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A Park a Day: Rosie's Dog Beach, Long Beach

Sheepdog Argo Bonadonna-Morano taking in the sunset at Rosie's Dog Beach.
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July is National Parks & Recreation Month, and all month long LAist will be featuring a hand-selected park a day to showcase just a few of the wonderful recreation spaces--big or small--in the Los Angeles area.

There are several open spaces in Los Angeles County where our canine companions can run free, but only one offers three acres of soft sand and swimming just for dogs: Rosie's Dog Beach. In fact, this low key spot is the only place where dogs can legally play off-leash on the beach throughout all of LA's 70 miles of coastline. Neighborhood locals frequent this doggy recreation area for regular play dates and long rounds if fetch amid the surf with large weekend draws of hundreds of dogs from all over Los Angeles and Orange Counties.

Formerly known as the Long Beach Dog Zone, this dog park has a relatively short history. Rosie's Dog Beach received official off-leash designation in June of 2001. Its current name memorializes a bulldog named Rosie who inspired her owners to lead an initiative to designate a segment of beach for canine recreation. Rosie the bulldog has gone to doggy heaven, but dogs and puppies of all breeds, shapes, and sizes continue to dig in the sand and chase each other through the waves as their owners chuck tennis balls, lounge in the sand, and network with other dog-loving humans.

Rosie's Dog Beach is officially open from 6 to 8 daily, although a few stragglers always stick around for romantic sunset dog walks on the beach. The dog zone is located between Argonne and Roycroft Avenues near Ocean Boulevard in Long Beach's Belmont Shore neighborhood. The area designated for dog recreation is marked off by orange cones and set flush against the water well beyond the bike path, volleyball nets, parking lot, and sea wall. Rules and regulations are clearly noted on a bone-shaped sign near the parking lot, although cleaning up dog waste, using flea preventative, and keeping a watchful eye on your dog at all times are courtesy givens.

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The dog beach does not have free clean up bags, so visitors must bring their own supplies, although there is a higher than usual concentration of convenient trash cans. Nearby amenities include ample parking, nearby bathroom facilities, views of Catalina Island and the Palos Verdes Penninsula, and frequent sightings of the Belmont wild parrot flock. The exceptionally dog-friendly Second Street is a short walk from Rosie's Dog Beach and offers a plethora of businesses that either accommodate or cater to canine clientele.