If it is the beach you're looking forward to, I'd suggest that which one you spend most time at would depend upon your income level and tastes.
Ocean Beach is a "funky,""let it flow" type of place and the main street, Newport Avenue is full of restaurants and bars, and the Ocean Beach Hotel is just across the street from the Ocean.
Mission Beach/Bay is pretty much the tourist haven beach area. It has a "California Beach Type" amusement park and a clump of hotels and it does have a few bars including Canes Bar & Grill located right on the boardwalk.
Pacific Beach, as already reported is actually one of the most popular beach communities, especially for the collage aged, but with the new alcohol ban at the beach it's not quite so "over the top" these days.
La Jolla is more up-scale, but still a great place for beach activities. The "Coves" area is beautiful and can be adventureous, the Shores offers swimming, as well as kayaking, divin and other watersports.
Two beaches that are not actually in the city of San Diego, but near and convenient to reach by car or public transportation are Coronado and Imperial Beach
I would add that currently there is a Smoking and Drinking ban at all beaches in the city of San Diego.
>>>Any advice on Tijuana trips? Is it worth going or is it just a half hearted view of Mexico?
Just going to the "tourist" area of Tijuana might not represent the "real" Mexico to those who look superficially, but there is much more to Tijuana than Avenida Revolucion. If you will be in the San Diego area for only three days, I'd say you might not really have the time to spare.
However, Playas de Tijuana is not a tourist spot and if you went there--the Tijuana beach--you would see the real Mexico.
Actually one of my favorite places in Rosarito Beach (just south of Tijuana) is "Calafia" and stopping there for a couple of drinks before going on to Puerto Nuevo for lobster is worth a daytrip to my way of thinking.
I have pages on these places too if you are interested.
Hi i was here in americas winter and the water was alittle chillie but once your in it was ok hanging out down at pacific beach was kool easy to meet locals etc You can hire surfboards at various out lets even in winter, and its good just watching the passers bye sipping on a cold one .
Fondest memory: My fondest memorie of San Diego is just hanging out with the local people i met there at the beach and partying in the evening ..
Favorite thing: When we arrived in Oct, the area hadn't had rain in about 180 days. It started the day we arrived. The showers were short and sun fought through the clouds quite often. Despite the clouds and rain we were able to enjoy the beach.
Don't forget to visit at least one of numerous public beaches in San Diego County.
Imperial Beach is a sandy beach located in south of San Diego = close to Mexico, in the city of Imperial Beach - welcome to my page:
It's not the best beach of San Diego but for me the area looked great and I saw the Pacific Ocean for the first time there.
From CHRIS (balfor):
We Americans are spoiled with out beaches. The vast majority of our beaches both on the atlantic and pacific oceans are sandy. Because of how common a sand beach is for us, we don't normally think of a rocky beach as a beach.... it is just the oceanfront. I was very surprised the first time I went to Europe and saw people laying out on a bunch of rocks!
Thank you for your explanations!
Visit the Beaches - - - be aware that San Diego's 70 miles of beaches are like a family of diverse people; each has its own distinct personality. Some are havens for surfers and divers; others are remote getaways; and many are perfect for most any activity.
To check out beach conditions, call 619.221.8884. The following is a brief look at San Diego's many and varied beaches.
- - -IMPERIAL BEACH- - -
Interstate 5 to Palm Ave. west; continue to Ocean Lane. Known as 'IB,' this wide, sandy beach is popular with area residents, and it is great for swimming, surfing and land activities. The pier area is the site of the U.S. Open Sandcastle Competition, which occurs every year in July.
- - -SILVER STRAND STATE BEACH- - -
Interstate 5 to the San Diego-Coronado Bay Bridge; continue to Orange Ave.; turn left and continue past the Hotel del Coronado (road becomes Calif. Hwy. 75) to the Coronado Cays.
This scenic beach is named for the small silver shells found along its shore, and the calm, shallow waters are ideal for swimming. This beach is one of the area's most popular tourist destinations each year.
- - -CORONADO MUNICIPAL BEACH- - -
Interstate 5 to the San Diego-Coronado Bay Bridge; follow the signs to Ocean Blvd. One of the county's widest beach, this is a great beach for swimming, boogie boarding and sunset walks along the shore.
- - -SHELTER ISLAND- - -
Shelter Island Dr. southwest of Rosecrans St. Shelter Island features a small beach area with calm waters, a grassy area for picnics, paved walkways and spectacular views of downtown.
- - -SUNSET CLIFFS- - -
Interstate 8 west to Sunset Cliffs Blvd. Access is via steep cliffside trails; there are steps in some areas. Strong waves make this a favorite with surfers, fishermen and divers. Swimming is discouraged, but there are beautiful sunset views.
- - -OCEAN BEACH- - -
Interstate 8 to Sunset Cliffs Blvd.; right on West Point Loma Blvd. Coined 'OB' by locals, this family-oriented beach has swimming, surfing, boogie boarding,volleyball and Frisbee areas, and restrooms. Lifeguards are on duty, and there is even an area north of the jetty where dogs are allowed to run free.
- - -MISSION BEACH- - -
Interstate 5 to Grand Ave. west; left on Mission Blvd. to the roller coaster.
Mission Beach is ideal for swimming, surfing and land activities. The boardwalk is shared by walkers, joggers, skaters and cyclists.
- - -MISSION BAY PARK- - -
There are several entrances, including Mission Bay Dr., Ingraham St., West Mission Bay Dr. and Mission Blvd.
An excellent beach for families, Mission Bay Park features a playground, grassy areas, a well-maintained trail system, calm waters and a visitors center. Sailing, waterskiing and windsurfing are popular here.
- - -PACIFIC BEACH- - -
Interstate 5 to Garnet Ave.; west to Mission Blvd. Known locally as 'PB,' this is a perfect spot for swimming and surfing, and fishing right off the Crystal Pier.
- - -TOURMALINE SURF PARK- - -
Tourmaline St. in La Jolla.
This small, scenic beach is a favorite with surfers and divers. Swimming, however, is not allowed.
- - -BIRD ROCK- - -
Located at the foot of Bird Rock Ave. in La Jolla. Named for the large white rock just offshore where birds gather, this beach is ideal for diving and surfing.
- - -WINDANSEA BEACH- - -
Interstate 5 to La Jolla Village Dr. westbound; left on Torrey Pines Rd.; right at Pearl St.; left on La Jolla Blvd. to Nautilus Rd. A powerful shore break at this beach means it is not recommended for swimming, but Windansea is very popular with surfers.
- - -CHILDREN'S POOL- - -
Coast Blvd. in La Jolla, south of La Jolla Cove. A breakwater keeps the waters here gentle, creating a perfect beach for children. The waters also are a haven for divers because of the many offshore reefs. Watch for seals, sea lions and other marine wildlife lazing on Seal Rock, which is just south of the beach.
- - -LA JOLLA COVE- - -
Coast Blvd. in La Jolla. This small, beautiful beach is tucked between towering sandstone cliffs. Tidepools and caves, with waters excellent for swimming and diving. The grassy area in nearby Ellen Browning Scripps Park is perfect for picnics.
- - -LA JOLLA SHORES- - -
Interstate 5 to La Jolla Village Dr. west; turns into North Torrey Pines Rd. to La Jolla Shores Dr.;turn right on Vallecitos to Camino del Oro. A popular beach with swimmers and surfers, La Jolla Shores also is a great venue for scuba diving, picnics and volleyball. The beach also features the only beachfront boat launch within the San Diego city limits.
- - -BLACK'S BEACH- - -
La Jolla Farms Rd. at Blackgold Rd. in La Jolla. A secluded beach known for its former 'clothing optional' status, Black's Beach is excellent for surfing. Access is via a challenging path from the Torrey Pines Glider Port, or via an easier two-mile walk south from Torrey Pines State Reserve.
- - -TORREY PINES STATE BEACH- - -
Interstate 5 to Carmel Valley Rd. west.
This narrow stretch of beach is a favorite with swimmers and surfers. There are hiking trails nearby at Torrey Pines States Reserve; take the steps north of Flat Rock. At low tide, you can walk along the shore (about six miles) all the way down to La Jolla Shores.
- - -DEL MAR CITY BEACH- - -
Interstate 5 to Del Mar Heights Rd. west; right on Camino del Mar; left on 15th St. This wide beach perfect for swimming, surfing and sand activities is popular year-round, but is especially crowded during the summer fair and horse-racing seasons.
- - -SEASCAPE SHORES- - -
Interstate 5 to Lomas Santa Fe Dr. west in Solana Beach; continue to Sierra Ave.
Wide, sandy beaches and excellent ocean waters provide ample opportunity for surfing,surf-fishing, swimming, body boarding, snorkeling, jogging and Frisbee. During the Del Mar racing season, you can often catch trainers walking race horses along the shore here in the mornings.
- - -SOLANA BEACH- - -
Interstate 5 to Lomas Santa Fe Dr. west. Surfing is good at the north end of this beach; shallow water further south is perfect for swimming. Volleyball courts are available, too.
- - -TIDE BEACH CITY PARK- - -
Interstate 5 to Lomas Santa Fe Dr. west in Solana Beach; continue to U.S. Hwy. 101 and head north about a mile. Local surfers frequent Tide Beach Park because of the Table Top reef that creates excellent surf breaks. This beautiful beach has plenty of tidepools to explore and the fishing, swimming and diving are excellent as well.
- - -CARDIFF STATE BEACH- - -
Interstate 5 to Birmingham Dr. west; continue to San Elijo Ave.; turn left and head south for about a mile. The reef here forms a tidepool filled with sea anemones and other marine life. Experienced surfers like this area for its strong surf, while snorkelers and scuba divers enjoy the beauty and mystery of the reefs.
- - -SAN ELIJO STATE BEACH- - -
Interstate 5 to Birmingham Dr. west; continue to San Elijo Ave. San Elijo is mainly for fishing and surfing; there are some good swimming areas. The nearby reef is a favorite with divers and there also is a major campground.
- - -SWAMI'S- - -
Interstate 5 to Encinitas Blvd. west; left on First St. to Sea Cliff Roadside Park; beach access is via a wooden stairway. It is very popular with surfers, especially in the winter.
- - -MOONLIGHT STATE BEACH- - -
Interstate 5 to Encinitas Blvd. west.
A family-oriented beach perfect for swimming, surfing and fishing; tennis and volleyball courts are available nearby.
- - -LEUCADIA STATE BEACH- - -
Interstate 5 to Leucadia Blvd. west; park on Neptune Ave. Known by locals as 'Beacon's Beach,' this small beach nearby Seaside Gardens County Park is a favorite with surfers. Leucadia also is great for swimming, diving and fishing.
- - -CARLSBAD STATE BEACH- - -
Interstate 5 to Tamarack Ave. west; continue to Carlsbad Blvd. A popular beach with good swimming and surfing. The boardwalk here is perfect for walking, bicycling and skating. Many athletic competitions are held here throughout the year.
- - -OCIANSIDE CITY BEACH- - -
Interstate 5 to Mission Ave. west; continue to Hill St., then head north to Third St. Ramps from The Strand lead to this popular surfing, swimming and fishing beach. Major surf competitions are held here, and the wide sandy area is great for volleyball and Frisbee. At the north end is Oceanside's landmark wooden pier.
- - -HARBOR BEACH- - -
Interstate 5 to Harbor Dr. west, continue to Harbor Dr. S. in Oceanside. Sunbathers love this beach for its soft white sand, shaded picnic area and boat launch. The waters are ideal for swimming, surfing and fishing.
They Say San Diego has ideal climate. I was there in April, and every single day was beautiful, I think it rained only once. During this time in Canada was still winter so main purpose of my trip was to explore all San Diego beaches and get as much sun as possible. Ocean water was chilly but that didn't stop me from swimming.
Fondest memory: I visited all the beaches around the city. Pacific Beach is the most popular one, but the dirtiest one as well. Mission beach is more family oriented but also cleaner. Ocean Beach is not much commercialized, and is more quiet. La Jolla is the cleanest and most beautiful area in the City, its beach is smaller but fantastic.
Hit the beach! Go body boarding, surfing, snorkeling, and best yet, go sailing.
Fondest memory: Sailing to the Coronados and seeing lots of birds, fish, porpoises and whales....same time every year from January to March
Favorite thing: Rent a bike or some rollerblades and go for a spin on the boardwalk (Mission Beach, Pacific Beach) or go around Mission Bay. These make for good people-watching... take a seat on the beach wall and feast your eyes on all of the So-cal dudes and babes.
Where do I start? Obviously, you have to go to the beach. Not only for the beautiful sandy beaches, but for the relaxing sunsets. The beach cities that line the coast are buzzing with life and you will always fine something to do and places to eat. It's the best place to people watch. Weather is great most of the time. Spring/early summer time has the most cloud cover. (May-gray, June-gloom is what we call it)Have to go to SeaWorld, Coronado, and Old Town. The San Diego Zoo is the best in the world and the adjacent Balboa Park has wonderful parks to have a oinic and museums to stroll through.....just to name a few places
Fondest memory: Since I have lived here all my life it's all been great. Riding the trolley down to Old Town for the Cinco De Mayo celebration last year was a good time!!
Favorite thing: Go to the beach and enjoy the fresh ocean breeze. I have been to San Diego on many trips, but the best time is during the off summer months. You will have more time to relax and not have to deal with the crowd and the traffic.
Fondest memory: I loved Ocean Beach, which is just outside of downtown San Deigo. We spent a long time at the backpackers hostel there, which is great. You could walk to the beach in about 5 seconds, passing the best wrap/smoothie place in the whole world.
Visit the beach @Pacific,Mission Or Ocean. They are all
incredible.You can enjoy it here like no where else.The
people are so friendly.Hanelei Beach House is a truly
California surfer hangout and has great burgers.
Fondest memory: Watching the sun set@ Pacific Beach.Everyone rushes to get
their cameras to take a picture of the 'Green Flash'.We don't get that on the Gulf coast.
I would take my partner to Hometown Buffet because it has all the food you want and it has it's own dessert bar. Also if it's your birthday the workers sing happy birthday to you. I luv that place
Fondest memory: The best memory was when it was my birhtday and i went to the beach with my family and we went far into the the ocean and glided on the waves.
Go to Ocean Beach, Coranado Island, Take ferry from Coranado island to downtown San Diego. Loma Point. Get lost on the freeways and residentail streets. Its a good way to find cool spots and cool people. Go to Tiajuana, Mexico.
Fondest memory: Travelodge hotel on the border. There was no running hot water. also this picture is of me on some beach located on the Californian/Mexico border. off in the distance was the most beautiful sunset. hard to see in the picture but it was truely amazing.
Spend atleast 3 days at the beach. Although they're nothing compared to the beaches off the coast of Hawaii or the French Riviera, they're filled with constant movement.
Fondest memory: My fondest memory is when we stay at our beach condo. The area we stay in is a college area, and there is always a comotion which keeps this residental area so lively.