Top Of The Best 5 Beaches In San Diego

10 months out of the year 90% of days are 70+° and sunny.

San Diego beach
A perfect wave breaking on La Jolla Shores. PHOTO Storrey Lance

Living in San Diego is almost like being on vacation all the time. For ten months out of the year, 90% of days are 70+° and sunny. The locals and those looking for San Diego condos for sale know how to capitalize on this ideal weather and make every day a beach day. On especially enjoyable days when the sun is balmy, and the air is refreshing, each beach is packed with families, travelers, couples and college students. Everyone wants a healthy dose of the vacation vibes that San Diego provides.

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This is the article that everyone visiting San Diego wants to read before they touch down in sunshine-soaked southern California. You want to know the best spots for setting up a sun umbrella, laying down a towel, and relaxing for hours on end. This list comes in no particular order because beach preference depends largely on the individual.

San Diego beach
Snoozing on a lazy Sunday at La Jolla Shores. PHOTO Storrey Lance

La Jolla Shores

This 1 mile stretch of beach is located on the coastline between UC San Diego and downtown La Jolla. This is a favorite spot for college students and families alike. There are permanent lifeguards on this beach which makes it one of the safer beaches. Known for having relaxed surfing conditions and plenty of space for groups, La Jolla Shores is one of the most popular beaches in San Diego.

San Diego beach
The sunset over the cliffs at Black’s Beach. PHOTO Storrey Lance

Black’s Beach

Black’s Beach is one of the only NSF beaches in the area. This nudist beach is located a couple miles up the coast from La Jolla Shores. It is a fun spot to get some sun in areas you wouldn’t otherwise. The shore is usually populated by an older crowd mostly because it is not kid friendly. Additionally, the break on this beach is some of the most challenging in the area which makes it a favorite for seasoned surfers. If you’re feeling adventurous then you should definitely pay a visit to Black’s and get to know the funkier side of San Diego.

San Diego beach
Playing in the ocean before the sunsets on Windansea. PHOTO Storrey Lance


Windansea is best known as the ideal sunset-viewing perch. Locals flock here in the evening to watch the sun dip below the Pacific. This is the perfect spot to watch the sunset and enjoy burritos on a low-pressure date. There are also tide pools which are fun to explore during the day. This can be an adventure with kids and a good way to have a hands-on learning experience. This thin strip of beach has something for everyone and I highly recommend making the trip for a unique California venture.

San Diego beach
A casual afternoon at Cardiff. PHOTO Storrey Lance

Cardiff-by-the-Sea State Beach

This beach is located in Encinitas, a town in north county. Similar to La Jolla Shores, this beach is family friendly which it makes it popular among local residents as well as surf-enthusiasts. This is a pleasant beach to visit if you decide to stay in north county. It is a quintessential example of San Diego beaches from its deep blue water to its sprawling sandy shoreline.

San Diego beach
A much needed mid-week relaxation at Mission Beach. PHOTO Storrey Lance

Mission Beach

The classic San Diego beach scene can be found in the Mission Beach area. Surfboard and wetsuit rentals are available close by. Young people and travelers are most commonly found on this beach because college students live in the surrounding area. The path that runs along the sand is an optimal running and roller blading route which are common activities for locals. There are plenty of clothing shops, delicious restaurants, and beachside hotels nearby for jetsetters to explore and enjoy. Located just steps off the sand, the Belmont Park carnival is a terrific experience for all ages. At night, the local bars provide some of the best nightlife in San Diego county.

Each beach is unique and fun in its own way but no matter which beach you decide on, you are guaranteed to have a blast at one of these sandy oases. While on vacation you deserve the best and here are the five best ways to make your San Diego dreams come true.

San Diego beach
The seaside cliffs at Windansea. PHOTO Storrey Lance

Storrey Lance


Storrey's passion for travel has never stopped, including studying abroad in Italy. She's a foodie, vegetarian & loves to bake pies.

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