Lifestyle

A Piece of Doggie Heaven in Del Mar

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Image by Melissa Doroquez via commons.wikimedia

Image by Melissa Doroquez via Wikimedia

After the deluge of rain that poured on San Diego over the last two weeks, everyone seems more than ready to get out and enjoy the nice spring weather that is (hopefully) here to stay.

One of the great things about San Diego is the large selection of public beaches to choose from, and the beach to  return to season after season is North Beach in Del Mar, affectionately called “Dog Beach” by local dog owners.

As a former dog owner who does not have the room or schedule to adopt, the Del Mar Dog Beach is where I go to get my dose of puppy love. If you are a fellow animal lover, then trust me, nothing will brighten up a slow afternoon faster than a trip to this locale.

Forget the rows of sunbathers at Pacific Beach or the weekend traffic getting to La Jolla Shores– at North Beach you will find a much more laid-back atmosphere dominated by friendly dog owners and their loyal canines. Here, you are more likely to be met with laughs when an oversized soggy puppy tramples your stakeout and runs off with your shoe. That’s not likely to happen though; the dogs at North Beach are typically much more preoccupied chasing the waves or racing after chew toys. If you’ve ever wondered what dog heaven looks like, look no further.

Don’t have a dog of your own to bring? No problem. I’ve found that dog owners are extremely generous in sharing… including tennis balls, frisbees, and, on occasion, dog doo (watch your step). On any given weekend in the spring, I can guarantee you that the dogs will be out. Bring a towel, find a nice spot, and voila! Instant entertainment. Oh, and keep an eye on your picnic lunch (I speak from experience).

Nine months out of the year (the day after Labor Day – June 14), dogs in this 2 mile stretch of North Beach are permitted to run unleashed. The local dog laws in Del Mar aim to provide maximum enjoyment and access for dogs and their owners throughout the year. During the summer months, June 15 through Labor Day, dogs are still permitted on the beach but must be on a leash. North Beach is located north of 29th Street and stretches to the edge of SolaDog na Beach. I’ve never found a problem with parking; there is both metered and free street parking nearby. For maximum dog sightings, go between noon and 4pm.

For details about regulations and other dog-friendly parks in Del Mar, visit the Del Mar City website.

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