With the emphasis on learning to surf, let’s take a good look at some of the best beaches in San Diego. Pacific Beach and Ocean Beach are clear stand-outs. But we won’t forget a few other favorites, such as Coronado Beach, that offer the attractions of beach and surf life in San Diego.
Called “PB” by locals, Pacific Beach is famous for its fun, youthful vibe and surf-friendly beaches. Three key areas include Pacific Beach (proper), Tourmaline Surfing Park and North Pacific Beach.
PACIFIC BEACH (PROPER)
Located between Crystal Pier and Pacific Beach Drive, Pacific Beach is a perennial San Diego favorite. It’s typically forgiving, rolling, sloping waves also provide some of the best conditions for learning to surf anywhere in the world.
TOURMALINE SURFING PARK
This aptly named beach is dedicated to surfing and is exclusively for surfers. Tourmaline Street itself will take you straight to this surfing gem, sandwiched between La Jolla and the Pacific Beach district.
NORTH PACIFIC BEACH
A sandy beach below scenic bluffs, North Pacific Beach, is a dependable surf spot and a great place to just enjoy the sand and ocean. The parks along the cliffs are also an ideal place to watch sunrises and sunsets, or just enjoying the seascape.
Ocean Beach (or “OB”) has a small beach town atmosphere that harkens back to a simpler and more relaxed time. Its most prominent feature is the Ocean Beach Pier, one of the longest in California, reaching a half-mile out to sea. Ocean Beach also has some of the best waves around for learning to surf.
If you have a dog with you, don’t forget to have a look at Dog Beach, situated on the north end of the greater Ocean Beach area. Not only are dogs welcome on this famous beach, but they’re encouraged to go leash-free and splash around with you in the waves.
OTHER GREAT SAN DIEGO BEACHES
With generally calm waves, this is a good beach for learning to surf. It’s also a favorite for film buffs and romantics, as this is where Marilyn Monroe made a famous appearance in the classic “Some Like it Hot.”
If you’re looking for a family atmosphere and some good waves, Moonlight Beach is a safe bet.
LA JOLLA SHORES
Its sandy beaches and typically gentle waves make La Jolla Shores, together with adjacent Kellogg Park, another great choice for families and beginner surfers.
This is a favorite for campers and RVers that want to wake up by the sea. There’s some good surf too.
FIND YOUR FAVORITE SAN DIEGO BEACH
If you’re heading to San Diego and exploring the idea of learning to surf, we hope we’ve helped narrow down the list of beaches in San Diego that fit the bill. Pacific Beach and Ocean Beach are two longtime favorites, especially for first-time surfers, and are an ideal place to start. But you may also want to explore the others above, such as La Jolla Shores and Coronado Beach, that round out our list of surf-friendly beach gems in San Diego.