arrow-down arrow-left arrow-right arrow-up play-button plus tab-indicator dots close menu search facebook google-plus instagram pinterest rss twitter youtube rss-two heart Check FeaturedBadge linkedin minus apps placeholder linkedin

The Best Beaches, According to Kids

A kid-sized, 70-mile sandbox

San Diego's 70 miles of coastline offer families a variety of beaches that are perfect for swimming, surfing, sandcastle building, and any other family beach activity.

Surf's Up in San Diego

For the Whole Family

  • Family-friendly La Jolla Shores is a perfect beach for kids of all ages. This mile-long sandy beach slopes gently and has small, slow waves that make it an ideal place for younger kids to play in the shallow water and older kids to learn surfing, body boarding and other water activities. A wide cement boardwalk separates the beach from a large grassy park ideal for picnicking and volleyball games.
  • Shell Beach, at the south end of Ellen Browning Scripps Park, offers excellent tide pooling at low (preferably minus) tides. Plus, kids can watch seals and sea lions play, rest and sun themselves on a big rock offshore and the sandy cove to the south of Shell Beach.
  • Torrey Pines State Beach in La Jolla is a popular beach right off the highway with bathrooms, showers, lifeguards and a safe spot for kids to play by the lagoon. The bluffs above the beach are part of the 1,750-acre Torrey Pines State Reserve Park that is dedicated to preserving its namesake, the Torrey Pine tree (which grows only here), and other indigenous wildlife in its native environment. Eight miles of trails offer breathtaking views of the Pacific Ocean, while walking amid native chaparral plants, wildflowers, birds, reptiles and butterflies. With both family-friendly paths and more advanced trails, the park provides a great hiking experience for all levels.
  • Explore the tide pools at Swami's Beach in Encinitas at low tide and discover a plethora of aquatic life. Please note that the beach is only accessed via a long set of stairs from the small park and parking lot at the top.
  • Regularly recognized by the Travel Channel as "one of the 10 best family beaches in North America," Coronado Beach is perfect for an all-day stay for families. This long, wide, white sand beach offers plenty of space for paddleball, sandcastle building, kite flying and volleyball.

Teen-Friendly Beach Scenes

  • Favorite hangouts of active young sun-worshipers, Pacific Beach and Mission Beach are connected by a three-mile boardwalk with skaters, bicyclists and beachgoers just wanting "to be seen." During the day, the wide sandy beach becomes a colorful patchwork of towels, umbrellas, board shorts and bikinis. Nearby, oceanfront streets boast boutiques, surf shops and cheap eats that bustle with activity. Adjacent to Mission Beach is Belmont Park, featuring the vintage "Giant Dipper" roller coaster, an amusement arcade and the Wave House, home to San Diego's only FlowRide, a simulated surfing platform with a non-stop wave.
  • Coronado Beach has been recognized for many years as "one of the 10 best family beaches in North America" by the Travel Channel, but that doesn't mean it's just for kids. Along its vast expanse of white sand, impromptu football, volleyball and paddleball games spring up frequently, and the surf is generally gentle. In the village of Coronado, the small-town atmosphere is ideal for hanging out, shopping in the local boutiques and surf shops, and grabbing a burger or ice cream at an outdoor cafe. Bike rentals are available at the Coronado Ferry Landing and are the perfect way for teenagers to explore the island, with or without their parents.
  • A visit to La Jolla Shores offers up a spacious beach that slopes gently into the Pacific. This mile-long sandy shore is paralleled by a wide cement boardwalk that separates the beach from a large grassy park, ideal for picnicking and volleyball games. La Jolla Shores is a perfect place for first-time surfers to catch waves or kayakers and stand-up paddle boarders to discover the nearby La Jolla Sea Caves. The charming area is also home to numerous kayak and surf shops, where teenagers can rent equipment or pick up the latest beach and surf wear.

Read more about what to do on the beach and in the water here!

Find a place to stay

Book online or call 1-800-350-6205 to speak with a local expert

Things to Do

What's Hot|
Top Picks|
What's On

Save with Discount Passes to local Attractions

CityPASS and the Go San Diego Card provide multi-day passes for big savings on top attractions.  

Discover

Don’t Miss These Epic Events

Check out San Diego’s star-studded event lineup

Discover

Holiday Hotel Rates From $99

Find special hotel deals from Nov. 25 to Jan. 5.

Discover

The Capital of Craft

Hoppiness isn't far from happiness in San Diego. The craft beer experience is massive in this region, with more than 120 breweries, countless beer bars, innovative tasting rooms and a beer culture that's undeniably San Diegan.

Discover

Convoy Street - San Diego's Asian Restaurant Row

Home to Vietnamese, Japanese, Korean and Chinese cultures and cuisines

Discover

Tiki Bars - Exotic rum punches and smoking volcano bowls

Exploring San Diego's tiki culture and scene reveals that it's not just a trend or lifestyle, it's a state of mind.

Discover

7 Spectacular Rooftop Restaurants

You don't come to San Diego to spend time in the great indoors. The weather, as advertised, is annoyingly perfect.

Discover

Del Mar Racing Season

Jul 18 - Sep 7, 2020

San Diego horse racing takes place where the "turf meets the surf" at the Del Mar Racetrack. Fans flock to the track each summer to wager on their favorite horses during the popular, annual Del Mar Racetrack racing season, mid-July - early-September. Be part of the magic and nostalgia of this long-time horse race tradition dating back to 1937 when Bing Crosby greeted the first guests, and Seabiscuit won by a nose in the infamous race in 1938. This season features the nation's top race horses, trainers and jockeys, and plenty of fun in the sun.

The races run five days weekly, except Monday and Tuesday.

Horse racing at Del Mar happens Wednesday through Sunday, with post time for the first race on most days at 2:00 PM. On Fridays first post is 4:00 PM.

Discover

San Diego Bay Wine & Food Festival

Nov 8 - Nov 15, 2020

Welcome to the San Diego Bay Wine + Food Festival, where sailboats and sandy beaches serve as the backdrop to one of the country’s most talked about weeks in food. Featuring dozens of events, hundreds of domestic and international wineries, the celebration of craft beer and spirits, local culinary legends and nationally recognized celebrities, and a Grand Tasting Finale on the stunning Embarcadero.

Discover

Del Mar Racing Season

Jul 18 - Sep 7, 2020

San Diego horse racing takes place where the "turf meets the surf" at the Del Mar Racetrack. Fans flock to the track each summer to wager on their favorite horses during the popular, annual Del Mar Racetrack racing season, mid-July - early-September. Be part of the magic and nostalgia of this long-time horse race tradition dating back to 1937 when Bing Crosby greeted the first guests, and Seabiscuit won by a nose in the infamous race in 1938. This season features the nation's top race horses, trainers and jockeys, and plenty of fun in the sun.

The races run five days weekly, except Monday and Tuesday.

Horse racing at Del Mar happens Wednesday through Sunday, with post time for the first race on most days at 2:00 PM. On Fridays first post is 4:00 PM.

Discover

San Diego Bay Wine & Food Festival

Nov 8 - Nov 15, 2020

Welcome to the San Diego Bay Wine + Food Festival, where sailboats and sandy beaches serve as the backdrop to one of the country’s most talked about weeks in food. Featuring dozens of events, hundreds of domestic and international wineries, the celebration of craft beer and spirits, local culinary legends and nationally recognized celebrities, and a Grand Tasting Finale on the stunning Embarcadero.

Discover

What's Hot

View More

Save with Discount Passes to local Attractions

Discover

Don’t Miss These Epic Events

Discover

Holiday Hotel Rates From $99

Discover

Top Picks

The Capital of Craft

Discover

Convoy Street - San Diego's Asian Restaurant Row

Discover

Tiki Bars - Exotic rum punches and smoking volcano bowls

Discover

7 Spectacular Rooftop Restaurants

Discover

What's On

View More Events

Del Mar Racing Season

Jul 18 - Sep 7, 2020
Discover

San Diego Bay Wine & Food Festival

Nov 8 - Nov 15, 2020
Discover

Del Mar Racing Season

Jul 18 - Sep 7, 2020
Discover

San Diego Bay Wine & Food Festival

Nov 8 - Nov 15, 2020
Discover

Related Articles and Features

Deals just for you

Accommodation

Welcome Back To Island Palms Offer!

Best Western Plus Island Palms Hotel & Marina
Valid: Jun 30 - ongoing

Brighter days are just around the corner, and we are sure you are eagerly awaiting your next escape. Plan ahead now that we are re-opened, with this special offer for travel dates from now through...

Accommodation

Dreaming Of The Days Inn Offer

Days Inn By Wyndham San Diego Hotel Circle
Valid: Jun 30 - ongoing

Dreaming of a lazy summer getaway or a reason to get out of the house? We've got you covered. With our Dreaming Of The Days offer, we've got rates from $69 including free nightly parking. When you're...

Accommodation

Getaway To Holiday Inn Bayside Offer

Holiday Inn San Diego Bayside
Valid: Jun 30 - ongoing

Our Getaway Package is waiting for you when the time is right and you need a change of scenery! Book this package to include everything you need – a clean and comfortable room, daily breakfast,...

Events to check out

Event

Supergirl Surf Pro

Aug 14 - Aug 16, 2020

The world’s top professional female surfers are back in Oceanside, CA for the 13th Supergirl Surf Pro, a 3-day event August 14-16, 2020. The weekend will be jam-packed with world-class...

Event

Bike the Bay

Aug 23, 2020

Experience Bike the Bay, a scenic bayside ride, and also enjoy a rare opportunity to ride over the San Diego-Coronado Bay Bridge.

Event

USA Ultimate National Championships

Oct 22 - Oct 25, 2020

The USA Ultimate National Championships represent the pinnacle of elite ultimate in North America and crowns champions in three divisions: men’s, mixed and women’s. 

Stay in touch

Sign up to receive the latest news, events, and updates about San Diego. Our monthly and weekly newsletters will keep you informed about the latest and greatest happenings in the destination.

Sign Up

Visitor planning guide

For the ultimate guide to planning your San Diego vacation, view and download the San Diego Visitor Planning Guide, packed with useful information that will help you plan the perfect San Diego getaway.

Read More

Partners

Explore

Plan

Stay

Follow Us

Language:

English | Change Language

Select your country or region

China FlagChinaGermany FlagGermanyGreat Britain FlagGreat BritainJapan FlagJapanMexico FlagMexicoKorea FlagKoreaSwitzerland FlagSwitzerlandBrazil FlagBrazilFrance FlagFranceAustralia FlagAustraliaCanada FlagCanada USA

Or use Google Translate

Afrikaans Albanian Arabic Belarusian Bulgarian Catalan Croatian Czech Danish Deutsch Español Estonian Filipino Finnish Francais Galician Greek Haitian-Creole Hebrew Hindi Hungarian Icelandic Indonesian Irish Italian Japanese Korean Latvian Lithuanian Macedonian Malay Maltese Nederlands Norwegian Persian Polish Portuguese Romanian Russian Serbian Slovak Slovenian Swahili Swedish Telugu Thai Turkish Ukranian Vietnamese Welsh Yiddish