Sonoma County Dog Friendly Beaches

Sonoma County Dog Friendly Beaches


   The Sonoma Coast is lined with a beautiful mix of rugged and long sandy beaches, but not all of them are open to sharing a stroll with your pup.  The recent rains have kept us cooped up a bit longer than most of us like and now we’re antsy to get out and enjoy the beauty of these sunshiny days.  Our dogs more than anything need to be able to run and play and enjoy some outdoor beach time!  Here is the list of my favorite spots to get out and make your dogs day! 

     Dillon Beach has to be one of every dog owners favorites.  If your dog is well behaved and friendly with other people and other pups, this beach allows you to let them run free. No leash required and a long strand of sand that they can rip up and down and visit with other happy dogs along the way!  Owners can stroll at their own pace and not be dragged along chasing every butt that comes by, or every weird new smell that is apparently there.  The only down side is the Fee.  Day use pass is $10/day, $15 on weekends and during summer. (Saturday of Memorial Day weekend to the Sunday of Labor Day weekend) Annual Pass is $160 (But there are specific Senior Passes that allow free entry)  

*If you’re a local early riser, or a late day trooper, this beach is FREE year-round before 9am and after 3pm in the Winter and after 6pm in the Summer!!! 

     Doran Park is another favorite.  Although the main beach is leash only, it is well worth the visit and a great beach for kids.  The beach is a long, almost horseshoe shaped that faces South so it catches all the sun and the waves stay fairly small most of the year.  Doran is a Regional County Park, gates open 7am-10pm and day use is $7/day or a year pass for around $65.   

*There is a leash free zone for dogs down towards the end, near the boat launch!  It’s a small beach, without easy smooth access, but a great way to expend some puppy energy before you walk the leash only main beach. 

    Jenner Headlands Preserve has to be one of the most spectacular hikes along the Sonoma County Coastline.  Although you are not on the beach itself, you are far above it and the view of the surrounding beaches is absolutely spectacular!  Leashed dogs are allowed except the final one mile of the Sea to Sky Trail. (a 15 mile round trip hike) This hiking area is not a stroll by any means! 

*Absolutely Free, well worth it and a great way to tire out both dog and owner. 

There are plenty of dog-friendly beaches along our coastline.  The three I’ve mentioned above are my favorite, but here’s a quick list of some of the others. Have fun out there and choose which beach works best for you and your pup, they’re all beautiful and a great way to get out and enjoy time together.  

Leash only beaches along the Sonoma Coastline. 

*Pinnacle Gulch 
*Marshall Gultch 
*Schoolhouse Beach (some steep spots near the waterline) 
*Portuguese Beach (can get fairly steep and soft sand close to the water) 
*Wrights Beach (careful on the south end, it’s a section of rough waters) 
*Shell Beach (also a great place for tide pooling) 😉 
*Blind Beach (near Goat Rock) 
*Russian Gulch 
*Stillwater Cove 
*The Sea Ranch Coastal Access Trail 
*Gualala Point

Happy times had by all!  Don’t forget to bring water for you and your dog, it’s a water water everywhere and not a drop to drink type of situation!   

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