This episode is dedicated to the best beaches in San Diego! With over 70 miles of gorgeous coastline, San Diego brings unique personality and draw to each of its beaches. No two are alike and all are worth a visit. We have the best beaches in San Diego for families – yes some are better equipped with showers, parking, and lifeguards on duty also making them the best swimming beaches in San Diego. We even list a few coves where you can swim with the seals and sharks.
San Diego’s beaches are open and easily accessible so we included the best public beaches in San Diego. We even included the best dog beaches in San Diego – one in North country, central San Diego and along the southern shores. Bonus for the daring out there – you might even find a nude beach on our list!
- Oceanside Beach
- Encinitas Moonlight Beach
- Del Mar Dog Beach
- Torrey Pines State Beach
- Black’s Beach
- La Jolla Cove & Shores
- Windansea Beach
- Pacific Beach, aka PB
- Mission Beach
- OB Dog Beach
- Garbage Beach
- Tide Pools at Cabrillo National Monument
Best Beaches in San Diego – Episode Transcript
Welcome to this week’s episode of the Travel Squad podcast. Today, we’re hitting the beach with San Diego’s best beaches.
1 (1m 5s):
And today we’re going to tell you about 13 of San Diego’s best beaches. We’re moving from north to south. And some of the beaches on our list, other squad members have been to, and I have not been. So I can’t wait to go check out some of these beaches this summer
3 (1m 18s):
When people think of San Diego. And maybe it’s just because we live here, but I have to imagine one of the first things that they think about is going to be the beaches and ocean life. I mean, we’re the last American city on the Pacific coast and we have amazing, amazing beaches, but I’m going to let you guys in on a little secret. The Squad knows this, but maybe our listeners don’t, I am not a beach person and less, I am on vacation. So even though I have this in my own backyard, I’m not the type to go lounge and get in the water. I like to do it on vacation, but not in my everyday life. However, I will say this. My favorite thing about the beaches here in San Diego is going to see the sunsets are going to do bonfires.
3 (1m 59s):
I’m all about beach life for that down here in San Diego, but laying out and about not my thing. I know it’s your girl’s thing, but anyway, I’m still excited about this episode because there’s so many good things and beaches to go over,
1 (2m 11s):
But Jamal, we just recently bought some Tommy Bahama Beach Chairs. So that gives us a reason to go lounge out the summer.
3 (2m 20s):
It does. And I’m thinking bonfires really, but I will go out and lounge with you. Yes. I’m excited about those beach chairs should make it a little bit more fun because I really hate laying on a towel and getting all Sandy and everything like that. Especially if I’m not getting in the water,
2 (2m 32s):
Those chairs are the best beach chairs for the beach. I swear. We’ll link them in the show notes. You guys can get one for your trip to these beaches.
3 (2m 40s):
Well, the reason why we picked it up, if you listened to a couple episodes ago, when we were talking about our trip to the Virgin islands, our Airbnb hosts actually had these Tommy Bahama ones and they are really, really legit. So I’m excited to link them also because
2 (2m 54s):
It’s a one it’s a backpack. And it also has like a pouch to put in. Those are perfect. Those are the best.
3 (2m 60s):
It’s real solid.
2 (3m 1s):
So yeah, I am a big beach girl, especially living in San Diego. I’ve been here for almost seven years and for four and a half, five of those years, I lived in Pacific beach, which is right along the coast. I lived two blocks from the ocean. That was amazing. And I spent a lot of time. I would go down there just for like a half an hour or go down there to actually take a nap and come back. And I loved it. And there’s so many good beaches in San Diego. I think it’s over 70 miles of gorgeous coastline from north county to south county of San Diego. And they all have different personalities too. Some are more grungy, some are more local, some are more touristy,
3 (3m 37s):
Even pristine. You know, obviously all our beaches are really nice, but with all those characteristics, you said pristine. I want to say also too, especially certain beaches that are great.
2 (3m 46s):
Yeah. And no matter what beach you’re on watching the sunset from the ocean, it’s just a magical moment in San Diego. Everybody stops what they’re doing. They look out into the water, they pause and it’s like a shared moment. And then when it sets people walk away, I actually watched the sunset two nights ago on sunset cliffs.
3 (4m 5s):
Oh, so sunset cliffs. We’re going to talk about this a little bit later. Yes.
2 (4m 10s):
Oh yeah. It’s definitely on the list,
3 (4m 11s):
Brittany and I used to live close to sunset cliffs and we used to go there all the time to watch the sunset. And as a matter of fact, when my cousin who lives overseas comes to San Diego, which he does quite often for conferences that are hosted here at the convention center, he always makes a point to make sure that we take him to watch the sunset at sunset cliffs. And it really is.
2 (4m 33s):
Bonfires are also amazing. Oh, I love them. I celebrated my birthday as an outdoor bonfire birthday this year. It was so cute. So we’ve hyped it up enough. Why don’t we dive into number one on our list, which is
1 (4m 46s):
Harbor beach in Oceanside.
3 (4m 48s):
Now keep in mind again, we’re going from north to south. So we’re starting an Oceanside, which is at the north end of San Diego county.
2 (4m 55s):
Oceanside is actually right outside of the south entrance to the military base. What’s
3 (5m 0s):
That camp Pendleton where the Marines train.
2 (5m 3s):
Yeah. So there’s a large military presence there, but it’s also a large family community, smaller town feel. And it has the longest pier on the west coast.
1 (5m 12s):
Wow. I didn’t know that.
2 (5m 14s):
Yeah. You can go out and have a nice walk. There’s a lot of like paddleboarding, obviously surfing because there’s a pier right there. It’s a really nice
1 (5m 21s):
Beach. Is it one of the peers that you can fish on? Do you know? Yes,
2 (5m 24s):
You can fish on it. And there are also a lot of ships because there’s a Harbor right there. So it’s always nice to look out into the water and see a bunch of boats and people having fun on the water.
3 (5m 34s):
What I really like about this beach too, is the bond fire pits that they actually have here. And like I was saying earlier, like bonfires on the beach are really my thing at night. And lots of beaches here in San Diego don’t allow that. So when they do allow it, those tend to be my favorites because I enjoy that activity. There’s nothing nicer than having an evening watching the sunset and then having those buyer pits there at the same time, it’s a magical experience all around.
2 (5m 58s):
I think this smores make it magical to,
3 (6m 1s):
Oh, I’ve never done this. Moore’s on the beach. I only do that. When I go camping,
1 (6m 6s):
We have definitely done
3 (6m 7s):
That smores on the beach. I feel like we’ve done smores on the beach when we’ve gone camping on the beach in Northern California. But I don’t think living down here we’ve ever made smoke. Well, this is news to me
2 (6m 20s):
That needs to happen and re jog your memory because it is divine.
1 (6m 24s):
So riding the wave into the next beach, we’re going to Moonlight beach and Encinitas.
2 (6m 28s):
I love this beach. I love in sending this in general. It’s just a small beach town with surfer through your typical Californians, live in Encinitas and you’ll find tons of families. It’s super family friendly. They have volleyball courts. It’s also set on more of a big cliff versus a walkout Sandy beach. In some parts, you kind of have different scenery depending on what you’re looking for. And the sand is really soft. It’s really clean. I love it.
1 (6m 54s):
A lot of locals visit the Nita speech as well. And they have a lot of good eateries and Encinitas as well. That aren’t far from the beach.
3 (7m 1s):
What I like about Encinitas area in particularly this beach is Encinitas. Like you were saying, it’s more locals vibe beach, but it is one of the more affluent communities in San Diego also. So you really find very few tourists that go here. It’s more people in the know who live in San Diego, regardless of if they live in Encinitas or not, but it keeps it with a nice beach vibe, more high end that you would think of when you think of like LA beaches in certain communities also. So it really has that good feel to it too. And the food scene in Encinitas adds to it. I mean, who doesn’t want to go from the beach and go get some good food or bruise like right after the,
2 (7m 38s):
But what you should do is go to the beach after you’ve been out in the sun all day, walk about a block or two up to Hammons ice cream. Oh my God. Our ice cream is so good.
1 (7m 47s):
Jamal, do you remember when we went to the Hammond’s ice cream?
3 (7m 49s):
I do. But was it an instant fetus? There’s another location of Hammons isn’t
1 (7m 53s):
There. Yeah. There’s another location in Hillcrest.
3 (7m 56s):
Okay. Cause I was going to say like, I don’t remember getting it.
2 (7m 58s):
Yeah, it’s local, but they’ve opened a couple other spots. They have so many different types of ice cream and pre COVID. They would give you samples. Can’t promise you that now, but maybe
1 (8m 7s):
We did an ice cream flight when we went to Hammons and I think I got like 10 different ice cream flavors.
2 (8m 13s):
That’s amazing. Next up on our list. This one you can bring your furry friend to Delmar’s dog beach is one of the best dog beaches I’ve ever been to Del Mar again is one of the more affluent neighborhoods in San Diego. And so the beach is really well kept, very clean. The sand is really nice. There’s tons of dogs, which I think typically, maybe in your head, you might imagine a dog beach being dirty because of the dogs with this speech is super clean. You know, I sat and laid on the beach too. So it’s not like it’s overrun by pets, but it’s just really nice to be able to bring your dog because most species in San Diego, you either can’t bring your dog. Or there’s only certain hours like 9:00 AM to 6:00 PM. That dogs are not allowed.
2 (8m 53s):
So only on the outside of those hours, you can bring in. So this one’s
1 (8m 56s):
Nice. I actually haven’t been to the speech, but I have a coworker who goes there and she has a dog, but she doesn’t bring her dog there. She just goes to watch all the happy dogs play on the beach. And she’s like, it always just makes me happy and relaxed. So she loves to speak.
3 (9m 9s):
Well, you kind of answered a question that I was going to give to Kim because I was going to ask like, do you tend to see people who go here? Who aren’t dog owners? Because exclusively, you know, yes, it’s hard to find beaches in San Diego that allowed dogs. So clearly more people who have dogs will go to this beach, but do you see non dog owners there a lot? Or is it really people are going with their dogs? Because this is one of the few beaches
2 (9m 31s):
I have seen people just laying out on the beach, enjoying the beach without a dog
3 (9m 36s):
You’ve maybe saw Brittany’s coworker scoping out the happy dogs, plane
2 (9m 40s):
Lurking in the back.
1 (9m 43s):
She’s not talking to people. She’s just talking all the happy dogs.
3 (9m 47s):
So surfing on down south to number four, we’re going to go to Torrey Pines, state beach. Now, Torrey Pines. Maybe you’ve heard of this before. They have a famous golf course out there that they do some of the PGA tours at. And it is also a state beach famous for the endangered Torrey pine trees that they have there. But other than the beautiful golf course, other than the endangered trees, Torrey Pines is an amazing, amazing beach.
1 (10m 12s):
Torrey Pines is actually one of my favorite beaches to go to. And there is cool hiking at the state park and steep each there. So you actually kind of hike up a hill and you can look out into the ocean. Kim and I did a hike there once and we were able to see whales out in the distance, in the water. And then if you go up far enough, there is a trail that takes you down to the beach. And then instead of hiking down the calcite or the mountain, you just walk back on the beach to your car. And it’s just really nice to take off your hiking shoes and put your feet in the water.
3 (10m 43s):
Quite honestly, I’ve actually never lounged at the beach at Torrey Pines, state park. I’ve only gone to really do the hiking there. So this is a great place to go. If you’re a person like me, who’s not really a beach goer to go hang out and get in the water. But unless you live in San Diego and you’re coming down here to visit a guest, you’re on vacation. So maybe you would get in the water. I don’t know, but I love Torrey Pines because it’s one of the coolest spots where you actually have a lot of hiking trails along the water and the ocean. So it’s really, really beautiful. But squad tip, you have to pay to park here.
2 (11m 14s):
1 (11m 14s):
Right. Yeah, you do.
3 (11m 15s):
And how much is that?
1 (11m 16s):
I think it’s $10 normally. And then like $20 during holidays, they hike it up.
3 (11m 21s):
It makes sense. It is a state park. So it comes with the territory, I guess it’s almost like the entrance fee at that point. Right?
2 (11m 27s):
And the parking lot fills up quick in the mornings. So you do want to get there early. If you plan to park there, there’s also parking along the road. That’s either metered or free. I can’t remember, but that also fills up and then there’s neighborhoods. But then of course, you’re going to have to walk and there’s other ways to access to speech. I’ve done it a few other times where I’ve hiked down like ho Chi Minh trail, which the entrances in a residential neighborhood of LA Jolla. And then you hike down, walk the couple miles I think, or mild to Del Mar beach. Then you can hike up there and then walk back. But that’s a full day. You’re in it to win it that day.
3 (11m 60s):
Well, if you’re going there to hike, I guess that’s the case. But if you want beach, then don’t want to do that. And
2 (12m 5s):
I have swam at Torrey Pines.
3 (12m 7s):
I was going to ask is my memory serves me correctly. Kim, I feel like there was an incident where you almost drown here. Not trying to discourage anybody from going, but was there not an incident or am I mistaken here?
2 (12m 18s):
When I first moved here, I got a body board and I don’t use it anymore, but my first few months here, I was all about it. And one time I caught a nice wave and it just shot me from like way out in the water, all the way back to the shore, pretty much. And the waves kept like pushing me under and I was all winded and coughing when I came out, finally, that’s scary. All happened so fast that the ocean is brutal.
1 (12m 43s):
It is. You have to know that like you have to be a good swimmer to be in the ocean.
2 (12m 47s):
Yeah. But there are lifeguards out there. And when this happened, actually that same day a lifeguard had swam out to us and said, there’s rip currents right here. So move.
3 (12m 56s):
I was going to ask, did a bodyguard come rescue Baywatch style? Or it was, you recovered yourself. And then we’re like, oh fuck. I’m getting out of the water right now.
2 (13m 4s):
I recovered myself. But as soon as he saw me, he came running over. Yeah.
3 (13m 8s):
I mean, I think that’s a good squad tip in general is just practice. Good water safety. I mean, the ocean is beautiful. People love to get in it, but water and general let alone in the ocean is one of the most dangerous things. So just be mindful when you’re out there and be safe. Don’t be like Kim and almost get pulled out in the rip current out there.
1 (13m 25s):
Okay. So taking a beach walk to black speech, this is actually the only nude beach in San Diego. And Kim had mentioned a trail that we have hiked before. It’s called the ho Chi Minh trail. If you hike down that trail, it’s one of the ways to get to Black’s beach directly.
2 (13m 40s):
You can also get two black speech. If you park at the Torrey Pines, glider port, which is free to Parkin. And there is a hiking trail down to the beach. And I say hiking, but it’s like wooden stairs built into the cliff. So it’s not, I mean, anybody can do it. Kids can do it. It’s okay. And then yeah, it drops you right in you’ll know you’re there because you’ll be able to tell by the people standing around you not wearing any clothes and it’s fun beach out there. There’s a lot of interesting, different kinds of people out there.
1 (14m 9s):
Have you ever been nude at this nude
2 (14m 12s):
Beach? Oh yeah.
3 (14m 13s):
I love how you asked that as a proposition question. As if you and Kim haven’t gone out together to the nude beach and gone out tanning together.
1 (14m 21s):
Yes, we did
2 (14m 22s):
Fun fact. I actually last summer went on a first date with this guy I met on hinge to black speech.
3 (14m 31s):
Sounds like he got a little lucky then in that case.
2 (14m 33s):
No, actually I never even hooked up with,
3 (14m 35s):
I don’t mean it like that, but first day going to Black’s beach, you know, it’s all out there on the table, everyone knows what’s up.
2 (14m 41s):
So that was fine. But
3 (14m 43s):
You don’t have to go in the nude if you’re going to go to Black’s beach. Right? I mean, some people are out there in swimsuits. I’ve never been out there to myself at black speech, but I have actually walked across the beach through that area. Because again, there’s a lot of hiking trails on this portion of the coast, along San Diego, you know, some of it mountainous get down to the beach. So we used black speech as a trail. So a lot of people just walk passing through it, not even as really lucky lose their hiking.
1 (15m 12s):
There was one time where I was at Black’s beach and there was a guy who was definitely overweight, a lot of chest hair. He was smoking a cigarette in the water with one hand and then a beer in the other man. And I was like, damn, he’s living his best life. Okay.
3 (15m 26s):
I was about to say the exact same thing. He sounds like he’s living his best life. Just enjoying himself.
2 (15m 30s):
I have heard that they have full moon parties out there where they do like drum circles and basically have a party out there on the,
3 (15m 38s):
When you said full moon, I thought you were making like
2 (15m 41s):
No pun intended.
3 (15m 42s):
Yeah, no. Okay. Really a full moon party. Okay. Very nice.
2 (15m 46s):
So now we’re going to put our clothes back on for beach number six, LA Jolla Cove and Shores. They’re technically two different beaches, but they’re right next to each other. So we put them together.
3 (15m 56s):
Makes sense. And these are some of the most popular places to go in San Diego for tourists, let alone just going to the beach. But more even a scenic overlook area is going to be the Hoya Cove and the Hawaii Shores.
2 (16m 7s):
The number one thing this area is known for are the sea lions. They are everywhere out on the Cove and on the shores. There’s a big Rocky area where you can hear them before you see them, but they’re everywhere. And at the Cove actually, I’ve been snorkeling out there and there’s always sea lions on the beach. And there’s a lifeguard that will tell you, Hey, stay away from them. But out in the water, they’ll come and swim right next to you.
1 (16m 30s):
Oh, that’s super cool.
2 (16m 31s):
Yeah. I was snorkeling out there and pop my head up to breathe in one popped up right next to hanging out.
3 (16m 36s):
And they’re just out there lounging on the rocks, lounging on the beaches. I’ve gone here multiple times, really kind of overlooking it. And again, like I said, it’s a popular place to take people who are visiting just for the scenic beauty, but I’ve gotten in the water here one time, believe it or not. But I actually had my friend, Josh and his girlfriend, Anna, they were down here visiting and we went to LA Jolla Cove and chores and did some swimming out there. And same experience happened. You’re just out there swimming before you realize it, you got some sea lions swimming right up to you or next to you. And it’s a really awesome experience.
1 (17m 9s):
Yeah. They’ve actually changed the layout of LA Jolla Cove. When I first moved to San Diego, you could look down at the sea lions, but you actually couldn’t get down there. And then a few years later they changed it so that there are stairs that get you down to the beach. You can literally be right next to a sea lion, but you do want to give them their space. There are lifeguards there that will say like, you know, keep your distance, but it is really cool to see them. So up close,
3 (17m 32s):
I’m going to give two squad tips here. One, this is a really good place minus the sea lions because the water is really calm. Even though it’s in this Coby area and you think it’s Rocky, think maybe water and waves are washing up, making a little choppy. It’s actually relatively calm. So it is a really good place to go swimming in that respect and to during the months of July and August, it is sand shark season. So you can actually see and swim with some sand sharks. If you’re feeling bold enough to get in the water for that,
2 (18m 0s):
I’m not a big fan of sharks. When you guys went shark diving in Africa, I thought you were insane. And these sharks also scare me, but they won’t bite you. They’re at the bottom of the ocean floor, eating, whatever else is living down there.
3 (18m 16s):
Hence the name San sharks.
2 (18m 17s):
Yeah, but they look like they have a leopard pattern, Nick like leopard sharks and they can be like four feet, five feet long.
1 (18m 25s):
It’s a pretty big,
2 (18m 26s):
And that’s pretty scary to see swimming right under you as you’re snorkeling. But it’s also really cool. And, and knowing they’re not going to bite you. There’s also those orange gear, Baldy fish a lot out there. They’re in Dr. Seuss’s books and they’re real. They’re really out there. And so there’s a lot of good snorkeling at LA Jolla shores too. Oh, one other thing about lawyer shorts that even I haven’t done, they have a bunch of caves in this LA Jolla shores Cove area. And there’s a story you can go into that you can like walk down these stairs and be in the cave. You can also get to them by kayaking, which I actually have done. But at a certain point, when the tide is low enough, there’s a cave you can go into. And then it’s like a open top cave. So it looks like really cool.
2 (19m 5s):
Like you’re in this cave and it’s like a sunlight coming through. It’s amazing. And I am dying to go do it.
1 (19m 11s):
Ooh, let’s go do that.
2 (19m 12s):
I’m totally down for that adventure.
3 (19m 13s):
I tell you what I’ll get in the water for that.
1 (19m 16s):
That could be a couple strip. Couple of kayak,
2 (19m 18s):
A throttled trip.
3 (19m 19s):
There you go.
1 (19m 21s):
Do they have three seated kayaks?
2 (19m 24s):
Oh, you know what? They probably do.
3 (19m 27s):
We’re going to have to look into that. Cause that sounds like a blast.
1 (19m 30s):
So body surfing down to the next beach, we’re headed to beach number seven, wind and sea beach.
2 (19m 35s):
I have also body boarded here and I would not recommend it because there are a lot of rocks in the water and I completely fucked my knees up one time. But it’s an amazing beach. I love this beach. It’s in like the bird rock area, which is between PB and the Hoya. So it’s really nice. The sand is the softest sand I have ever felt.
1 (19m 57s):
And we’ve saw a pop-up wedding here. Yeah,
2 (19m 60s):
We did years ago.
1 (20m 1s):
Yeah. But recently I actually went to a patient’s home and I wasn’t thinking much of it either. They were kind of living in the bird rock area. They lived in the cul-de-sac and I walked into the home and the entire back wall of this patient’s home was completely just last windows and it looks right out over wind and sea beach.
2 (20m 21s):
1 (20m 22s):
It was so beautiful. And like couldn’t stop staring out at the ocean. That’s
2 (20m 26s):
1 (20m 27s):
2 (20m 28s):
All right. Number eight is my favorite beach. Pacific beach also known as PB. Like I said, I lived here for four years and I absolutely love it, but it does have its personality, its infamous personality around here. What would that personality be?
1 (20m 44s):
The party beach college area.
2 (20m 48s):
Yeah. A lot of college kids. It’s definitely known for its partying has a lot of bars and eateries and even on the boardwalk too, which is really cool. And the boardwalk is active. There’s tons of vendors. There’s tons of people. Again, places to eat and drink. It’s a really long boardwalk. It’s just so cool. You’ll see, like it is the people watching beach to be at for sure. And it’s also a really big beach, so it’s great for lounging on the beach or getting together with friends and having like a big group thing.
1 (21m 16s):
And there’s some restaurants there that have rooftop bars that look out to the water.
2 (21m 20s):
Yes. Waterfront has a really nice rooftop and short club has a really nice deck
1 (21m 25s):
And Kim loves her rooftop bars. Yes
2 (21m 28s):
I do. It’s my favorite beach. It’s just, there’s just so much to do. There has so much vibe to it compared to other beaches. I would go by myself all the time and just lay there. A lot of people would come up and talk to me. Some of them you don’t want to, but there’s that.
3 (21m 43s):
So if you go, go with protection in a sense, go with a second female. Maybe that’ll attract more people or maybe that will discourage the solos from coming up and talking about
2 (21m 52s):
PSA for anyone visiting this beach and thinking about going up to a girl that’s laying on the beach by herself, reading don’t. If somebody is reading a book, like leave them alone,
1 (22m 3s):
Let them relax. Enjoy their time alone. They went there alone.
2 (22m 7s):
I had a guy was sitting on the beach once and this surfer came out of the water and walk straight from the water up to me like bay watch movies. I’m like, what does this guy want? He wasn’t cute. So I wasn’t that excited about it. But then he started chatting and I was just like, and he asked if I want to go get a smoothie. And I was like, no, I don’t. I want to go back to my book.
1 (22m 26s):
So Kim, tell us what happened your first weekend, living here in PB. What happened to you when you went to the beach?
2 (22m 32s):
Okay. Yeah. So don’t make this mistake. My first weekend moving here was a holiday weekend. We were really excited. We bought a few beers, put them in a beach cooler. We brought cups from the house that were just regular cups, plastic cups. And we got to the beach, you know, discretely poured the beer, just started drinking it. And bam ATV with police officers on it, rolls up. The fuckers came out of nowhere to,
1 (22m 59s):
And they had their binoculars on
2 (23m 3s):
And it was even in a cup and they just like came real quick and poured the cup out and gave us a ticket. And I remember when they asked they, they make you sign the ticket. And I wrote, my name is F U. They were like knit needs to be a real name.
1 (23m 18s):
How much was that ticket? Kim
2 (23m 19s):
It’s over 300 bucks. It’s really expensive.
3 (23m 22s):
So there’s no drinking on the beach at Pacific beach then?
2 (23m 25s):
No. And there used to be like more than 10 years ago it was legal and then they changed it because of PB problems. But
1 (23m 32s):
The Squad tip, if you’re going to drink, put your drink in a coffee mug with a lid.
2 (23m 36s):
Yes. Coffee mug with a lid or maybe a disposable cup that you could have gotten at like the restaurant you were just at that’ll work too. But keep it on the deal.
3 (23m 45s):
Surfing on down the beach a little bit further to number nine, we’re going to go to mission beach. Now this is one of my favorite places in San Diego beach wise. And not necessarily even for the lounging about it’s actually really close to PB. I honestly sometimes merge the two together and really say they’re one, but they are technically two separate beaches, but what stands this one out for me, mission beach is Belmont park, which has a classic seaside, rollercoaster and amusement park along with it. So it’s really popular for tourists. It keeps that party vibe from PB coming on down. Just not as much because you have more families there because of the amusement park, the really good beach all around.
2 (24m 26s):
I still haven’t had a chance to ride that roller coaster.
1 (24m 30s):
I’ve written it as a child. Well,
2 (24m 31s):
Actually I’ve had a chance. I turned it down, but since I found out I can handle wooden roller coasters, I’ve been wanting to try it.
3 (24m 38s):
I want to ride it so bad. See, so Brittany can handle rollercoasters, but she’s really finicky about it. She doesn’t like wooden ones. Cause they’re too jerky and steel ones. They have to be really smooth for her to handle these classic he’s classic seaside. Wooden ones usually are pretty jerky. So I know I won’t even ride it with Brittany. Maybe she’d get on, but I’m sure she wouldn’t enjoy it. So I’ll tell you what Kim, this has got you. And I written all over it and if Brittany feels bold enough to join, she can, if not, she can film it and we’ll put it on YouTube or something like that.
1 (25m 11s):
So growing up, you know, we were all from Northern California, but my sister lived down in San Diego and we used to always go to mission beach when I was growing up. And I remember going to Belmont park people watching just on the boardwalk. There used to be a guy that was just like roller skating up and down.
2 (25m 27s):
Slow-mo he’s still there. He’s
1 (25m 29s):
Still there. It should be.
3 (25m 31s):
I was actually going to bring it up at PB, but I forgot. It was I’m glad he did, but he’s in mission, not PB or he works his way up to vote
2 (25m 37s):
Both. And these, this infamous old man on roller skates and he deserves his name. Slow-mo
1 (25m 44s):
I have been watching him for years. I’ve watched him grow. I grew up watching him. But one time our friend Robin came down to San Diego. It was right after we graduated high school and her and I were like, we’re going to have a full on beach day. And so we had my sister drop us off at mission beach. She’s like, you’re going to spend all eight hours here at the beach. We’re like, yeah, we’re going to have a fucking great day. We were so baked by the end of the day, our faces were so sunburned. I think we were like dehydrated. It was terrible.
2 (26m 17s):
1 (26m 18s):
God, then Robin, her skin’s a little fairer than mine. It was like so red and like lobster red. And she couldn’t even put on makeup for the rest of her duration in San Diego because her face was just like peeling so much.
3 (26m 31s):
So don’t sit out there all day, I guess, take away from that. And if you do put on sunscreen,
2 (26m 36s):
I’ve done that. I remember really warm day. I was hyped to go get tan and I stood out there way too long. And then a friend was going to me. So I was ready to leave when she said she was coming and it was still like two, three more hours. Oh my God. It was the worst sunburn I’ve ever had. I was literally for three days just painting Aloe Vera on my body and sitting there trying not to move.
3 (26m 57s):
Sounds like me on the Bragg on the same page. That sounds like me on the rag on like 15 minutes out in the sun. Maybe that’s another reason why I’m not accusing John beaches in that sense.
2 (27m 6s):
3 (27m 7s):
I do. I do, but don’t let these sunburn stories discourage you from the beach, let alone mission beach. And one last thing I really want to say about it too. As a lot of these places that we’ve mentioned, you know, the beaches, sometimes it’s a lot more limited parking, but one good thing about mission beach is they have a big parking lot nearby and several other lots in the area. Given the fact that there is to an extent an amusement park there. So a lot easier to find parking, not saying it’s going to be guaranteed, but better odds
2 (27m 35s):
Just down south a little bit from mission beach is number 10, ocean beach or obese dog beach. Now I know we said Delmar’s dog beach was super pristine and really nice obese dog beach is just like OB wild, like
1 (27m 49s):
A very hippie vibe and OB
2 (27m 51s):
Yes, very hippy vibe in those just dogs running a muck
3 (27m 55s):
Ocean beach and not even the beach in general, the neighborhood for that matter again, all those characteristics that you mentioned, like kind of hippie vibe, stoner vibe type situation, not to say that it’s unsafe, but just expect that going in. If you think like, oh, San Diego, this is going to be nice. And then you get there. You might be thrown off a little bit, but if you go in with that expectation and knowledge, it’s actually really fun beach for the culture, really good food around in the area and ocean beach. I mean, I still like to go there all the time just to get the great food that’s in the area to let alone, but the dog beach aspect, they also have a peer in that area for you too is really, really nice beach with a more laid back kind of hippy vibes.
1 (28m 34s):
I think Kim, you mentioned earlier, like this is probably the one that met like the grungy feel of the beach, but it is a fun beach to go to as long as you know, what you’re walking into
2 (28m 44s):
And the dog beaches, just on one side, there’s no fence or anything, keeping the dogs on that side of the beach versus the non dog beach, which is just to the left of it. And that beach is really nice too. It’s great for hanging out. They have bonfire pit. So if you’re going to bring your dog over to that side, maybe do a little human activity on the other.
1 (29m 2s):
Yeah. And if you do walk down that ocean beach pier, it’s pretty nice long walk over the water. So I would definitely check that out
3 (29m 9s):
And again, do it even for the bonfires, another beach with bonfire. Love it,
2 (29m 14s):
Love the motto. Do it for the bonfires. Hell yeah.
1 (29m 17s):
So, you know, I may have said the word grungy and the next beach, we’re going to talk about number 11 is garbage beach, but it’s not grungy at all.
2 (29m 24s):
Yeah. It’s, it’s named miss appropriately, but I think it’s, it’s trying to hide itself a little bit.
3 (29m 30s):
I think that’s what it is. And we may be giving a real solid squad tip out here more particularly for the tourists, the people in the know and San Diego who know beaches, no of this. But I think the name comes because they’re trying to hide how cool it is now. It’s not like the most pristine beach, but there’s a secret way to get down to there. But because it’s so little known, it is rather isolated in a sense than the others and it makes it really cool.
2 (29m 52s):
And it’s not the type of beach that the lifeguards are able to drive on and patrol. So there won’t be any lifeguard patrol in that area, but that’s also good if you are trying to enjoy some adult beverages and don’t want to be seen by the wrong people.
3 (30m 6s):
But if you get in the water again, this is where you should practice that best water safety. But so we were talking about sunset cliffs a little bit earlier on in this episode and the cliffs are right there, a little bit north of garbage beach, but there are no beaches at sunset cliffs. Hence the name, the fact that it’s cliffs. So you go a little bit south and then you’re able to get to this beach garbage beach by having to repel a rope down to the sand area. So that’s really fun too. So be safe when you’re doing that, but unique experience even get there and enjoy it.
1 (30m 40s):
The other way to get to garbage beach is only when the tide is low enough. So you have to go during low tide and you can walk down the stairs at sunset cliffs because there is a huge set of stairs that go down to the bottom of the cliffs. And then you can walk over to garbage beach. But again, you can only do this when the tide is a really low.
3 (30m 56s):
And if that’s your plan to get back, don’t wait for the tide to come back. Otherwise you’re going to have to take the rope up.
2 (31m 2s):
Yeah, it’s a really nice beach and really great place to watch the sunset. So beautiful.
1 (31m 6s):
So beautiful. Sunset cliffs is my favorite place to watch the sunset in San Diego.
2 (31m 10s):
Well, we’re going to go onto number 12. This one is probably not one. You’ll find on the best beaches articles out there on San Diego, because this one is not a beach.
1 (31m 20s):
It’s a tight bowl and the tide pools at Cabrillo National Monument. So it is a protected area. So you do have to pay to get in because it’s a national monument. It’s about $20 per car and your cellphone will actually tell you that you’re in Mexico while you’re there,
3 (31m 35s):
Which is so funny because Brittany and I live like three exits from Mexico, which is a lot further south than Cabrillo national monument. Yeah. Living so close to here. I don’t get my welcome to Mexico signal until I literally cross over into Mexico. So it’s really good at the borderline, but somewhere along the coast, that’s where it always gets a little funky,
2 (31m 54s):
But you’re not in Mexico. You’re still in the U S
1 (31m 56s):
Yeah. So if you go in the tightest low, you can walk on the rocks and explore all of the tide pools. And it’s really fun and educational. And over 350,000 people visit these tide pools every single year. And it’s one of the best protected Rocky intertidal areas in California.
3 (32m 13s):
You’re really selling it up, Brittany. No I’m being serious on that. Like these are really, really beautiful. I had been to Cabrillo national monument a couple of times when I had first moved down to San Diego, but it wasn’t until my third time that I really took the endeavor to go down to the tide pools. And I was just blown away. Like, how is this natural beauty like right here? And I never knew about it. You go at the right time, you can see some starfish, some sea urchin, all this in the tide pool is just absolutely magical and amazing.
1 (32m 43s):
Well, your at Cabrillo National Monument, there is a light house there that you can explore. There is a hike and you can actually see like into downtown and Cornado
2 (32m 52s):
Great views of downtown,
1 (32m 54s):
Really nice views. So it’s a very beautiful stock.
3 (32m 57s):
So moving on south to our final number 13 Cornado beach, this one has a very special place in my heart. Why don’t you tell them why Brittany,
1 (33m 6s):
Because Jamal and I got married on the beach and Coronado
3 (33m 10s):
That wasn’t going to be the reason I said,
1 (33m 11s):
Oh, what was the reason you were going to say?
3 (33m 13s):
Cause they allow bonfires on this beach. Okay. We got married here that you reminded me now. I almost forgot there, Brittany. I’m sorry
2 (33m 21s):
3 (33m 22s):
That was the reason. It’s not the bonfires. Just throwing that out
1 (33m 25s):
2 (33m 26s):
I know fun fact, this bitch didn’t even want to invite me to her wedding.
3 (33m 31s):
It was going to be family only to keep it very small, but you were adamant and it happened to him
1 (33m 36s):
And you were a little hung over weren’t you?
2 (33m 39s):
Nope. I just hadn’t slept yet. So
3 (33m 42s):
Well off the topic of the fact that Brittany and I got married there. Let’s talk a little bit more about Coronado beach and what makes it really, really special.
1 (33m 50s):
It’s a really nice pristine beach. It’s a very family friendly beach. It’s really close to the Navy. So you’ll see a lot of military families as well. And it has the backdrop of hotel Del Coronado,
2 (34m 1s):
Which is so beautiful.
1 (34m 2s):
So beautiful. The Victorian architecture,
2 (34m 5s):
It’s a big beach,
1 (34m 7s):
2 (34m 8s):
It takes a long time to get from the sidewalk to the water.
1 (34m 12s):
Do you know what I remember about the feet when you and I went there? What’s
2 (34m 14s):
1 (34m 15s):
You didn’t like it. Do you remember you Rayleen Michael came down and I took you guys to get coordinated. And you’re like, where are the people where are all the shops? Like what are we doing at this point?
2 (34m 24s):
Yeah. And so Coronado is actually the closest beach to me. It’s only a seven minute drive from my house, but I don’t like going there because there’s no vibe. It’s all families. It’s big. It’s, it’s the kind of beach you go and you bring your easy up and you have a beach day.
3 (34m 38s):
Well, cause you tend to more so sometimes, and not in a bad way when the party vibe or fun vibe of the beach. When I think of Cornado, I like its calmness and stillness. It reminds me of an east coast, new England style beach. And especially with that kind of architecture that you get with the hotel Del. So, you know, when you see photos of Nantucket or long island and the Hamptons, and they’re just these, you know, really nice beaches kind of like mellow architecture around with nice wooden buildings. Like that’s the vibe that I get at hotel Del Coronado. And I really, really like it. So you’re right. If you are going for just easy laid back, this is really the place and it has the beautiful backdrop with it.
3 (35m 19s):
If you go and party, you want mission beach PB, right?
2 (35m 21s):
Yeah. And hotel Del does have a bar outdoors. They have outdoor dining. They even around Christmas time, we’ll put up a, an ice skating rink and you can ice skate next to the water. So it’s really cool, but just know what you’re getting into with that beach.
1 (35m 36s):
Yeah. In Coronado itself has a lot of good places to eat. It’s a fun town to ride a bike in. So I see a lot of people going down on their cruiser
2 (35m 43s):
Houses are gorgeous.
1 (35m 45s):
Yes. And there’s a lot of free parking in Coronado, especially into the residential streets. And you get to just admire all of the beautiful homes there.
3 (35m 53s):
Well, if you get into the residential streets, you will walk a little bit far. If you want to be on the beach area by the hotel Del, otherwise you’re going to pay the expense of parking right there. So if you’re fortunate enough to find street parking close, you’re good. But if you do the residential, which I don’t want to say, it’s a long mile long walk because it’s not, but be prepared if you get into those areas, it’s going to be a little bit more of a walk there for you.
2 (36m 14s):
I sometimes will take my lunch break, pack a little lunch and drive down to Cornado and just park and then sit on one of the benches they have on the sidewalk. I don’t go onto the sand, but I’ll just sit there in front of the ocean. Have a nice little lunch.
1 (36m 27s):
Yeah. I actually had some patients live in Coronado, so I used to plan it so that I would go to Cornado in the morning, go see my patients and then just take a little break, go to the beach. We’re heading on to my next ones. And it’s just a nice place to eat lunch and very beautiful coastline.
2 (36m 43s):
On the other side of Cornado right? When you enter off of the bridge to the right, there is a whole park area of tons of restaurants. And from there, it’s the best view of downtown.
1 (36m 54s):
Oh yeah. I know exactly what you’re talking about.
2 (36m 57s):
I’ve gotten to go dinner and went out there and had dinner, looking at the city as the sunsetting. Perfect.
3 (37m 2s):
When you’re on Cornado whether you’re on the west, along the ocean, or you’re on the bay side, sometimes it’s really difficult to decide what side is cooler because the bay side, you get that great view of San Diego. And then if you’re on the ocean sidewall, it’s a beautiful, pristine ocean. And then you have the beautiful backdrop of the famous hotel Del. So every place that you go in Cornado, you won’t be disappointed. Let alone just revisiting for the beach.
2 (37m 25s):
So many good options here in San Diego. Like you really can’t go wrong with any of the beaches.
1 (37m 29s):
Yeah. You know, Jamal and I have lived here for like 10 years now and there’s still beaches that we haven’t been to in San Diego. And we should definitely go and check them out more. I wish you were more of a beach person.
3 (37m 40s):
I’m a beach lounge person, but not necessarily get it, but you know, and now that we got those Tommy Bahama chairs, again, check out the link that we’re going to put in the show notes for them because they are solid and legit. I’m ready to do a little bit more.
2 (37m 51s):
I looked up with the Tommy Bahama chairs and then the Collapsible Cooler.
3 (37m 56s):
Oh, hell yeah. Oh, the beach and
2 (37m 59s):
3 (38m 2s):
And the umbrella for me and my fair skin. I don’t have one yet, but you know what? Maybe we’ll link one in there for you too. In case you have fair skin, it might encourage me to buy it for myself.
2 (38m 10s):
The last story of this episode is that the first day I lived here, I moved in at night. The first day woke up, we hit the beach and was a whole day of a beach day. And I had to buy an umbrella because I was so sunburned, but I didn’t want to go home yet.
1 (38m 28s):
That is such a Kim thing to do.
3 (38m 30s):
All right. Any other final thoughts before we move on to your favorite time of the week camp? Cause I think we’re, there let’s
2 (38m 36s):
Go. Let’s go there.
3 (38m 37s):
Questions of the week.
2 (38m 38s):
We have one question this week and it was sent in by a rando. So whoever it was, thank you.
3 (38m 46s):
2 (38m 47s):
Squadies Rondo Squadies okay. Thank you very much. This person asked how many beaches can you visit on a weekend trip to San Diego? That’s good. There are so many beaches. You can’t see them all in one weekend or maybe you could actually, that would be a good contest if you want to give it a shot. But realistically,
1 (39m 5s):
What would you say?
3 (39m 6s):
You’re the authority and expert on this one, Kim. So I think you should be the one to give the answer because I really don’t know. I mean, I guess to an extent, it depends on what you want to do. Do you want to party? Do you want to be relaxing? Do you want to relax first then kind of party and then move on somewhere else to sunset. I mean the options are endless. Yeah.
2 (39m 22s):
And that’s the thing about beaches is there for relaxation. Get your Tommy Bahama chair, lay out your towel, like stay awhile
3 (39m 29s):
Unless it’s the hotel Del, which Kim’s at Michael lounge and relax with that.
2 (39m 32s):
So I would say if you’re coming for a weekend, definitely go to sunset cliffs. That’s one, definitely do a hike at Torrey Pines and go down to the beach. That’s too. You can have a drink and PB at a beach bar and go to the beach there and then maybe a dinner or maybe you get an Airbnb in mission beach. That’s a great place to get an Airbnb and call it home.
1 (39m 55s):
So that’s four, that’s four beaches you could
2 (39m 57s):
Go for solid beaches. And I don’t think you’d be rushing yourself either. Yeah,
1 (40m 0s):
I would agree with that.
2 (40m 1s):
All right. That’s all the questions we have and that is the beach episode for you. So I hope you guys get out there, enjoy some sunshine in the sand and please keep the adventures going with us by following us on Instagram and subscribing to us on YouTube at Travel Squad Podcast and send us in your questions on the week.
3 (40m 17s):
If you found the information in this episode to be useful, or if you thought we were just playing funny, please share it with a friend that would enjoy it too. And as always guys, please subscribe, rate and review our podcast and tune in Every Travel Tuesday for new episodes
1 (40m 31s):
And stay tuned for next week’s episode, we have some more amazing adventures and tips in store for you
3 (40m 36s):
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