There are more than 10 beautiful, sandy beaches to explore in the San Diego area. Read about the different options below, and choose your beach!
Carlsbad State Beach: The best beach in our area, located just 10 minutes north of the resort. Relax and lay out on the beach, step off the sand to enjoy the boardwalk or explore Carlsbad Village with more than 200 boutiques, cafes and restaurants.
Moonlight Beach: Located in Encinitas, Moonlight Beach is a great choice for families. There are picnic tables, fire pits, barbecue pits, beach volleyball courts, a playground for kids, a snack shack, beach rentals and much more. With a location right by the 101, you can also explore a variety of restaurants and shops just steps off the beach.
Del Mar Beach: This beautiful beach is within walking distance to the Del Mar Plaza featuring local restaurants, cafes and shops. Be sure to try Jakes Del Mar, a fine dining restaurant right on the beach with beautiful views — perfect for date night.
Del Mar Dog Beach: Located just two miles north of Del Mar Plaza, its the perfect place for guests traveling with furry friends. Dogs can play on the sand or in the water leash-free!
La Jolla Cove: One of the most photographed beaches in Southern California, this small beach tucked between sandstone cliffs is located near Prospect Street, home to local high-end dining establishments and shops. Take a short walk and you'll find seal beach — and a multitude of seals sun-bathing!
La Jolla Shores: This stunning beach has amazing breakfast and lunch spots overlooking the water. In the mood for adventure? Kayak through the caves, or enjoy a game of volleyball on one of the courts.
Swamis Beach: Located in Encinitas, this beach is known for great surf waves. The popular spot includes grassy areas for activities overlooking the beach and picnic tables for enjoying a scenic lunch.
Mission Beach: Steps away from Belmont Park, this is a perfect spot for family fun. Kids can ride the dipper historic roller coaster and play in the arcade. Adults can walk and bike along the boardwalk or enjoy local restaurants, bars and shops.
Oceanside Beach: Located on the pier, this popular landmark beach is a favorite for families. Walk along the pier, take surf lessons with Surf N' Fire, rent beach cruisers and have lunch at Ruby's Diner or 333 Pacific overlooking the water.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Carlsbad State Beach | Beach cruisers are available for rent a local shop called Raw Skin and Surf. Riding the boardwalk is prohibited, but they may be ridden along the bike lane next to the boardwalk.
- Moonlight Beach | There is free parking in the upper lot off of 3rd and C street, as well as along the 101.
- Del Mar Beach | Parking is available in the Del Mar Plaza, and you can validate your parking in local shops and restaurants for a discount. Parking up to three hours is free.
- Del Mar Dog Beach | Don't forget doggy waste bags! Be sure to bring coin change for meter parking along the coast 101 where Dog Beach begins (across the street from Brigantine Restaurant).
- La Jolla Cove | Parking spots are available between 8:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m. for 2-3 hours. You may also park in the garage for $12-$15 per day.
- La Jolla Shores | Free parking is located in the main parking area. Street parking is limited and on an hourly basis.
- Swamis Beach | Be prepared for stairs! The parking lot fills quick but there is plenty of free street parking along the 101. Swimming can be tricky due to the rocks, but great beach for a stroll.
- Mission Beach | Free parking is available in Belmont Parking Lots 1 and 2.
- Oceanside Beach | Bring coins for meter parking on the street.
Learn more about the beaches.
Scenic Bike Tour and Lunch
Enjoy your next trip to the San Diego area with a guided bike tour! These two tour options offer scenic routes through Carlsbad, Leucadia, Encinitas, Cardiff-by-the Sea, Solana Beach and Del Mar with great local food and drinks.