The beaches of San Diego are open to visitors. The most exciting beach activities, such as surfing, kayaking and diving, are available with appropriate safety measures. The beaches of San Diego are free to enjoy. State beaches such as Silver Strand in Coronado and Carlsbad State Beach charge fees for parking on the lots.
However, you may need to park in a paid public parking lot near any beach during peak season, as free lots and street parking fill up. Immediately south of Mission Beach, Ocean Beach (or OB, as it is universally known locally) is something of the last stop in San Diego from the 1960s and 1970s in the coastal city of Southern California. If you're staying at a downtown San Diego hotel or having a quick stopover at the airport, the best option is to hop on the Coronado ferry and head to the Coronado beaches. La Jolla Cove is also part of the San Diego-La Jolla Underwater Park, so surfboards, boogie boards, or inflatable devices are not allowed.
San Diego Restaurant Week, organized by the California Restaurant Association, returns with more than 100 restaurants in more than 30 neighborhoods for eight days of meals. There is a mineral in the sand called mica that makes the water's edge and the sand all over the beach sparkle with gold. There are also restrooms and small parking lots on Grand Avenue and Pacific Beach Drive, as well as lifeguard stations. With that in mind, I've put together a guide to the best beaches in San Diego, listed from north to south.
Carlsbad's five miles of beautiful sandy beaches are often quieter than those in the south because in most parts the cliffs provide some privacy from city life. If you already know how to surf, you'll find a variety of different waves and conditions along San Diego's 70-mile open water shoreline to suit your individual style. La Jolla Shores Beach is the best beach in San Diego because not only is there a wide strip of sand to go to the beach in general, but it is also an access point to the San Diego-La Jolla Underwater Park. Coronado Mayor Bailey finds himself like his Amity counterpart Larry Vaughn in Tiburón, ignoring or disputing expert findings, anything to keep those beaches open to keep the money flowing.
Coronado beaches closed four more times in the following weeks, alarming elected leaders there because the city faced the prospect of closed beaches over the holiday weekend. To verify beach closures and conditions, check the San Diego County Beach Water Quality website, which is always up to date. Palm trees and sun-drenched coastline make the Bayshore Bikeway an iconic and must-see if you're looking for a memorable bike tour during your stay in San Diego. Like other great San Diego beaches, finding a parking spot (on the street or on a lot, free or paid) anywhere near Coronado beach areas can be a challenge.