Sun-Kissed Shores: 5 of San Diego's Top Beaches

Sun-Kissed Shores: 5 of San Diego's Top Beaches

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Hot on the heels of Independence Day, we had another holiday of grand import yesterday… National Bikini Day! And so, we got thinking about the sand, the surf, and the sun. More specifically, we figured it might be a solid move on our part to do a rundown of some of the San Diego area’s finest beaches for any summer vacationers wise enough to seek out our sparkling sands.

If you’re coming in from out of town and you haven’t done your homework, you’ll be stoked to know that we’ve got more than 70 miles of scintillating coastline. Below, we’re picking a few of our favorites…


1. Pacific Beach


Also known as “The Strand,” Pacific Beach is for all you young, beautiful people that don’t mind a crowd—and are even drawn to it. Beach parties and a lively bar scene are standout features, as is the 1927-built Crystal Pier and the 3.5-mile boardwalk on the north end.


2. La Jolla Beach


If you’re not into extreme sports and are looking for some chill waves, the mile-long stretch of La Jolla Beach is for you. You’ll play amongst waters teeming with life—the area is part of the La Jolla Underwater Park Ecological Reserve and is home to Garibaldi fish—and enjoy the vistas offered by the sandstone cliffs. There’s also La Jolla Cove, a cozy spot that just happens to be one of San Diego’s most photographed locales. And if you’re getting a little sun-scorched, you can always enjoy the shops and eateries of nearby Avenida de la Playa.


3. Mission Beach


Mission Beach is another sun-drenched shore that pulses with energy. It’s hard not to stumble into a beach volleyball game, and the 1925-era Belmont Park and its two-mile boardwalk is a sick spot to board or bike. There’s also a vintage wooden roller coaster (the Giant Dipper) and more modern attractions such as FlowRide, a simulated surfing experience.


4. Moonlight State Beach


Nestled at the end of Encinitas Boulevard and Highway 101, Moonlight State Beach gets its name from the “midnight picnics” (was that what they were calling it back then?) the locals were known to enjoy in the early 1900s. Nowadays, these sands remain super popular thanks to the bevy of volleyball courts, tennis courts, *daytime* picnic areas, and equipment rentals on tap. The nearby shopping and restaurant scene in Encinitas is attractive, too.


5. Coronado Beach


This mile-and-a-half-long beach is one of America’s favorites—really, it frequently shows up in “Top Ten” lists nationwide and even scores a #1 ranking depending on the source. A huge part of these glowing ratings are the shimmering, sparkling sands that are the result of mica deposits (light, soft silicate minerals). Aside from aesthetics, there’s also the allure of the views afforded by the towering, 200-foot-tall San Diego-Coronado Bridge, as well as the luxury convenience offered by the Victorian-styled Hotel del Coronado.

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