The Carlsbad shoreline is divided into Carlsbad City Beach (from Ocean to Elm Streets), Carlsbad State Beach (also known as Tamarack Beach) and South Carlsbad State Beach. Home to the luxurious Hotel Del, Coronado is the picturesque destination in the dreams of every tourist (and many locals). But with bustling Orange Avenue and a lesser-known dog beach, there's more to Coronado than the postcard snapshot. This has long been the go-to place for people living south of 94, but with the addition of the Pier South Resort hotel and Sea180˚ Coastal Tavern, Imperial Beach now attracts visitors from all over San Diego and Baja California.
At Mission Beach, you'll find a busy boardwalk full of runners and skateboards, as well as large groups heading ashore laden with umbrellas, chairs, and coolers. Here is our list of the 10 best beaches in San Diego. With 70 miles of coastline, San Diego is known for its warm climate, great restaurants, incredible museums, premium shopping, and a variety of activities. Going to the beach is a must-do activity when visiting the city and there are many different beaches to choose from.
Some beaches are ideal for surfing and kayaking, while others are perfect for snorkeling and diving. It really depends on what you expect to find. To save you the hassle of hours of online research, we've put together a list of the 15 best beaches in San Diego. The incredible Coronado Municipal Beach consists of 4 different beach areas, including Glorietta Bay Park, Coronado City Beach, Tidelands Park and Centennial Park.
Did you know that the scenes from the famous movie 'Some Like It Hot' with Marilyn Monroe were shot right here in Coronado Beach? In case you have a pet, the northern part of the beach is pet-friendly. Coronado Beach is also close to the famous Hotel Del Coronado, which dates back to the 19th century. This hotel is a popular destination for royalty and celebrities. Located between Mission Beach and La Jolla, Pacific Beach or, as some like to call it “The Strand”, is a two-mile long beach that is ideal for long walks and family activities.
It is one of the most famous beaches in the San Diego area and attracts large crowds of visitors. Young people will be pleased to know that this small coastal town has a lively bar scene. The Raw Bar and JRDN Lounge are popular with locals. Travelers can also head to the 90-year-old Crystal Pier or visit the 3.5-mile-long boardwalk.
If you have a dog, Ocean Beach is the pet-friendly beach for you. There is even a special area for dogs where your pet can run without a leash. At the other end of Ocean Beach is the famous Ocean Beach Pier, which is a perfect spot for fishing. You don't even need to have a California fishing license to fish here.
However, travelers are advised to stay close to Ocean Beach lifeguard towers when swimming due to strong updraft currents. Surfing is also allowed in some parts of the beach. La Jolla Shores is a perfect family beach that attracts large crowds of tourists and locals. It is one of the best beaches in the region for surfing, paddleboarding and diving due to the sandy bottom and easy access to the ocean.
Take a short walk through charming Kellogg Park, which is perfect for picnics or visiting the nearby Steven Birch Aquarium. Fishing is not allowed here in La Jolla Shores, but some areas are designated for surfing. A hidden gem located on North Pacific Beach, Tourmaline Surfing Park is a hot spot for surfing and sailing. Surrounded by 75-foot high cliffs, this incredible beach is divided into two separate areas.
One is for surfing, while the other is for swimming. You'll see lifeguards on the beach at all times. There aren't many tourists here, so Tourmaline Surfing Park is a great spot for travelers who want to seek a little peace and quiet. Located just a short drive from Tijuana in Mexico, Imperial Beach is famous for hosting the U.S.
Open competition for sand castles in summer. This is the southernmost beach in California and has more than 300 species of birds, making it a popular area for birdwatching. You can swim or surf at Imperial Beach or take a nature walk through numerous trails. There is a dock on the beach, which is one of the most popular fishing spots in the area and also offers incredible views of the Los Coronados Islands.
Located just north of San Diego, Cardiff-by-the Sea is a small community consisting of the 900-acre Elijo Lagoon and 2 miles of beach. There are also more than 170 campsites in San Elijo Park, which have fire pits and picnic tables. If you're hungry, head to the Restaurant Row area to find the best cuisine on the West Coast. Del Mar City Beach is an ideal beach for families with children.
The north side of the beach is dog friendly and extends from 15th Street to the mouth of the river. There are two parks on 15th Street, Powerhouse Park and Seagrove Park. Both are perfect places for picnics, weddings and other social gatherings. Located in North San Diego, Solana Beach is a secluded spot that has several hidden coves (accessible by stairs on almost every corner of the street).
For surf fans, head straight to Seaside or Fletcher Cove, the first has a popular outdoor reef and the second has an exposed beach break. Solana is also home to the Cedros Avenue Design District, making it a great spot for antique and antique buyers. This laid-back state beach is home to some of the best surf spots in San Diego. Enthusiastic surfers should head to the north side to catch waves with locals like Rob Machado and other professional surfers flocking to Cardiff Reef.
For a slower pace, visitors head south to the tidal pools during low tide to observe starfish, sea snails and other creatures. Cardiff State Beach is also dog friendly, as long as your pup is on a leash. More commonly known as P, B. Pacific Beach, which often catches the eye of younger crowds, has a plethora of shops and restaurants on its north end.
At nightfall, the beach lights up with the glow of bonfires and beach parties. Like a SoCal Coney Island, this waterfront center features an amusement park by the sea, a bustling boardwalk, and a wide sandy beach. Across the vibrant waterfront, Mission Beach sports the same strip of sand as its fun-loving neighbor, but doubles with thrilling rides and games halfway through the timeless Belmont Park. Just take a ride on the fast-paced Giant Dipper roller coaster before enjoying too many corn dogs.
Immerse yourself in this cozy golden sand beach cove with an oversized landscape. Along the shores of La Jolla Village, you'll discover an impressive coastline of sculpted cliffs, sandy coves and dozens of marine life. You don't need to put on a diving mask to see the many Garibaldi fish jumping through the turquoise waters. On the cliff above, palm-fringed Ellen Browning Scripps Park revels in a grassy stretch of coastline.
Nearby, The Cave Store hides a 145-step tunnel that leads to Sunny Jim's fascinating sea cave. Pass the Sun Boom Brother This Is San Diego's Wildest Beach Scene. The best introduction to P, B. the local term for this wide sandy shoreline and its bustling surrounding neighborhood is Pacific Beach Boardwalk.
The 3.5-mile waterfront is packed with skaters, cyclists and pedestrians who enjoy the lively atmosphere of a beach town. Enjoy a relaxed stroll along Crystal Pier, lined with historic beach cottages, or let yourself be swept away by raucous beach bars just a stone's throw from Red Bull. A vast waterfront park off Mission Beach features swimming beaches, oceanfront barbecues, and countless water sports. Comprised of a sheltered bay and surrounding shoreline, this 4,300-acre water park offers water games without the riptides.
The waters of the bay are teeming with jet skis, kayaks and paddleboards rented from numerous waterfront vendors. Swimming is best along the sandy shores and gentle waters of Playa Pacifica, while Ski Beach hosts lively family barbecues with fire pits, volleyball nets and picnic shelters. This North County beach has soft white sand, a long pier, and a lively boardwalk. Known to locals as The Strand, this open beach is backed by a popular boardwalk full of parks for beachfront picnics.
Stroll along the nearly 2,000-foot wooden pier, the longest of its kind on the West Coast, to a retro restaurant. Visit the nearby California Surf Museum and spy on some famous surfboards, including those of Eddie Aikau and Duke Kahanamoku. Whether you're setting up a tent or parking the motorhome, this is the beach to spend the night. The narrow strip of sand that borders Cardiff State Beach is a perfectly pleasant place to spend the day, but the main draw here is the beachfront campground.
Nearly 180 campsites line cliffs overlooking the Pacific and are booked months in advance. A seasonal beach tent offers camping and beach essentials, from boogie boards to s'mores garnishes. Surfers and sunbathers alike flock to San Diego for its impressive 70 miles of coastline and perfect, reliable weather, making it a popular destination for a beach getaway. Whether you're looking for the best family beach in San Diego, the best dog friendly beaches in San Diego, a fun place to hang out with friends, or the best place to catch some waves, San Diego beaches make everyone happy.
Carlsbad's five miles of beautiful sandy beaches are usually quieter than those in the south, because in most parts the cliffs provide some privacy from city life. Of course, a community as relaxed as Encinitas would be home to one of the best and quietest beaches in San Diego. 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 Submarine Park. In addition to traditional day activities at the beach, Imperial Beach offers great surf spots, fishing opportunities, beach volleyball courts and even coastal trails for horseback riding.
Pacific Beach (the beach) is located between Pacific Beach Drive and Crystal Pier in the Pacific Beach district of San Diego, CA. Grandview, one of San Diego's most picturesque beaches, owes its name to the panoramic view from the cliffs that dominate this beach, which can be accessed by stairs. The beach at Pacific Beach also has a more festive vibe and definitely becomes a party town during spring break. This peaceful local beach is hidden under houses and apartment buildings in the southern part of the Ocean Beach district.
It is the largest saltwater swamp in Southern California and is among the best places to watch birds in San Diego. 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. State beaches, such as Silver Strand in Coronado and Carlsbad State Beach, charge parking fees on lots. Hire equipment at Mission Beach Surf and Skate (also known as Hamel's) for a bike ride along the boardwalk or boogie board in the ocean.
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. . .