Tucked away on the Central Coast between Malibu and Santa Barbara, Ventura is the perfect weekend getaway. And the best part – there are tons of dog friendly activities in Ventura so you can bring your furry friend along!
You can spend the day hanging out on the beach, go for a hike at the nearby wilderness trails, rent a boat in the harbor, and sip on a beer at a local brewery at the end of the day.
With a fun beachy vibe and welcoming atmosphere, there are so many fun things to do in Ventura with a dog. As Ventura locals, we try to bring our pup Quito with us whenever we can!
Here is our Ventura guide covering all the best pet friendly things to do in Ventura, California.
Best Dog Friendly Activities In Ventura:
1. Head Down To The Beach
Ventura is one of the most beloved coastal destinations for dog lovers. Unlike most of California, here we don’t have strict ‘no dog’ policies on the public beaches (except for State Beaches).
There are several dog friendly beaches in Ventura County. A few that we visit the most are:
In Ventura, many locals and out-of-town visitors bring their dogs for walks along the beach and play in the water. As long as your pup behaves well, doesn’t bother other beachgoers and you clean up after them, they can enjoy a fun time on the beach!
Keep in mind that if there are ‘no dogs allowed’ signs, it’s important to follow the rules to avoid getting a ticket. San Buenaventura State Beach does allow dogs on the bike path, but dogs are not allowed on the beach itself.
A few other Ventura County beaches that allow dogs include:
- Oil Piers Beach north of Ventura
- Oxnard Beach Park
- Hollywood Beach in Oxnard (before 9:00 am and after 5:00 pm)
- Silver Strand Beach in Oxnard (before 9:00 am and after 5:00 pm)
2. Stay In a Dog-Friendly Hotel
The central California coast is a very pet-friendly location. It’s no surprise that you can find plenty of dog friendly hotels in Ventura to choose from for your visit!
Many local Ventura hotels also give out Pooch Pouches upon check-in that include dog treats, a bandana, and free coupons for local eateries.
A few of the most popular dog friendly Ventura California hotels are:
- Crowne Plaza Hotel Ventura Beach. This is where we recommend our family and friends to stay whenever they come to town. The Crown Plaza Hotel is situated right on the beach with easy access to Ventura Pier and Promenade. Dogs are welcome to stay in the hotel for a $75 pet fee.
- Ventura Beach Marriott. Ventura Beach Marriott is situated in a prime location near the Ventura Beach and Ventura Beach Bike Trail. Some of our favorite local restaurants such as Social Tap Ventura, Lucky Thai Cuisine, and The Sushi House Ventura are just a 10-minute walk from the hotel. Smaller dogs up to 50 lbs are allowed for a $75 fee.
- Pierpont Inn. This historic hotel was established in 1910 and features boutique rooms with excellent ocean views. Dogs are welcome to stay overnight for a $100 flat fee.
- Waypoint Ventura. For a memorable vacation book Waypoint, one of the most unique hotels in Ventura featuring vintage trailers! Small dogs under 35 lbs are welcome in select trails for a $50 fee per night. If you wish to stay here with your furry friend, you will need to call to make the reservations as pet-friendly rooms can’t be booked online.
- Four Points by Sheraton Ventura Harbor Resort. This hotel is situated within Ventura Harbor close to restaurants, cafes, and boat rentals. Two pets up to 40 lbs are allowed with a $75 pet fee that is charged every 3 nights.
3. Arroyo Verde Park
Arroyo Verde is one of the most popular parks in Ventura where you can let your pup run around. This community park offers the best of two worlds – a beautiful pet-friendly park and several miles of hiking trails providing plenty of space and options for exercise.
There are doggie water stations at the bottom of the park near the restrooms. For hiking, I also bring along a couple of water bottles, especially on hot summer days.
Location: Arroyo Verde Park
Visitor Tip: In the summer months, keep an eye out for rattlesnakes, especially when the weather starts getting hot. I like to carry a snake venom extractor kit when going on hiking adventures in California. We also put our dog through a rattlesnake avoidance class so he can recognize and stay away from snakes on the trails.
4. Enjoy a Craft Beer At a Local Brewery
Looking to grab a craft beer with your furry best friend as a companion? Ventura is the best place for just that!
We love to head out to local Ventura breweries on the weekends to enjoy a pint of great beer. It’s a bonus that most breweries in Ventura are very dog friendly.
A few of our favorite pet-friendly Ventura breweries are:
- Topa Topa Brewing Co. Topa Topa is one of the most popular breweries on the coast with multiple locations in Central California. We usually go to the Topa Topa location in Ventura off Colt Street that’s situated in an industrial area with large outdoor seating.
- Ventura Coast Brewing Company. VCBC is one of our favorite places to grab a beer in downtown Ventura for its overall setting and vibe. This brewery is also very pet friendly!
- Rincon Brewery. Rincon is another local brewery with multiple locations including Ventura, Carpinteria, and Santa Barbara. Dogs are not allowed inside the restaurant but are welcome on their patio.
- Transmission Brewing. This brewery is situated next to Toppers Pizza Place so you can grab a beer and food at the same time. Plus, they allow dogs so it doesn’t get better than this!
- MadeWest Brewing Company. MadeWest Brewing Company has two locations in Ventura – one on the Ventura Pier and one in an industrial setting off Donlon Street. While the pier location does not allow dogs, furry friends are welcome at the Donlon Street taproom.
- Bright Spark Brewing. This is the newest brewery in Ventura that has a modern industrial interior and (just like most local breweries) allows dogs.
5. Harmon Canyon Preserve
Going for a hike at Harmon Canyon Preserve is one of the top dog friendly activities in Ventura! This beautiful outdoor space is situated in the hills of Ventura where you can enjoy nature, fresh air, and a bit of exercise.
Harmon Canyon allows leashed dogs in the first part of the preserve for 1.5 miles up to the ‘dog turnaround’ sign. Out and back this comes out to 3 miles round trip which is enough for us to get a quick workout in and tire out our pup.
The weather at Harmon Canyon can get very hot in the summer so come prepared with plenty of water bottles, especially if you plan to hike with your dog. This area also gets a lot of snakes in the hotter months so stick to the wider Harmon Canyon Road to avoid snake encounters.
Location: Harmon Canyon Preserve
Looking for more trail options in Ventura? Be sure to check out our post covering the 10 best hiking trails in Ventura next!
6. Ventura Harbor Village
Ventura Harbor Village is one of the most pet friendly places in Ventura California. This waterfront shopping area has many restaurants, dessert shops, and stores that welcome dogs with open arms.
For a fun day on the water rent a kayak, standup paddle board, or an electric boat from Ventura Boat Rentals that are pet friendly. Or cross the road and head to Surfer’s Knoll – one of the best Ventura beaches that allow dogs!
Location: Ventura Harbor Village
7. Camino Real Park
This dog-friendly park is located in a residential area and features walking pathways and an enclosed dog park. If you’re looking for dog friendly places in Ventura, this is where you’ll want to go!
The fenced dog area is situated at the back of the Camino Real Park. There is visitor parking nearby but you will need to walk a few minutes to reach the dog park from the parking lot.
There are two enclosed dog parks here – one for smaller dogs and one for larger dogs. We have a doberman-shepherd pup so we usually go to the bigger doggie area.
The dog park at Camino Real is decent in size so there is plenty of space for walking around and throwing a ball. This dog park has tennis balls, dog-sized water fountains, and waste bags so you don’t need to worry about bringing anything (except for a ChuckIt! ball launcher).
Location: Camino Real Park
8. Ventura Beach Bike Trail
Ventura Bike Path starts at the San Buenaventura State Beach and follows parallel to the ocean down to the Ventura Pier and past it. While dogs are not allowed on the San Buenaventura State Beach itself, they are welcome on a leash along the paved bike path.
Along the Ventura Beach Bike Trail, you can enjoy stunning views of the Pacific Ocean, sand dunes, walk down the Ventura Promenade, and stop by the Ventura Pier.
If you have extra time, be sure to stay for the sunset which often turns to colorful hues like stunning pinks and purples!
Location: Ventura Beach Bike Trail
9. Get Breakfast At a Café
Ventura is known for having many dog-friendly restaurants and cafés. Whenever possible, we bring our dog to eat with us, especially for breakfast and weekend brunch. Most Ventura cafes are pretty accommodating of dogs, as long as they have a patio.
A few of our favorite dog-friendly restaurants in Ventura for breakfast are:
- Pete’s Breakfast House. This local joint is affordable, serves delicious food, and is so welcoming to both humans and their pet companions. Pete’s Breakfast House does get very busy on the weekends so be sure to come early to get a spot on their charming patio.
- Frontside Café. Fronside Café outdoor seating area is small, but they do allow dogs. We come here quite often for brunch for their inviting, modern atmosphere and beachy vibes.
- Café Nouveau. Café Nouveau is another pet-friendly restaurant in Ventura. This cozy café has a large enclosed patio that’s perfect for breakfast or early lunch.
Read More: 15 Best Places To Eat In Ventura, California
10. Visit Main Street
For the quintessential experience head down to the historic Main Street in downtown Ventura! Main Street is one of the most pet friendly places in Ventura where you’ll see many people and their dogs going on a stroll or stopping at one of the local restaurants for food & drinks.
Main Street is one of the most popular attractions in the entire city, especially for out-of-town visitors. Part of the downtown is closed to street traffic so you and your pup can safely roam around without worrying about incoming traffic.
If you’re looking for a place to get food, a few popular dog friendly downtown Ventura restaurants include:
- Peirano’s. This Italian restaurant has an outdoor patio and a special ‘Paws on the Patio’ Happy Hour on Sundays from 3:00 pm to 5:00 pm.
- Finney’s Crafthouse. Finney’s Crafthouse has an extensive food and drink menu and is situated in a prime location off Main Street. Plus they have a dog-friendly patio!
- Rumfish y Vino. This modern restaurant serves delicious food in a cozy, beachy atmosphere. They do allow dogs on their back patio.
- Barrelhouse 101. Barrelhouse 101 is a wonderful brewery near Main Street that offers excellent drink choices such as fruit beers, sours, ciders, kombuchas, and even mead. For your four-legged friend, you can order grilled chicken or burger patty off the dog menu.
- Fluid State Beer Garden. Fluid State Beer Garden is the perfect place to grab a drink on its spacious outdoor patio that welcomes dogs.
11. Ventura Botanical Gardens
Ventura Botanical Gardens is a wonderful outdoor space in downtown Ventura that offers several miles of hiking trails through manicured hills. If you’re looking for a short and beautiful place to head for a quick outdoor adventure with your pup, be sure to add it to your list!
Before heading out there, do note that dogs are allowed at Ventura Botanical Garden only on Wednesdays and Fridays, and must stay on leash at all times. If you arrive any other day, you will not be allowed to enter with your pup.
Ventura Botanical Gardens has an entrance fee of $7. They offer ‘Free Days’ on Fridays so on Fridays you can bring your dog AND get in for free. This is by far the busiest day of the week when many people come here to bring their kids and pets for a walk.
The pathways at Ventura Botanical Gardens are short and easy making it a family-friendly activity in Ventura. The best time to come here is in spring and early summer when all of the flowers are in full bloom!
Location: Ventura Botanical Gardens
12. Kimball Park
Kimball Park, also known as Ventura Community Park is a dog friendly park where many locals come to walk, jog or ride bikes with their four-legged friends.
Kimball Park has a 1.5-mile-long pathway that travels in a loop. I usually come here with my dog to run a few laps in the afternoon before it gets too crowded.
At the halfway mark there is a water fountain with a ground-leveled bowl so your dog can stop for a drink. If you want to extend the walk, you can continue along the bike pathway that follows next to the Santa Paula Freeway.
Location: Kimball Park
13. The Jolly Oyster Ventura
The Jolly Oyster is a seafood truck that’s situated right next to the ocean within San Buenaventura State Beach. While dogs are not allowed on the beach, dogs can be at the picnic tables within The Jolly Oyster patio area.
We like to come here on the weekends to indulge in their delicious food like grilled habanero butter oysters, fried oyster tacos, and Manila clam steamers. Be sure to bring a jacket as it can be quite chilly by the beach even in the summer!
Location: The Jolly Oyster Ventura
14. Cemetery Memorial Park
Cemetery Memorial Park is an outdoor space in downtown Ventura that offers a large 6-acre grassy area with stunning ocean views. This park is named Cemetery Memorial Park because it formally was a cemetery until 1944 when it was turned into a public park.
This is a popular dog-friendly park in Ventura where you’ll see many people come with their four-legged friends to walk, throw a ball around, and picnic.
Location: Cemetery Memorial Park
15. Carpinteria Bluffs Trail
Carpinteria Bluffs Trail is located just a 20-minute drive north of Ventura and is a wonderful place to come for hiking. This beachfront trail starts at the Carpinteria Bluffs Nature Preserve and travels for about a mile to Tar Pits Park.
Along the way, you can walk through serene eucalyptus trails, enjoy views of the Pacific Ocean from the cliffs and head down to the beach at several access points.
The Carpinteria Bluffs Trail is dog friendly, except for the Carpinteria Seal Sanctuary. If you see seals on the beach, do not approach them and stay away from a safe distance, especially if you have a dog with you. From December to March, parts of Carpinteria Beach are closed to protect the seals during the pupping season.
Location: Carpinteria Bluffs Trail
Here are some frequently asked questions on dog friendly things to do in Ventura:
Are dogs allowed at Ventura Pier?
Yes, leashed dogs are allowed along the Ventura Pier, Ventura Beach Bike Trail, and Ventura Promenade.
Are dogs allowed on Ventura Beach?
There are several beaches in Ventura County that allow dogs. A few of the most popular ones are:
- Surfer’s Point at Seaside Park
- Surfers Point Dunes
- Marina Park
- Harbor Cove Beach
- Surfer’s Knoll
Is Ventura Harbor Beach dog friendly?
Yes, Ventura Harbor and the nearby beaches are very dog friendly. As long as your pup behaves well, doesn’t bother other beachgoers and you clean up after them, you and your dog can have a great time on the beach!
Where can I take my dog in Ventura?
There are many dog-friendly places in Ventura where you can take your pup. A few of the top dog-friendly locations in Ventura are:
- Harbor Cove Beach
- Surfer’s Point at Seaside Park
- Arroyo Verde Park
- Ventura Harbor Village
- Camino Real Dog Park
- Harmon Canyon Preserve
Looking for more things to do around Ventura? Be sure to check out these posts next:
- 26 Best Things To Do In Ventura California (By a Local)
- 15 Best Places To Stay In Ventura CA Near The Beach
- 12 Best Coffee Shops In Ventura, California
- Ventura River Preserve Trail In Ojai
- 15 Best Santa Barbara Wine Tasting Tours
- 10 Best Hotels In Santa Barbara For A Perfect Seaside Escape
Some of the links used in this blog may be affiliate links. At no extra cost to you, may I earn a small commission when you book through these links for which I am very thankful!