Popular San Diego
In close proximity to all San Diego resorts and hotels, you’ll soon discover why beaches are San Diego’s main attraction. There’s one for you always nearby from Oceanside to Coronado and all points in-between. Choose a crowded beach or one that is romantically secluded for a moonlit stroll.
Surfing the waves. Scuba diving the reefs. Tranquil snorkeling. Aquatic recreation, surf, fishing, swimming, building sand castles, biking, roller blading, sunbathing or just plain people watching. Combined with perfect weather, picture-perfect views and spectacular sunsets, you’ll enjoy all the fun and relaxation you want right here in San Diego.
Our San Diego Beach Locator Map approximates each major beach location. Each breach as varying limitations of services and amenities with specific rules. Some are more conducive for children. For more information, exact directions, safety precautions and permitted activity, visit San Diego Beaches, consult the various community websites or ask your resort or hotel staff.
Oceanside Beach, Ideal for swimming, surfing, rollerblading, biking or sunbathing. Fish or stroll along the pier. Conveniently located to cafes and restaurants for an all day family experience.
Carlsbad State Beach. Enjoy surfing, swimming, diving, windsurfing, kayaking and camping on this five-mile long beach. Picnic areas are available on the beach or on the bluff overlooking fabulous views.
Encinitas Area Beaches
Cardiff By The Sea. Perfect for families and surfers. Picturesque views of the Pacific coastline, Cardiff’s world-class surf attracts both professional and amateur surfers. A most relaxing spot where you can capture the memory of beauty and spectacular sunsets.
Moonlight State Beach. One-half mile from downtown Encinitas, Moonlight is ideal for families desiring a relaxing day of swimming, surfing, picnicking and sunbathing.
Leucadia Beach. Just south of Carlsbad. A more remote beach for swimming, surfers and fishermen. No day-use facilities or lifeguards are provided.
San Elijo Lagoon. South of Cardiff Beach, this ecological reserve is an excellent bird watching spot where you can explore the tide pools.
Solano Beach. Intimate, less crowded. Surf, swim, sunbathe or just hangout at a casual beach in the casual community of Solano Beach know for shops, galleries and boutiques.
Del Mar Beaches
Del Mar Beach. Best know for its fabulous views, resort atmosphere and the Del Mar Race Track, its beach offers all beach activities, picnic areas and year round lifeguard stations. Trendy shops, intimate cafes and fine restaurants are throughout the adjacent area to the beach.
San Diego Beaches
The following stretch of beaches from La Jolla through the Mission Bay area and south to Ocean Beach are administered by the City of San Diego within its rules, guidelines and safety precautions. Visit San Diego Beaches web page for more detail, directions and safety considerations.
Blacks Beach ( Torrey Pines City Beach). Blacks Beach is a two-mile beach set below majestically high cliffs that rise above those scenic views. Portions of Blacks Beach permit nudity so it is not recommended for those that could be offended. Access to the beach is difficult due to unstable cliffs. Best access is from adjacent beaches which can often be obstructed by surf and high tides. Watch for soaring hang-gliders and paragliders launched from atop the cliffs. Blacks Beach is also known as Torrey Pines State Beach and is jointly owned by the City of San Diego and The State of California.
La Jolla Shores. An active one-mile beach offering “gentle waves” for the novice surfer. It includes a beachfront boat launch (small vessels) where four-wheel drive vehicles are recommended. Great family picnic area highlighted by the Steven Birch Aquarium located nearby. A cement boardwalk parallels a portion of the beach. Vacationers and tourists will enjoy the nearby San Diego La Jolla Underwater Ecological Reserve.
La Jolla Cove Beach. A smaller beach but extraordinarily beautiful making it one of the most photographed of Southern California beaches. Nestled between sandstone cliffs, tropical palm trees and flora, it is within the San Diego La Jolla Underwater Park Ecological making possession or disturbance of game illegal. Deep clear ocean water makes La Jolla Cove ideal for scuba diving and snorkeling. A great family place for picnicking, fun and relaxation.
Children’s Pool ( La Jolla). Aptly named. Portions are protected by a seawall creating gentle waters that are more ideal for children. Very scenic where most of the year, seals and sea lions can be closely viewed. The reefs just offshore are popular with scuba diving enthusiasts.
Windansea. Fabulous oceanfront scenery. Underwater reefs create larger surf breaks that attract skilled surfers. Novice surfers should consider the more gentle waves at La Jolla Shores Beach instead. Windansea Beach is not recommended for children or weak swimmers.
Popularly Called “The Strand”. This series of beaches are the most popular, most visited in San Diego. This very long stretch of beaches begins at North Pacific Beach where surfing is limited to the “ Tourmaline Surfing Park” area. Backdrop cliffs that reach 75 feet high highlight this active beachfront. The “Crystal Pier” (fishing permitted) separates Pacific Beach from North Pacific Beach. Continuing south, Pacific Beach merges into Mission Beach, the center of The Strand stretch of beaches, eventually blending into South Mission Beach, which is the widest of San Diego beaches where the popular game of “Over-the-Line” is centered. The Strand network ends at the channel entrance to Mission Bay. The Strand features an almost continuous scenic boardwalk where walking, biking, rollerblading and people watching is highlighted. The entire stretch is dotted with shops, cafes, restaurants and beach recreation rental services.
Ocean Beach. Smaller, less populated beach that is “dog friendly” with a special place for unleashed dogs to run and play. Take care of your duty! Fishing is permitted from the Ocean Beach Municipal Pier which has a restaurant and bait shop.
Silver Strand State Beach. A semi-remote, 7-mile stretch of picturesque beach on Coronado Island south of Hotel Del Coronado, a vintage San Diego resort. Camp, jet ski, surf, swim, bike, fish, water ski and even cookout using provided “fire rings”. Great beach for families that includes showers, restrooms and lifeguard protection.
Coronado Municipal Beach. With spectacular views of the Coronado Bridge, the Coronado Beach offers similar recreation amenities as Silver Strand as well as a kid’s playground area. Watch closely, during the winter months you can often catch a glimpse of migrating whales.
Imperial Beach . The southern most beach in San Diego that’s just minutes away from Old Mexico and Tijuana. Swim, surf and sunbathe or enjoy the wildlife sanctuaries just south of Imperial Beach.
Beaches in San Diego