Newport Beach Dog Park at the Civic Center

Location of Newport Beach Dog Park: 22451 MacArthur Blvd., Newport Beach, CA 92625

Hours of Operation: Thursday to Tuesday from 7 a.m. until dusk and Wednesday 9 a.m. until dusk. (The park is cleaned every Wednesday morning.)

How to Get There: Find street parking on Avocado Avenue bordering the dog park or else park your car at the Newport Beach Civic Center parking structure and walk to the dog park from there. We recommend the second option because A) the lot is never full and B) the grounds separating the Civic Center and the dog park encompass 14 acres of untouched SoCal sprawl, inventively decorated throughout with ever-changing installations and sculptures by modern artists whose work ranges from the outstanding to the obscure.

Why Its Paw-some: Opened May 2013, the Newport Beach Dog Park is the city’s first of its kind. Hard to believe, we know, in a town swarming with adorable pooches but yes, this place is the very first dog park to grace our coastal lands. Except when Newport does anything, it does it BIG. So in 2013, Newport Beach didn’t just open its first-ever dog park, it opened a veritable high-end, dog retreat with a private elevator and sleek bridge (estimated cost for elevator-bridge combo: $2 million) leading visitors to the gates of the park, which boasts scenic shoreline views as far as the eye can see and snout can smell. It’s true the most ardent of water-loving locals lament the lack of ocean vistas from within the confines of the actual park, but this enclosed pooch-arena still has plenty of plush plusses. Artificial turf lines most of the inside park area, which is wisely separated into a small dog and large dog section. Benches throughout provide ample opportunity to sit and chat while the dogs do their thing.