Dog-Friendly Beaches in Half Moon Bay, CA

Top 11 Dog-Friendly Beaches in Half Moon Bay:

  1. Bluff Top Coastal Park
  2. Poplar Beach
  3. Bluff Top Trail
  4. Half Moon Bay State Beach
  5. Pillar Point Harbor Beach
  6. Surfers Beach 
  7. Mavericks Beach 
  8. Mirada Surf Beach
  9. Miramar Beach
  10. Redondo Beach 
  11. Pelican Point Beach

Whether you’re planning a day trip or a weekend getaway, Half Moon Bay is the perfect destination for you and your four-legged family members. In this guide, you’ll find the best dog-friendly beaches in Half Moon Bay, CA, as well as tips on how to make the most of your visit with your pup.

Dog-Friendly Beaches in Half Moon Bay
Bluff Top Coastal Park. Photo from (IG) @aj_n_the_double_ds

Half Moon Bay is known for its sandy beaches, small-town charm, and stunning coastal views. But the real reason we love Half Moon Bay is because it’s so dog friendly! From the 5-star Ritz Carlton (which is also pet-friendly) to the many dog-friendly restaurants, you and your pup will have a blast exploring all that Half Moon Bay has to offer.

So pack your car and hit the road for a fun-filled trip to the California coast. Your dog will thank you for it!

Where is Half Moon Bay

Half Moon Bay, CA is a beautiful location situated in San Mateo County along the gorgeous northern California coast. It is only 30 miles south of the City of San Francisco, making it an ideal day trip or weekend getaway destination. 

Half Moon Bay offers visitors a chance to experience the best of what California has to offer, from its diverse natural scenery to its vibrant culture. 

Whether you’re looking to relax on the beach, explore the great outdoors, or experience some of the best food and wine in the region, Half Moon Bay is the perfect place for you.

Distance of Half Moon Bay from nearby major cities:

  • Sacramento to Half Moon Bay is 115 miles
  • San Jose to Half Moon Bay is 40 miles
  • Pescadero to Half Moon Bay is 17 miles

Dog-Friendly Beaches in Half Moon Bay CA

I’ve put together a list of 7pet-friendly Half Moon Bay beaches to make it simpler for you to pick your locations and bring your friends straight to these beaches without incurring any legal difficulties.

Bluff Top Coastal Park

Bluff-Top-Coastal-Park-dog-friendly
Photo from (IG) @sasoriqueen
  • Address: Poplar St and Railroad Ave, Half Moon Bay
  • Parking: $2/hour fee for parking.
  • Pet Policy: Dogs allowed on leash

The BluffTop Coastal Park, also known as Poplar Beach, is a favorite dog-friendly beach in Half Moon Bay, CA. Visitors can either walk along the bluff trails and admire the sweeping coastal views or hike down to the light brown sandy beach. The park is a great place to bring your dog for a walk, run, or swim.

Poplar Beach

At the top of the hill, there is plenty of parking. To get to the beach, you’ll need to descend a challenging trail. There is a large stretch of beach and the Pacific Ocean at the bottom for you and your dog to enjoy.

Poplar Beach is a municipal beach. As a result, if you want to spend two hours at one of the dog-friendly beaches in Half Moon Bay, parking at Poplar Beach is less expensive than parking at Half Moon Bay State.

Bluff Top Trail

If you don’t want to walk down to the beach, consider taking the Bluff Top Trail instead. From the top of the cliffs, beautiful views of Half Moon Bay’s natural beauty are visible. The paved route joins with the well-known Half Moon Bay Coastal Trail, an 11-mile trail that is ideal for running, biking, and walking.

Half Moon Bay State Beach

Half Moon Bay State Beach
Photo from (IG) @belichick_the_schnauzer
  • Parking: There is a $10 parking fee for Half Moon Bay State Beach.
  • Pet Policy: Dogs are also allowed on leash at Half Moon Bay State Beach, one of the most popular beaches in Half Moon Bay. 

The state park of the same name, with a few beaches:

  • Francis Beach
  • Venice Beach
  • Dunes Beach
  • Roosevelt Beach

Half Moon Bay State Beach is located in the unincorporated area between San Pablo Bay and the Pacific Ocean. It’s a popular stop for sunbathing, picnics, surfing, fishing, and camping. The beach is located on the southern side of town and offers stunning views of Pillar Point Harbor.

Pillar Point Harbor Beach

Pillar Point Harbor Beach
Photo from (IG) @jetty.the.lab
  • Address: 4000 Cabrillo Hwy N, Half Moon Bay
  • Parking: Free
  • Pet Policy: Dogs allowed on leash

Pillar Point Harbor Beach is another dog-friendly beach in Half Moon Bay. This beach also offers excellent fishing opportunities and delicious seafood dining options, as well as spectacular ocean views. 

A tiny beach nestled between two jetties, it is one of the best-kept secrets in Half Moon Bay. The harbor is located on the north side of Pillar Point and is a great place to take a stroll with your dog, relax on the beach, or go for a swim.

Surfers Beach 

  • Address: 4000 Cabrillo Hwy N, Half Moon Bay
  • Parking: No fee for parking
  • Pet Policy: Dogs allowed on leash

Surfers Beach is a beautiful beach located north of Half Moon Bay across Highway 1 next to Half Moon Bay rock jetty and Pillar Point Harbor, which runs through it. This is a popular surfing and boogie-boarding destination. The beach is named for the surfers who can be seen riding the waves offshore. 

The surf is usually between one and two feet long. I recommend that you view the sunset here; the sky changes color, and it’s a beautiful experience. When the tide is low, there are tide pools to explore. 

The best time to visit is two hours before or after low tide. Dogs are allowed on the beach, but must be on a leash no longer than six feet. There is no fee for parking, but the lot fills up quickly on weekends, so arrive early.

Mavericks Beach 

Mavericks Beach dog friendly
Photo from (IG) @southgate1979
  • Address: W Point Ave, Half Moon Bay
  • Parking: Pillar Point Marsh, free 
  • Pet Policy: Dogs allowed on leash

Mavericks Beach is a great spot for surfers and those who want to admire the views of the wild Pacific Ocean. It can be a little difficult to find, but it’s worth it for the scenery. Camping is not allowed, but there are plenty of other activities to enjoy with your dog.

Mavericks Beach, nestled between the red rocks of Mendocino and the Pacific Ocean, has an average maximum wave height of around 60 feet. The mavericks (waves) may top out at a staggering 60 feet in the winter months and after a storm. Mavericks Beach is a major surfing destination for seasoned surfers from all over the world,

Mavericks Beach is not only a surfing haven, but also a wonderful location to bring your dog and soak in the views of the wild Pacific Ocean.

KNOW BEFORE YOU GO: Mavericks Beach is somewhat difficult to locate. Turn north onto West Point Avenue until you reach the end of the road, then turn left into the parking lot. You must walk down a long path to reach the beach. Dogs are allowed on leash. Parking is free.

Among the wildflowers, the stunning scenery may tempted you to walk to Mavericks Cliffs path with your dog. It’s a dog-friendly beach in California where you can do a variety of things with your pet.

Mirada Surf Beach

Mirada Surf Beach dog friendly
Photo from (IG) @fatmorke
  • Address: Magellan Ave and Mirada Rd, Half Moon Bay
  • Parking: Free
  • Pet Policy: Dogs allowed on leash on the beach, on the paved trail, and at the park

The best dog-friendly beach in Half Moon Bay, CA is Mirada Surf Beach. This beach sits along the Coastal Trail and offers a stretch of sandy beach, a 15-acre coastal bluff with an expansive view of the ocean, and a trail that leads to Quarry Park. 

Dog owners can either access the beach by climbing down from the bluffs (which may be challenging with an excited dog on a leash) or by taking the easier route of accessing the beach below the park at the intersection of Magellan Avenue and Mirada Road. 

Either way, your furry friend is sure to enjoy a fun day at the beach!

Miramar Beach

  • Address: Medio Ave and Mirada Rd, Half Moon Bay
  • Parking: Free
  • Pet Policy: Dogs allowed off-leash

The Miramar Beach is a great option for a beach to visit with your dog because it is one of the only beaches where dogs are allowed to be off-leash. 

At Miramar Beach, you are guaranteed to see other pet owners and their dogs enjoying the freedom of running and playing on the beach as well as getting their paws wet in the ocean. 

Miramar Beach is also located on the Coastal Trail, making it a great place to walk your dog. If you walk south on the beach or towards the Coastal Trail, you will eventually come to Roosevelt Beach which does not allow dogs. 

It is important to note that parking at Miramar Beach Restaurant is free for those visiting either Miramar Beach or Mirada Surf Beach.

Redondo Beach 

  • Address: Redondo Beach Rd and Thorne Ave, Half Moon Bay
  • Parking: Free
  • Pet Policy: Dogs allowed on trails and beach

Redondo Beach is a dog-friendly beach that is lesser known. It is a hidden gem and is only a five minute drive from Downtown. 

This beach is perfect for tide pooling. If you come during low tide, you can explore the tide pools at Miramontes Point. The Wavecrest Open Space is located behind Redondo Beach. 

This is a popular spot for birdwatching, hiking, biking, horseback riding, and dog walking because it is 1.5 miles and flat. You might even get lucky to see some whales, harbor seals, and pelicans along the Wavecrest Trail.

Pelican Point Beach

  • Address: 1001 Miramontes Point Rd, Half Moon Bay
  • Parking: Free
  • Pet Policy: Dogs allowed off-leash

Pelican Point Beach is a beautiful beach surrounded by the Half Moon Bay Golf Links. The small beach is tucked away below the bluffs of the famous golf course and also allows well-behaved dogs to be off-leash. 

Once visitors have arrived at Pelican Point Beach, they feel like they have found their private oasis. 

To access the beach from the parking lot: walk towards the ocean along the paved path until you find a stairway that will lead you down towards the coastline.

Dog Friendly Beaches Near Half Moon Bay

Between San Francisco and Half Moon Bay, these dog-friendly beaches may be found north of Half Moon Bay. One of these beaches may easily serve as a pit stop on your route to or from Half Moon Bay.

Montara State Beach

  • Address 2nd St and Cabrillo Hwy, Montara
  • Parking: Free
  • Pet Policy: Dogs allowed on leash

The breathtaking beauty of the Montara State Beach landscape, which is a must-see on Highway 1, is second to none. The beach is located near the craggy Montara Mountain coast, which also has panoramic views from its hiking trails. The dog-friendly beach lies along the San Mateo shoreline about 8 miles from Half Moon Bay.

Dogs must be on a leash at all times and are not allowed in the fenced-in children’s play area. However, there is plenty of room to spread out along the rest of the beach.

Dog-Friendly Beaches Near Half Moon Bay: Pacifica, CA

The picturesque village of Pacifica can be found north of Montara and Half Moon Bay. Pacifica is in San Mateo County, between San Francisco and Half Moon Bay, and is a popular destination for both locals and tourists. This seaside town has numerous dog-friendly beaches as well as great walks along the coast.

Pacifica State Beach

  • Address: 5000 Pacific Coast Hwy, Pacifica
  • Parking: For a little over $7.00 for less than 4 hours and a little more than $9.00 for all day
  • Pet Policy: Dogs allowed on leash

Pacifica State Beach is voted as one of the most beautiful small beaches in America and is a must-visit location in California. 

Pacifica State Beach is a beautiful white sand beach, a walkway that overlooks the ocean waves, and rolling hills nearby, all of which contribute to its popularity.

If visiting Pacifica State Beach on a holiday or weekend, it is recommended to arrive early to snag parking, as finding available parking can be a little challenging. A lot of people will park at the state beach and stay for most of the day.

Rockaway State Beach

  • Address: Cabrillo Hwy and Rockaway Beach Ave, Pacifica
  • Parking: Free
  • Pet Policy: Dogs Allowed on Leash

Rockaway State Beach is a great option for dog-friendly beaches near Half Moon Bay, CA. The beach has a wide variety of amenities including restaurants, hotels, shops, and hiking trails. After enjoying the sights and sounds of the beach, be sure to check out Mori Point for stunning views of the coastline.

Sharp Park Beach 

  • Address: Montecito Ave and Beach Blvd, Pacifica
  • Parking: Free
  • Pet Policy: Dogs allowed on leash

The Sharp Park beach is a great place to take your dog for a walk and also offers excellent fishing opportunities. The pier is one of the best in the state and provides a great spot to fish or just enjoy the view.

If you’re looking for a peaceful walk and some stunning views, the pier at Half Moon Bay is perfect. You can also buy food from the Chit Chat Cafe to take with you and enjoy at the beach or picnic style.

Esplanade Beach

  • Address: Esplanade Ave and W Manor Dr, Pacifica
  • Parking: Free
  • Pet Policy: At the north end of the beach, dogs are permitted off-leash, while they must be on leash elsewhere.

The Esplanade Beach is the only dog-friendly and off-leash beach in Pacifica. This hidden beach is a great place for dog owners to take their pets. 

The north end of Esplanade is adjacent to the Lands End Apartments complex. To access the beach, you will need to walk down a set of switch-back trails and stairs. 

If you’re planning a trip to the beach, be sure to check the tide tables ahead of time. The beach is small and narrow and the high tide could be dangerous.

Dog-Friendly Beaches Near Half Moon Bay: Pescadero, CA

Pescadero is a small town located in the Bay Area, only 17 miles south of Half Moon Bay. The town is home to many activities and attractions, such as wine tasting at Harley Farms and hiking through ancient redwoods. Pescadero is a great place to visit for anyone looking for an enjoyable and memorable experience.

Bean Hollow State Beach

  • Address: Cabrillo Hwy, Pescadero
  • Parking: Free
  • Pet Policy: Dogs allowed on leash

Bean Hollow is located along the bluffs in Pescadero, California. Two beaches are joined by a 1-mile footpath along the cliffs. For its tiny bay strewn with multicolored pebbles, the northern beach is known as Pebble Beach. At Bean Hollow, both Arroyo De and Arroyo De Los Monjes Beaches are the southern beaches. 

Hiking along the bluffs and exploring the trails with sweeping ocean views is a popular activity for visitors with dogs. Along the way, you’ll find plenty of opportunities to let your four-legged friend play in the sand and surf. 

The best time to visit Bean Hollow Beach is during the week when it is less crowded. Parking can be found along the road leading to the beach.

What Beaches in Half Moon Bay, CA are NOT Dog Friendly

  • Ross Cove Beach
  • Tunitas Creek Beach
  • Martins Beach
  • Cowell Ranch Beach
  • Cowell-Purisima Trail 
  • Fitzgerald Marine Reserve

Other Dog-Friendly Activities in Half Moon Bay

Are Dogs Allowed on the Coastal Trail in Half Moon Bay?

Dogs are allowed on the Coastal Trail in Half Moon Bay. The trail is a popular spot for locals and visitors to enjoy activities like walking, running, biking, and horseback riding. The trail also offers scenic views of the ocean and sandy white beaches. It ends at Pillar Point Harbor, where there are many seafood restaurants.

Coast Side Dog Park

The Coast Side Dog Park is the only off-leash dog park in Half Moon Bay and a great alternative to the beach or Coastal Trail. The small park is covered in wood chips and has picnic tables, chairs, and a little shaded booth for pet owners.

Montara Mountain Hiking Trail

The Montara Mountain Hiking Trail is located next to the beautiful Montara beach. The trail is a 7 mile loop and is rated moderate. The trail offers stunning views of the Pacific Ocean from the top of Montara Mountain.

Devils Slide Hiking Trail

Devils Slide Hiking Trail is a popular destination for bikers, runners, and walkers. The trail is 1.3 miles long and runs along the rocky coast. Dogs are allowed on at Devils Slide on leash.

Exploring Downtown Half Moon Bay

There are many dog-friendly restaurants in Downtown Half Moon Bay that visitors and their dogs can enjoy. Some top picks include Moonside Bakery & Cafe, known for its delicious breakfast and lunch options, as well as Sacrilege Brewery + Kitchen.

Sacrilege Brewery has a cozy front-side patio that is perfect for sitting in the sun or under one of the patio heaters. They also offer a great selection of locally brewed beers from Half Moon Bay and rotating guest taps.

When is the Best Time to Visit Half Moon Bay

The best time to visit Half Moon Bay is in the late fall or spring, when the weather is perfect and there are fewer crowds. The summer months are the most popular in Half Moon Bay, owing to its close proximity to San Francisco. Late fall or the spring months are our favorite times to go. The beaches and downtown are less crowded, and the weather is ideal.

Why Should You Take Your Dogs to Half Moon Bay

Dogs are welcome in Half Moon Bay, where there are plenty of outdoor activities to enjoy together, like dog-friendly hiking trails, dog beaches, and dog parks. You’ll have no trouble finding accommodations and restaurants that welcome your pup.

Tips: Dog-Friendly Beaches in Half Moon Bay

The best dog-friendly beaches in Half Moon Bay are those that have certain rules and regulations in place regarding cleaning up, on/off-leash rules, number of dogs per person policies, and timings.

  • Dogs may be frightened of sand and water if they have not been in the sea before, so it is important to take care and introduce them to the new environment slowly.
  • Training your dog to walk on a leash is also recommended.
  • Finally, prepare your dog with a microchip, a name tag, and another form of identification tag before sending them to the beach.
  • The Half Moon Beaches are lovely, but the surf can be unpredictable, so it’s vital to keep an eye on your dog’s behavior.
  • Carry poop-scoopers, trash bins, and recycling plastic bags to keep the place clean of dog feces.

We’ll keep you posted as more and more beaches start to allow your furry friend. As the list grows, we will continue updating this blog post with all of them:

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In Conclusion: Dog Friendly Beaches in Half Moon Bay CA

If you’re searching for the ideal dog-friendly spot along the California coast, Half Moon Bay is the place to go. With beautiful dog beaches and plenty of activities to keep your pup entertained, Half Moon Bay is the perfect place to enjoy some quality time with your furry friend.

I hope this information has assisted you in planning your next excursion to Half Moon Bay, CA’s dog-friendly beaches and charming town. Thanks for reading and happy adventuring!

Watch this space for more information about when your furry friend can enjoy the beach again:

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