10 best beaches in San Diego


Looking for San Diego’s best beaches? We have you covered. Find the best San Diego beaches for surfing, lounging, running, swimming or any other beach activity on the San Diego shores.

Tourmaline Surfing Park

When it’s firing, Tourmaline Surf Park is considered a gem by local surfers.

Bordered by cliffs up to 75 feet high, the beach is staffed by lifeguards year-round, and there are separate areas designated for swimmers and surfers.

Solana Beach

Boasting hidden coves and beautiful bluffs, Solana Beach has staircases at nearly every street corner to help you descend the cliffs onto the beach.

There are five main spots: Seaside, Tide Beach, Fletcher Cove, Seascape Beach and Del Mar Shores.

Mission Beach

Featuring two miles of pristine coastline, Mission Beach offers something for everyone.

You can walk, skate or bike the boardwalk, ride the giant roller coaster or jump in a game of beach volleyball. Surfing is permitted in designated areas (but, South Mission is for locals only).


Carlsbad’s beaches remain one of San Diego’s best kept secrets, which is why it didn’t make the TripAdvisor list.

With coastal bluffs for days, popular activities include swimming, surfing, scuba diving, fishing, and camping. For some great surf, head to Tamarack or Ponto.

Moonlight Beach

Located at the end of Encinitas Boulevard, Moonlight Beach is one of the best family beaches in San Diego County.

With a large sandy area, a recreational playground, snack bar, bathrooms, showers, fire pits, and beach volleyball courts, this popular beach offers great surfing and swimming areas too.

Silver Strand

Silver Strand State Beach is the ultimate spot for oceanfront RV camping.

Located between Coronado and Imperial Beach, it is a great place to swim, kayak, surf, water-ski, picnic, play volleyball or go wakeboarding.

Ocean Beach

Home of the world famous Dog Beach, O.B. offers shopping, restaurants and a wide variety of characters.

There’s also beach volleyball, fishing spots (where permits are not required), and amazing surf breaks.

La Jolla Shores

La Jolla Shores is the perfect destination for families. It is a sandy beach, about one mile long, with a large grassy area, Kellogg Park.

In the summer, waves are usually the most gentle here, and there are scuba classes for beginners.

Coronado Beach

The stunning Coronado shoreline is famous for Marilyn Monroe’s starring role in “Some Like it Hot” in 1958. The wide, flat beach has gentle waves that are perfect for learning to boogie board or surf.

Coronado Beach is constantly rated as one of the most romantic beaches, as well as one of the best beaches in the world for families.


Cardiff-by-the-Sea is a classic southern California beach town that boasts a perfect climate, breathtaking views, two miles of Pacific coastline, a 900-acre ecological reserve, world-class surfing and caring residents who take pride in their community.

Cardiff is also home to a few world-class surf spots, such as Swami’s and Cardiff Reef.