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Here is a map and a list of our favorite beaches in and around the city of San Diego. This list includes Coronado and La Jolla, but not the North County area (Del Mar to Oceanside). There are so many great beaches in this great city that it’s hard to create a best beaches list. The editors of California Beaches have personally visited every San Diego beach and put a lot of hard thought into this. Luckily the beaches near San Diego have just about every beach-related activity covered. Here are the beaches listed by their best category. See our “Best Overall Beach” at the bottom of this list!

Coronado Beach is our current best beach in San Diego. Why you ask? Well it’s just a short drive over the San Diego-Coronado Bridge from downtown and has all the qualities of a top Southern California beach. The location is usually protected by Point Loma so the waves here are mellow. Add to that the constant presence of lifeguards and you have a safe family-friendly spot. The beach and the surrounding hotels, shops, and restaurants are clean and inviting. There are places to walk behind the beach and and the facilities are well-maintained. And even though Coronado Beach is popular, the beach is huge so there is always room for visitors to spread out and enjoy it!

Beaches on this map

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    Coronado Beach

    Coronado Beach, aka Central Beach, starts at the famous Hotel del Coronado and continues north to Sunset Park. At the north end of the beach in front of Sunset Park […]

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  • Storm clouds and Sunset at Silver Strand State Beach in Coronado, California

    Silver Strand State Beach

    Silver Strand State Beach gives day-use visitors and campers access to great beaches on both sides of the Coronado Island Peninsula. Crown Cove Beach across the highway on San Diego […]

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    Cabrillo National Monument

    There are only a few beach access points in Cabrillo National Monument near San Diego, but this park is loaded with things to see. Point Loma, the peninsula where the […]

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    Mission Beach

    Mission Beach (the beach) is a long wide sandy beach in the Mission Beach area of San Diego. The beaches here are continuous, but Mission Beach is typically considered the […]

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    Pacific Beach

    Pacific Beach (the beach) is located between Pacific Beach Drive and the Crystal Pier in the Pacific Beach District of San Diego, CA. North of the pier is North Pacific […]

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    Ocean Beach City Beach

    Ocean Beach City Beach is the main beach in the San Diego neighborhood of Ocean Beach. This is a wide sandy beach that has formed at the south side of […]

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  • La Jolla Shores San Diego BryceApr16 (8)

    La Jolla Shores Beach

    La Jolla Shores Beach is a long, wide, and very popular beach in northern La Jolla. Compared to most of the La Jolla beaches which are tucked into gaps between […]

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  • Tourmaline Surf Park Beach Bryce Apr2016 (9)

    Tourmaline Surfing Park Beach

    Tourmaline Beach is at a San Diego area surfers’ mecca called Tourmaline Surfing Park. This beach sits on the border of the Pacific Beach and La Jolla districts of San […]

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    Flat Rock Beach at Torrey Pines

    Flat Rock Beach at Torrey Pines State Beach requires a long walk to get here but it’s worth the effort. This is a sandy beach below steep bluffs in the […]

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    Coronado Dog Run Beach

    Dog Run Beach is the North Beach of Coronado Beach in front of Sunset Park. Dogs can be off leash on this beach unlike all the other beaches along the […]

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  • San Diego California Coast Line, La Jolla Shores in San Diego, California USA

    Children’s Pool Beach

    Children’s Pool Beach, aka Casa Beach, is a small beach with a curved protective wall holding back the rough waves along the La Jolla shore. This wall was built in […]

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    South Mission Beach

    South Mission Beach is at the extreme south end of the Mission Beach Peninsula at the Mission Bay Channel Entrance. There is a nice grass park here with picnic tables, […]

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  • Sunset Cliffs Natural Park Bryce Feb2015 (4)

    Sunset Cliffs Natural Park – Garbage Beach

    Sunset Cliffs Natural Park is a steep hillside park between Point Loma Nazarene University and the ocean. There are boot-beaten footpaths all over the hillside here to explore. The beach […]

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    Hospital Beach

    Hospital Beach, aka “Hospitals,” is located along Coast Boulevard in La Jolla. There is a narrow grass strip on the bluff above this point called Coast Boulevard Park. Hospital Point […]

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  • Shot overlooking Black's Beach in San Diego, CA

    Black’s Beach

    Black’s Beach is a famous clothing-optional beach below the gliderport parking area on Torrey Pines Mesa. Blacks is a combo of Torrey Pines City Beach and Torrey Pines State Beach. […]

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    Campland on the Bay

    Campland on the Bay is a resort campground and marina on Mission Bay in San Diego. This RV and tent campground is on land that has been leased from the […]

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    La Jolla Strand Beach

    La Jolla Strand Beach in La Jolla is located along Neptune Place between Palomar Avenue and Gravilla Street. There are several stairs along Neptune Place in this area so you […]

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    La Jolla Caves Beach

    La Jolla Caves Beach is a hidden rocky beach between La Jolla Cove and La Jolla Shores Beach. During low tides you can walk here from La Jolla Shores, but […]

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Other locations on this map

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    Downtown San Diego

    Downtown San Diego and the San Diego International Airport are just a short drive to all of these beaches.

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    La Jolla

    The village of La Jolla in San Diego has more than 20 beautiful beaches tucked into small rocky coves below high-end homes and hotels

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    Mission Bay Beaches

    Mission Bay has 17 different beach parks along it’s shores. All are protected from the ocean waves making them family and kid-friendly.

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