The Sandy Beaches of San Diego

San Diego boasts more than 70 miles of beautiful Pacific coastline. Temperatures are mild year-round, and the sun shines almost every day. There are beaches perfect for sunning, surfing, people-watching, or playing fetch with your furry friend. Whether you’re looking for a quiet day relaxing in the sun, or a frolicking adventure among abundant crowds, you will find it on one of San Diego’s gorgeous beaches.

When to visit

All of San Diego’s beaches are open to the public free of charge. Because of San Diego’s fantastic weather, beaches are popular year-round. Winter is typically too cold for swimming, but many people visit the beaches to walk, jog, or picnic. Depending on the time of year, and even time of day you visit, you may have to deal with parking issues and traffic. If you are visiting one of the more popular beaches, you will have the best luck finding a parking spot before 10:00 a.m. and after 5:00 p.m.

During the spring and summer, special events are popular at many of the city’s beaches. Visitors will find sporting events, food festivals, concerts, parades, and sand-castle contests. The Ocean Beach Kite Festival in May and the Pacific Beach Fest in October are especially popular with residents and tourists alike.

Best Beaches for…

  • Families: Coronado Beach features free parking, year-round lifeguards, and ample restrooms with shower facilities. Ponto Beach in Carlsbad is a small, quiet beach, perfect for families with young kids. Street-side parking is free and lifeguards are on duty during peak hours.

  • Dogs: Coronado Dog Beach offers an off-leash area for your dog to play with friends in the surf. The beach is clean, and a wash area is provided for dirty dogs. The Ocean Beach Dog Beach is a very busy beach with competitive parking. If you do manage to find a spot, your dog will enjoy frolicking in the water with upwards of 50 other dogs at a time.

  • Surfing: Blacks Beach is probably the most popular surf spot in the area. It does require a bit of a hike down the cliff, but it is well worth the walk. La Jolla is a great beach for beginner surfers, offering gentle swells, year-round lifeguards, and lessons.

  • Nightlife: Both Pacific and Mission beaches offer year-round nightlife for the young at heart. Pacific Beach is always good for a party with a busy boardwalk, funky bars, and weekday drink specials. Mission Beach has a fantastic amusement park, restaurants, and all sorts of people-watching opportunities.

  • Romance: Del Mar beach is a quiet getaway loved by the locals. This is the perfect spot to watch the sunset or to snuggle up with the one you love.

With so many beaches to explore, San Diego is a must-visit vacation destination for the sand and surf lover in all of us. Look no farther than the beaches of San Diego for year-round fun in the sun.

Last Updated: January 29, 2015