are some beaches that we visited in our time in San
Diego. There are many beautiful beaches and parks, usually
within a short drive of any accommodations.
is not a beach you will find on any of the maps, as
it is actually considered Mission Beach. Belmont park
is actually an amusment park with rides for kids and
tennagers (and some adults). There is a historic roller
coaster that is wood and a bit scary, since you are
not only concerned about the turns and how fast it is
going, but if it is going to fly apart and the strange
noises heard as the wood is stressed... The beach is
not bad, but when we were there the waves were fairly
large due to a tropical storm off shore and there was
seaweed and kelp kicked up in the surf, but it is a
pretty good way to combine a couple of activities. There
are restrooms and showers at the beach and also the
rides and restauraunts or food vendors are within walking
Blacks beach is just south of Torrey Pines State
Beach. It is about two miles long and has high cliffs
rising up behind it. As a result the only good way we
found to get there is to park at Torrey Pines State
Beach and walk south. The cliffs are also not very stable
and we saw debris coming down on a few occassions, so
don't set up anywhere near the cliffs. Also, be prepared
for some nudity as many of the beach goers select this
beach for tolerance of a clothing optional policy. This
is also an excellent beach for surfing (especially the
southern end). There are no restrooms or showers, the
nearest being at La Jolla Shores (south) or Torrey Pines
State Beach (north).
Children's Pool is located at 850 Coast Boulevard (some
maps and locals may refer to is as the Casa). The original
intention was to create a fully protected swimming area
protected by a seawall, but sand has since filled in
much of the area and it is now mostly used by marine
life. Seals and sea lions are present on or near the
beach and a reserve called Seal Rock is just offshore.
The Children's Pool, is within a short walk of the business
section of La Jolla and parks can be found a short distance
to the north and south. Lifeguards are staffed and a
public restroom with showers is located beneath the
La Jolla Cove is a pretty small small beach between
cliffs. La Jolla Cove is one of the most photographed
beaches in Southern California. It is within a short
walk of the commercial area of the community of La Jolla.
The north facing La Jolla Cove has unusually coarse
sand. Grassy Scripps Park is immediately adjacent and
an excellent area for picnicking. Water visibility at
the Cove can sometimes exceed 30 feet, making it a popular
location for scuba divers and snorklers. Lifeguards
are staffed generally 9:00 a.m. to dusk and a public
restroom building with showers can be found in Scripps
Park beside La Jolla Cove.
La Jolla Shores is a sandy beach about one mile
long. Waves at this beach were the smallest of San Diego
beaches. Kellogg Park is located behind the main lifeguard
station and is a nice area for picnicking. At the north
end of this beach lies the Scripps Institution of Oceanography
and Scripps Pier. A lifeguard station is near the main
parking lot at Calle Frescota and is staffed from 9:00
a.m. to dusk. A public restroom and showers are located
100 yards north and south of the lifeguard station.
Mission Bay Park contains 19 miles of sandy
beaches in several separate parks (see image).
Mission Bay was previously a marsh that was dredged
in 1944 to create an aquatic park. You need to
check at each beach for lifegaurd protection as
it usually varies and is usually with the tourist
season. Most beaches have restroom and shower
Mission Beach and The Strand extend about
two miles from the Mission Bay channel (south)
to Pacific Beach (north). This is the most popular
of San Diego beachs and can be quite crowded.
A cement walkway runs along the entire length
of the beach. Retail and restaurants are close
to the Mission Beach lifeguard station at Ventura
Street (see Belmont Park above).
Pacific Beach is defined as the area between the
town of Pacific Beach to the south end of La Jolla.
There are steep cliffs (looked close to 100 feet
high in spots) which made it very scenic, but
pretty difficult to get to. The north end is a
great place for surfing and sailboarding, and
has some public showers, restrooms, and parking.
At the far south end there is also an area with
facilities but nothing in between.
As you might expect, this beach is in the town of
Ocean Beach (just south of the Mission Bay entrance).
At the north end there is a nice volleyball area and
also an area where dogs are allowed off leash. Standard
practices (including cleanup) are still enforced with
owners and their dogs. At the south end of the beach
is a pier that you can fish off of (although it was
really crowded when we were there) and a restaurant.
There were also many other retail and restaurants on
the south end. Public restrooms and showers are located
adjacent to the main lifeguard station at Abbott Street
(the lifegaurd station is manned from 9AM to sundown)
and adjacent to the parking lot on the north end of
the beach. There are a lot of parking spaces close to
this beach area due to it's proximity to retail establishments.
Pacific Beach extends from Crystal Pier to Mission
Beach. Also known as The Strand, this beach may be pretty
crowded at peak times. There is a paved boardwalk on
the edge of the beach which is nice, but it is quite
narrow at points, so stay alert for bikes and rollerbladers!
Towards the north end of Pacific Beach there are various
retail and restaurants within walking distance. Public
restrooms and showers are located at the main lifegaurd
station near Grand Avenue. There are is almost no parking
along this beach, and you are limited to on street parking,
which can be a pain when there are a lot of people.
South Mission Beach runs from Mission beach to the
Bay Channel. It is a very wide beach and thus has a
lot of facilities for beach volleyball, basketball,
and even a baseball like game. Lifegaurds stations near
avalon court are staffed daily, but others only during
the summer. Restrooms and showers are located near the
public parking area at the south end of the beach. There
is a pretty big public parking area, but since this
is a pretty popular beach, we found that it filled up
pretty quickly, so come early.
Pines State Beach
beach was a surprise to me. Sandstone cliffs up against
the end of the beach must be 250-300 feet tall. There
are also a lot of trails around the area which were
a lot of fun for some hiking. Once getting there, the
beach was beautiful and relatively uncrowded compared
to the more easily accessible beaches in San Diego.
We parked at the top (there is a fee) and took the trail
down to take in the view. You can also park along 101
and then walk south to the beach, but that can be a
little scary (and I am not sure if it is legal...).
If you have an interest in plant and wildlife, the visitor's
center (near the parking area at the top of the cliffs)
has some interesting exhibits. We didn't see any lifegaurds
Basically, Windansea Beach is not for swimming,
it is for surfing or sunbathing, especially with so
many great beaches around San Diego! Some reefs offshore
create surf breaks and at sections hard breaking surf
is right up against the shore so you must exercise caution
when entering and exiting the water. There are Lifegaurds
posted, but the schedule seems to vary with the seasons,
so you might need to check. There are no public restrooms
or showers anywhere close. There are only about 20 public
parking spaces at this beach, which is located at 6800