Looking for a dog friendly place to go swimming or surfing this summer?
Check out this list of places in several Bay Area counties:
Lake Sonoma Recreation Area features swimming, fishing, and boating, plus hiking, hunting (during the proper seasons) and camping. The Yorty Creek Recreation Area now has a section of the swim beach for dogs to swim in.
Still Water Cove Regional Park requires dogs be on leash (6 foot or less), but they are allowed in the water. Water activities popular at this location are boating and diving. Camping is also offered.
Lake Berryessa is a great place to go swimming with your dog. When not in the water, they must be on a 6 foot (maximum) leash, but they are welcome to be off leash in or on the water. Swimming is permitted at the day use area and off of water vehicles, provided you are wearing a life vest. Dog rules.
Upton Beach is also known as dog beach. The national park section of the beach (Stinson Beach) does not allow dogs, except in the parking lot and picnic area. The county owned part of the beach does. This beach is popular for swimming and surfing, but sharks can be present.
Rodeo Beach is a popular surf spot and is listed as a place dogs can go if they are on leash or under voice control. Swimming is not advised because of the strong current, nor is surfing by beginners. Swimming in the lagoon is forbidden for both dogs and people.
San Francisco County
Ocean Beach is similar to Rodeo Beach in that it is a surf spot for experienced surfers and dogs are allowed off leash, if they are under voice control. The currents can be extremely hazardous, so please make sure your dog is safe. Keep them out of the water, if they are not a strong swimmer.
Santa Cruz County
Mitchell's Cove Beach is the dog beach of Santa Cruz; it is also a surfing location. Dogs are always allowed on the beach. They are allowed off leash between sunrise and 10 a.m. and between 4 p.m. and sunset. They must be on leash at all other times. Off-leash dogs must be under voice control.
Experience: I have been swimming since I was a child, my husband has been surfing since he was a child, and we've been taking our pug to the beach for about a year and a half.