The simmering season between July and September is referred to as the “dog days of summer” for a reason. Sure, temps may be rising, but summertime also gives kids home from school the perfect chance to bond with their pooch and make memories that will last a lifetime. So why hit the beach or the park and leave their best buddy behind? Let your four-legged family members join in the fun by taking them along to these top-notch dog parks and beaches in the Los Angeles vicinity. Make sure your doggie has a collar with current tags before heading out! Tandem nap time is sure to follow upon your return home!Rosie’s Dog Beach
Dog owners rave about the fun to be had by all at Rosie’s Dog Beach, which is located in Long Beach along Ocean Boulevard between Roycroft and Argonne. Canines may run free along the 2.9 acres of this off-leash dog zone stretch of beach between the hours of 6:00 am and 8:00 pm every day. Click here for rules and regulations.

Huntington Dog Beach
Voted best dog beach in the Los Angeles area, the crown jewel of seaside romping ground for pups has to be Huntington Dog Beach. Located on Pacific Coast Highway between Seapoint Ave. and 21st Street in Huntington Beach, this locale is known as “paradise for dogs,” where they may frolic to their heart’s content (well, from 5:00 am to 10:00 pm) on the sandy shores, dive into the water and experience unbridled freedom at its finest.

Redondo Beach Dog Park
Open daily from dawn until dusk, Redondo Beach Dog Park is located at Flagler Lane and 190th, at the north end of Dominguez Park in Redondo Beach. The park features separate play areas for large and small dogs as well as a fenced and turfed three acre dog run, and drinking fountains for thirsty canines. Note: Closed Wednesday morning from dawn to noon for maintenance.

Runyon Canyon Dog Park
A 160 acre-park with 90 acres of land to roam free! Need we say more? Located at 2000 N. Fuller Avenue in Los Angeles, off-leash dogs can join their humans in working up a sweat on a scenic hike. This park is open every day from dawn to dusk, with two entrances on Fuller and Mulholland.

Rustic Canyon Park
Nestled in the Pacific Palisades neighborhood, Rustic Canyon Park is a hidden gem that provides true respite from the city. Located at 601 Latimer Rd, this locale welcomes dogs on leashes. While they may not be able to roam free, we’re certain canines will enjoy soaking up the serene ambiance at this peaceful destination. Open 9:00 am everyday, the closing hours differ with Monday to Thursday at 10:00 pm, Fridays at 7:30 pm, and weekends until 6:00 pm.

— Beth Shea

photo credit: maxntrike via flickr