IHG Travel Blog

Best San Diego beaches for family and friends

san diego beaches

For many, going to the beach is a fun, social activity the entire family can enjoy. Oftentimes, it doesn’t mean just getting in the car, walking to the water, and casually walking back to your car. In fact, for many families, a trip to the beach is an all-day endeavor which can be filled with sand castles, beach toys, towels, chairs, surfing and so on. When it comes to taking your family to a beach in the San Diego area, you need the proper beach; the kind of beach that adds even just a little bit of ease to the family trip to the water combined with safety and plenty of activities. Luckily, in San Diego, there are plenty of beaches that fit this mold.

Coronado Beach

920 Ocean Blvd.

Nestled right along beautiful Ocean Boulevard across the bridge from San Diego in Coronado is a pristine beach with a backdrop of mansions and beautiful habitations.

Image Source: Steven Straiton

An ideal beach for children, Coronado Beach features lifeguards on duty, plenty of restrooms and shower facilities, tide pools, and even free parking where available on Ocean Boulevard.

Considered one of the top beaches in all of America, Coronado Beach’s large sandy area and perfectly timed water makes any family outing one for the ages. With plenty of room for the family to spread out from other beachgoers, throw a ball around, enjoy a lunch, and more importantly, be together, Coronado Beach takes the cake.

La Jolla Shores

8302 Camino Del Or0

Aside from the beautiful water and sensational beach, the parking at La Jolla Shores might be the biggest draw for folks looking to hang with friends and family for a day. Situated right next to Kellogg Park, the family has the luxury of a water retreat and a break from the water on a grassy field at the park. Should you find yourself in La Jolla with a group of friends, take a stroll from the beach into town and take in the sights and sounds of the La Jolla experience.

Image Source: Madeleine Ball

If you’re looking to surf, La Jolla Shores is hailed as one of San Diego’s best and certainly most popular beaches and lends itself to a skills fine-tune or even learning the art of surfing. The surf is so friendly that many local surf schools utilize La Jolla Shores as a practice facility to train their surfers before graduating them on to larger breaks.

Ponto Beach

Carlsbad Blvd.

Hidden in Carlsbad is a delightfully small, yet exquisitely beautiful beach known as Ponto Beach. A hot spot amongst San Diego locals, this beach lends itself to surfing, and to being an ideal spot for a family outing. With a smooth, flat shoreline, visibility goes on and on down this stretch of sand, and with water almost as smooth, Ponto Beach provides a safe place for kids to get an ocean experience.

Image Source: Chad McDonald

When your family or friends take to Ponto Beach for a day of swimming, laughing, volleyball, and relaxing, be sure to stick around once the sun begins to set. The view as the sun goes to rest over this wide beach and immaculate water will paint a picture right in front of you that you won’t soon forget.

Mission Beach

3000 Mission Blvd.

Looking for a place to spend a day with some friends? Grab a bite to eat or take in some shopping? Maybe a walk on a boardwalk and a beautiful beach with perfectly tempered water? Look no further than the well-known Mission Beach. Minutes away from your hotel room in San Diego, Mission Beach has everything a group of friends needs to spend a memorable day next to the Pacific Ocean.

Image Source: Paul Toogood

Said to be California’s version of Coney Island, Mission Beach has an amusement park, fine dining, a lively nightlife to accompany a lively street performer life, and a myriad of people looking to enjoy their time in the perfect weather that is San Diego. Grab a seat on the boardwalk and watch the people walk, run, skip, or even rollerblade past you. Have a drink and feel the ocean breeze against your face or simply grab your towels and relax next to the calming sounds of the water. Whatever you choose, Mission Beach will deliver a fantastic beach experience.

Pacific Beach

4500 Mission Blvd.

Like its counterpart down the street, Pacific Beach looks to provide a little taste of something for everyone who visits its shores. But beyond the sandy beaches, Pacific Beach is often the spot of choice for a younger crowd and a youthful nightlife. With everything from bars and restaurants to dance clubs and streets full of shopping, Pacific Beach is where the party is at.

Image Source: Osbornb

Don’t miss a visit down Garnet Street for an array of everything Pacific Beach has to offer. Make a day of your trip to this piece of paradise. Take in the beach, enjoy the water, and stay for the nightlife.

It’s true what they say, everything is more fun with family and friends, and that includes a trip to the beach. And with whichever beach you choose to spend your day in San Diego at, you won’t leave disappointed. San Diego is known for its year-round perfect weather, but after you experience the family-friendly and socially accommodating beaches the San Diego area has to offer, you’ll know there’s much more to the gem of Southern California than just perfect weather.

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