Share & Bookmark, Press Enter to show all options, press Tab go to next option

Beaches are such an important part of Carlsbad’s identity, many people are surprised to find out that the beaches along Carlsbad’s coastline are not officially part of the city. Most of the beaches in Carlsbad are owned and managed by the California State Parks Department, which also provides the lifeguard service, restrooms, picnic areas and parking lots.

Dogs are not allowed on beaches in Carlsbad, but leashed dogs are welcome on the city’s extensive trail system.

The beaches in Carlsbad include:

Getting married on the beach

For information on how to get married at the beach, please contact the Special Events Coordinator at the State Parks Department, which operates and maintains the beaches in Carlsbad, at 619-688-3385. A permit and reservation is required.

Where to take your dog


A reminder about dogs on the beach

The city recently received some questions about how Carlsbad enforces rules about dogs on the beach.

  • Dogs are not allowed on the beach in Carlsbad, leashed or unleashed.
  • If you see a dog on the beach, you can call the Carlsbad Police Department’s 24 hour non-emergency line at 442-339-2197. Depending on your location, city dispatchers will assist you directly or connect you to the State Parks Department.
  • Owners can face citations and fines. City of Carlsbad police rangers can issue up to a $300 citation for a dog on the beach and/or up to a $600 citation for having a dog off leash. 

The state owns the vast majority of beaches in Carlsbad, starting at South Ponto all the way to Oak Avenue. The city is in charge of the ¾ mile stretch of beach north of Oak Avenue to the Oceanside border. Coastal property owners own most of the beaches in that area, but they’re all open to the public via easements.

The reason that matters is because it affects who is in charge of enforcement. You can still call the city, even if you’re on a state beach, and city dispatchers will connect you to State Parks.

  • Pet waste is one reason dogs and beaches aren’t a good mix. Pet waste has two main types of pollutants – nutrients and pathogens – that can affect oxygen levels in water, increase bacteria and make the water unsafe for plants, animals and people.
  • Dogs on beaches can also disturb wildlife, like shorebirds and marine mammals, by chasing or barking at them.

Remember that the city has three dog parks, including the all-grass Poinsettia Dog Park that opened in 2022, where dogs can play and socialize.