San Diego Beaches
(From North to South)
Oceanside Beach - Oceanside Beach is known for its healthy supply of
sand and small crowds. This makes a wonderful stop for lunch, a jog, and plenty
of room to spread your towel. Buccaneer Beach on the South end is perfect to
get away from it all.
Carlsbad - Despite all the bustle on the freeway in recent years, Carlsbad's
beaches remain one of San Diego's best kept secrets, which is just fine with
the locals. The north half of the Carlsbad coast is composed of a series of
small beaches divided by sea walls. The cliffs here are relatively low and in
most places the Coast Highway passes right next to the shore, offering an unobstructed
view of the sea and open access to the beach.
Leucadia - Primarily frequented by surfers, Leucadia is isolated, rocky,
and often littered with sea debris and kelp. It is vertical cliff from the road
and you must use one of three stairways to get down. The three popular surf
spots Grandview, Beacon's and Stone Steps are well worth it even if the beach
itself is not..
Leucadia State Beach - south of Carlsbad, used to be an agricultural
area where farmers grew tomatoes, flowers and ornamental plants. Today, some
farming still exists, but really, Leucadia is an interesting contrast of casual
hippies, luxury beach homes perched above the beach and a strip of businesses,
surf shops, taco eateries and restaurants along South Coast Highway 101. Leucadia,
has excellent surfing, swimming and fishing,
Moonlight State Beach - A half mile from the downtown community of Encinitas
offers all the fine beach perks that make for a nice day on the beautiful Pacific
Ocean, including picnic areas with tables, lifeguards, restrooms, fire rings,
volleyball courts and public parking. And of course Moonlight State Beach has
some fine surfing. Moonlight State Beach is a family/locals kind of beach that
is flat, sandy and perfect for a beach picnic and a day of sunning. The athletically
inclined will find some serious volleyball happening at the three beach courts.
Cardiff by the Sea - Families, surfers, kayakers and body boarders congregate
at Cardiff on summer weekends. Cardiff lies north and west of the San Elijo
Lagoon (a naturally occurring inland waterway fed by the ocean) and consists
of Cardiff State Beach to the south and San Elijo State Beach on the north.
Those looking for low-key beaches for swimming, surfing and sunbathing will
enjoy the casual attitude found at Cardiff
Solana - Unlike other spots in North County where the wide, straight
beaches are uninterrupted for miles, the coastline in Solana Beach is more convoluted
and the cliffs encroach right to the water's edge in places, making them impassible
especially at high tide. Fortunately, staircases descend the cliffs at practically
every street corner, so every part of the beach is accessible vertically, if
Del Mar - Lying just north of Torrey Pines State Beach, Del Mar's beach
is perfect for families, tourists and surfers who enjoy its wide expanse of
sand. Swimming, walking, surfing, body boarding, and even grunion hunting are
just some of the activities you can enjoy at this beach.
Del Mar also has two seaside parks, Seagrove and Powerhouse (play ground), both
great for picnicking, providing stunning ocean views.
Blacks Beach (previously Torrey Pines) - A a two mile long, sandy strip
situated at the base of majestic cliffs up to 300 feet high. There is a glider
port atop the cliff overlooking the beach where hang gliders, Para gliders and
remote controlled gliders can often be seen soaring. The safest access is from
adjacent beaches to the north and south, but this access may be obstructed by
high tides or surf. Perfect for surfing.
La Jolla Shores (8200 Camino Del Oro) - A sandy beach approximately
one mile long, adjacent to a residential area. In summer, waves at this beach
are usually the most gentle of all San Diego beaches, although rip currents
may still be strong at times. For this reason, many novice scuba classes are
held at La Jolla Shores. Reserved for swimming and surfing.
La Jolla Cove (1100 Coast Boulevard) - A very small beach, tucked between
adjacent sandstone cliffs. Due to its extraordinary beauty, La Jolla Cove is
one of the most photographed beaches in Southern California. The waters off
this beach are reserved for swimming and diving only. This is an excellent beach
for scuba diving when surf conditions are low.
The Children's Pool (850 Coast Boulevard) - Also known as the Casa,
is a small beach partially protected by a seawall. The original intention was
to create a fully protected swimming area, but sand has filled in much of the
area inside the wall. This is a very picturesque beach with a panoramic view.
Reserved for swimming, diving and scuba when surf conditions are low.
Windansea Beach - The rocky shore of Windansea Beach (6800 Neptune Place)
is perhaps best known for its beautiful scenery and surf breaks created by underwater
reefs. Sandstone rocks act as partitions along the beach offering a secluded
atmosphere for sunbathing. Swimmers should enter and exit the water carefully
to prevent spinal injuries. Surfing can be excellent at Windansea, but the popular
surf breaks are very concentrated and can become quite crowded. Novice surfers
may wish to consider La Jolla Shores instead. This beach has separate water
areas reserved by ordinance for swimming and surfing.
North Pacific Beach - The beach area north of Crystal Pier extends approximately
one mile from the north end of the community of Pacific Beach to the south end
of the community of La Jolla. This beach is bordered by cliffs up to 75 feet
in height. A sidewalk traverses the cliff-top along much of the south end of
the beach. In this area, parking is very limited. Separate areas for swimming
and surfing, not recommended for scuba.
Pacific Beach - The beach area south of Crystal Pier is known as Pacific
Beach. This beach continues south for over two miles, becoming Mission Beach
and then South Mission Beach, eventually ending at the channel entrance to Mission
Bay. This long beach, known as The Strand, lies directly adjacent to the residential
and commercial areas of the Pacific Beach and Mission Beach communities. It
is the most popular beach in the City of San Diego and draws large crowds in
summer. This beach has separate water areas reserved for swimming and surfing.
Mission Bay - Consists of 4,235.6 acres, approximately 46% land and
54% water. There are 27 miles of shoreline, 19 of which are sandy beaches.
Bonita Cove 1000 West Mission Bay Drive at Mariners Way (signalized intersection)
Leisure Lagoon 1900 East Mission Bay Drive
De Anza Cove
3000 East Mission Bay Drive
Additional Mission Bay beaches are usually guarded daily during summer
Sail Bay 4000 Fanuel Street
Crown Point 3700 Crown Point Drive
Ventura Cove 1000 West Mission Bay Drive at Gleason Road (signalized intersection)
Tecolote Shores 1600 East Mission Bay Drive
Enchanted Cove Located on Fiesta Island 1/3 mile from the entrance to the island
Mission Beach - The center of a continuous stretch of beach known as
The Strand, which extends over two miles, beginning at the Mission Bay channel
entrance and ending at the north end of Pacific Beach. The Strand is the most
popular beach area in the City of San Diego and draws large crowds in summer.
A somewhat narrow cement boardwalk parallel's the entire beach. Walking, biking,
bicycling, and related activities are permitted on the boardwalk, but speed
is regulated and must be kept to eight miles per hour or less. Cycles with more
than two wheels are not permitted except for use by the disabled. Various shops,
restaurants, and beach rental outfits surround the Mission Beach lifeguard station,
at the foot of Ventura Street beside a landmark roller coaster. The north end
of Mission Beach is bordered by residential properties, but there are some stores
available on Mission Boulevard, a block or so from the beach.
South Mission Beach - Bordered on the south by the Mission Bay Channel.
It has, perhaps, the widest beach in the City. Recently, it has become known
as a popular place to engage in sports such as beach volleyball and basketball
following an extensive refurbishing of the courts. A popular game similar to
baseball called "Over-The-Line" is allowed in a portion of this area.
Ocean Beach - (1950 Abbott Street) Located in the community of Ocean
Beach, just south of the Mission Bay channel entrance. This is a wide beach
approximately one mile long. A volleyball area can be found near the north end
of the beach. The Ocean Beach Municipal Pier is located at the south end of
the beach and is available to the public for walking and fishing. There is a
restaurant and bait shop on the pier. Numerous restaurants, surf shops, and
other commercial establishments are available near the south end of the beach.
One unique feature of Ocean Beach is Dog Beach, a sandy area at the north end.
This is a dog run area where dogs are permitted without a leash at all hours
of the day.
Point Loma - At the end of a long day on the beach, drive out to Sunset
Cliffs to watch the sun slip over the horizon. The sandstone bluffs blaze with
color, and the waves sparkle like gold. If you're game for a little adventure,
come early, drive out to the old Cabrillo Lighthouse and hike out to the tide
pools by the point. There are in fact no real beaches on Point Loma and the
swimming opportunities are poor and downright dangerous, but it's the only place
in San Diego (aside from La Jolla), where you can see waves crashing on the
cliffs, precarious pinnacles rising from the water, and rocky reefs full of
Coronado - Runs along Ocean Boulevard from Avenida Lunar in the south
to Naval Air Station North Island Gate 5 to the north. Park free on Ocean Boulevard,
but plan to arrive before 11:00 on summer weekends to beat the crowds. Also,
Silver Strand State Beach can be reached by traveling south on I-5 from San
Diego and exiting at Palm Ave/Highway 75. Go west on Palm Ave. and follow signs
to Highway 75 and Silver Strand State Beach.
Silver Strand State Beach - Can be reached by traveling south on I-5
from San Diego and Although it is a little further off the beaten path, offering
more solitude for those who wish to get away from the beach crowds, families
and campers enjoy this beach. Coronado has tons of recreational activities including
camping, surfing, swimming, body boarding, jet skiing, sailing, water skiing,
as well as fishing and beach volleyball. Also, bicyclists, joggers, walkers
and skaters have 10 miles of bike path at their disposal
Imperial Beach - Swim, surf, sunbath, jog, fish or spend the day building
a sandcastle at Imperial Beach. Imperial Beach, the most south westerly community
in the United States, is a beautiful, sandy beach, the kind of beach you visit
for some much needed relaxation away from the crowds. Quiet, solitary and still
a bit of a hippie community, Imperial Beach is 20 miles south of downtown San
Diego and a few miles short of the Mexican border. At Imperial Beach you will
find some of the best sand in the nation, which is why it is home to the yearly
U.S. Open Sandcastle Competition. Popular for surf-fishing.