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San Diego Beach Wheelchairs

Getting disabled beachgoers on the sand & in the water

San Diego's beaches are more welcoming for travelers with disabilities and others with limited mobility looking for an exhilarating holiday.

Providing Sand and Water Access for All

The beach is a way of life for many San Diegans and those who visit it. It offers endless views, ocean breezes and the chance to take in all that Southern California offers. And now the beach is even more accessible for travelers with disabilities and others with limited mobility due to the availability of special equipment. Through the efforts of the City of San Diego, Port of San Diego, local residents and council members, there are now a variety of manual, powered and floating beach chairs plus sand access mats available at various beaches throughout San Diego County.

Manual, Powered and Floating Beach Chairs

To ensure that all visitors can enjoy the sun, surf and sand, San Diego offers free manual or power beach wheelchairs at nine popular beaches for travelers with disabilities or limited mobility. A hybrid of the common power wheelchair and dune buggies, the power beach wheelchairs are comfortable, sturdy, self-propelled and designed to navigate the soft sands. Most wheelchairs are offered on a first come, first served basis. The manual chairs do require you bring a friend to help you navigate through the soft sand.

You can find the manual and powered chairs at Ocean BeachMission BeachCoronado Beach, Silver Strand State Beach, Imperial BeachLa Jolla Shores and Oceanside Harbor Beach.

For more information, visitors can call the following telephone numbers:

City of San Diego Beach Wheelchair Line (Mission Bay, Mission Beach, Ocean Beach, La Jolla Shores) (619) 525-8247
Coronado Beach (619) 522-7346, ext. 3
Silver Strand State Beach (619)-435-0126 (manual beach wheelchairs only)
Imperial Beach reservation line (619) 685-7972
Oceanside Harbor Beach and Pier Beach (760) 435-4018 (manual beach wheelchairs only)  

Two floating beach chairs are available at Moonlight Beach in Encinitas. The chairs are available at no charge on a first-come, first-served basis at the lifeguard tower, 7 days a week from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM. For questions, call 760.633.2740.

Sand Access Mats

For beach access on-demand year-round, the San Diego company Access Trax rents and sells lightweight, portable wheelchair-accessible mats you can take anywhere. Invented by occupational therapists, they're easy to use and can be set up in seconds by only one person.

Select beaches also offer sand access mats to provide an easier pathway to access the beach. Large spikes hold the mats in place and sand is swept off the mats daily. 

  • Imperial Beach
    The mats are installed at Pier Plaza and Dunes Park, which both have handicapped parking nearby. The mat size can be manipulated to accommodate events in other areas.
  • Cardiff State Beach 
    During the summer season, a mat is placed at Lifeguard Tower 15 to provide a firm access surface to the mean high tide line.
  • Moonlight Beach 
    A 150 ft. mat is in place year-round near the lifeguard tower.

With the many considerations available for people with mobility disabilities, San Diego is the perfect destination to access the great outdoors. Plan a visit today and experience San Diego's wheelchair accessible beaches for yourself!

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