North Beach is a calmer stretch of shoreline that families tend to prefer, thanks to its lifeguard-supervised swimming areas and amenities (including restrooms and showers). It’s a wide, sandy beach that sits below a series of bluffs, sheltering it from high winds and making it a great location to spread out and sunbathe for the day.
Tourmaline is a surfing-only beach, popular with novice surfers who are looking to get some practice in. The gentle, slow-rolling waves are perfect for beginners, longboarders, and even windsurfers and kiteboarders when the wind is high. Though you won’t see any swimmers here, many people like to come and watch the surfers at Tourmaline; especially at sunset as evening falls. There’s a small picnic area and parking lot here, as well.
Pacific Beach is a rowdy beach town that neighbors La Jolla to the south and is affectionately known by locals as simply PB. With plenty of seaside restaurants, pubs, and more than a hundred different bars to choose from, PB is the place to go if you’re in search of a night out on the town. Visitors can walk along the Pacific Beach Pier during the day (look for the historic Cape Cod cottages for-rent along the pier), and biking or walking the Boardwalk makes for a great evening stroll. Come for the beach, and stay for the nightlife!