Does the boardwalk allow dogs?

Dogs at boardwalk

Wish to bring your pet dog along the Santa Cruz boardwalk?

We found out no pets are allowed unless your pet is a guide dog (meaning you probably have a disability too). It was stated clearly in their FAQ that "animals needed to assist guests (such as guide dogs) are welcome at the Boardwalk. Other pets are not allowed on the Boardwalk or on the adjoining Santa Cruz Main Beach."

Furthermore, your dogs must be in control at all time (meaning leashed up). This is not unique to Santa Cruz boardwalk and many other beaches too.

Fine for dogs in Boardwalk

Luckily, there is no fine imposed and you just have to find a boarding kennel or facility for your dog. Don't leave your dog in your car as it might kill them!

Other places NOT to bring your dog

  • Capitola City Beach, Capitola
  • Coast Dairies/Panther Beach, Santa Cruz
  • Cowell Beach, Santa Cruz
  • Fall Creek Unit, Felton
  • Laurel Park, Santa Cruz
  • Main Beach (Boardwalk Beach), Santa Cruz
  • Moore Creek Reserve, Santa Cruz
  • Natural Bridges State Beach, Santa Cruz (not allowed on the beach or trails; allowed in the parking lot & picnic areas)
  • San Lorenzo Park, Santa Cruz
  • Scott Creek, Davenport
  • The Wharf at The Boardwalk, Santa Cruz
  • Waddell Beach, Davenport
  • Wilder Ranch State Park, Santa Cruz

The following is a list of dog-friendly parks in Santa Cruz where our dog can go off-leash.

  • Branciforte Dog Park: Quarter acre fenced dog park. Open Sunrise to Sunset. Located at 200 N. Branciforte Drive.
  • DeLaveaga Park: Service road into Lower DeLaveaga Park. Designated off-leash times are sunrise to sunset. Take Market Street past Gruenwald Court
  • Frederick Street Park: The off-leash area is clearly marked by signs and a split rail fence. Off-leash times are sunrise to sunset. The area is located at 168 Frederick Street (Frederick at Broadway). Temporarily closed for turf maintenance Dec 17, 2018 - mid-spring 2019.
  • Grant Street Park: The off-leash area is clearly marked with signs. Off-leash times are sunrise to sunset. The area is located at 180 Grant Street. Grant Street Park is open weekends only until further notice.
  • Mimi De Marta Dog Park: Half-acre fenced, off-leash dog area. Open sunrise to sunset. Located at 130 Broadway.
  • Mitchell’s Cove Beach: Dogs are allowed off-leash before 10 a.m. and after 4 p.m. The beach is located near West Cliff Drive and Almar Avenue.
  • Pacheco Dog Park: This area is completely fenced and the off-leash times are sunrise to sunset. The area is located at Pacheco Avenue and Prospect Heights
  • Ocean View Park: The off-leash area is clearly marked with signs. Off-leash times are sunrise to sunset. The area is located at 102 Ocean View Avenue.
  • University Terrace Park: Two off-leash dog park areas: one for all dogs and a separate park for smaller dogs. Both areas are fenced and off-leash times are sunrise to sunset. The designated off-leash area is located at the second entrance at Nobel Drive and Meder Street.

Besides the above leash-free parks, our dogs can still go leashed at the following:

  • Big Basin Redwoods State Park
  • The Forest of Nisene Marks State Park
  • Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park
  • Its Beach
  • Lighthouse Field Interior
  • Manresa State Beach
  • New Brighton State Beach
  • Palm Beach
  • Seabright Beach
  • Seacliff and Rio Del Mar Beaches
  • Twin Lakes State Beach


Boardwalk is definitely a fun place but you cannot bring your dog around so plan ahead.

Besides Boardwalk,there are many other places in Santa Cruz where you can bring your dog as long as you know the places to avoid and not dog-friendly.


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