We set out for a half day trip from San Jose to Santa Cruz and decided to take our pooch Bella. We didn't realize though that so much of the beach thoroughfare is closed to dogs. We walked quite a ways and finally found Seabright beach just south of the Boardwalk. It's a leash only beach but lots of people had their dogs off leash and there were no issues. Santa Cruz is a really cute little beach community with lots of restaurants, bars, and other college town charm. We'll be back but will probably leave the dog home.