10 Spectacular Beaches In San Diego To Visit

San Diego is a major city in California, and as a result it’s got a major amount of beaches for you to enjoy when you visit.

With 70 miles of beach alongside the Pacific Ocean, San Diego clearly has no shortage of sandy dunes to relax and play on, all with gorgeous views of the water.

10 Spectacular Beaches In San Diego To Visit

A lot of different beaches fit into this 70 mile stretch, each with their own unique attractions and appearance. But how can you find the best of these San Diego beaches?

Thankfully, we’ve done the work for you! In our fun guide below, we’ve narrowed the choices down to a selection of the very best beaches in the area. 

Read on to find out about 10 spectacular beaches in San Diego that are essential to visit. We’ve got a description for each of them, highlighting what makes them so great.

Whatever your taste, you’re sure to find beaches that you love!

La Jolla Cove

We’re starting our list off with a particularly great pick! La Jolla is a cozy neighborhood in San Diego, famous for its beautiful seaside area and its rugged, picturesque coastline.

The La Jolla Cove is a beautiful little cove that’s located there, and the cove has a fantastic beach that’s perfect for a trip.

You’ll find that it’s a very gentle, secluded beach with a relaxing vibe. This is thanks to the fact that it’s surrounded by cliffs, which close it off and make it feel private and small.

If you like a beach that isn’t massive and packed, then this is going to be the pick for you, and it’s a perfect spot for a romantic evening with your partner.

The beach is open 24 hours a day and costs nothing to access. You can swim, but you shouldn’t at the times when there is no lifeguard present, because it could put you in danger.

There is also plenty of sea life to observe from afar (keep your distance!): garibaldi, sea slugs, and even octopuses in some reported sightings. 

La Jolla is also famous for its sea lions, which you should be able to spot at the cliffs of La Jolla Cove.

Beacon’s Beach

This spectacular beach, more properly known as South Leucadia State Beach, is a great place to visit if you’re ever in San Diego – for a number of reasons. 

For one thing, it’s a popular place for people to sunbathe. You can join them, throwing down a towel and getting some sun yourself – just make sure you wear sunscreen!

The place is also a popular location, however, for surfers. You can watch people catch the waves while you stretch out on the beach, or even join them yourself if you’re into surfing.

The beach has a cozy feel just like La Jolla Cove, with only small crowds dotting the dunes, although the beach is plenty wide.

This might be because the beach is quite tucked away and remote, located below the bluff of local homes. 

Pacific Beach

Pacific Beach is actually the name for a whole neighborhood in San Diego, where you can find a range of beautiful beaches.

You’ve got the main pacific Beach area, where you can enjoy the sand and rent bikes, riding along the coast. 

On the other hand, there’s the North Pacific Beach, which is a spot where you’re likely to find lots of families having fun. This is because it has swimming areas that are overseen by a lifeguard, making them much safer. 

You can also visit the Tourmaline Surfing Park area, which is a surfing-only beach. If you like to catch some waves, this is a great spot to go, and you can hang out with fellow surfers.

Thankfully, it’s got slow waves that are great for beginners, kiteboarders, and longboarders. You might even see some windsurfers there if it’s particularly gusty.

Coronado Beach

Coronado Beach

This long, lovely beach in San Diego is perhaps the definition of “spectacular”, thanks to its appearance. What makes it so special, you ask? Well, its got very fine sand which has mica mixed into it.

Mica is a glittery mineral, and as a result it gives the whole beach a shiny, sparkling quality. It’ll be like you’re spending the day on a beach of diamonds! 

This glittery appearance makes it an especially great place for taking the kids, because they’ll be amazed by the shininess and start making glittering sand castles!

If the beach looks familiar, it’s featured in the brilliant comedy film “Some Like It Hot” from 1958, where Marilyn Monroe and Tony Curtis can be seen on the beach outside the luxurious Hotel del Coronado.

Mission Bay Park

The Mission Bay neighborhood in San Diego actually consists of over 50% water, making it a perfect beach location.

The park that’s located there has a very long beach, which is a must visit location if you’re in the area.

The waters are gentle and perfect for playing in when there’s a lifeguard on duty. On top of that, there are plenty of beach activities like volleyball and barbeques.

You can even stop and have a picnic in some spots, making this the perfect location for a full day out.

Better yet, there’s plenty of other water-related fun to have in the Mission Bay area. There’s a SeaWorld to take your family too, where the kids can enjoy various rides, as well as marvel at the animals of the aquarium.

Plenty of sailing goes on at Mission Bay, too, and a manmade zone for water sports has lots of fun games going on in. 

Del Mar City Beach

Another spectacular beach to visit is the massive sandy stretch of Del Mar City Beach, which is two miles long and has plenty of room for you to relax and enjoy the sun.

You’ll also find two beach parks while exploring the whole dunes, and each of these have plenty of extra activities for you to do. 

Powerhouse Park is one of them, which is a beautiful grass area full of benches and picnic tables. Don’t know where to spend lunch?

This is a great spot, and if you haven’t brought any food with you then you can buy some at the vast range of restaurants and snack places. 

The other park is Seagrove Park, where there are plenty of benches to sit on and lots of trees to provide some shade.

You can get a good view of the surfers from here, which makes it even nicer.

You should be aware that the beach can be narrow when the water is at high tide, so keep safe.

Ocean Beach

Coronado Beach

The Ocean Beach neighborhood unsurprisingly has a great beach for you to enjoy, which is often filled with sunbathers and surfers.

Despite the popularity, you’ll find that the whole beach has a very relaxed vibe, which makes it a perfect pick if you’re looking for somewhere that is gentle and laidback. 

As for beach activities, there are plenty. You can rent bikes and cycle along the place, or you can go to the Ocean Beach Pier and do a bit of fishing.

If you want to do some shopping, and get some beach-style souvenirs, there are plenty of boutiques on Newport Avenue, which is nearby. 

Black’s Beach 

First things first, we have to state that Black’s Beach is a nude beach. If that isn’t the kind of place you’d want to visit or bring your family too, then just give this one a miss!

On the other hand, nude beaches offer a space for people to really let themselves go free, which certainly suits the whole relaxed, joyous vibe that beaches offer anyway.

The beach is very secluded and has a private feeling to it, which is going to be a big appeal for some.

Mission Beach 

Mission Beach is a spectacular location, which attracts huge amounts of sunbathers and surfers. There’s loads to do here, beginning with the beautifully sandy beach that’s perfect for relaxing and playing on.

It’s a wide beach, too, so you shouldn’t struggle to find room.

There is also an amusement park, Belmont Park, where you can enjoy various games and rides. On top of that, you can watch some marine life shows at the SeaWorld too.

Never seen a dolphin before? Now you can!

Cardiff State Beach

Our final pick is this beautiful protected beach, which is a popular spot for families. You’ll find lovely dunes to laze on, waters to swim on (make sure the lifeguard is on duty), and even waves for surfing.

Some people even “beachcomb” here – scanning the beach for valuable items, like cool shells.

Final Thoughts

San Diego has 70 miles of beach within it, which means there’s loads of fantastic individual beaches to visit.

From secluded beaches with small crowds, to packed family beaches, there’s something for everyone. Use our list to visit the 10 most spectacular ones.

Mylene Mace