Summerland Beach at Lookout Park
Summerland, CA, USA
Photo by Casey Rodgers for GM
Dog's Day Out: Summerland BeachRecently I took my pup Bobbi out to the Los Angeles area for a mom-and-pup weekend that included some serious ocean time at Summerland Beach, which is just six miles from Santa Barbara. Bobbi started life as a stray on the streets of Grand Bahama, and before making her way to Colorado, she lived in the shelter at the Humane Society of Grand Bahama for more than a year. While at the animal shelter, I was told, that volunteers who took her to the ocean frequently where she loved to play catch with a tennis ball in the sea. So I try to take her on ocean focused vacations as often as possible. This month we went to California with our friend Brandon and his long-haired chihuahua Leo.
Heading down Highway 101 on the way to the beach we had the windows down in the back of the sleek black, super smooth riding GMC Canyon Denali I was driving, and Bobbi caught a whiff of the ocean. She started to whine in excitement. We parked and no sooner had I opened the door had Bobbi flown out. Leo is a little more reserved, however, and in the excitement of chasing Bobbs down we almost left him behind. Luckily, the vehicle reminded us he was there with their Rear Seat Reminder. It’s a cool tech feature that works by monitoring the vehicle’s rear doors — if either is opened or closed within 10 minutes of the vehicle being started the feature activates once the ignition is switched off. I was alerted to Leo’s presence with five audible chimes and a visual message on the display screen. Leo is not the most friendly pup, so I called Brandon to grab him and we were off down the long paved ramp to the sand.
Summerland Beach is a long wide stretch of golden sand meets deep blue Pacific Ocean and it is well known as a favorite beach for locals to bring their pups to play. On the day we ventured out to the water it was sunny and warm and there were half a dozen other dogs already frolicking in the sand. We set up our beach towels, threw off our outer layers (it was warm enough even in early November to still swim), grabbed the chuck-it and tennis balls and headed to the water. I’ve never seen my dog so happy. For more than an hour she ran into the sea, swimming strongly when she had to and also knowing to wait for the wave before going after her ball. Even Leo got in, which was quite brave, considering his breed. He didn’t seem to thrilled with all the salt water dreading his long, beautiful tail, however. The good news, though, is when you are done, you can head up to the grassy picnic area by the car park where there are toilets and a self-service dog wash.