Surf City USA… wagging it at the waterfront…

Wouldn’t it be loverly to learn how to surf with your dog in Surf City USA?

Huntington Beach is a mere 30 minutes drive from the Orange county cities of Costa Mesa, Irvine, Santa Ana and Tustin. With an 8.5-mile stretch of pristine shoreline, popularly known as “Surf City USA” (celebrating its 100th year in 2009), Huntington Beach is home to a world famous municipal pier and is a west coast surf mecca for more than 8 million annual visitors.

The best place to take your surfing dog to rest her paws is The Hilton Waterfront Beach Resort (AAA four diamond hotel for 19 consecutive years) with 290 rooms and 24 suites with gorgeous ocean views and your own patio. Not all Hilton hotels are pet friendly but the Waterfront has been pet friendly for the past three years. Pet amenities include pet bed, bowl, organic treats (Wagatha’s, yum), and pet doggie tag imprinted with the Hilton name on it, just in case Fido gets lost, presumably. Pet fee is $75 a day and dogs up to 75 pounds are welcome to wag their tail in the lobby and on the grounds. There are plenty of grassy areas to roll around in and bushes for puppies to explore and sniff.

We stayed on the ninth floor in a luxurious delightfully appointed suite with three rooms, bedroom, living room, patio and bathroom (a shower and bathtub combo and a separate shower). We gratefully received a delicious gift of fresh berries, cheeses, bread and waters as well as a handwritten note welcoming us to the hotel from the General Manager JD. Refreshing !


The Hilton Waterfront’s “It’s a wonderful dog’s life” pet package includes the best room rate plus $100, with all of the pet amenities, the $75 pet fee is waived, a 20 minute walk with one of the managers, as well as two Dog Beach sweatshirts. The pet bed engraved with Wag It at the Waterfront is made from recycled sheets and down feathers.

The Hilton managers each volunteer eight hours at the Dog beach. They’ve also donated a shuttle van as well as an engraved water fountain.

Dogs can dine with their owners by special request at the Surf Hero Deli patio or pool deck at the Hilton Waterfront. And there are numerous dining options in the area, too.

At the Park Bench Cafe, where every dog has a grrrreat meal, dogs can eat at the same table as their owners. Owners Mike and Christie Bartusick have been serving chow hounds for 20 years. The patio is located next to a park with lots of grassy area. Cici scarfed up grilled chicken while I had a spinach and cheese omelette with home fries (yum), rye toast and hot chocolate, the meal was home cooked good comfort food. Two years ago, they opened up a new cafe called Kokomo’s right on the beach on First Street and PCH. It serves the same delish breakfast and lunch dishes (most popular for the pooches are the hot diggity dog and bow wow wow and for humans, the Farm breakfast and Monte Cristo sandwich). They also offer specially baked treats, bones, doggie parties, and fundraise for local animal rescue groups. Mother’s and Father’s Day are the busiest.

Parking is valet at the Hilton and costs $24 a day or you can park on the street (a long block away). If you do, be sure to read the posted signs. The beach is across the street and is open until 10 pm. Huntington Dog Beach where all the puppies hang ten is about a 20 minute walk north of the hotel. There is also Best Friend Dog Park located in Huntington Central Park. It is fenced all around and has separate areas for small and larger dogs.

Each month, the city hosts wiener dog races in the Old World Village, every third Sunday from 2-4pm. On the first Saturday of every month, Bassett Hound Rescue of Southern California hosts a Bassett Hound party in Central Park. Owners dress up their hounds in the latest doggy fashionable attire. The Orange County Humane Society in Huntington Beach annually puts on an event to raise funds for homeless dogs.

Humans and their hounds can hop onto the Doggie Bus, a 12-seat bus that is usually available every weekend (Sunday afternoons) for a free ride to the Huntington Dog Beach. The bus route runs nonstop from Tustin to the ocean.

There are also several pet spas, pet groomers and pet shops nearby at the Sea Cliff Village Shopping Center.

For more info, contact the Huntington Beach Conference and Visitors Bureau at

pet photo below:

Chef Jeff Littlefield’s Weimariner Skipper, and Hotel Manager Paulette Fisher’s Lab Brit



Filed under dog travel, K9 travel, pet friendly lodging, pet travel

2 responses to “Surf City USA… wagging it at the waterfront…

  1. Jada

    Do you have a petfirendly/waterfront hotel anywhere on the East Coast? Thanks.

  2. Pingback: July 4th in southern California | Have dog blog will travel

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