When in San Diego, it’s difficult to miss the beach. It may be seen while driving throughout town, from many restaurants’ al fresco terraces, and as a backdrop for a variety of activities. Tip: When travelling, use the ocean as a directional point of reference (west). It’s something we do all the time as locals.
Because the sun shines practically year-round in San Diego, the beach is a must-do activity in any season. Which beach you go to is determined by what you want to do once you’ve stepped upon the sun-kissed sand.
To satisfy your desires, we’ve compiled a list of some of the 10 best beaches in San Diego that you shouldn’t miss while on vacation.
Do you want to learn how to surf or kayak in the caverns of La Jolla? Go to La Jolla Shores Beach, but make sure to book a lesson or tour ahead of time. Don’t forget about the youngsters; they’ll enjoy the beach playground almost as much as the sand.
At Silver Strand State Beach near Coronado, you may fall asleep to the murmur of the surf (if you bring your camping gear). Even though it’s off the beaten path, amenities like equipment rentals, abundant parking, and a snack bar keep visitors satisfied.
Naturalists may want to travel south to Imperial Beach, which is close to a nature preserve with over 370 birds. In July, it hosts a popular sand castle building competition. Swimming is permitted around the IB pier, albeit not near the Mexican border.
Just remember to bring your camera. Your pals will be envious of the images.
Best Beaches in San Diego
The beach lottery has been won by visitors to San Diego! You’re only a half-hour drive from not one, not two, but over a dozen of the world’s most gorgeous stretches of sand from San Diego.
All you have to do now is choose one. Tripononline has created a list of the best options to choose from to help you make the most of this important decision.
The following are the top 10 best beaches in San Diego that are worth a visit.
1. Coronado Municipal Beach
Coronado Island’s seaward side is very clean, with large lengths of sand, and is often regarded as one of the top 10 beaches in the United States. In the summer, the northern end, known as “North Beach,” is dog-friendly and popular for surfing.
The “Central Beach” section goes south along Ocean Boulevard to the famed Hotel Del Coronado. It’s the most crowded since it’s the easiest to get to. From here, you may stroll to downtown Coronado’s conveniences, and there’s a public parking lot right next to the Del.
Due to some shelter from a nearby point, this is a highly family-friendly beach with calm waters. Tidepools are even visible during low tides.
Recommended for Beaches because: For good reason, this beach has been named a top beach by various publications: convenience, generally calm water, and position.
Expert tip: Even if you aren’t staying at the Hotel Del Coronado, you can dine there. Brush off the sand and you’ll be fine (given you’re not hauling a lot of stuff).
2. Moonlight State Beach
Residents in the early 1900s used to picnic under the stars on this beach, hence the name. Moonlight State Beach is a popular beach destination for residents and visitors in North County San Diego today.
A picnic area, bathrooms, volleyball courts, tennis courts, equipment rentals, a snack bar, and other amenities are available. It’s near the intersection of Encinitas Boulevard and Highway 101, which also happens to be home to some of Encinitas’ best restaurants and shopping.
In the summer, lifeguards are on duty and surfing is restricted to a defined area. It’s an excellent spot to observe the sunset.
Recommended for Beaches because: Visitors to North County San Diego need a place to stay, and because of the amenities available, this one is a concierge favorite.
Expert tip: This is a fairly relaxed and family-friendly beach. Make a reservation at one of the excellent restaurants in the area.
3. La Jolla Shores Beach
It’s difficult to know where to begin because there’s so much to do. The La Jolla Shores Hotel and the La Jolla Beach and Tennis Club are two hotels that provide amazing beach access and facilities. Because of the sandy bottom and ease of access to the water, it’s one of the greatest beaches for learning to surf, scuba, and stand-up paddle boarding.
The entrance to La Jolla’s Underwater Marine Park, which is teeming with sea life, lies just here. Kellogg Park, a wonderful playground, offers tots a break from the beach, while boot camp, yoga, and running aficionados may burn calories on the large grassy area. Avenida de la Playa’s stores and eateries are only a few minutes’ walk away.
Recommended for Beaches because: Water sports like as surfing, kayaking, snorkeling, and scuba diving are available here. The playground is popular with children, and there is lots of white sand for sitting.
Expert tip: When the weather is nice, parking can be difficult, so arrive early. In the mornings and evenings, dogs must be on a leash (time varies by season).
4. Del Mar City Beach
Del Mar City Beach is a popular destination for families, with dog-friendly sections and surfable waves strewn about. Dogs are allowed to play on the north end of the beach, which extends from around 15th street to the Rivermouth (past lovely beachfront mansions).
Picnicking, weddings, restrooms, and convenient access to Del Mar’s shopping and restaurants are all available in Seagrove Park and Powerhouse Park, which border the sand at 15th street. Del Mar City Beach’s south end is a little more rustic, with tide pools and cliffs, although it’s close to Torrey Pines State Beach.
Recommended for Beaches because: It is truly one of the most beautiful beaches in San Diego with multi-million dollar houses surrounding the white sand.
Expert tip: Be prepared that parking can be difficult in the summer.
5. Tourmaline Surfing Park
Tourmaline Surf Park, located on North Pacific Beach, is a hidden gem. Just a few miles south, it’s a surfing beach (with kite and sailboarding), but it’s also family-friendly. There are fewer tourists because there aren’t many hotels within walking distance, although the restaurants and food stores of Pacific Beach to the south and La Jolla to the north are close by (ideal for picnickers).
A parking lot is available, as well as showers and facilities, as well as lifeguards on duty. To get to the sand, you’ll have to climb down a few rocks.
Recommended for Beaches because: It’s a hidden gem with a large parking lot and less people. You can either surf or sunbathe.
Expert tip: If you’re going with a family, once you’ve arrived at the beach, turn left. The beach in front of the parking lot is strictly for surfing.
6. Mission Beach
Heading to this beach, where you can enjoy small shops and cafes along Ocean Front Walk, which spans the area between Mission and Pacific Beaches, is a great place to spend some downtime on the best beaches in San Diego.
The shaved ice (not crushed ice) sold here is a refreshing snack, and there are plenty of people-watching possibilities, with rollerblades, bikers, runners, and sun worshipers in abundance. One of the best beaches in San Diego for swimming.
Expect a lot of beach activity and a lot of young people having a good time here, yet the wide white sand and amenities like lifeguards, fire pits, showers, and restrooms also attract families. At lifeguard stations, they even have a limited number of beach-friendly wheelchairs.
Recommended for Beaches because: This lively beach, which is close to SeaWorld and Mission Bay, offers a boardwalk and easy access to facilities.
Expert tip: This is the beach to visit if you want to see some action and people.
7. Silver Strand State Beach
The Pacific Ocean and San Diego Bay are both visible from Silver Strand State Beach. Pedestrian tunnels run beneath the busy thoroughfare, connecting the beaches. Camping, swimming, surfing, boating, water skiing, volleyball, and picnics are all popular pastimes.
During the summer, there’s also a café that rents out equipment sells firewood (there are fire rings), and other necessities. Guests who are only staying for the day can use the bathrooms. One of the best beaches in San Diego for swimming.
Unique sea shells can sometimes be found a mile or so south of where Silver Strand State Beach finishes, thanks to a natural preserve. For details on the grunion run, Junior Ranger activities, and other special events, visit the website.
Recommended for Beaches because: It’s a massive beach with a campground and parking for 1000 cars.
Expert tip: This beach is about 4 miles south of the main area of Coronado, despite the fact that it is in Coronado. You’ll have to drive yourself.
8. Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve and Beach
This section is divided into two parts. There are eight miles of trails along the bluffs overlooking the sea that wind through the park’s unique landscape (the twisted Torrey pine tree can only be found in two places on Earth: this park and an island nearly 200 miles to the north), and the park is one of the state’s wildest and least developed spots thanks to conservation efforts.
A beach sits 300 feet below the cliffs, with lots of flat white sand, lifeguards, and bathrooms. The northern half is popular with children, with plenty of flat white sand, lifeguards, and bathrooms. There is some street parking along the main road. One of the top 10 best beaches in San Diego.
Recommended for Beaches because: Combine a trek in Torrey Pines State Park with a dip in the nearby ocean. Life doesn’t get much better than that!
Expert tip: The beach has lost several amenities (such as garbage cans) due to state budget constraints, but it is still one of San Diego’s best and well worth a visit.
9. Pacific Beach
Pacific Beach is a distinct town with a flair that makes San Diego seem stodgy in comparison. Of course, the beach is fantastic, with lifeguards on duty all year and distinct sections for surfing and swimming. On the south side, Pacific Beach stretches from Crystal Pier to Mission Beach.
A paved boardwalk runs for several miles between the beach and the town. Rollerblading, bicycling, running, walking, and people watching are all popular activities. A wealth of cool stores, lively beach bars, and restaurants can be found inland.
Tower 23 and other modest hotels are within walking distance of the beach, but residents prefer to walk or cycle. One of the most beautiful beaches in San Diego.
Recommended for Beaches because: On any given day, the town of Pacific Shore seems to pour onto the beach, and it’s a lively, unique place to be.
Expert tip: This is one of the busiest beaches in San Diego. Pacific Beach is a popular hangout for college students and young professionals.
10. Imperial Beach
Imperial Beach, Chula vista beach located south of downtown San Diego and going all the way to the Mexican border, is most known for the annual US Open Sand Castle Building Contest, which takes place every July.
It’s an excellent beach for swimming, surfing, and bodyboarding for the remainder of the year, as well as fishing from the pier. Year-round, lifeguards are on duty. Swimming is not recommended near the border due to sewage from Mexico, but closer to the pier, the water is normally fine.
The Tijuana Estuary, Chula vista beach with its river mouth spilling into the ocean, is also a popular spot for animal aficionados. One of the best beaches in San Diego for swimming.
Recommended for Beaches because: Imperial Beach has a laid-back attitude and is often overlooked as a hidden gem (however there are things to know before going).
Expert tip: The water quality in this area isn’t usually fantastic, so check before you go swimming.
You Might Also Like
- The 13 Best Places To Visit In The USA For An Unforgettable Trip 
- The 15 Best Hotels in Miami Beach For Your Next Vacation 
- The 10 Best Things To Do in Mexico City That Will Make Your Trip Exciting 
- The 13 Best Things To Do in Chicago That Will Make Your Trip Exciting 
- Top 10 Best Beaches in the USA to Visit in 2022
- The 11 Best Hotels in New York City For A Perfect Vacation 
FAQ About Best Beaches in San Diego
Which best beach in San Diego for swimming has the clearest water?
1100 Coast Blvd in La Jolla is home to a bustling beach with beautiful blue ocean and immaculate sand. It’s only one of the many sights in San Diego County to see. Because La Jolla Cove may get quite crowded, especially on weekends, arrive early to set up your beach gear near the water.
Where can you swim in the ocean in San Diego?
Best beaches in San Diego for swimming
1. La Jolla Cove.
2. Mission Bay.
3. Fletcher Cove. South Sierra Avenue, Solana Beach.
What are the most beautiful beaches in San Diego?
What is the warmest beach in San Diego?
Soak in the sun at one of best beaches in San Diego.
1. Mission Beach.
2. La Jolla.
3. Pac Beach.
4. Ocean Beach.
Does Chula Vista have a beach?
Chula Vista Beach Bayside Park is a small waterfront park in the Chula Vista neighborhood of San Diego, located on the east side of San Diego Bay. The beach is small, but it’s ideal for swimming and launching a kayak or stand-up paddleboard to explore this side of the bay, including Sweetwater Marsh, which is close by.
Tell Us In The Comments About One Of Your Favorite Beaches in San Diego!
Also, don’t forget to book your personalized holiday package with Tripononline. Let us make your vacation a romantic as well as a dreamy getaway.