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Pooch-friendly beaches: 10 getaways for the dog days of summer

By: Matt Hickman on July 16, 2014, 5:34 p.m.
Huntington Dog Beach

Photo: John Liu/Flickr

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Huntington Dog Beach, California

Describing itself as “pure canine nirvana,” Huntington Beach is a laid-back Southern California town that loves to play fetch and hang 10 in equal measure. It shouldn’t come as a surprise then that Huntington Beach, heralded as “Dogtown USA” by Dog Fancy magazine in 2009, is home to the Surf City Surf Dog competition.

Naturally, the annual event is held at the nonprofit-operated Huntington Dog Beach, widely considered to be grand dame — or Great Dane, rather — of American beach destinations that cater to canines. A hotspot for dog-owning sun worshippers from across the globe, Huntington Dog Beach is kept alive by donations, the sale of merchandise and frequent visitors who retain paying memberships (nonmembers and their pooches can, of course, still enjoy the beach). Huntington Dog Beach is also a popular wedding spot for human dog lovers, though arrangements could probably be made for enamored, commitment-oriented mutts as well.