Let's go to the beach! CC E.Haug
Dog-friendly beaches abound in SLO County, including several strands where you can cut the cord and let your best friend run free. You can always visit a dog-friendly beach on your own, of course, but for occasions worthy of a splurge, call the Beach Butlerz. This innovative service staffed by local college students promises to change a typical day at a dog-friendly beach into a remarkable experience for you and yours. Options range from simple delivery of beach chairs and firewood to a package dubbed the “Moroccan Love Encounter” entailing setup of a “luxe canopy” tent furnished with hard-surface flooring, lighting, a queen-size futon, 10 plush pillows, decorated table, feather fan, tiki torches and bonfire. Now what could be more memorable than that?
Whether partying or not, remember that when it comes to dogs and state beaches, leashes are the rule. Tethered pets are allowed to sniff around on Avila Beach before 10 a.m. and after 5 p.m. daily; at any time of day to the left of the pier at Pismo State Beach; on all of Cayucos State Beach; and within Oceano Dunes State Park (where they’ll share sand with off-road enthusiasts). Two beautiful strands near Morro Rock, the monolith/landmark on the coast north of SLO town, also welcome leashed pets. More secluded is Spooner’s Cove at otherwise dog-unfriendly Montana Del Oro State Park, where you’ll feel miles removed from civilization.
To run off steam leash-free, head to the seaside town of Avila Beach and Olde Port Beach next to Harford Pier. It’s the first stretch of sand you come to upon crossing the bridge out of Avila Beach and into Port San Luis. This protected cove is reputed to one of the warmest on the Central Coast, and the strand attracts lots of families—including dogs, of course. Canines are free to play ball in the surf, dig holes in the sand, make new friends and gather round the fire rings brought for evening bonfires during the spring and summer months. Ask locally about Fisherman’s Beach, also called “Dog Beach,” the smallest beach in the area and very popular among area dog lovers.