After finishing the 52 Hike Challenge last week with a 50 mile Rim to Rim to Rim hike of the Grand Canyon, I decided it was time to enjoy a much more relaxed adventure this weekend. So many of my weekend hikes and microadventures this year have been ‘Type A’. These Type A activities require early wake-ups, trip planning, high levels of physical effort, and take up quite a bit of time. I realized after hiking in the Grand Canyon that I should really start to enjoy more of the ‘Type B’ activities. These Type B activities are far more flexible with timing, and don’t require much planning or preparation. To get started, Julia, Isla, and Lilly joined me at the Huntington Dog Beach for a great day in the sun.
The Huntington Beach Dog Beach is one of the few dog beaches in Southern California. Located at 100 Goldenwest Street, Huntington Beach, CA 92648, you can park right along Pacific Coast Highway and head straight to the Pacific Ocean. The street still uses coin operated parking meters, so don’t count on using your credit card. I always keep a few dollars in quarters on me for this exact purpose. Huntington Dog Beach is located north of the pier, so there isn’t as much traffic as you’d find along other parts of the coast. This stretch of sand is mostly occupied by surfers and dog lovers.
Once we found a parking spot on PCH, we made our way to the asphalt walkway that runs parallel to the street. The section of beach that allows dogs starts at lifeguard tower 22. There are no facilities other than a restroom, so if you plan on bringing your dog here, make sure to carry plenty of food and water.
The section of beach next to tower 22 was really crowded as most people seemed to plop down as soon as the restrictions allowed for it. Julia and I continued walking north with the dogs until we found a nice patch of sand with room to breathe. Isla wasted no time in ripping her Frisbee out of the duffle bag and demanded that the games begin.
After Isla got about 30 throws in, she was ready to plop down on the towel for a rest with Lilly and Julia. These type B moments have been missing from my weekly adventures for far too long. It was really nice to just kick up our feet (and paws), and relax to the sound of crashing waves.
As much as Isla likes to dive right in and get things started, Lilly had to warm up to the idea of a “dog beach”. As a rescue, she is a lot more apprehensive when it comes to meeting new humans and dogs. Once she saw how much fun Isla was having, she decided to give it a try. It was so funny to see her experience a wave for the first time. She was a little shocked and surprised when the water crashed and swallowed her legs, but then she realized how fun it was, and started doing sprints through the wake.
As a dog owner, you reach a point where things like perfect cleanliness at home and in your car just cease to matter. Taking a longer haired dog to the beach just amplifies this nonchalance. As much as I wanted to care about the insane amounts of sand and salt hitching a ride with Isla and Lilly, we were just having too much fun to think about it. It also makes for a great picture!
We spent a good four hours hanging out at the beach before Isla and Lilly were finally ready to call it quits. We played fetch, napped, and did sprints through the water during out dog day at the beach. These two pups can be really tough to tire out, so it was great to see them finally throwing in the towel.
We made our way back to the car on PCH and packed things up. If you’re planning on doing this trip and would like to add a little more to the day, you can continue walking south along the asphalt walkway towards the Huntington Beach Pier. You’ll find a ton of dining options near the pier, as well as other forms of entertainment.