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 famous surfers were members in the 1960s including Chuck Hasely, Mike Hynson, Skip Frye and Billy Caster.
This city beach is fairly compact with sandstone rocks at either end. There’s usually space for sunbathing and relaxing although winter storms tend to remove sand, redepositing it in summer.
Steps assist your route down the steep cliffs but if the sand level is low, the final descent is a bit of a scramble down the exposed sandstone ledges.
The strong currents and shore break make this a top choice for surfing although swimming is not recommended.
The south end of the beach is marked by the iconic palm-thatched surf shack, now a designated historic landmark. Built by locals in 1946, it was once the site of Polynesian luau beach parties.
You’ll need to arrive early to grab one of the 16 designated beach parking spots or park on the nearby streets and walk. The beach has a lifeguard patrol in summer, and there are benches and tide pools but no other facilities such as restrooms and water fountains.
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