It is no secret that San Diego beaches attract millions of visitors every year to San Diego. These tourists either live in landlocked towns or are simply here to live the true California experience and enjoy the perfect weather San Diego is famous for.It is no secret that San Diego beaches attract millions of visitors every year to San Diego. These tourists either live in landlocked towns or are simply here to live the true California experience and enjoy the perfect weather San Diego is famous for. Some of the county’s best resorts can be found along the coast as well as delightful restaurants and shopping plazas filled with galleries, boutiques, antiques, and other collectibles.
The coastline in San Diego is so dramatically different from one beach to the next that each visitor can find his or her perfect beach in San Diego. But it isn’t until that first moment on one of these splendid beaches that the travelers truly understand the beauty that is crashing in front of them and rushing over their feet buried in the sand.
Blacks Beach, or Torrey Pines City Beach, is famous among surfers for its big winter swell. But it is the clothing-optional culture found here that the beach is best known for. Perhaps it is the difficult trek that keeps most other beachgoers away. One of the two ways Blacks can be accessed is by a dirt trail that leads down from the Torrey Pines Glider Port. Watch the hang-gliders and para-gliders soar hundreds of feet above the surfers and sun bathers.
La Jolla Shores Beach, which is south of Blacks and much easier to access, is popular for beginner to intermediate surfers, scuba divers, and families. Surfers and families love this beach because the protected cove offers great swimming and easy-rolling waves to paddle out on. The pits light up at night as families and friends bring out the marshmallows. The public beach in front of the La Jolla Beach and Tennis Club also draws quite a crowd during the summer. The leopard sharks found at the southernmost end of the beach offer some excitement for the scuba divers and diners at the Marine Room restaurant.
Rent a kayak and make your way south towards the mysterious caves found at La Jolla Cove. Or you can explore Sunny Jim’s Cave from a tunnel entrance that begins in the basement of a shop on Coast Boulevard and Prospect Street.
Sunbathers and swimmers pack Pacific Beach during the summer. Spots on the sand are for the most part claimed by college students and other young adults, eager to catch a few rays, meet up with some friends, and hang out at any of the beach bars that are a short stroll away. On any day, but especially on weekends, the three-mile long boardwalk is filled with runners, roller bladers, cyclists, and people watchers.
PB, as it is referred to by the locals, is not as popular for surfing as other spots in San Diego. The best surf spot is at Tourmaline Surfing Park, at the northernmost end of the city. The slow, sloping waves make this an attractive spot for both beginners and long boarders looking for a mellow ride.
Families tend to congregate on the north side of the pier in North Pacific Beach. Swimming is great here and under constant lifeguard supervision. South of the pier, it isn’t hard to find some excitement with bars right on the boardwalk and parties extending out on the sand.
Mission Bay has been developed into an aquatic playground for those who enjoy sailers, waterskiers, wakeboarders, swimmers, and more. There is plenty to do in any area of the Bay and along its 27 miles of shoreline. Joggers and Rollerbladers love the path the stretches along Sail Bay, while volleyball players tend to congregate more by Crown Point. Fish or scuba dive daily from the Quivera Basin. Ski Beach offers great space for family picnics. And Fiesta Island draws a variety of people and their four-legged friends.
If water sports is what you came to do, East Mission Bay will not disappoint. Santa Clara Point has an aquatic center with rentals. The park itself has an information center, tons of grass, playgrounds, and boat launching ramps. On hot summer days, the water is jam packed with waverunners, wakeboarders, and jet boats.
The other half of the Bay is where you will find the sailboats and sailboarders. This is also where the more peaceful swimming areas can be found.
Point Loma offers the best of both worlds. For those who enjoy natural beauty, Sunset Cliffs is a site not to be missed. Not the best for swimming or sunbathing, Sunset Cliffs is perfect for very experienced surfers. Surfers clamber down the rocks, balancing their boards perfectly to avoid nicks or scrapes and paddle off towards the sunset. Spectators gather round daily to watch the surf and watch the breathtaking sunsets from the colorful sandstone cliffs as waves crash against the rocks below.
On the other side of Point Loma is the marina and gateway to The San Diego Harbor. Hundreds of boats are docked along Harbor Island and Shelter Island, dozens of hotels and restaurants line the water, and all have a view cross San Diego Bay towards the downtown skyline. Take a tour of the Bay by boat, bike, or pedicab. Picnic on the grass or fish off one of Shelter Island’s piers. Or simply watch the sunset from one of the many waterfront restaurants as it illuminates the glass on the high rise buildings across the Bay.
Voted one of America’s Finest Beaches in the Travel Channel’s annual Top 10 survey, this beach has a wide, sandy beach and is one of the friendlier and more welcoming spots. Sectioned off into three main areas, the beach is for the most part, passable from the north to the south.
The area known as The North Beach stretches from Sunset Park to the North Island Naval Base. With fire rings and an off-leash zone for dogs, families can make easily make a day at the beach here. In the late summer, this south facing beach welcomes steep swells experienced surfers paddle out for.
Central Beach is the main area of the beach that extends from Ocean Boulevard to the end of the Hotel Del Coronado. This is the most crowded of the three beaches, but also the most scenic due to its magnificent backdrop.
South the of the Hotel Del to the Silver Strand is known as The Shores, where longboarders and body boarders enjoy the year-round beach break.