Joey Bergandi | May 15, 2023
San Diego is known for its sunny skies, warm weather, and miles of stunning coastline. With so many beautiful beaches to choose from, it can be hard to decide which ones to visit. That's why we've put together a guide to the best beaches in San Diego, complete with information on the local culture, best restaurants, and most fun activities. Whether you're looking for a relaxing day in the sun or an action-packed adventure, San Diego has a beach for you.
1. La Jolla Cove
La Jolla Cove is a picturesque beach with crystal-clear waters, rugged cliffs, and abundant marine life. This beach is popular with snorkelers and scuba divers, who come to explore the underwater caves and see the colorful fish and other sea creatures. Here are some key things to know about La Jolla Cove:
- The beach is surrounded by some of San Diego's most luxurious homes and hotels, making it a great spot for people-watching.
- La Jolla Cove is a popular spot for romantic picnics and sunset views, so bring a blanket and some snacks to enjoy while you watch the sun go down.
- For a unique experience, take a guided kayak tour of the sea caves near La Jolla Cove. You'll get up close and personal with the local wildlife and learn about the history and geology of the area.
- After a day at the beach, head to George's at the Cove, a local favorite that offers panoramic ocean views and a delicious seafood-focused menu. Don't miss the signature crab cake appetizer or the grilled octopus.
2. Coronado Beach
Coronado Beach is a family-friendly spot with wide, sandy beaches, calm waters, and plenty of amenities. This beach is famous for its iconic Hotel Del Coronado, a historic hotel that's been featured in countless movies and TV shows. Here's what you need to know about Coronado Beach:
- The beach is a popular spot for surfing, paddleboarding, and other water sports. The waves are generally mild and easy to navigate, making it a great spot for beginners.
- Coronado Beach is known for its annual sandcastle competition, which draws sand artists from around the world to create stunning sculptures on the beach.
- When you're not soaking up the sun, head to The Brigantine, a local restaurant that serves up fresh seafood dishes in a laid-back atmosphere. Don't miss the fish tacos or the clam chowder.
- Don't miss the Coronado Island Film Festival, which takes place every November and showcases the best in independent cinema. The festival features screenings, panel discussions, and special events.
3. Mission Beach
Mission Beach is a lively spot with a bustling boardwalk, amusement park rides, and plenty of opportunities for people-watching. This beach is popular with families and groups of friends who come to play beach volleyball or ride the waves. Here's what you need to know about Mission Beach:
- The beach is lined with roller coasters, bumper cars, and other amusement park rides, making it a great spot for thrill-seekers.
- Mission Beach is a popular spot for beach volleyball, with courts available for rent and plenty of pickup games happening throughout the day.
- When it's time to refuel, head to Cannonball, a rooftop restaurant and bar with stunning ocean views and a sushi-focused menu. Don't miss the signature cocktails or the fresh sushi rolls.
- For a truly unique experience, try the Flyboarding lessons offered at Mission Bay Sportcenter. You'll strap on a jet-powered water jetpack and
Soar high above the water as you control your movements with the jet nozzles.
4. Del Mar Beach
Del Mar Beach is a hidden gem that's popular with locals but often overlooked by tourists. This beach is known for its stunning sunsets, wide sandy beaches, and prime surf spots. Here are some key things to know about Del Mar Beach:
- The beach is surrounded by the charming village of Del Mar, which is home to a variety of shops, restaurants, and galleries. Take a stroll through the village and check out the local art scene.
- Del Mar Beach is a great spot for surfing, with waves that are perfect for both beginners and experienced surfers. The beach is also home to several surf schools, where you can take lessons and rent equipment.
- When you're ready for a bite to eat, head to Jake's Del Mar, a local favorite that serves up fresh seafood dishes in a beachy atmosphere. Don't miss the coconut shrimp or the signature fish tacos.
- Del Mar is also home to the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club, a world-renowned horse racing track that hosts races throughout the summer season. Take a break from the beach and try your luck at the track.
5. Ocean Beach
Ocean Beach is a funky, bohemian neighborhood that's known for its laid-back vibe and eclectic shops and restaurants. This beach is popular with surfers, dog owners, and anyone looking for a unique and quirky experience. Here's what you need to know about Ocean Beach:
- The beach is dog-friendly, with a dedicated off-leash area where your furry friends can run and play in the sand and surf.
- Ocean Beach is home to a variety of vintage shops, record stores, and other quirky boutiques. Take some time to explore the neighborhood and soak up the local culture.
- When it's time for a meal, head to Hodad's, a local institution that serves up delicious burgers and fries in a fun, beachy atmosphere. Don't miss the bacon cheeseburger or the onion rings.
- Ocean Beach is also home to the famous OB Pier, which extends 1,971 feet into the ocean and offers stunning views of the coastline. Take a walk along the pier and watch the surfers and fishermen at work.
San Diego is a beach lover's paradise, with something for everyone. Whether you're looking for a romantic spot to watch the sunset or an action-packed day of surfing and beach volleyball, San Diego's beaches have it all. So grab your sunscreen and head to one of these top beaches to experience the local culture, enjoy some delicious food, and have some fun in the sun.
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