Unique Dog-Friendly Things to Do in Southern California

July 13, 2023

Southern California is a veritable paradise for dogs and their owners — it's brimming with activities that welcome both. From beach days to outdoor movie nights, there are tons of dog-friendly things to do in Southern California. Don’t leave your companion at home; we’ve got you covered with tons of awesome things to do with your dog from Santa Barbara all the way to San Diego.

Hike to a Waterfall

Nature hikes are a great way to spend quality time with your pup, and Southern California offers several dog-friendly trails with waterfalls. You and your dog can cool off in the pool at the bottom of the falls or just enjoy taking in all the natural beauty and fresh air.

Here are two great dog-friendly waterfall hikes to check out:

  • Escondido Falls in Malibu. This breathtaking trail is a four-mile-long round-trip loop that leads you to a majestic three-tiered waterfall. Considered a relatively easy hike, this dog-friendly adventure requires dogs to be leashed. Keep in mind it's one of Malibu's most popular hikes, so it can get busy. If you're getting there by car, there’s a $12 fee for parking.
  • Paradise Falls in Thousand Oaks. This shorter trail under two and a half miles leads to an impressive 40-foot waterfall. Dogs on a leash can join you on the hike, which is perfect for a beautiful summer day. You'll both enjoy the beautiful scenery with plenty of trees and grassy areas along the way. This hike has a moderate difficulty, with some parts having a steep incline, so be prepared.

Take Your Pup Swimming

If you're looking for something refreshing and fun for a dog that loves the water, swimming with your dog could be the ticket. There are plenty of popular dog-friendly beaches Los Angeles has to offer, and SoCal also has an assortment of dog-friendly pools where your pup can learn to swim. Here are two great places to take your dog for a dip:

  • Two Hands Four Paws in Los Angeles. This dog rehabilitation facility offers one-on-one dog swimming lessons for pups that are less confident in the water.
  • Rosie's Dog Beach in Long Beach. This dog beach in Los Angeles is an excellent spot for your pup to enjoy some off-leash fun in the water. It has a recreation area that spans almost three acres, reserved for dogs and their owners, complete with plenty of shallow areas for swimming.

A lab running with a bright orange ball in its mouth out of the water.

Be sure to check out our list of dog-friendly beaches in Southern California for more sunny and sandy destinations!

Enjoy a Paddleboard or Surf Play Date

For a more exhilarating adventure, why not try paddle boarding or surfing with your dog? Enjoy a quintessential Southern Californian experience by taking your pup paddle boarding in La Jolla — one of those dog activities that’s hard to beat. With its scenic cliffs, consistently mild weather, and crystal-clear waters, La Jolla offers a picturesque backdrop for a paddleboard adventure. You'll find several places in Southern California where your pup can even take a lesson or two:

  • Good Kharma Surf in Huntington Beach. They offer private lessons for dogs, ensuring they’re comfortable and safe while riding the waves. Good Kharma Surf focuses on creating a fun, stress-free environment for your pup to learn the basics of surfing.
  • Hot Dog on a Leash in San Diego. With a tailored approach to each dog's comfort and safety, they make surfing an enjoyable experience for your pet. They offer classes that gradually introduce your dog to the world of surfing, ensuring a splendid time for all.

Visit a Winery

For those who prefer more laid-back dog activities, Southern California is home to several dog-friendly wineries. Not only do the establishments below offer a great selection of wines, but they also welcome pets in their outdoor areas. This helps make your wine-tasting tour a fun-filled experience for both you and your pup.

  • Foxen Vineyard & Winery in Santa Maria. Known for its outdoor wine tastings and beautiful views, Foxen welcomes dogs to join their owners during their visit. They offer a relaxing environment where you can enjoy your wine while your pet enjoys the great outdoors.
  • Grassini Family Vineyards in Santa Barbara. Dogs are welcome in the outdoor picnic area of this beautiful winery. While you sip on your wine, your dog can take in the sights and smells of the vineyard.
  • Pali Wine Co. in Santa Barbara. This winery provides outdoor seating areas where pets are allowed. As you enjoy their selection of wines, your dog can enjoy the fresh air and company.
  • San Antonio Winery in Los Angeles. This is an urban winery that allows dogs in their outdoor spaces. Here, your pup can accompany you while you unwind with a glass of their finest wines.
  • Zaca Mesa Winery & Vineyards in Los Olivos. Leashed dogs are allowed in the picnic area, providing a fun and relaxing outing for both you and your pet.

Toast to Happy Hour at a Brewery

Are you a fan of craft beers? Southern California is home to some of the best breweries in the country, and many of them allow dogs. There are few things more enjoyable than a cold drink and your pup's company.

  • Golden Road Brewing in Los Angeles. This popular spot located in Atwater Village hosts a unique event known as "Puppy Hour," where $1 for each of their signature brews sold goes to support the Orange County SPCA. The brewery is known for its love for dogs and has been a popular spot for dog parents for years.
  • Angel City Brewery in Los Angeles. Angel City Brewery, located in the Arts District, offers a dog-friendly atmosphere with a lively and artistic ambiance. You can enjoy their wide range of innovative craft beers, and your pup is welcome to join you. However, it's important to note that for safety reasons, dogs are not allowed in the actual brewing area.


Young people hanging out at an outdoor bar with a Pug puppy.

If you’re wondering where else you can take your pup to enjoy a cold brew, check out our definitive list of dog-friendly breweries in Los Angeles, Orange County, and San Diego.

Hit the Golf Course

If you're a golf fan, you don't have to leave your pup at home when you hit the links, as there are a couple of golf courses in Southern California that will welcome dogs. As long as you keep your pup on a leash and follow the golf course's rules, golfing is one of the best dog activities you can both enjoy together. Here are some golf courses that allow dogs in Southern California:

  • Emerald Isle Golf Course. With beautiful views and manicured greens, this golf course hosts a dog-friendly tournament called the UnderDog. The entry fee even covers lunch for you and your pup, plus treats and games to keep them busy throughout the day.
  • Goat Hill Park. This golf course has a welcoming attitude towards dogs, making for a perfect day out. As you enjoy your game, your dog can enjoy the lush environment and ocean views.

Enjoy an Outdoor Movie

Picture this — a warm summer's evening, a cozy blanket, and your pup snuggled up beside you as you both enjoy an outdoor movie. Thankfully, this vision is easy to come by in Southern California. Find a local drive-in or outdoor movie night near you and take your fur baby along for the fun. Here are two spots to get you started:

  • Rooftop Cinema Club in Los Angeles. Showing a mix of new releases and modern classics, this open-air rooftop movie theater routinely invites well-behaved dogs to join in on the fun.
  • Cinespia in Los Angeles. With locations in Hollywood, LA, and the Downtown Arts District, Cinespia allows you to bring your pup with you for a movie night. Don't forget to pack a picnic of snacks, blankets, and drinks before you go.

Give Your Pup a Spaw Day

If you’re living in SoCal, you’ll find no shortage of answers to the search query: things to do with dogs near me. Once you’ve tried some of these exciting adventures, you could even treat your pup to a day of relaxation with a dog-friendly spaw session. The experts at Barkbus are here to provide a mobile grooming experience in the comfort of your own home. We'll come to your location and give your pet the professional pampering they deserve. Schedule your appointment today!


More From the Ruff Draft

Copyright 2023 © ”Barkbus” is a trademark of Barkbus LLC