Maybe it’s the casual lifestyle and year-round beach weather but dogs are spotted all over San Diego dining on restaurant patios, shopping and socializing with their families.

Sponsor of this post, DogVacay, asked us to share our favorite dog adventures or DogVentures. If our dog could type, here is what I’m sure would be his list of things to do around La Jolla with dogs.

1. Go to the Beach

Leashed dogs are allowed on the beach before 9:00 a.m. and after 4:00 p.m. from November 1 – March 31 and after 6:00 p.m. from April 1 through October 31.

We typically go to La Jolla Shores Beach in the morning (one of our favorite free things to do in La Jolla), which has plenty of flat sand for us to run around and socialize with other dogs when we feel like it and avoid when we don’t. He love, love, loves little dogs and I think it freaks their owners out sometimes because, well, he’s huge.

Plus, sniffing seaweed is oh-so-fun. Our dog is still unsure of the ocean, especially when it’s cold. It’s taken three years to get him to occasionally go in up to his elbows without freaking out. We also hang out near the playground at Kellogg Park while my 7-year-old swings and climbs on the structure.

2. Muttropolis

Dogs like to shop, too. In fact, our dog has been known to grab his favorite Muttropolis squeaky rubber chicken and attempt to run out the door before I can take it out of his mouth, which usually causes me to have to buy whatever he’s just attempted to shoplift from this awesome pet store.

However, the staff spoils dogs with treats every single time. This is his favorite store, by far. I buy his birthday cake here every year, too.

3. Barbarella Restaurant

In addition to a lovely outdoor patio that is totally over-the-top decked out for Halloween and Christmas, Barbarella restaurant in La Jolla Shores has a dedicated doggie menu with human and canine favorites such as organic scrambled eggs, cut-up chicken breast, and a “cold-nosed treat” which is—wait for it—your doggie’s own scoop of vanilla ice cream.

An ideal DogVenture might be ending an evening walk on La Jolla Shores Beach with dinner at Barbarella since it’s only a few blocks away. A number of La Jolla restaurant patios are dog-friendly, but this is the only one I know of with a special menu like this!

la jolla shores beach dogs
4. Mt. Soledad Veteran’s Memorial

There is a lot of wildlife scents to sniff in the native vegetation around the perimeter of the memorial. My daughter loves to do cartwheels and run around the grassy area in front of the memorial. Once he’s relieved himself plenty, we walk around the Mt. Soledad Veterans Memorial to learn about the people who fought for our freedom. Bunnies hang out on the grass in the evening and it’s an excellent spot to watch the sun rise or set.

things to do with dogs in la jolla
5. Downtown La Jolla

While my dog’s out-of-control wagging tail keeps me from taking him in to stores with fragile items below waist-level, I’ve seen little and chill big dogs pretty much everywhere in downtown La Jolla. We often walk down there—and I do take him into Lululemon—but it’s a great way to window shop, grab coffee and get some exercise outside of the house.

Not Technically in La Jolla but Close Enough

1. Kate Sessions Park

With a lovely view over Mission Bay to downtown San Diego, Kate Sessions Park is an excellent place to walk or run with your dog. Though dogs are supposed to be leashed, many owners do not obey this rule which means that there might be the occasional dog who runs up to your leashed dog. It can be annoying to owners but my dog thinks these unlawful meet-and-greets are awesome.

2. Capeheart Park

Yay for off-leash fun! With a separate, enclosed dog park for small dogs and another for big dogs, here’s a great place to give your dog freedom to socialize with other dogs with bench seating for you. Find Capeheart park on the Pacific Beach side of Mt. Soledad, on Soledad Mountain Road just before Garnet Street. Bring a tennis ball.

3. Pacific Beach Fish Shop

My dog also loves this place. We sit at the low fire pit table in the corner usually, which is more at his level. Staff often brings him a bowl of water and some treats. He can people and dog watch through the glass windows—a lot happens on Garnet Street. We don’t take him during $1 oyster night or during busy times as he gets easily overwhelmed.

And, we get to eat some of the best seafood in San Diego. Pick your fresh fish, choose your marinade and then choose your style (salad, taco, sandwich plate). Highly recommend the ceviche, too.

For the Times When You’re Traveling or at Work

Let your dog enjoy DogVentures while you’re away. DogVacay is a website and app that makes finding great pet sitters simpler than ever. Pet owners can search for pet sitters nearby, book stays and pay online, all with a couple clicks. All DogVacay reservations include free pet insurance, 24/7 customer support, and daily photo “pup”dates, so pet parents can rest easy knowing that their best friend is in great hands.

Where is your favorite place for a dog adventure?

Katie Dillon is the managing editor of La Jolla Mom. She helps readers plan San Diego vacations through her hotel expertise (that stems from living in a Four Seasons hotel) and local connections. Readers have access to exclusive discounts on theme park tickets (like Disneyland and San Diego Zoo) and perks at luxury hotels worldwide through her. She also shares insider tips for visiting major cities worldwide, like Hong Kong, London, Paris, and Shanghai, that her family has either lived in or visits regularly (or both).

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