A visit to San Diego isn't complete without checking out the beautiful beaches! From sunbathing on the shore, to surfing world-class waves, to kayaking along rugged cliffs, there's a beach for everyone. After all — there's a reason San Diego is referred to as California's Beach City.
- BLACK'S BEACH
Steep cliffs keep this beach isolated. NUDITY BAN ENFORCED.
Exit I-5 at Carmel Valley Rd, go west, then go south on Torrey Pines Rd, Park at Torrey Pines State Beach and hike 20 minutes south on the beach. For the more adventurous, you can take the cliff trail from the Torrey Pines Glider Port. Exit I-5 at Genesee Road, go west to Torrey Pines Road, then go south about a quarter mile to Torrey Pines Scenic Drive at The Salk Institute. The road ends at the free parking lot where you can find the trail down the cliff.
- BONITA COVE
Popular with mothers with young children. Offers playground equipment and recreation facilities. Exit I-5 at Sea World Drive, follow signs for W Mission Bay Dr.
- CARDIFF STATE BEACH
760-753-5091 (tel. no. for San Elijo State Beach)
Recommended for expert surfers and swimmers only. Dogs are permitted on leashes. Offers showers, barbecues and fishing. Paid parking lot available, plus limited free parking along Coast Highway. Exit I-5 at Encinitas Blvd, west to Hwy 101, then south for one mile.
- CARLSBAD STATE BEACH
760-438-3143 (for campground)
Popular for volleyball, Frisbee, board and bodysurfing. Offers picnic area and fishing. Exit I-5 at Tamarack Ave and drive west to Carlsbad Blvd.
- CARLSBAD STATE BEACH - SOUTH
760-438-3143 (for campground) – Reservation recommended.
Excellent for swimming and popular with campers. Offered: RV dump, showers and fishing. Exit I-5 at La Costa Blvd, go west to Carlsbad Blvd, turn right and follow the signs.
- CHILDREN'S POOL/CASA COVE
MARINE MAMMAL RESERVE. NO TOUCHING! Marine mammals are fully protected by Federal Law.
Exit I-5 at La Jolla Parkway (the street name changes to Torrey Pines Rd), right on Prospect St, right on Jenner to Coast Blvd and follow signs.
- CORONADO BEACH - NORTH
Excellent for experienced surfers. Popular for volleyball. Dogs are allowed to run free. Showers located on Central Beach. Exit I-5 at Coronado Bridge exit, left on Orange Ave, right on Isabel Ave, right on Ocean Blvd, and drive to the most northern end.
- CORONADO BEACH - SOUTH
One of the widest beaches in the county. Popular with locals and visitors. Exit Coronado Bridge, left on Orange Ave and right on Isabella to Ocean Blvd.
- "D" STREET BEACH
Attracts local surfers. Rocky cobblestone beach. Exit I-5 at Encinitas Blvd west, go south on Hwy 101 to "D" St.
- DEL MAR BEACH
Family beach with lots of sand year-round. Includes dog permit areas. Exit I-5 on Via de la Valle and drive west, cross Hwy 101 and continue straight through to beach signs.
- DOG BEACH (AT OCEAN BEACH)
Dogs are allowed to roam free. Frisbee is popular here. Experienced swimmers only! Exit I-8 at Sunset Cliffs Blvd, right on W Pt Loma Blvd and right on Voltaire St.
- FLETCHER COVE
Cliffline access only! Popular with beachcombers and shell collectors. Exit I-5 at Lomas Santa Fe Drive; go west until it becomes Plaza St, right on Beach Front Dr.
- GARBAGE BEACH
Popular with the surfers. Experienced swimmers only! Access via stairs at Ladera St and Sunset Cliffs Blvd. Exit I-8 at Sunset Cliffs Blvd, follow Sunset Cliffs Blvd around to Ladera St.
- HARBOR BEACH
Known for its white sand and popular with young surfers. Fishing available off jetty; showers provided. Exit I-5 in Oceanside at Harbor Drive and drive south. Paid parking.
- IMPERIAL BEACH
Best known for U.S. Open Sandcastle Competition, also surfing competitions are held here. Exit I-5 at Palm Ave and drive west. Pier closes at 10 pm.
- LA JOLLA COVE & ELLEN BROWNING SCRIPPS PARK; ECOLOGICAL RESERVE
Suitable for families. No taking of sea-life, flotation devices or spearfishing. Exit I-5 at La Jolla Parkway (street name changes to Torrey Pines Rd), right on Prospect St, right on Coast or Girard.
- LA JOLLA SHORES
Excellent for families. Suitable for swimming and surfing. The taking or possession of sea life or artifacts is prohibited! Exit I-5 at La Jolla Parkway, right on La Jolla Shores Drive and left on Vallecitos.
- LEUCADIA (GRANDVIEW)
Popular with locals of all ages. Exit Leucadia Blvd off I-5, drive west to Hwy 101 and drive north to Grandview access.
- MOONLIGHT BEACH
Excellent for families. Volleyball is popular; picnic tables. Exit I-5 at Encinitas Blvd, go west to beach.
- MISSION BEACH - NORTH
Popular with people-watchers who enjoy the combination of skaters, bicyclists and leisurely strollers. Exit I-5 at Grand Ave, drive west, take a left on Mission Blvd, and drive to the roller coaster.
- MISSION BEACH - SOUTH
A favorite with students and surfers. Lots of restaurants, shops and pubs. Exit I-5 at Grand Ave, drive west, left on Mission Blvd and drive to the end.
- OCEAN BEACH - NORTH
Experienced swimmers only! STRONG RIP CURRENTS! The volleyball action is here. Exit I-8 at Sunset Cliffs Blvd, right on W Point Loma Blvd and right on Voltaire St.
- OCEAN BEACH - SOUTH
STRONG RIP CURRENTS! Showers provided. Exit I-8 at Sunset Cliffs Blvd, right on West Point Loma Blvd and left on Abbott St.
- OCEANSIDE PIER BEACH
Suitable for families. Long stretch of white sandy beach. Exit I-5 at Mission Ave, go west to Hill St, drive one block north, and turn left on Third St.
- PACIFIC BEACH
Sandy beach, boardwalk, bicycling and roller skating. Exit I-5 at Grand Ave, drive west to Mission Blvd.
- SAN ELIJO STATE BEACH
Sandy beach; excellent surfing reef! Dogs permitted south of tower 7. Exit I-5 at Encinitas Blvd; go west, then south on Hwy. 101.
- SEASCAPE BEACH
Very popular with the Del Mar race crowd and volleyball enthusiasts. Exit I-5 at Lomas Santa Fe Drive and drive to the 500 block of South Sierra Ave.
- SILVER STRAND STATE BEACH
Popular with young families due to the shallow and calm waters. Exit I-5 at Coronado Bridge, left on Orange Ave, drive past Hotel del Coronado and continue down Hwy. 75 until you reach Coronado Cays.
- SWAMI'S BEACH PARK
Use the stairs at Swami's to access this popular surf spot. Offers picnic tables and barbecues. Exit I-5 at Encinitas Blvd and go west, left on 101 Coast Highway and drive to Swami's beach; long steep stairs.
- TORREY PINES STATE BEACH
Offers fantastic views and a long stretch of beach. Exit I-5 at Carmel Valley Rd. west, then south on Torrey Pines Rd.
Attracts local surfers; NO SCUBA. Exit I-5 at Grand Ave west, north on Mission Blvd, north on La Jolla Blvd, left on Nautilus St.