San Simeon Cove, San Luis Obispo County. Tucked beneath William Randolph Hearst’s famous castle, San Simeon Cove is a jewel of a place with emerald water and ample space for dogs to romp. Off-leash dogs aren’t allowed on adjacent Hearst Memorial State Beach, so if you want to unclip, simply walk a few hundred feet to the right of the pier where signs announced the beach boundary.
Elsewhere in SLO County, off-leash dog beaches include Fisherman’s Beach and Old Port Beach in the town of Avila Beach, and Toro Creek Dog Beach in Morro Bay. Leashed dogs and their humans have a dozen other choices, including Cayucos State Beach, Moonstone Beach, Morro Bay State Park and Oceano Dunes State Park. For a complete list of dog-friendly stretches of sand, click here.