San Diego is known for its fabulous beaches, and with 70 miles of coastline you’re bound to find your idea of the perfect place to enjoy the surf, sand, and sun – but don’t forget the sunscreen! Here’s 8 beaches to start exploring the San Diego coast.
South Carlsbad State Beach
Campers can plan overnight or day use stays at this highly sought after beach campsite, and get direct access to the often uncrowded beach below. Otherwise, the beach is open to all and good for bodyboarding, surfing, and even fishing at Ponto Jetty.
Moonlight Beach and Swami’s, Encinitas
Encinitas is the ideal surf-vibe beach town and Moonlight Beach provides a large sandy area popular for families and visitors to spend their beach days. You’ll also find a snack bar, playground, and volleyball courts. Further south is Swami’s below the calming gardens of the Self-Realization Center, providing a positive and spiritual vibe that is synonymous with Encinitas.
La Jolla Shores
The Jewel of San Diego, La Jolla is a favorite for visitors and the Shores is a draw for kayaking, scuba diving, swimming and surfing. There’s a big grassy area with a playground perfect for beach picnics and family gatherings, and evening bonfires are a favorite summer memory.
The beach party starts here as the many restaurants and bars provides the background for beachfront nightlife. During the day, rent a bike and enjoy the boardwalk scene.
The funky vintage beach town is a great spot for sunset viewing along its famous pier. The OB Pier extends a half mile out to sea and you can fish without a license. Continue your throwback beach day by checking out the antique malls, taco shops, and evening bar hops.
Cross the bridge over to the “island” and set yourself down on the wide, white sandy beach with the iconic Hotel del Coronado in the background. Coronado is often listed as one of America’s best beaches by travel publications. Whether you’re on a family vacation or romantic holiday for two, the picturesque and throwback town of Coronado will fulfill all your beach dreams.
Five miles north of the U.S./Mexico border, IB is often overlooked by beachgoers. You’ll find peaceful, sweeping beach views, and a long coast for beachcombing and horseback riding. Along the pier, look for the IB Outdoor Surf Museum and the surfboard benches.
Known worldwide as San Diego’s nude beach, nudism is actually illegal in San Diego. But beachgoers have been going natural for decades. Not a requirement to be naked, Black’s Beach is a favorite for surfers. Be careful in getting to the hidden beach, the hike down from the Torrey Pines Glider Port can be difficult, and make sure to stay on the trail – every year people get stuck on the cliffs, and some have died. But think of the selfies you can take!