Carlsbad State Beach
With free parking in several areas and easy beach access, clean restrooms and showers, and beautiful views of the cliffs, Carlsbad State Beach remains a favorite spot amongst families. With five miles of long, stretched beach, it draws numerous surfers and wake boarders and offers excellent paved jogging for runners just above the beach. Easy access to downtown with several dining options.
Fletcher Cove Park
Simple, straightforward and family friendly, this Solana Beach destination offers a small park at the top of the hill with basketball court, parking, wash station, showers, and bathroom facilities. The beach itself is ideal for walking, body surfing or just lounging all day. Although attention needs to be paid as high tide has been known to engulf the entire beach. Fletcher cove is also close to a train stop and the Del Rio shopping strip.
Moonlight State Beach
A treasure trove of on-stop-shop beach-e-ness with easy parking, picnic tables, firepits, volleyball courts, snack shop, play area and showers for after ocean swimming. Arrive early enough in the morning for a clear shot of dolphins frolicking in the surf. Just a short walk also to a number of excellent restaurants and shopping.
Torey Pines State Beach
Located South of Del Mar, Torrey Pines offers beautiful bluffs and winding hiking trails along the coast. Beautiful swaths of sand make this a family favorite. Parking can be on the costly side. Lifeguards are usually on duty at the north end of the beach for families swimming with children.
Del Mar City Beach
While parking can be challenging, it is absolutely worth the search. With picturesque cliffs, two miles of open beach, and a famous dog beach, this is a serious family destination. Powerhouse and Seagrove are two coastal parks also located along the beachfront and make excellent picnic spots.
Dike Rock Tide Pools
North of Scripps Pier near Blacks Beach, an excellent chance of spotting more sea life at low-tide. NOTE: Please, avoid stepping on marine life and carefully turn rocks back over after examination. Do not remove attached animals and return all others to the same tide pool where they were found. It is very important for conservation purposes and the health of our waters that we respect all sea life for future generations to enjoy.
Bird Rock Tide Pools
Located in the southern border of La Jolla and Pacific Beach, this rocky stretch of coast is lined with multi-million-dollar homes and nearby businesses and restaurants. The small quiet parks at Bird Rock come with spectacular views of the beautiful homes overlooking the many reefs, surf breaks and small coves along the rugged shoreline. At low-tide, a plethora of sea life can be found including sea urchins and maybe an octopus.
La Jolla Hermosa Park
At Camino de la Costa and Chelsea Avenue, and Calumet Avenue and Colima Court, is an ideal location for an afternoon picnic with its easy access to the shoreline at North Bird Rock. This park tends to be quiet and uncrowded.
A world-famous spot for California Gray seals, this beach allows for observing these beautiful animals in a natural setting. In addition, from December to March, you’ll have a good chance of spotting California Gray whales migrating from Alaska to Mexico and spouting just off the kelp beds. The beach is closed from December to May during breeding season.
Located on Neptune Place, this beach is best known for its beautiful scenery and incredible surf break created by underwater reefs and offers a secluded atmosphere for sunbathing. Novice surfers may wish to consider Tourmaline Beach or La Jolla Shores instead.