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Surfers' Point

Exploring the dog-friendly beach Surfer's Point in Ventura CA.
Exploring the dog-friendly beach Surfer's Point in Ventura CA.
Johnny Ortez-Tibbels

With temperatures hitting triple digits now is the time to escape to cooler climates, and the beach is the answer. North of Los Angeles, Surfers' Point in Ventura provides a fun, casual beach scene that allows you to bring your devoted dogs along.

Exploring the dog-friendly beach Surfer's Point in Ventura CA.
Johnny Ortez-Tibbels

The patch of beach gets its name from the plentiful surfers found there most days practicing their technique. The beach is connected to the Ventura Pier and the Omer Rains Bike Trail. Our dogs are allowed on the 6 miles of Ventura Beach including the long wooden pier. However, they are not permitted on the beaches south of the pier.

According to all online accounts the beach is intended to be an on-leash park, but in person one finds a different story. Many locals often come and let their dogs frolic off-leash. So remove your pup’s lead at your own risk. When I last visited the beach, it was nearly empty so we took the chance and allowed our pups to roam free, while always maintaining a vigilant eye on them and our surroundings.

Another fun attraction to the beach is this separate lagoon like body of water. I believe it’s technically an estuary where both the Pacific Ocean and Ventura River meet. It proved to be a lovely backdrop and an added bonus to the already beautiful beach. The dogs especially liked the many gathered marine birds that all seemed indifferent to them despite their natural curiosity.

The best part, the beach was about 20 degrees cooler than the Valley and the relief from the heat was exactly what my dogs and I needed. The beach also offers showers, picnic tables, restrooms, free street parking on Figueroa and a $2 cash-only, all-day, no re-entry parking lot. There are also several fun dog-friendly eateries on the pier and surrounding area; after a frisky walk one can take a respite and refuel before doing it again.

I encourage all Angelenos to come north and visit Surfer’s Point with your best four-legged friend. The relaxed and friendly atmosphere along with the cool temps is worth the drive.

Surfers' Point at Seaside Park
Figueroa Street at the Promenade
Ventura, California