Best Beaches In & Around San Diego

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As not only California's second largest city, but its most southerly, San Diego has year round sunshine and warm weather. Add to this mile upon mile of sandy coastline and you have the makings of some of SoCal's best beaches.

In San Diego you will find not just wide, sandy surf beaches which epitomizes the Southern Californian coast, but also a number of smaller coves and beaches, each with their own character. There really is something for everyone whether you are looking for world class surfing, tidal pools to explore or just somewhere to throw down a towel and top up your tan. And all this within easy reach of one of the West Coast's great cities.

  • 1. Coronado Beach

    Coronado Beach
    ashleytheartist2002

    Travel time from San Diego: approx 0.5 hrs

    Consistently voted one of America's finest beaches, Coronado Beach is a long sandy stretch on the outskirts of San Diego. The main Central Beach runs along Ocean Boulevard from the Hotel del Coronado to Sunset Park. An area near Sunset Park is set aside for dog owners to bring their dogs to play on what is known locally as Dog Run Beach. There is parking near the Coronado Hotel.

    The beach… read more »

  • 2. La Jolla Cove

    La Jolla Cove
    John Uhrig

    Travel time from San Diego: approx 0.5 hrs

    Tucked away at the foot of the sandstone cliffs north of San Diego, La Jolla Cove is one of the most photographed beaches in SoCal, so it's fair to say it's exceptionally beautiful. The Spanish phrase "La Jolla" means "jewel" and this cove is a gem.

    Facing north it has an exceptionally clear deep blue waters with visibility up to 30 feet in depth making it popular for swimming, snorkelling… read more »

  • 3. Black's Beach

    Black's Beach
    Raquel Baranow

    Travel time from San Diego: approx 0.5 hrs

    Situated on the beautiful California coastline north of San Diego, Black's Beach is north of La Jolla at Torrey Pines, just below the famous golf course of the same name. The name Black's Beach comes from the horse farm in the area that was once owned by the Black family.

    A little off-the-beaten-track, the beach is accessed down a steep sandy trail from the Gliderport Parking Area. It can be tricky… read more »

  • 4. Ocean Beach, San Diego

    Ocean Beach, San Diego
    Brooke Anderson

    Travel time from San Diego: approx 0.5 hrs

    Ocean Beach extends south from San Diego River to Sunset Cliffs and is popular for surfing and sunbathing. Known locally as OB, this beautiful sandy city beach has the archetypal laidback SoCal beach vibe.

    There are various different section including an area for surfing only, swimming only and there's a dog-friendly section although pets must be kept on a leash.

    At the south end of the beach, the ½ mile… read more »

  • 5. Mission Beach

    Mission Beach
    The Erica Chang

    Travel time from San Diego: approx 0.5 hrs

    The name of both a beach and a town, Mission Beach in San Diego sits on a thin slither of land just two blocks wide at the entrance to the islands and attractions of Mission Bay. Here you'll find SeaWorld San Diego, the largest aquatic park of its type anywhere.

    Facing the Pacific Ocean, Mission Beach stretches for approximately two miles, paralleled the whole way by a paved… read more »

  • 6. Pacific Beach

    Pacific Beach
    Fastily

    Travel time from San Diego: approx 0.5 hrs

    read more »
  • 7. Tourmaline Surfing Park Beach

    Tourmaline Surfing Park Beach
    Invertzoo

    Travel time from San Diego: approx 0.5 hrs

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  • 8. Scripps Beach

    Scripps Beach
    Kenny Chung

    Travel time from San Diego: approx 0.5 hrs

    Scripps Beach takes its name from the adjoining UCSD Scripps Institute of Oceanography in La Jolla. Although the iconic long concrete pier is not open to the public, you can use the sandy beach on either side of it.

    This beach is much quieter than its better-known neighbour at La Jolla Shores as it is less accessible, but it is popular with locals. Surfers head for the… read more »

  • 9. Imperial Beach

    Imperial Beach
    Dstana

    Travel time from San Diego: approx 0.5 hrs

    read more »
  • 10. Windansea Beach

    Windansea Beach
    Chad McDonald

    Travel time from San Diego: approx 0.5 hrs

    Located in the charming coastal town of La Jolla, Windansea Beach is found at the west end of Westbourne and Nautilus streets. It takes its name from the phrase "wind and sea" and there was once a hotel of the same name which burned down in the 1940s.

    In the same era, the legendary Windansea Surf Club was formed which was as much about partying as it was surfing. Many… read more »

  • 11. D Street Beach

    D Street Beach
    Tim Buss

    Travel time from San Diego: approx 1 hr

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  • 12. Moonlight State Beach

    Moonlight State Beach
    Invertzoo

    Travel time from San Diego: approx 1 hr

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  • 13. Beacon's Beach

    Beacon's Beach
    Tim Buss

    Travel time from San Diego: approx 1 hr

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  • 14. Grandview Beach

    Grandview Beach
    Chris Hunkeler

    Travel time from San Diego: approx 1 hr

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  • 15. South Carlsbad State Beach

    South Carlsbad State Beach
    Sam Trenholme

    Travel time from San Diego: approx 1 hr

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