14 Dog Friendly Beaches In Half Moon Bay CA

affiliate link and privacy policy

Half Moon Bay is the perfect destination for a day trip or weekend getaway for the family, and don’t forget your four-legged family members as well! In this guide, you will find out the best dog friendly beaches in Half Moon Bay, CA, and other tips on bringing your dog to this dreamy coastal town.

Half Moon Bay is known for its sandy beaches, small-town charm, and gorgeous coastal views. But honestly, the main reason why we love Half Moon Bay is, it’s super dog friendly!

Half Moon Bay is worth a visit with your pup! When the 5-star Ritz Carlton in Half Moon Bay is also pet-friendly, you know you have hit the jackpot for dog friendly destinations. Also, during your visit don’t forget to stop by one of the many dog friendly restaurants in Half Moon Bay. A personal favorite of ours is Sam’s Chowder House for delicious seafood and stunning views overlooking the ocean.

Pack your car with your dog, and family, and get ready for all of the mesmerizing beauty of the California coast.

Where is Half Moon Bay

Half Moon Bay, CA, is situated in San Mateo County, along the gorgeous northern California coast. It is 30 miles south of San Francisco and about an hour’s drive.

Planning a road trip on the PCH? Half Moon Bay’s location on Highway 1 also makes for a great stop along the way.

Half Moon Bay from Nearby Major Cities:
Pescadero to Half Moon Bay is 17 miles
San Jose to Half Moon Bay is 40 miles
Sacramento to Half Moon Bay is 115 miles

6 Essential Items For Your Dogs 🐾 First Aid Kit

Every dog owner should be prepared with these 6 must-have items when traveling with their pup

    We respect your privacy. Unsubscribe at any time.

    Dog Friendly Beaches in Half Moon Bay CA

    Bluff Top Coastal Park

    Address: Poplar St and Railroad Ave
    Half Moon Bay
    Parking: $2/hour fee for parking.
    Pet Policy: Dogs allowed on leash

    The Bluff Top Coastal Park, also known as Poplar Beach, is absolutely a favorite dog friendly beach in Half Moon Bay, CA. During your visit to Poplar Beach, you can either walk along the bluff trails and admire the sweeping coastal views or hike down to the light brown sandy beach.

    Poplar Beach, a dog friendly beach in half moon bay, ca

    Poplar Beach

    Parking is at the top of the bluff, and to get down to the beach, you will need to hike down a steep trail. Once you reach the bottom, there is a wide span of beach and the pacific ocean for you to enjoy with your pup.

    Bluff Top Trail

    If you do not wish to hike down to the beach, an alternative is to walk along the Bluff Top Trail. The gorgeous views from the top of the bluffs showcase all of Half Moon Bays’ natural beauty. 

    The paved trail connects to the well-known Half Moon Bay Coastal Trail, an 11-mile trail that is great for running, biking, and walking.

    Know before you go: Poplar Beach is a city-run beach. So If you are planning on spending a couple of hours at one of the dog friendly beaches in Half Moon Bay, parking at Poplar Beach is cheaper than parking at Half Moon Bay State. 

    Pillar Point Harbor Beach

    Address: 4000 Cabrillo Hwy N
    Half Moon Bay
    Parking: Free
    Pet Policy: Dogs allowed on leash

    Another dog friendly beach in Half Moon Bay is Pillar Point Harbor Beach. We love visiting this beach because it is located right by the harbor and our favorite dog friendly Half Moon Bay restaurant, Sams Chowder House. 

    best day trip to half moon bay

    The Pillar Point Harbor is also known for its fishing boats, delicious seafood restaurants, and gorgeous ocean views. 

    The small beach is protected and surrounded by two jetties. The last time we were here, It was a windy day, and the enormous waves were pounding into the break wall. My husband, trying to capture this moment, had me and my dog Cash stand close by to get the waves in the background.

    Total FAIL… waves came crashing over us, soaking me, and my dog Cash in ice-cold ocean water.

    half moon bay day trip
    half moon bay day trip itinerary

    Surfers Beach 

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

    On the other side of the Half Moon Bay jetty and next to Pillar Point Beach is the small and cozy Surfers Beach. Surfers Beach is a popular and well-known beach among beginner surfers, boogie boarders, and tourists because of its easy access off Highway 1.  

    You can access Surfer’s beach along the Coastal Trail. Or by parking across the street, which is Highway 1. Surfers Beach is a great location to admire the surfers along with the wave breaks, walk your dog on a leash, and then afterward grab some lunch at Pillar Point Harbor. 

    Mavericks Beach 

    Address: W Point Ave
    Half Moon Bay
    Parking: Pillar Point Marsh, no fee 
    Pet Policy: Dogs allowed on leash

    Just at the edge of Half Moon Bay is Mavericks Beach. Mavericks Beach is a destination for some of the world’s best big wave surfers.

    In the winter months and after a storm, the mavericks (waves) can top out at an incredible 60-feet. This time of year, there is an annual surfing competition at Mavericks Beach, held for the elite surfers from around the globe. Mavericks Beach is the closest you can get to the famous Maverick Surfing Zone, about a 1/2 mile out into the pacific.

    Besides being a surfers paradise, Mavericks Beach is also a great spot to bring your dog and admire the views of the wild pacific ocean. 

    Know Before You Go: Mavericks Beach is a little difficult to find. Turn north onto West Point Avenue and continue to the parking lot at the end of the road. From the parking area: you will need to hike down the trail towards the harbor and then turn right.

    Mirada Surf Beach

    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

    After lunch at Miramar Restaurant, our two English Golden Retrievers had an amazing time playing at Mirada Surf Beach. It is the perfect dog friendly beach to take your furry best friend to in Half Moon Bay, CA! Mirada Surf Beach sits along the Coastal Trail, just north of Miramar Beach.

    Mirada Beach, dog friendly beach in half moon bay, ca

    This gorgeous location offers a stretch of sandy beach, a 15-acre coastal bluff that provides an expansive view of the ocean, and a trail that leads to Quarry Park, a small 40-acre community park with a playground.

    You can either access the beach by climbing down from the bluffs. There is a rocky and steep trail. This is the route we took, and it was a little challenging keeping the two excited dogs on leash while we ventured down the bluff.

    Or there is an easier option. You can access the beach below the park at the intersection of Magellan Avenue and Mirada Road.

    Miramar Beach

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

    Doggy paradise in Half Moon Bay! Miramar Beach is a great option for a dog-friendly beach in Half Moon Bay. 

    At Miramar Beach, you will definitely be among other pet owners and their dogs who are enjoying their day walking the sandy beach and getting their paws wet in the ocean. 

    Miramar Beach, dog friendly beach in half moon bay, ca

    Miramar Beach is also on the Coastal Trail. It is a short walk to the dog-friendly restaurant Miramar Beach Restaurant. A great spot to grab fresh seafood and waterfront views.  

    You can access the beach from behind the footbridge, where a steep path descends to the creek. From there, you walk under a bridge, painted in colorful graffiti, toward the beach. If you walk south on the beach or towards the Coastal Trail, you will run into Roosevelt Beach, which is not dog friendly. 

    Know Before You Go: You can park at Miramar Beach Restaurant for free when visiting 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 one of the lesser-known dog friendly beaches in Half Moon Bay. This hidden gem is a quick 5-minute drive from Downtown and the perfect spot for tide pooling. During low tides, you can discover the tide pools at Miramontes Point, which are the tide pools below the Ritz Carlton Half Moon Bay Resort. 

    Behind Redondo Beach is a large area known as the Wavecrest Open Space. It’s a 1.5-mile flat trail, popular for birdwatching, hiking, biking, horseback riding, and dog walking. If you are lucky, you may even get a glimpse of 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 on-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.

    Once you have arrived at Pelican Point Beach, you feel like you have found your 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 toward the coastline. 

    Dog Friendly Beaches Near Half Moon Bay

    These dog-friendly beaches are located north of Half Moon Bay between San Francisco and Half Moon Bay. One of these beaches could easily be a stop on your way to Half Moon Bay or on your way back to the city.

    dog friendly beaches in half moon bay, ca

    Montara State Beach 

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

    The landscape at Montara State Beach is absolutely breathtaking and a must-stop along Highway 1. The beach lies next to the rugged cliffside of Montara Mountain, which also offers dog friendly hiking trails with panoramic views.

    The dog friendly beach is situated along the San Mateo coast, about 8 miles from Half Moon Bay. 

    Dog Friendly Beaches Near Half Moon Bay: Pacifica, CA

    If you continue to go north from Montara and Half Moon Bay, you will find the charming town of Pacifica. Pacifica is located in San Mateo County on the coast between San Francisco and Half Moon Bay and is a popular location among locals and tourists alike.

    This oceanfront town offers lots of dog friendly beaches and incredible hikes along the coast.

    Pacifica State Beach

    Address: 5000 Pacific Coast Hwy, Pacifica
    Parking: $7.00 for less than 4 hours and $9.00 for all-day
    Pet Policy: Dogs allowed on leash

    Voted as one of the most beautiful small towns in America, Pacifica is a must-visit location in California. Pacifica State Beach, also known by the locals as Linda Mar, is one of our favorite dog friendly beaches to visit.

    Pacifica State Beach, dog friendly beach near half moon bay, ca

    It is conveniently located right off Highway 1 and is 20 minutes from San Francisco. The pristine white sandy beach, bluff trail overlooking the ocean surf, and nearby rolling hills are all reasons why Pacifica State Beach is the most visited beach in town.

    Know Before You Go: If visiting Pacifica State Beach on a holiday or weekend, you should arrive early to snag parking. Finding available parking can be a little challenging. A lot of people will park here and stay at the state beach for most of the day.

    Rockaway State Beach

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

    Another dog friendly beach near Half Moon Bay, CA, is Rockaway State Beach. The brown and narrow sandy beach is a popular destination for its line-up of oceanfront restaurants, hotels, quaint shops, and hiking trails.

    After walking along Rockaway Beach, explore Mori Point, a bluff next to the Pacific Ocean that provides scenic views of the coastline.

    Sharp Park Beach 

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

    Sharp Park is another dog friendly beach near Half Moon Bay in Pacifica. Here is where you will find the Pacifica Municipal Pier, which is considered one of the best fishing piers in the state. The L-shaped pier sits above ½ mile of the pacific ocean, lined with fishing poles down the entire stretch of the pier.   

    Pacifica Municipal Pier at Sharp Park Beach in Pacifica, CA

    Even if you decide not to fish, it is still a peaceful walk along the pier, and there is a cozy café at the entrance. The Chit Chat Cafe serves breakfast sandwiches, baked goods, bagels, and coffee. Grab your food to go and eat along the pier or picnic at the beach. 

    Esplanade Beach

    Address: Esplanade Ave and W Manor Dr
    Parking: Free
    Pet Policy: Dogs allowed off-leash at the north end of the beach and on-leash everywhere else

    Esplanade Beach is the only dog friendly and off-leash beach in Pacifica. This secluded and hidden beach is a gem for dog owners. It is a small and rugged beach, and dogs are only allowed off-leash at the north end of the beach. 

    The north end of Esplanade is in front of the Lands End Apartments complex. To access the beach, you will need to walk down a set of switchback trails and stairs. Before your trip to Esplanade Beach, be sure to check the tide tables. It is a small and narrow beach and the high tide could be dangerous for you and your dog. 

    Dog Friendly Beaches Near Half Moon Bay: Pescadero, CA

    Have you heard of Pescadero, CA before? It is one of the Bay Area’s best-kept secrets. Only 17 miles south of Half Moon Bay, the small town of Pescadero is absolutely worth visiting! 

    Pescadero has so many amazing things to do, from the baby goats and wine tasting at Harley Farms to hiking ancient redwoods along the coast. You will want to visit Pescadero again and again. 

    things to do in pescadero

    Bean Hollow State Beach

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

    On our last visit to Pescadero, we visited Bean Hollow State Beach with our dog Cash. It is the only dog friendly beach in Pescadero. 

    Bean Hollow consists of two separate beaches connected by a 1-mile hiking trail along the bluffs. The northern beach is known as Pebble Beach for its small cove covered with multi-colored pebbles.

    The southern beach at Bean Hollow is also known as Arroyo De Los Frijoles Beach. Our pup loved rubbing his nose and running along the rust-colored sandy beach. 

    To the left side of the beach, there is a short hiking trail that goes up to the bluffs. We took our dog up here to explore trails along the rugged bluff and the crashing waves rushing between the narrow passageways of the weathered rock. 

    things to do in pescadero

    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
    • Half Moon Bay State Beach, which includes: Roosevelt Beach, Dunes Beach, Venice Beach, Elmar Beach, and Francis Beach

    Our Essential Dog Beach Accessories

    Back Seat Cover: Getting sand out of your interior is a nightmare. If you plan on a pup beach day, you will absolutely need a cover to protect your back seats. We like this one because it is durable, waterproof, and prevents scratches on my husband’s leather seats.

    Collapsible water bowl: We love this Ruffwear collapsable water bowl because it’s lightweight, waterproof, and big enough to be a food bowl. Also, it’s a lot more durable than the silicone bowls, our dogs chew those up after a couple of uses.

    Extra Long Leash: When we go to the beach we like to keep our puppy on a leash since he still doesn’t have the best recall. We will use a 25 to 50 ft leash so he can still run and play safely in the water and sand nearby.

    Absorbent Dog Towel: These absorbent towels are great after bath time, on the beach, or on any pup adventure. It’s our go-to travel towel because it soaks up fluid and is quick drying instead of a beach towel that will take hours to dry.

    Portable Dog Paw Washer: Another must-have item for the beach that we keep in our car is a dog paw cleaner. It’s so simple but works wonders in keeping our car and house clean.

    Other Dog Friendly Activites in Half Moon Bay

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

    Although dogs are not allowed on the sand at Half Moon Bay State Beach, they are permitted on the Coastal Trail. The paved trail runs along 11 miles of coastline, offering scenic views of the ocean and sandy white beaches.

    half moon bay coastal trail

    The Coastal Trail is popular among locals and visitors for walking, running, biking, horseback riding, and dog owners. The trail ends at Pillar Point Harbor, a great location for lunch at one of the many seafood restaurants.

    Coast Side Dog Park

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

    Montara Mountain Hiking Trail

    Located next to Montara beach are the beautiful hiking trails overlooking the Pacific Ocean at Montara Mountain. Montara Mountain North Peak Loop Trail is a 7 mile heavily trafficked loop trail rated moderate.

    Devils Slide Hiking Trail

    The paved trail at Devils Slide was once a road along Highway 1 but has been converted into a popular path for bikers, runners, and walkers. Dogs are allowed on at Devils Slide on leash.
    The 1.3-mile path at Devils Slide runs along the rocky coast.

    best day trip to halfmoon bay

    Exploring Downtown Half Moon Bay

    There are many dog friendly restaurants downtown in Half Moon Bay. Some of our favorites are Moonside Bakery & Cafe, the perfect spot for some breakfast or lunch, and a wide selection of pastries and bread.

    Or relax on and unwind at Sacrilege Brewery + Kitchen. They have a nice front-side patio, perfect for you and your dog to sit in the warm sun or under one of their patio heaters. Sacrilege Brewery provides a great list of locally brewed beers from Half Moon Bay and includes a list of rotating guest taps.

    Pet Friendly Hotels in Half Moon Bay

    If you would like to spend the night or weekend in Half Moon Bay, there are numerous dog friendly hotels ranging from budget-friendly to 5-star accommodations.

    The Oceanfront Hotel: Stay a night or two at the cozy bed and breakfast offering a prime location with ocean views.

    Book your stay at OceanFront Hotel

    Ritz Carlton Half Moon Bay

    The Ritz Carlton Half Moon Bay: a 5-star luxury hotel located on one of the bluffs in Half Moon Bay. They have a spa with views overlooking the pacific ocean, a golf course on the coast, tennis courts, and lots of other outdoor activities.

    Book your stay at The Ritz Carlton Half Moon Bay

    Quality Inn Half Moon Bay: A great budget and dog-friendly option for your stay in Half Moon Bay. A 10-minute walk to Miramar Beach and a 7-minute drive to downtown.

    Book your stay at Quality Inn Half Moon Bay

    Photo by Airbnb

    Or for a unique and adventurous experience, you can stay in a dog-friendly Airstream. This 1967 updated Airstream is located 300 yards from Poplar Beach, a dog-friendly beach in Half Moon Bay. It offers everything you need and more for a comfortable stay. Also has a fenced-in yard, which is great for allowing your dogs to play safely outside.

    For more of the top pet friendly glamping sites in northern California, you can visit my post here.

    When is the Best Time to Visit Half Moon Bay

    After moving to the Bay Area, we have visited Half Moon Bay on numerous occasions throughout the year. Half Moon Bay offers outdoor activities all year long. The busiest time to visit Half Moon Bay is in the summer months due to its proximity to the city and desirable weather.

    Miranda Beach, a dog friendly beach in half moon bay, ca

    Our favorite time to visit would be late fall or the spring months. The beaches and downtown have fewer crowds, hotel prices are still pretty reasonable, and the weather is perfect!

    Why Should You Take Your Dogs to Half Moon Bay

    My husband and I love taking road trips with our two dogs, Cash and Carter. We traveled to some incredible destinations in California that I can’t believe are dog friendly. Such as the unique purple sand beach at Pfeiffer Beach, wine tasting in Paso Robles, day trips to Stinson Beach & Santa Cruz, and even Death Valley National Park.

    dog friendly beaches in half moon bay, ca

    Half Moon Bay is one of those destinations that I would categorize as dog friendly. There are many outdoor activities, such as trails, beaches, and dog parks, for you to enjoy with your dog. Also, you will have no problem finding dog friendly accommodations and restaurants in Half Moon Bay that will welcome you and your pup.

    In Conclusion: Dog Friendly Beaches in Half Moon Bay CA

    If you are looking for the perfect dog friendly destination along the California coast, Half Moon Bay is the location for you.

    I hope this guide has helped you plan your next adventure to visit the dog friendly beaches and town of Half Moon Bay, CA.