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No trip to California is complete without a visit to one (or a few) of the pristine beaches in the area. And luckily, San Diego is full of them! Whether you’re looking for incredible white sand, crystal-clear waters, choice surf, or amazing wildlife, there’s something for everyone on one of San Diego’s top beaches.

South Mission Beach

If you like lounging on the sand, playing sports, taking walks, or trying to catch a few waves, it’s hard to beat South Mission Beach.

South Mission Beach is (unsurprisingly) located on the Mission Beach Peninsula, just south of La Jolla. If you don’t know where that is, go to Sea World and head west until you hit the beach. It’s arguably the widest beach in the city, so there’s always plenty of space to run, play games, and relax with plenty of space.

Because there’s so much space, it’s one of the best beaches to play sports, like beach volleyball or soccer. It’s also one of the only beaches in the country to feature an oceanfront area dedicated to playing “Over-The-Line.” If you’re not sure what that is, check it out here — and don’t forget to visit South Mission Beach in San Diego to play a game or two!

Two men playing games on the beach

La Jolla Cove Beach

Perhaps you’re more interested in wildlife and natural beauty than running around on the beach or catching some waves. If that’s the case, there’s a perfect beach for you to check out.

La Jolla Cove Beach is one of the smaller beaches in San Diego, but that doesn’t mean it’s small on beauty or things to do. It’s situated between two sandstone cliffs and creates a great little cove for swimming, snorkeling, and scuba diving.

Once you get into the water, it’s easy to see what makes this beach so special. The crystal-clear waters sometimes have visibility of up to 30 feet! Looking down into the depths, you’ll see plenty of marine life in the San Diego La Jolla Underwater Park Ecological Reserve. In fact, it’s one of the only underwater parks in the country! It’s definitely one of the best things to do in La Jolla, CA.

If you’re lucky, you’ll see everything from large schools of fish, dolphins, whales, and maybe even (friendly) leopard sharks! There are also some incredible kelp forests and underwater caves for you to explore — but only if you know what you’re doing.

Person snorkeling on a beach with underwater rocks

Ocean Beach City Beach

Ocean Beach City Beach is one of the main beaches in San Diego — and the main beach in the Ocean Beach neighborhood. Because it’s so big, there’s plenty for everyone to do on its sandy shores.

Aside from the standard swimming and relaxing on the sand, Ocean Beach City Beach also has a long pier that extends about a half-mile into the ocean. It’s the perfect place to take in the sea views. Plus, it’s one of the only places in the state where you can fish without a license!

For those who like a little company on the beach, head to the northernmost point of Ocean Beach City Beach and you’ll find what the locals refer to as Dog Beach. That’s right, it’s full of happy off-leash pups enjoying the surf and the sand. Bring your furry friend for some classic California fun in the sun.

Two dogs running along the water at the beach

Flat Rock Beach

Looking for a more private beach experience? The only way to get to Flat Rock Beach is with a long hike through the hills. While that might be a bit more difficult to carry all your beach gear, it also means there likely won’t be as many people crowding the beach at the end — and it’s definitely one of the best beaches in San Diego!

The white sand beach sits below massive bluffs that you can climb or simply sit back and admire. They create an incredible backdrop for an already-incredible beach!

At low tide, you can explore more of the beach to find tidal pools and sea cliffs. When the tide comes in, climb on the rocks surrounding the beach for some great jumping and swimming opportunities. Just make sure you don’t get stuck anywhere between tides!

Beach at the bottom of rock cliffs

Playa Pacifica on Mission Bay

Sure, sand is great and all, but what if you want something a little different in your beach experience? Well, you’re in luck! Playa Pacifica on Mission Beach is one of the best beaches in San Diego. It features a nice sandy shore along the banks of the Mission Bay surrounded by grassy parks.

The water in Mission Bay is nice and calm, since it’s protected from the ocean. It’s perfect for leisurely swims, wading, or floating around in the water. In fact, the locals call it “Leisure Lagoon” because it’s so relaxing.
Once you’re done with the water, there are also twelve miles of bike and walking trails that loop around the entire bay! There’s always something to do in Playa Pacifica on Mission Bay.

Woman floating in a tube on the ocean

It’s always a good time to hit the beach. And if you’re in San Diego, there are plenty of amazing beach options to choose from. Whether you want to play a game of Over-The-Line on South Mission Beach or check out the incredible marine life at La Jolla Cove Beach, there’s something for every beachgoer on San Diego’s best beaches.

Want to extend your stay a bit longer? Why not make these your local beaches? There are plenty of San Diego properties available to add a little more fun in the sun to your life. Contact the experts at the Caspersen Group today, and we’ll help you find the perfect Southern California property of your dreams.

Pete and Mark Caspersen Top Real Estate Agents at the Caspersen Group Cardiff, CA 92007 (619) 807-3423

Your Local San Diego, CA Real Estate Experts

For the past decade working side by side, Mark & Pete Caspersen have perfected their team approach to selling real estate in San Diego and North County. Specializing in residential, luxury, oceanfront, and investment properties, the Caspersen Group is renowned for their attentive service, leading-edge strategy and marketing, and no-nonsense style. Whether you’re making a move or hunting for your dream home, Mark & Pete are dedicated to making your process easygoing, stress-free and successful.

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Caspersen Group

1953 San Elijo Ave
Cardiff, CA 92007