The dog days of summer are here!

It wasn't all that long ago that Santa Cruz wasn't so dog friendly, but those days are over. There used to be a long time ban on dogs (even on a leash) in downtown Santa Cruz, on the sidewalks, in the stores, patios, at the cafes, on a boat, on a goat, etc., which made bringing your best furry friend along for a relaxing weekend or day trip pretty much impossible. But that all changed a few years ago in 2011 when Santa Cruz merchants rallied to repeal the pointless law, and the 30 year old ordinance was finally removed and leashed dogs were once again allowed on be and poop on Pacific Avenue. A huge win for dog owners who live in Santa Cruz and those who would like to visit. Since then you can now take your pooch for a stroll downtown and to a number of great pet-friendly restaurants and around Santa Cruz.

There are some great dog parks and dog friendly beaches in Santa Cruz too.

One of our favorite Santa Cruz dog parks is Ocean View Park –  a great place to bring the kids with a nice playground, eight extra long super fun slides, half court basketball, picnic tables, restrooms, the occasional homeless person and an adjacent off-leash dog park with views of the Boardwalk’s roller coaster and log rides, and Monterey Bay. Just a short drive away (with free residential parking), or about a seven minute walk from Beach Haven at Seabright. 102 Ocean View Avenue.

We will continue to highlight some of our favorite dog-friendly beaches, restaurants and other local businesses in Santa Cruz on our blog over the coming weeks, months, years – stay tuned.

Please let us know if you have any personal favorites of your own to share as well!

Off-leash dog friendly area at Ocean View Park in Santa Cruz

Off-leash dog friendly area at Ocean View Park in Santa Cruz

Eight crazy long slides will keep the kids happy and eventually exhausted.

Eight crazy long slides will keep the kids happy and eventually exhausted.

Take in the relaxing views and screams from the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk and the Big Dipper Roller Coaster.

Take in the relaxing views and screams from the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk and the Big Dipper Roller Coaster.

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