that the main Ocean Beach right next door is great for a day at the beach. We have come with friends who have dogs and camped out on Ocean Beach while the dogs run on Dog Beach.
Ocean Beach is often described as “funky.” Dog Beach is a little more sedate than the core OB area by Newport Avenue. However, you still may run into some interesting characters.
Overall, the Ocean Beach area has many restaurants and bars. In 2018, Thrillist named Ocean Beach as one of the coolest neighborhoods in America to spend a weekend. Dog Beach is a core part of the OB vibe.