The Top 10 Beaches in the San Diego Area

The Top 10 Beaches in the San Diego Area
San Diego is a great vacation spot for beachgoers, hikers, watersports enthusiasts and culture lovers. The hardest part of the whole trip may be choosing a beach to visit. There are so many available, they may be narrowed down by beaches most friendly to children, beaches with special areas for dogs, adults-only beaches, beaches that offer specialty watersports, or beaches known just by locals and fairly undisturbed. Bring comfortable walking shoes to explore the miles of sand, sunblock and your sense of adventure.

Moonlight State Beach

Enjoy fishing, surfing and volleyball plus equipment rentals at Moonlight State Beach. Fuel up after a good game at their snack bar. The beach got its name when local residents began coming to the beach for midnight picnics back in the 1990s.

Encinitas Boulevard
Encinitas, CA 92024
(760) 633-2740


Leucadia is a locals' hot spot far from the tourists' eye. Note that Leucadia is all beach--there are no lifeguards, bathrooms or sports facilities. If you are looking for just a long stretch of sand to walk, Leucadia will be perfect. Beachcombers will love exploring the tide's offerings of kelp, sea glass and interesting shells.

1322 N. Coast Hwy 101
Encinitas, CA 92024
(760) 633-2880

Carlsbad State Beach

Watersport enthusiasts will enjoy a trip to Calsbad State Beach, which offers scuba diving, fishing, surfing and, of course, swimming. There also is a large pedestrian trail great for jogging. Lifeguards, picnic areas and bathrooms are plentiful, but shade is not.

Carlsbad Boulevard, Highway S21
Calsbad, CA 92008
(760) 438-3143

Solana Beach

Staircases on a beach? It's possible at Solana Beach. Get your exercise running the stairs in the bright sun or just explore them for adventure, as each staircase leads to a different part of the beach. The area around the beach offers restaurants and antiquing.

635 S. Hwy 101
Solana Beach, CA 92075
(858) 720-2400

San Onofre State Beach

Camping and nature lovers will be thrilled to explore San Onofre State Beach. Campgrounds include a cold or hot shower and toilets (but no RV hook-ups). Explore the 1.5-mile nature trail and look for rare species local to the area. Exercise enthusiasts will enjoy equipment rentals for everything from rollerskating to skimboarding to bodysurfing.

San Clemente on I-5
San Onofre, CA 92673
(949) 492-4872

Silver Strand State Beach

Beach lovers and sports enthusiasts will all enjoy a trip to Silver Strand. Fishermen can angle for croaker, grunion and perch while other adventure lovers can try the waterskiing, boating, volleyball and surfing. Looking for free souvenirs? The shell seeking on the beach is some of the best crop in the state. The beach is Wi-Fi enabled.

5000 Highway 75
Coronado, CA 92118
(619) 435-5184

Torrey Pines State Beach and Park

Torrey Pines will suit the hikers and the beachgoers alike. Hike through the trails, canyons and forests or play on the golf course. Extremists will be drawn to the cliff diving potential. Note that no food or drink facilities are available, so load up to ensure proper fuel and hydration for your activities.

12600 N. Torrey Pines Road
San Diego, CA 92037
(858) 755-2063

Coronado Municipal Beach

The beach's 15 miles of paths will satisfy joggers, rollerbladers and speed-walkers looking to get some exercise. Or simply enjoy the scenery--mansions lining the beach and yachts bobbing in the ocean. Lifeguards patrol the beach area while dogs can enjoy special sections of the beach just for them.

Orange Avenue
Coronado, CA 92118
(866) 599-7242

Imperial Beach

Beef up your sandcastle building skills at this beach, which hosts the annual U.S. Open Sandcastle Building Contest. The beach is considered a local one, surrounded by homes and casual restaurants, a fishing pier and sports facilities.

825 Imperial Beach Blvd.
Imperial Beach, CA 91932
(619) 423-8300

Ocean Beach

Ocean Beach has gone to the dogs and would be a great place if your hiking companion is a canine. The "Dog Beach" section has off-leash hills and dunes dogs can play on and usually has at least 100 dogs at any time running free. Great waves for surfers and a special rubberized walking trail for exercise enthusiasts are available.

1868 Bacon St., #A.
San Diego, CA 92107
(619) 224-4906

Article Written By Filonia LeChat

Fionia LeChat is a technical writer whose major skill sets include the MS Office Suite (Word, PowerPoint, Excel, Publisher), Photoshop, Paint, desktop publishing, design and graphics. LeChat has a Master of Science in technical writing, a Master of Arts in public relations and communications and a Bachelor of Arts in writing/English.

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