Get Out Of Town!: Huntington Dog Beach and The Park Bench Cafe

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Huntington Dog Beach. (Photo By Lisa Paredes)

A great way to escape the summer Valley heat with your dog friend is to make tracks for Huntington Dog Beach.

Located a 45 minute drive away, without traffic, Huntington Dog Beach at 100 Goldenwest in the city of Huntington Beach, is a wonderful place to take dogs, and their human companions, both on and off leash.

Huntington Dog Beach stretches for about 1.5 miles between Goldenwest and Seapoint streets, just south of Bolsa Chica State Beach. The area is served by two parking lots between Highway 1 and the sand. On a summer weekends, parking spaces can fill up pretty quickly.

We circumvent parking drama, and traffic, by leaving Burbank at 5:30 a.m., arriving around 6:15 a.m. So early in the day, it’s just dog lovers and surfers, of which there are plenty. Parking is cashless and paperless and paid by license plate number at the multiple kiosks in the lots for $2.50 per hour.

The off-leash beach requires dog to remain leashed in the parking lot and on the access paths; they may be released from the leash once one hits the sand. There are restroom facilities for humans and waste bags are plentifully stocked for the canines.

Huntington Dog Beach. (Photo By Lisa Paredes)

Oil drilling platforms dot the horizon in this part of Southern California and views of the Port of Long Beach to the northwest and the Huntington Beach Pier to the south are to be had, along with the wide expanse of Pacific Ocean.

Huntington Dog Beach is open 5:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. daily. For more information, visit https://www.dogbeach.org/. The beach hosts special events and meetups throughout the year, as well. This is the only beach in the 8.5 miles of coastal Huntington Beach that allows dogs off leash.

No dogs, leashed or unleashed, are allowed on the beaches of Los Angeles County.

It’s the perfect place for dog lovers to throw a ball or frisbee for their pet, and for dogs to cavort with other canines and even dip a paw, or more, into the ocean. Whether on leash or off, owners must remain in control of their pet at all times.

After the exhausting fun at Huntington Dog Beach, we like to drive down the road at bit to The Park Bench Cafe, located at 17732 Goldenwest Street in Huntington Beach. The outdoor breakfast and lunch spot is open 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday.

Huntington Dog Beach. (Photo By Lisa Paredes)

In addition to the regular menu, The Park Bench offers a special menu of treats for canines including cut up hot dogs, chicken breast, scrambled eggs, peanut butter and more.

Located in Huntington Beach Central Park, there’s plenty of public bathrooms and a decent amount of parking spaces, with more parking available across the street.

We’ve found the service attentive and friendly and the food served quickly after ordering. While we’ve enjoyed a number of typical breakfast dishes at the cafe over the years, most recently we had a delicious Park Omelette made with bacon, mushroom, onion and cheese and topped with avocado.

Any restaurant that stocks Tapatio at the table is alright in our book. The lunch menu looks really good as well. Tables are seated first come, first served. No reservations are available.

The Park Omelette at The Park Bench Cafe. (Photo By Lisa Paredes)

Of course, not a lot of people may want to get up at the crack of dawn to get out to the beach. It’s certainly more brilliant and beautiful later in the day when the sun is fully out – just be prepared for a probable wait to park and to eat during summer weekends.

We visit Huntington Dog Beach all year round, even when it rains sometimes. And our dogs love it. Usually we are back in Burbank by 11:00 a.m. and the dogs are sacked out for much of the day after so much exercise and fun.

So for those who are looking for a great adventure with their canine pals, Huntington Dog Beach and The Park Bench Cafe combine for a great way to Get Out of Town, no matter the time of day or year!

Editor’s Note: While there’s always a lot going on in Burbank, myBurbank’s “Get Out Of Town!” highlights some of our favorite activities and events outside the town borders.

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