Del Mar is a small city thirty minutes north of La Jolla, well known for its upscale downtown area and beautiful coastline. The Del Mar beaches are popular among surfers and swimmers, and are spread out along a two-mile strip on the coastline. North “Dog” Beach is one of San Diego’s only Dog Beaches (the other being in Ocean Beach), while Del Mar City Beach is the area’s main beach for swimming and surfing. All of Del Mar’s beaches and parks are very family-friendly, and the area is so accessible it makes a great day trip from anywhere in San Diego.
Mission Beach is a small, active community in San Diego and its beaches are no different! With three ‘main’ beach areas, there is no shortage of great spots to sunbathe, swim, or get out the volleyball net. From the larger Mission Beach to the smaller, more tranquil Mission Bay, the beaches in this area offer a wide variety of activities and are great for families with kids who are looking to spend a day on the sand.
The Pacific Beach area is La Jolla’s southern neighbor and known for its louder, party-on-the-beach vibe; within walking distance to dozens of restaurants and bars, the beaches in the Pacific Beach area are almost always crowded with young adults and college students. The beaches here are among the few in San Diego that can be enjoyed at night – there are several bonfire pits along the water and most of the restaurants and bars on the beach stay open late.
Coronado Island lies south of San Diego and about 25 minutes from La Jolla. It’s one of the most family-friendly areas in San Diego and its wide, sandy beaches literally sparkle thanks to the mineral mica in its golden sand. There are multiple beaches here; though there are some parks with a small sandy area in front, there are five main accessible beaches in Coronado. All of them are equipped with convenient amenities, and none are too far from the local shops, restaurants, and other things to do in Coronado.