With a sunny, comfortable climate nearly all-year round, San Diego is rightfully known as a beachgoers paradise. Let’s take a trip south down the coast to highlight some of San Diego’s best beaches.
Fifteen minutes north of downtown San Diego, the seaside community of La Jolla sports some of the area’s finest beaches. La Jolla Shores is a sandy, one-mile stretch frequented by sunbathers, swimmers, and surfers. Adjacent to this beach is the picturesque La Jolla Cove, known for its great snorkeling and scuba diving, as well as La Jolla Caves, a series of sea caves popular with kayakers.
South of La Jolla lies Pacific Beach with its 3.2-mile boardwalk dotted with boutique shops, casual eateries, and trendy hotels. Stroll or roll (cyclists and rollerbladers are common here) down the boardwalk, sunbathe on the soft sand, and check out the fishing scene on Crystal Pier.This beach is also known for its active nightlife, both on the beach with bonfire hangouts and off the boardwalk with vibrant bars and clubs.
Continuing south from Pacific Beach, we reach Mission Beach with its two miles of oceanfront boardwalk and Belmont Park, a historic amusement park built in 1925. This is a particularly sporty area known for its surfing, boogie boarding, rollerblading, skateboarding, volleyball, and basketball.
Just to the east of Mission Beach lies idyllic Mission Bay, the largest man-made aquatic park in the country. This water playground provides opportunities for sailing, water skiing, kite surfing, kayaking, and paddleboarding in addition to land-based fun like picnics, bonfires, volleyball, and bicycling. Mission Bay is also home to SeaWorld San Diego, one of the biggest oceanariums in the world.
The next stop on our tour south is Ocean Beach, a carefree beachfront neighborhood with a groovy, vintage SoCal feel. O.B. offers great dining, people-watching, and a lively nightlife. At a half-mile in length, Ocean Beach Pier is one of the longest in the state and is a favorite local fishing spot.
Located in San Diego’s Point Loma neighborhood, Sunset Cliffs is our final stop and unsurprisingly, a popular destination for sunset-viewing. The area features sheer cliffs descending into the Pacific Ocean and a handful of spots for the more adventurous surfer. Don’t forget to keep your eyes peeled for whale sightings!
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