Point Loma Beaches
1424 Sunset Cliffs Blvd.
San Diego, CA 92107
Region: Point Loma Peninsula
There are, in fact, no real beaches on Point Loma and the swimming opportunities are poor and downright dangerous. But it’s one of the best places in San Diego to meditate on waves crashing on the cliffs and explore tidepools in the rocky reefs full of marine life. Drive out to Sunset Cliffs for a magnificent sunset, where the sandstone bluffs blaze with color, and the waves sparkle like gold. If you're game for a little adventure, drive out to the old Cabrillo Lighthouse and hike out to the tide pools by the point. If you’re looking for great surf, Point Loma offers some great breaks that are frequented by locals.
Where to go
- Traveling southbound on Sunset Cliffs Boulevard from Ocean Beach, the first noteworthy site you'll come upon is Osprey Point. There's good fishing off the rocks here, and a textured retaining wall where rock climbers come to train.
- Keep heading southward to Luscomb's, a surf break in the middle of a small bay with a rock spire near the shore where birds like to hang out.
- The unappetizingly named Garbage reef belies the good surf spot where the road abruptly ends at Ladera Street.
- Beyond Ladera, drive or walk the rough road into Sunset Cliffs Park, where you'll find more quality surf spots at AB's and New Break. Beyond the southern limits of the park, the coast is wild and wooly, accessible only by boat.
- Hardcore surfers with boats head all the way to the tip, to the winter break called Dolphin Tanks or the summer break called Ralph's.
Lifeguards, Bathrooms and Showers
- Unfortunately, Point Loma beaches are not for recreational beach goers, and lack the usual San Diego beach amenities.
- Tidepooling and watching sunsets
- There's great scuba diving offshore in the kelp beds here, but a boat is the only practical way to explore them. For more info call: 619-221-8899.
- Sportfishing boats line the harbor in Point Loma and take anglers for 1/2 day, 3/4 day, twilight and overnight excersions.
Directions to Point Loma beaches
- Take the 8 FWY west, left on Sunset Cliffs Blvd. Parking can be found in small unpaved turnouts on the seaward side of Sunset Cliffs, with curbside parking all along the inland side.
- You can get a good view from your car, but if you should decide to stop for a closer look, know that the sea cliffs here are constantly collapsing and eroding. Lifeguards are no strangers to Sunset Cliffs, so make their day and yours by staying behind the barriers and avoiding any urge to climb. If you did come to surf, be aware that three challenges await you: the surf itself which can be powerful on big swells and breaks close to the rocks in places; the local crowd which tend to be fiercely protective of their spots; and the cliffs which can make getting to and from the water an adventure all its own.
What to Love
- Point Loma Seafood located on the Harbor off of Emerson Street serves up great fresh fish and excellent views.
- Cabrillo National Monument and lighthouse at the west end of the peninsula offers sweeping views of the Pacific and San Diego's beautiful skyline.
- Tidepooling at low tide just below the Cabrillo National Monument - some of the best in San Diego.
- Sportfishing from Point Loma or Mission Bay - the crews are friendly and there's usually something exciting to catch.
What to Know
- Point Loma offers beautiful views, a great neighborhood community and plenty to do but does not offer swimming or a sandy beach.
- There are no lifeguards or visitor facilities here.