No trip to San Diego is complete without a day (or many!) at the beach. From the calm La Jolla Cove, to the surf break of Encinitas, to the boardwalk of Mission Beach, the beaches of San Diego stretch to over 70 miles of coastline. Thanks to year-round sunshine and warm temperatures, the beaches in San Diego can be enjoyed any time of year.
Chosen as America’s best beach year after year, Coronado State Beach and the iconic Hotel Del Coronado is a favorite of visitors and locals alike. Just a few miles from downtown, Coronado feels a lifetime away. Spend your day basking in the San Diego sun, playing volleyball on one of the beaches permanent courts, or letting your dog play in the waves at the off-leash dog park. Don’t forget marshmallows and graham crackers. Coronado Beach features fire pits perfect for cooking up some s’mores.
You’ve got a number of beach-filled options when you choose the beautiful community of La Jolla. La Jolla Shores is a mile long stretch of beach popular for both swimming and for launching kayaks — thanks to the calm waves. You’ll want to head to the Scripps Pier for the quintessential Southern California photo opp. A little further down the coast, you will hit the La Jolla Cove. The coves are extremely popular with kayakers and divers. This is also a popular hangout for seals. Their barking can be heard for quite a distance! And finally, for those with young children, the Children’s Pool. Protected by a cement sea wall, the waves are gentle enough for the kids to play. Even the seals think so! Seals and their young often frequent the Children’s Pool to sunbathe with their young. The area may be closed if seals have come ashore.
When it comes to San Diego beaches, Mission Beach may be the well-known and most visited. Mission Beach features Belmont Park (and the famous Giant Dipper Rollercoaster) and the newly renovated beachfront restaurant, The Wave House. Enjoy a cold beer and burger while you watch experts and beginners test their balance on two man-made wave machines. Mission and the nearby Pacific Beach offer a number of great places to eat from small Mexican joints to the popular rooftop of the Ale House. Across the street from the beaches is the quieter Mission Bay. Stand up paddleboarding (SUP) is hugely popular on the bayside, and there isn’t a better place to learn than its calm waters. SUP rentals are available around the area.