With more than 60 miles of coastline, it can be hard to choose which San Diego beaches are the best to visit this summer. From waterfront roller coasters and sand castle competitions to wide-open beaches with perfect surfing conditions, picking one will depend on which activities you enjoy most. We narrowed it down to the 7 best beaches in San Diego, so you can spend more time swimming and less time searching. Read on to find the beach that stands out to you!
1. Coronado Beach
Coronado Beach is amongst the most loved beaches in all of San Diego. With 4 different areas dividing the beach, including Glorietta Bay Park, Coronado City Beach, Tidelands Park, and Centennial Park, there’s so much to see and explore! While sunbathers and swimmers hit the beachfront, others can adventure around with the ocean as their backdrop. Stroll past the magnificent Hotel Del Coronado for an ice cream at MooTime Creamery or take a waterfront cruise with daily bike rentals available near the Coronado Ferry Landing.
2. Pacific Beach
Stretching 2 miles between Mission Beach and La Jolla, Pacific Beach offers of plenty of room to host its summer crowds. For those itching to get in the water, there are plenty of beachfront rental shops that offer scuba gear, surfboards, and much more! One of the highlights of this beach is their amazing lifeguard team on duty 24/7. Another large appeal of Pacific Beach is its vibrant nightlife, with everything from fine dining restaurants and breweries to rooftop bars presenting a optimum sunset views right on the beach.
3. Swami’s Beach
Being one of the most famous surfing meccas in Southern California, it’s no wonder the Beach Boys name-dropped this beach in their hit song, “Surfin’ USA.” Located at the South end of Encinitas, Swami’s is not only ideal for surfers but families and runners too. Enjoy a relaxing picnic at one of the many shaded park areas above, or add to your beachfront workout with a stair climb leading up to breathtaking views from the top.
4. Mission Beach
Mission Beach is where you might find the most crowds this summer, but for a good reason. With Ocean Front Walk and Mission Bay only minutes away, there are so many activities to explore. Amongst its wide sandy beach, Mission Beach is most famously known for its historic amusement park, Belmont Park, which sits right above the ocean. The view from the roller coaster doesn’t get much better than that!
5. Moonlight Beach
Deemed as the main central beach of Encinitas, this wide sandy beach is best known for its variety of facilities. Some of these include volleyball and tennis courts, recreational equipment rentals, and plenty of grassy areas for picnics. In fact, Moonlight Beach originally coined its name from local residents who gathered here for midnight picnics in the early 1900s.
6. Imperial Beach
Neighboring Mexican border by only 5 miles, Imperial Beach is cherished by its locals as the southernmost beach in California. The pier is always bustling with activity with plenty of green parks and restaurants close by. One of its biggest summer attractions features the U.S Open Sand Castle Competition, which draws plenty of crowds along with the Sea & Sun Festival in July. Don’t miss the Friday Farmer’s Market offering fresh local produce, hand-made souvenirs, and a variety of delicious dishes from all over the world!
7. Windandsea Beach
A more reserved spot, this La Jolla beach shies away from large tourist crowds that find themselves in many beaches in Southern California. Highlights of Windandsea include its climbable eroded cliffs, which offer plenty of flat surfaces for sunbathers. This location is also a favorite amongst photographers and expert surfers, however, does not offer the safest swimming conditions. A unique point of interest at this beach is the handmade palm shack, which was originally built in 1945.
Discover more of San Diego
Looking for more places to enjoy the San Diego sun? Explore all of our weekly happenings this summer through our San Diego events blog, or browse our homes for sale to score an oceanfront view of your own.