Dogs live the good life in San Francisco. Walk down any street and you'll see a pooch happily trotting along, catching crumbs under cafe tables, or chasing tennis balls in one of the many off-leash neighborhood parks.
In addition to plentiful outdoor spaces for the four-legged to roam, many local restaurants and businesses welcome furry patrons. Pair that with miles of canine-friendly beach and tons of pet-friendly workplaces, and it's no wonder we rank as one of the best cities for dogs every year. Yearning to take dog baby out on the town for a bit of shopping or a patio drink? Scroll through our favorite dog-friendly spots in and around the city.
Have we left out your favorite spot? Post pics of your pup in his or her favorite Bay Area locale with the hashtag #dogsof7x7.
Enjoy a spectacular view of the Golden Gate Bridge and watch the waves roll in. Dogs are allowed on all of Baker Beach, and are allowed to roam off leash north of Lobos Creek. On a sunny day, your pup will have lots of companions to play with. Note: With all beaches west of the Golden Gate Bridge, riptides can be dangerous, so it's best to use your judgment and keep dogs close to shore. // 1504 Pershing Dr. (Presidio), parksconservancy.org
Crissy Field offers a close-up view of the GGB and an off-leash beach area where dogs and kids play in the water. Bring a blanket, a book, your camera, and a picnic, and plan to stay for awhile. Within the safety of the SF Bay, the calm waters allow dogs to swim out far to fetch toys. // 1199 E Beach (Marina), parksconservancy.org
Three-and-a-half miles of uncrowded space await active dogs who love to run, dig, and splash around. They can go off leash between stairwells one and 21, but are supposed to be on leash south of that (though, you'll see dogs off leash everywhere regardless). Note: Even on calm days, the current can be unpredictable. // Point Lobos Avenue (Outer Sunset), parksconservancy.org
Mile Rock Beach
Tucked away in a small cove below the Land's End Viewpoint, you'll find, as you'd imagine, a mile or so of somewhat rocky beach. It's one of only a handful of off-leash beaches in SF, so your BFF can embrace his unshackled freedom. Word to the wise: The waters that sit outside the beach are notoriously rough, so it's best to keep the fetching on land. // Lands End Trail (Outer Richmond), californiabeaches.com
Candlestick Point Recreation Area
Pack a picnic and bring a dog bowl to Candlestick Point Recreation Area, situated just outside the AT&T Park. The views are sublime, the waters are glassy, and, because it's an on-leash area, you can rest easy knowing your dog-aggressive pup won't get provoked. // 1150 Carroll Ave. (Bayview), parks.ca.gov
Savor the IG-worthy views of the Pacific-facing sea cliffs while your four-legged-friend rumages up and down the beach for bits of driftwood. Muir Beach, too, is off-leash friendly; however, some pockets along the beach do have "on-leash only" signage. Take note that come late-spring and early-summer, Muir beach doubles as both a recreational beach...and seal pupping colony. // Highway One and Franks Valley Rd. (Marin), nps.gov
Fort Funston is the best place you can go with an active dog. Enjoy beautiful views of the Pacific from the cliffs, then veer right and hike down through the forest to the beach. Turn left when you reach the beach and walk until you hit the stairs. The full loop is 2.2 miles and quite the workout (the climb back up is steep). It's a fun place to watch hang gliders take off from the cliffs, and you can see whales off the shore during migration season. // Fort Funston Rd., nps.gov
This article has been updated since it was originally published in April 2016.