Best Beaches in San Diego

It is another beautiful day in sunny San Diego and you’re ready to spend some time by the water. Truth be told, there is no such thing as a bad decision when it comes to picking a beach in San Diego- it’s known as America’s Finest City for a reason! But depending on what you’re looking for- a casual day with the family, scoping out the secret spots of locals, taking in the coastline from a relaxing sand spot, or surfing the waves- you might prefer something different. Here is our advice to help you plan out your day. 


Best Beaches for Kids and Family in San Diego

Mission Beach

If you are in San Diego with your family, you won’t want to miss out on the fun-filled opportunities that Mission Beach has to offer. Mission Beach has plenty of sand, sun, and surf to satisfy any beach goers needs, but it is also the site of something not found at any of the other San Diego beaches. Located right next to the boardwalk, Belmont Park is an oceanfront amusement park with something to offer to everyone! Grab the family and jump on the famous Giant Dipper roller coaster for a whole new view of the Pacific Ocean! Mission Beach is packed with activities from a bike ride along the boardwalk, to a game of volleyball or basketball, to simply enjoying an ice cream cone on the beach with your loved ones.

mission beach

Coronado Island

Indulge in the gorgeous white sand and stunning coastline of Coronado Island. This is the perfect spot to enjoy a relaxing beach day with the family. The area near the iconic Hotel Del is perfect for building sand castles and boogie boarding in the ocean with the kids. You can also explore some of the most pristine beaches in all of San Diego by bike or by foot along the oceanfront path. Travel a little further south and you’ll find Silver Strand beach, the perfect place to enjoy the quiet coastline away from big beach crowds and tourists.

coronado island

La Jolla Shores

One of the most popular beaches in San Diego for families is La Jolla Shores Beach. Kids can enjoy playing in gentle waves and parents can feel safe knowing that year-round lifeguards are on duty. You may even want to rent a kayak or stand-up paddle board to enjoy the calmer waters of the shores. Head north and you can watch groms surf the waves at Scripps Pier!

la jolla shores

Romantic Beaches in San Diego

La Jolla Cove

Perhaps you are looking for a more romantic place to spend the day in the company of someone special. La Jolla offers a great stretch of scenery that is perfect for taking a relaxing walk along the coast or finding the perfect spot on the sand or grass to soak up the sun. Set up a romantic date at one of the picnic tables and watch the sea lions from above the cove. La Jolla is also filled with many restaurants with gorgeous views of the ocean to really give your day a little something special.

la jolla cove

Sunset Cliffs

Our other top pick for a romantic beach spot in San Diego is Sunset Cliffs. Sunset Cliffs, located in Ocean Beach, is home to some of our all time favorite views in San Diego. Picture you and that special someone walking hand in hand along the cliffs overlooking the ocean as the sun slowly descends below the horizon and the sky is illuminated by a warm spectrum of colors. Now if that isn’t romantic I don’t know what it. The best part about Sunset Cliffs is that it is a versatile location. If you are the adventurous type this is also a great place for you to explore. There are many paths and routes you can choose from to climb down the cliffs and explore the beach areas below!

sunset cliffs

Beaches for Adventurous Souls

Torrey Pines State Reserve

San Diego BeachesIf you are really looking for some hiking adventures and something to get your blood pumping come visit Torrey Pines State Reserve. These hiking trails lead you from the beach to the highest cliffs and are a great place to get some physical activity in.


Black’s Beach

For the extreme adventure junkie, you can also reach Black’s Beach from Torrey Pines Beach, San Diego’s only nude beach. Warning: no matter which way you go to get to Black’s be prepared to do some walking/hiking!


Single and Ready to Mingle

Pacific Beach

For those who are looking to bask in the sun and in the hotties, Pacific Beach is the beach you are looking for. Pacific Beach also has the reputation of being the ‘college beach’. The main street, Garnet, is lined with bars, restaurants and affordable shops. There are also plenty of rooftop bars and restaurants to pick from right on the beach. It is the perfect place to go if you are looking for sun, fun and babes!


No matter what beach you choose, it is sure to be a memorable day with all the activities San Diego has to offer! What are some of your favorite beach spots and why?