DogTrips: Dog UNfriendly Santa Cruz, CA

Recently we found ourselves out of house and home for three days for while some work was being done, so we decided to head on down to Santa Cruz, CA for some sand and salty wind with the Big Black Mutts.

Santa Cruz, the hippy-filled, anything goes college and surf town. Should be a great place for the Mutts, right?

Well, no.

Dogs have been banned since the 1970’s from Pacific Avenue downtown and from its cross streets since the 1980’s. You cannot walk down the street with your dog, no matter if it’s licensed, vaccinated and properly leashed. Huh?

Who in the world thought that was a good idea? It certainly meant that we spent exactly ZERO dollars at any of those stores and restaurants.

Most of the popular beaches there do not allow dogs, leashed or not. There are some beaches that allow leashed dogs (6 ft max length), but only one at Lighthouse Field State Beach, that allows dogs off-leash during certain hours of the day. And even that seems tenuous at best as the California State Parks authority battles it out with dog-owning locals.

We did manage to find a dog-friendly vacation rental and some restaurants with outdoor seating that allowed the Mutts. Most importantly we did hit up the one beach with official off-leash hours.

As you can see by the amount of sand on their snouts, they had a great time.

If you go…

Off leash beach access

  • Lighthouse Field State Beach – mornings until 10 AM and evenings after 4 PM

Nice on-leash beaches

  • Twin Lakes State Beach
  • 21st Avenue County Park
  • Seabright Beach

Nice places to sit and have a bite outdoors

Kelly’s French Bakery – pastries, quiche, salads, sandwiches
402 Ingalls Street
Santa Cruz, CA 95060-5800
(831) 423-9059
kellysfrenchbakery.com

Seabright Brewery – Beer’s better than the food, but can’t beat the relaxed patio vibe.
519 Seabright Avenue
Santa Cruz, CA 95062-3482
(831) 426-2739
seabrightbrewery.com

Betty Burgers – nice big burgers, great sweet potato fries
505 Seabright Avenue
Santa Cruz, CA 95062-3748
(831) 423-8190
Elizabeth’s Market
(super casual, breakfast/brunch place with great breakfast burritos and chilaquiles)
23040 East Cliff Drive
Santa Cruz, CA 95062-5454
(831) 475-3356
Betty Burgers Address:

Rated 4.0 out of 5.0 8 reviewsmore info »

505 Seabright Avenue
Santa Cruz, CA 95062-3748
(831) 423-8190
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