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The Most Beautiful Beaches In San Diego 2023

a group of people standing in front of a bridge

From tall cliffs with crashing waves to wide, sandy beaches that are perfect for building castles, the most beautiful beaches in San Diego have something to offer everyone. Whether you plan to spend time at just one of these spots or hope to add them all to your itinerary, you can’t skip taking in some breathtaking views and adventurous activities at these beaches.

Torrey Pines

Less than five miles from Del Mar, Torrey Pines State Beach features gorgeous red bluffs, crashing waves, and plenty of wet sand, making it a popular walking spot during the low tide. Swimming, surfing, and fishing are common at this beach, one of the most popular in the state. A beach wheelchair is available for loan to those needing it, and a picnic area and parking lot are nearby. You can also access the beach from the Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve. The reserve is a fantastic destination in itself, featuring carved sandstone, a wide range of wildflowers, miles of nature trails, and a variety of programs.

San Onofre

a sunset over a body of water

Another of the most beautiful San Diego beaches, San Onofre State Beach sees nearly 2.5 million visitors every year. People come worldwide to swim, fish, kayak, and camp. The beach is also quite famous for those who want to try spotting whales, sea lions, or dolphins offshore. Surfers love San Onofre as well. It is world-renowned for its surf breaks, which range from gentle beginner waves to premiere breaks meant for the best of the best. Spend the day surfing, swimming, and taking in the beauty of the beach, or make a weekend of it by checking out the nearby campgrounds and firepits.

La Jolla Shores

La Jolla Shores Beach is one of the area’s widest, longest, and most popular beaches. On the sand, you’ll find volleyball games, sunbathers, picnics, and plenty of people making their way under Scripps Pier during their walks. Be careful if you get as far as Black’s Beach, as it is a clothing-optional area. In the water, beachgoers love surfing, scuba diving, kayaking, and stand-up paddleboarding. Directly beside the beach, Kellogg Park offers grassy areas, and just a bit further away, you’ll find markets and restaurants on Avenida de la Playa.

Coronado Beach

a sandy beach next to a body of water

Coronado Beach begins at Hotel del Coronado and spans nearly 2 miles to Sunset Park. This is even a beautiful beach that you can share with your pup since there’s a free-roaming area for dogs on the north end of it. You’ll find family-friendly places for sunbathing, bonfires, and long walks on the shores. Sometimes, you’ll even be able to come across elaborate sand castles that you can take photographs of. Out on the water, beachgoers can enjoy surfing, swimming, fishing, and beautiful tide pools. Feel free to bring a picnic, or if you prefer, check out one of the several restaurants just steps from the beach.

South Carlsbad

If you’re looking for a more remote beach with fewer amenities but all the gorgeous views you desire, you can’t pass up South Carlsbad State Beach. Stretching from La Costa Avenue to Palomar Airport Road, it features high-quality sand popular for beach joggers and walkers, rugged cliffs with a bluff-top campground, and plenty of spots to swim, fish, surf, sunbathe, and picnic. Those who prefer a wider area can follow the beach to just south of the cliffs, where they’ll see the cliffs make way for wider, sandier areas and eventually find their way to the Batiquitos Lagoon. Parking is available along Coast Highway 101.

Whether you’re visiting one San Diego Beach this year or intend to make a weekend of it every weekend, you can’t pass up some gorgeous options. The hardest part will be deciding which one is the most beautiful.