Best Beach in San Diego

What is your best beach in San Diego? Come explore the best San Diego beaches.

Everyone asks what we think is the best beach in San Diego. It depends of course, on what you want to do. A surfer might want something quite different from a sunbather.  We think San Diego has the best beaches in Southern California!

Updated July 19 2017 by San Diego Beaches and Adventures

Drum roll please – here is the list of California beaches in San Diego that are the best.

Best Beach in San Diego

Best beach in San Diego
If we had to choose one as The Best Beach in San Diego California, it would be
Coronado City Beach. The wide beach with its stunning view of San Diego Bay, is set in upscale Coronado, and is home of the world famous Hotel del Coronado. Coronado Beach is rated one of the top ten beaches in the world, and in 2012 was rated the best beach in the USA.



Best San Diego Beaches for The Beach Experience

Best San Diego beach

La Jolla Shores

For sand lovers, sunbathers and playing in the waves, these are the top Southern California beaches in San Diego. These are 10 large beaches listed from north to south. These all tend to be popular and crowded beaches. With the exception of Blacks Beach, all of these are easy to get to and have amenities such as restrooms, showers and food.

Top 10 Beaches in San Diego County listed from north to south:

Oceanside Beach - one of the best San Diego beaches in north county, has nice sandy beaches without the crowds. It is great for swimming and boogie boarding, and has some surfing spots. Nearby is the California Surf Museum.

Del Mar City Beach - Del Mar is an upscale but quaint community or village 20 miles north of San Diego, home of the Del Mar racetrack. Families love the Del Mar City Beach, with the deep sandy beaches and nearby grassy parks.

Blacks Beach - Black's Beach San Diego is a world-famous secluded nude beach located in San Diego just north of La Jolla. The bluffs are very scenic and the beach is popular for walking and running. Above the beach is Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve, with beautiful hiking trails and views.

La Jolla Shores - A visit to best California beaches should include a visit to La Jolla, an lovely beach community just north of San Diego. La Jolla Shores Beach is a popular beach for swimming, surfing, kayaking the La Jolla Sea Caves, and bodyboarding.

Pacific Beach - If you want to be where the action is, P.B., is the place to be, a fun beach community. A narrow boardwalk lines the beach and is full of skateboarders, roller bladers, joggers and bike riders. Pacific Beach and nearby San Diego Gas Lamp district have the hottest nightclubs and best San Diego restaurants.

Mission Beach - Mission Beach in San Diego is one of best San Diego beaches because it is so much fun! This beachfront playground has nice sandy beach bordered by a long seawall and cement boardwalk, with nearby Belmont Park roller coaster and Mission Bay Park.

Mission Bay - is the largest aquatic playground in the world. It is great for a family vacation - you can rent anything from sailboats, motorboats, pedal boats, water skis, canoes, jet skis and kayaks. There are a number of coves for swimming with calm water and sandy beaches, surrounded by green grassy areas and playgrounds. Seaworld San Diego, one of the major attractions in San Diego, is located in Mission Bay Park.

Coronado City Beach - This wide beach with its stunning view of San Diego Bay, is set in upscale Coronado, and is home of the world famous Hotel del Coronado. The best beach in San Diego!

Ocean Beach - This friendly, comfortable beach has lots of sand, surf, and a long boardwalk. At the north end is the original San Diego Dog Beach, where you will see dogs of all types enjoying the beach without being leashed. For dogs and dog lovers, this is one of the best beaches in California (Coronado Dog Beach is great too).

Imperial Beach Home for many years to the famous U. S. Open Sandcastle Competition, Imperial Beach is said to have the best California beach sand! The beach is ideal for swimming, jogging, sunbathing and surfing. More of a local beach for residents in southern San Diego area.


Best San Diego Beaches Map - Map to Your Best San Diego Beach


View Best San Diego Beaches Map in a larger map

Click on this Link to open San Diego Beaches Map in Google Maps so you can see the legends of all the beaches clearly.

San Diego Beaches Map

View Best San Diego Beaches Map in a larger map

Click on this Link to open San Diego Beaches Map in Google Maps so you can see the legends of all the beaches clearly.


Best San Diego Beaches for Walking, Jogging and Running

San Diego Walking Beaches
The beach is a great place to exercise. With over 70 miles of beaches in San Diego CA, there are lots of great beaches to walk, jog, or run. Since most of the beaches are flat, you can get choose a harder workout by going up and down the stairs in some areas, or on the hills in Torrey Pines State Preserve.

What is the best beach in San Diego for walking, jogging, and running? To see our recommendations, Go To the Best San Diego Beaches for Walking, Jogging, and Running


Best Beach in San Diego for Dogs

San Diego Beaches for Dogs
There are many good beaches in San Diego for dogs. The best San Diego beaches for unleashed dogs are:

Coronado Dog Beach

Ocean Beach Dog Beach

Fiesta Island

These three dog beaches are designated areas of larger beaches reserved for dogs and dog lovers.

There are other dog friendly beaches in California's San Diego but they have more restrictions, such as certain times of the year, certain hours, or requiring that dogs be leashed.

For a complete list see San Diego dog beaches.


Best Beach in San Diego for Surfing

Best Beach in San Diego for Surfing

San Diego has some great surfing beaches. Bring your board and  attend a "board meeting". Suits recommended - the wet suit type. See San Diego surfing beaches.

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Tides, Maps and Directions

Some beaches are best explored at low tide. Check out the tides and find maps and directions to the popular beaches below.

San Diego Tide Table

San Diego Tide Chart

What are San Diego Tides?

Beach Map and Directions


San Diego Beaches

These are the top beaches in San Diego, listed from north to south:

Torrey Pines Beach

Blacks Beach (Nude beach)

Blacks Beach (Surfer beach)

La Jolla Shores

La Jolla Cove

La Jolla Seals at Children's Pool

Marine Street Beach

Windansea Beach

Pacific Beach

Mission Beach

Ocean Beach

Coronado Beach

Imperial Beach


North San Diego County Beaches

These are the top beaches in San Diego’s North County, listed from north to south:

Oceanside Beach

Carlsbad Tamarack Beach

Grandview Beach

Leucadia Beacons Beach

Stonesteps Beach

Moonlight Beach Encinitas

Fletcher Cove Solana Beach

Del Mar Beach


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