YEW! All the tourists have gone home, which means it’s the official start of San Diego summer, or Summer 2.0. Whether you’re planning to paddle out, take a dip or hang by a fire pit, we put together a list of some of the best beaches in San Diego — AND, a chance to WIN a $25 gift card to South Coast Surf Shops.
This palm-lined four mile beach is the heart of Oceanside and features a pier with a restaurant at the end and an outdoor amphitheater. The beach itself has umbrella, tables and plenty of grassy spots in the shade plus, the water is perfect for surfing and swimming.
Swami’s is an internationally for its surfing and breathtaking views. Several cafes, including one named for this beach, a park and picnic area surround the area so you can catch a wave and coffee or cocktails in the same spot. During low tide, be sure to make your way to the tide pools at the point north from the bottom of the stairs that lead to the beach.
SAN ELIJO STATE BEACH
San Elijo is a super family friendly spot with campgrounds, surfing, picnic tables, and more. While you’re there, don’t forget to look out for the Kook at the intersections of the southbound 101 and Chesterfield Drive for that perfect insta moment.
CARDIFF STATE BEACH
Cardiff is known for its amazing reefs and kelp beds, which are perfect for diving. Be sure check out the wetlands and ecological reserve near Seaside Beach and the San Elijo Lagoon while you’re there.
Fletcher Cove Park is also known as “Pillbox” because of the WWII concrete installations on the bluff. This beach is small, but has a grassy area, a kids play area, basketball court, and picnic tables. All of these look out over the ocean, and lifeguards are on duty year-round.
DOG BEACH DEL MAR
Why should you have all the fun? Bring your pup to the only beach in Del Mar that allows dogs to be off-leash (during most months). There’s also volleyball courts and a trail to an ocean overlook at James Scripps Bluff Preserve, for humans looking to explore too.
TORREY PINES STATE BEACH
If you take the low road, a popular beach with bathrooms, showers, lifeguards and a safe play area near the lagoon can be found. If you take the high road, you’ll find Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve Park, where you’ll find pine forests, sandstone canyons and hiking trails.
Underwater reefs make Windansea a local go to for local surfers, but even if you’re a kook, the views are perfect for everyone. This beach is mostly rocky landscape, but the you’ll definitely find your perfect “Insta-ration”, especially near the surf shack.
If you’re looking for a small beach great for surfing and sunbathing, Tourmaline will be your mecca. Lifeguards are usually on duty, and walking along this beach can lead you to the tide pools nearby. Fire pits and picnic tables complete your experience here.
The standout feature of Mission Beach is Belmont Park, an adjacent amusement park to the beach. If you’re looking for the Santa Monica experience here in SD, you’ve found it. Mission Bay Park is the biggest park of its kind in the country. It has 8 designated swim areas, and plenty of areas for jet skiers, water skiers, and other aquatic sports. It’s also home to plenty of aquatic life, so you get a wide array of experiences here. South MB is great for beach sports lovers. It features a basketball court, volleyball courts, and perfect waves for surfing. For the more relaxed at heart, enjoy picnic tables, fire pits, and areas for sunbathing.
Ocean Beach has a Venice vibe, with plenty of bicyclists, sunbathers, surfers, and restaurant goers alike. Spend some time checking out the pier, and then after your day at the beach, wash off and head out to one of the many bars and restaurants in the area for some fun after dark.
This 1.5 mile long beach is set against the backdrop of the iconic Hotel Coronado. The silvery beach is great for skim boarding and walks with the family. Be sure to check out some of the awesome shops, restaurants and breweries on your way down, and of course Coronado is perfect for photo ops.