In San Diego County, it’s a dog life when it comes to hiking, beaching, dining and sharing a hotel room with your pup. Given the topography, there are many options when it comes to fresh-air exploration, from aerobic treks into the hills surrounding the city to urban hikes taking in iconic sights.
Start in Balboa Park, a 1,200-acre, beautifully landscaped preserve home to 15 museums, renowned performing arts venues, formal gardens, the renowned San Diego Zoo—and three off-leash dog parks where your pup can stretch her legs and sniff out new friends.
Another great walking destination is Presidio Park, site of San Diego’s first mission, built in 1769 and known as the “Plymouth Rock of the West.” The park’s rolling hills offer panoramic views of the city, and there’s plenty of history to soak up as you explore.
No trip to San Diego would be complete without a visit to the beach, and San Diego has two premier waterfront playgrounds for dogs. On the north end of Ocean Beach, also known as Dog Beach, canines can hang out leash-less and tear around on the sand and in the surf, bringing joy to all who watch them.
On Fiesta Island in Mission Bay Park, dogs are welcome to romp on almost all of the 1.5 miles of waterfront. Views are best from the south side, while the interior is characterized by dirt fields. Car traffic can be a hazard, so make sure your dog sticks close and has a good recall before cutting her off-leash.