San Diego Beach Guide

San Diego Beaches: top Things to do in San Diego

When you visit our San Diego Hotel, you probably want to take in all of the San Diego Attractions that make the city one of the most exciting vacation destinations in the world, and San Diego Beaches are must-visit Things to do in San Diego! From North County Oceanside Beaches to Imperial Beach in South County, you’re bound to find the perfect beach for you.

About San Diego Beaches

There are many exciting things to do in San Diego, but visiting San Diego Beaches is, perhaps, the biggest draw for most tourists. San Diego Beaches are picturesque and offer many opportunities to play in the surf and sand – California style! The weather is the nearly perfect year-round in San Diego, which is why San Diego Beaches are a top San Diego Attraction. Come and explore almost 70 miles of pristine coastline that give San Diego visitors a chance to sunbathe, swim, canoe, kayak, snorkel, surf, and so much more!

Why You Should Visit San Diego Beaches

There are dozens of San Diego Beaches to explore, from northern San Diego County beaches in Oceanside to Imperial Beach, in southern San Diego. Whether you are visiting San Diego with your family, with your significant other, or by yourself, you’ll surely find that hitting a top San Diego Attraction like the beach is a fun way to spend your time and enjoy sunny San Diego. San Diego has beaches for all kinds of Things to Do in San Diego like surfing, sunbathing, building sandcastles, playing Frisbee, and more. When you stay in downtown San Diego, you’re situated just minutes from some of the best beaches in San Diego County, such as La Jolla Beach, Ocean Beach, and Pacific Beach.

Tips for Visiting San Diego Beaches

  • San Diego Beaches see outstanding temperatures during most of the seasons but make sure that you bring lots of water and sunscreen to keep you comfortable in the summer months, and a jacket and pants during the rest of the year.
  • Many San Diego Beaches have fire pits, so if you want to plan a gathering with family and friends in the evening and toast marshmallows, be sure to look for these beaches.
  • Beaches in North County like Carlsbad and San Onofre are known for their great surf conditions.
  • If you like to relax on a beach and then hit a quaint San Diego Restaurant or cafe afterward, consider visiting San Diego Beaches in Encinitas and you’ll be able to shop some cute boutiques while you’re there too.

Interesting Facts About San Diego Beaches

  • San Diego’s Mission Beach is the epitome of a So Cal Beach, with a busy boardwalk and classic wooden roller coaster.
  • Imperial Beach may be San Diego’s most underrated beach, with plenty of charm and a wooden pier situated within moments of downtown.
  • Pacific Beach is a tourists’ beach and a popular spot with surfers.

Mission Beach

Mission Beach could be called a place for lovers of extreme active living and probably more than any other community it exemplifies what San Diego is all about – that being unlimited fun and sun at the beach. Its residential and commercial area is located primarily along a two-mile former sandbar known as The Strand. It’s bounded by the Pacific Ocean on the west side and Mission Bay Park with its marinas, resorts, grassy parks, miles of biking paths, water skiing, jet skiing, sailing, fishing, ballparks, skateboard park and more, on its east side.   And if that wasn’t enough – SeaWorld – home of Shamu the whale, the San Diego Sports Arena and a vintage amusement park add to the mix.

Qualcomm Stadium is just minutes away in Mission Valley and Downtown San Diego, and Tijuana Mexico 10-30 minutes south.  It’s Belmont Park is a wonderful old amusement park featuring the wooden Giant Big Dipper Roller Coaster built in 1925 along with other traditional amusement park rides.  Recent new additions of waterslides and a wave machine for surfing keep it up-to-date.  The adjacent natatorium called the Plunge is a 400,000-gallon indoor pool built in 1925 by a developer to promote his lots for sale.  Today it still carries on being used daily by the public for swimming and exercise classes.

A two-mile concrete boardwalk runs the length of the beachfront where people promenade, bike, and skate ending at the Mission Beach channel breakwater and jetty.  Their surfers enjoy the surf break and fishermen fish off its rocks, while sports fishing charter boats pass by in and out of the Mission Bay harbor basin.

Many boutique hotels, beach cottages, apartments, luxury homes, and condos can be found here for rent or sale in this compact community.  Bounded on the land side by the communities of Pacific Beach on the north, and Ocean Beach on the south – it has the smallest lots in the city ranging from 1,250 to 2,400 square feet which results in it having the highest density in the city with 36 units per acre.

With the Pacific Ocean for a front yard and Mission Bay Park for a backyard – one doesn’t need a large estate-sized property here. Though Mission Beach and Mission Bay are enjoyed by millions of locals and tourists each year, the immense scale of its surrounding parks, beaches, bays, and ocean allows one to have one’s own space to breathe and retreat into.

Mission Beach is San Diego’s most popular beach attracting visitors and residents that are especially active.  Some former residents include:  Olympic Volleyball players and medal winners Lloyd Ball, Pat Gallagher, and Pat Powers; True Crime Author Cathy Scott, San Diego Charger football players, and billionaire newspaper publisher David C. Copley.

San Diego Beaches – Locations:

  • Imperial Beach
  • San Onofre
  • Carlsbad Beach
  • Oceanside Beach
  • La Jolla Beach
  • Solana Beach
  • Mission Bay Park Beach
  • Moonlight Beach in Encinitas
  • Ocean Beach
  • Pacific Beach

San Diego Beaches FAQ’s

Q: San Diego Beaches: Are Downtown San Diego Hotels located near San Diego Beaches?
A: Yes! Downtown San Diego Hotels are located just a short distance from some beautiful San Diego Beaches such as Pacific Beach and Coronado Beach. The Concierge at your hotel can help you choose a San Diego Beach based on your interests such as surfing, fishing or wakeboarding.

Q: San Diego Beach Activities: What are some of the popular beach-related San Diego Activities that can be enjoyed during a stay at a San Diego Hotel?
A: When staying at a San Diego Hotel you will have the opportunity to enjoy a variety of San Diego Beach Activities. Some of the most popular beach related San Diego Activities are surfing, paddle boarding, swimming, and beach volleyball. Fishing and sunbathing are a couple of other San Diego Activities you can enjoy on or near San Diego Beaches.

Q: Beaches in San Diego: We booked a room at a pet-friendly San Diego Hotel and are wondering if any of the nearby San Diego Beaches allow dogs.
A: Absolutely! San Diego is a pretty pet-friendly city, and this extends to some of the Beaches in San Diego. While other city’s turn away four-legged beachgoers, some San Diego Beaches even allow dogs to run off-leash. Ocean Beach has a special section, appropriately called Dog Beach, where dogs are free to romp and play. Fiesta Island is another of the Beaches in San Diego where dogs are welcome.

Q: San Diego Beaches: We’re staying at A San Diego Hotel, and we love surfing. What is the best San Diego Beach for catching some waves?
A: There are many San Diego Beaches that are great for surfing. During your stay at A San Diego Hotel consider trying the waves at Oceanside or Del Mar. Many say the best of the San Diego Beaches for surfing is Blacks Beach. This is a good spot for surfing year-round.

Q: San Diego Activities: Do any San Diego Beaches have onsite surfing lessons that we could take during our upcoming stay at a San Diego Hotel.
A: Many San Diego Beaches offer surfing lessons so you can try a new San Diego Activity during your next stay at a San Diego Hotel. One example is the Mission Beach Surfing School which offers lessons in surfing, paddle boarding, kite surfing and more. The schools and surf camps are appropriate for all ages and all skill levels.

Q: San Diego Beaches: What types of amenities are offered by most San Diego Beaches? Also, are the beaches within a reasonable distance of top San Diego Hotels?
A: The amenities offered by San Diego Beaches vary by beach. When you visit a San Diego Beach during your stay at a San Diego Hotel you may find amenities such as a fire pit, playground, picnic tables, a boat launch, and parking area. San Diego Beaches that have a fishing pier allow fishing without the need to obtain a license.

Q: San Diego Attractions: I am staying at a Downtown San Diego Hotel and would like to know if any popular San Diego Attractions are located near the San Diego Beaches.
A: Yes! Some of the best San Diego Activities are located a short distance from San Diego Beaches. Many guests at Downtown San Diego Hotels spend a few hours at San Diego Beaches and then either drive, walk or use public transportation to visit the San Diego Zoo or one of the many other nearby San Diego Attractions.

Q: San Diego Beaches: When are lifeguards on duty at the San Diego Beaches?
A: Generally speaking, lifeguards and San Diego Beaches located near Downtown San Diego Hotels are on duty from 9 a.m. until dusk. The hours may vary, so it is important to check with the San Diego Beach that you plan to visit. Lifeguards are on duty year-round at San Diego Beaches with more on duty during the busier summer months.