Exploring North Pacific Beach

One day I decided to head down to the coast to do some more research on my website. So,  I had my itinerary all ready, with over 12 beaches to go check out, starting with North Pacific Beach.

I was fortunate that it was such a lovely day. It was so warm that I didn’t even need a jacket.  Where else can you experience mid 70’s in the winter but Southern California!

 My “Beaches of San Diego County” was a big help. Here, I  have linked all the addresses of each beach to Google Maps.

Google Map North Pacific Beach


North Pacific Beach/ Law Street Beach- Ocean Blvd and Law St

Crystal Pier- 4500 Ocean Blvd

Tourmaline Surfing Park- Tourmaline St & La Jolla Blvd

Linda Way Beach Access- 341 Sea Ridge Dr

# Of particular note, click on a photo to see an enlarged version.

Crystal Pier North Pacific Beach

North Pacific Beach

On our adventure today, we will be looking over North Pacific Beach, Tourmaline Surfing Park and finally be ending at the Linda Way Beach Access point.

It is important to realize that all locations mentioned above are connected when the tide is low and makes for a lovely walk.

First off,  Pacific Beach is considered a hustling beach town, with many college students and young professionals living and playing here.

Surfing and partying are all the rage here, but there are a few quieter spots in North Pacific Beach, and I am here to share with you a few prime locations.

Downtown Pacific Beach
Bars and restaurants leading to the Crystal Pier in Pacific Beach.

Beach and Bars

It may be a cliche, but the two most popular activities here are beaches and bars. There are many bars and restaurants on the boardwalk,  close to the pier, not to mention throughout most of Pacific Beach.

If you take a look at the map above you will see that North Pacific Beach or Law St Beach starts about half a mile north of Crystal Pier.

 The large patch of green is Palisades Park, which overlooks Law St Beach.

 Looking carefully, you can see that the locations that I have mentioned above tuck under what is called False Point, but more on that later.

Let’s go!

Law Street Entrance North Pacific Beach
Law Street Entrance.

North Pacific Beach Entrance

It is important to mention before starting that there are several stairways and ramps to use when entering this beach.

Entrances are on Loving St, Crystal Dr,  Law St (where we are), Chalcedony St, Diamond St, and Felspar St.

There is no parking lot, so you must park in the residential area.

North Pacific Beach Entrance Restroom

Restrooms are available here at the Law Street entrance as well as at the Diamond Street entrance.

North Pacific Beach Entrance dirt path bushes ocean

Here we start to make our way down to the beach which is surrounded by 75-foot cliffs. How fortunate to have this access.

Up at the top, there is a  walking path that is a continuation of the boardwalk which starts just past the Crystal Pier.

Beach entrance North Pacific Beach Crystal Pier
Do you see Crystal Pier in the background?
Succulents North Pacific Beach
Succulents on the bluff.

North Pacific Beach sandy beach Crystal Pier

North Pacific Beach Surf School Umbrella

Here we have a local surf school set up at the entrance of the beach.

Before heading up top to check out Palisades Park, let’s have a quick look at Crystal Pier.

Crystal Pier- Pacific Beach

Crystal Pier Pacific Beach
Credit- Wikimedia Commons

The construction of the Crystal Pier began in the early 1920’s. Eventually, it was named the Pickering Pleasure Pier and soon became a popular vacation destination.

The Crystal Pier Hotel & Cottages at the beginning of the pier, built in 1930 provides the ‘one and only’ experience of sleeping over the ocean water. Click here for more information on these incredible rentals! Some of them even have balconies!

End of Crystal Pier
Crystal Pier

Here at the end of Crystal Pier, fishing is the thing to do.

An interesting fact is that in 1927 this was the site of the Crystal Ballroom.  Back then there was a “Midway” with carnival-like attractions and games leading to up to the end of the pier to the ballroom.

Unfortunately, it turns out that the ballroom and the midway only lasted for three months.

Palisades Park

Palisades Park North Pacific Beach
Do you notice the walking path of the left?

What a great hideaway that I found! There is a narrow stretch of green grass with benches with the most incredible view! At this park, you can experience everything about the beach without the sand.

And do not forget that there is a walking path as well as several dirt trails that will take you down to the beach.

The Pacific Ocean +Yoga= Pure Bliss

I also found an exciting activity that takes place here every Saturday and Sunday at 9 am.

There is a yoga instructor, Namasteve that happens to live across the street from this park. He sets up in his front yard and provides a donation based Vinyasa Yoga class overlooking the Pacific Ocean! I would love to try this someday, as I could only imagine that it would be spectacular.

If interested, please make sure to get there early because over 100 people show up!

Palisades Park North Pacific Beach bench
Can you picture 100 people doing yoga here?
Crystal Pier View Palisades Park
What a view! You can see the Point Loma Penninsula in the far background.

North View From North Pacific Beach

Looking north, you can see the Tourmaline Surfing Park, as well as False Point, sticking out.

Let’s go!

Tourmaline Surfing Park

Tourmaline Surfing Park Panoramic

Tourmaline Surfing park is right at the border of San Diego and La Jolla. Surfing at this beach has been extremely popular here since the early 1930’s.

Nestle between towering cliffs, the surfers, would call this place ‘The Canyon” because of the unique access to the beach due to it being a canyon.

Back in the day, access to the beach was very limited due to all the residential housing in this area.

While researching this site, I found some interesting facts that happened here at the Tourmaline Canyon in the 1960’s, so if you would like to know more, please visit here.

Tourmaline Surfing Park parking lot

Here we have the vast parking lot. Do you notice the descending roadway making its way to the parking lot?

Tourmaline Surfing Park parking lot

Tourmaline Surfing Park Memorial.
Tourmaline Surfing Park Memorial.

Looking at the memorial at the restroom, I discovered that the motto of this park is: “Surf well, spread Aloha, share waves without judgment.”

Tourmaline Surfing Park Warning Sign

Tourmaline Surfing Park north view

Family Friendly Surfing

Tourmaline Surfing Park is a beautiful family beach and a great place to learn how to surf.

There are two surf breaks here, one close to shore which is ideal for beginners as well as a break farther out for the more advanced wave rider and both great for longboards!

North Pacific Beach

North Pacific Beach
False Point

  During the winter time and with a north swell, False Point helps to form some incredible waves which will travel all the way to Tourmaline.

There are several surfers out in the water riding the more advanced waves found near False Point.

North Pacific Beach

North Pacific Beach

North Pacific Beach

We are getting close to False Point, so let’s have a look!

False Point-Linda Way Beach Access

Linda Way Beach Access

I was so excited to find this access way to the beach! The view here is out of this world!

There is no parking lot and no real beach to think of, just a bunch of rocks. But, when the tide is low, this is an excellent spot to come to, to check out the tidepools.

Let’s see!

Linda Way Beach Access

Prickly Pear Linda Way Beach Access

Prickly Pear cactus North Pacific Beach

Here we have the perfect example to showcase that Southern California is a semi-arid desert. Where else can you see cacti next to the ocean?

North Pacific Beach Waves

Linda Way/False Point Tidepools

Linda Way Beach Access Tide Pools

Looking toward Tourmaline Surfing Park to the right, you can see that when the tide is low, both beaches are connected.

In other words, if you would like to go for a walk here, checking a tide chart is a must!

North Pacific Beach Tide Pools

False Point North Pacific Beach

False Point is a popular site for tide-pooling, in fact, the Birch Aquarium offers naturalist-led tide pool expeditions here. Click here for more information!

False Point Tide Pools North Pacific Beach

Linda Way Beach Access Storm drain

Oh no!  A storm drain!

I good rule of thumb is to never go into the ocean the day after a storm, especially near a storm drain.

Exploring the beaches of North Pacific Beach was so satisfying, as it felt like I was the only one on the beach.

There is nothing better for the soul than a day at the beach.

End of the Tour

North Pacific Beach sandy beach

So there you have it- North Pacific Beach, Tourmaline, and False Point are all connected when there is a low tide.

  The bluffs are magnificent as well as the views of the incoming waves. The walk is just spectacular but very rocky over at False Point.

All in all, you can not go wrong visiting here on a negative low tide day.

There is so much to see and do. I especially enjoyed watching the surfers off of False Point.

It is hard to imagine paddling so far out to catch a wave!

Tourmaline Surfing Park North Pacific Beach

I hope you enjoyed your mini-exploration, and my only wish is for you to come out and enjoy the area for yourself!

Please feel free to leave any comments or questions below!  Also, please check back, as I will be concentrating on the nine other beaches I visited on this day, starting with the beach right around the corner from False Point.

Thanks again!

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North Pacific Beach


I have always had a deep-seated passion for the Ocean Environment which ultimately led me to receive a degree in Marine Biology. Living in the San Diego area for over 30 years, I have extensively explored the 70 miles of San Diego’s coastline, and I am here to share! Please use my website to your advantage and have a look around at all the wonders that the beaches of San Diego can offer you!

6 Replies to “Exploring North Pacific Beach”

  1. Wow! What an amazing adventure. Never having been to the San Diego area, this very much intrigues me to visit. I live on the West Coast as well, but farther north in the great Pacific Northwest, where we have beaches but none like these!! Can these all be visited in one day, and if one wanted, could these beaches be visited by mountain bike?

    1. Hi Brad! Why yes you could visit this area on a mountain bike! In fact, the boardwalk, starting at North Pacific Beach, will take you almost 3.5 miles south through Mission Beach. It is a fabulous ride. If you were instead to go north from here, You may also bike through residential neighborhoods which would take you to the La Jolla Coastline which is also breathtaking. Either way, you can not go wrong! Thanks again for visiting!

  2. Hi, I’m excited about beaches although I’m not from the US. So all these beaches from the north Pacific? Beautiful sunshine and beautiful sunset view. Beach is an excellent place to relax and wash away a bad day.

    1. Hi Sharnna! The beach itself is called North Pacific Beach, in the town of Pacific Beach in San Diego. I completely agree with you and the beach has always been my oasis. There is something magical about the environment on the coast! Thank you for visiting!

  3. Simply amazing. I can count on you for finding the best spots for my future adventures! Being an aspiring traveler, I need to know the ins and outs, where to go and where not to go. I mean, Crystal Pier- Pacific Beach is a no-brainer, especially with a view like that! Thanks a lot for taking the time and putting this together 🙂

    1. Thank you for the kind compliment Brandon! I was excited to showcase this stretch of beach. It is so beautiful and not many people know about it. I just love all the history of Crystal Pier, and would like to someday spend a couple of days there 🙂 Thanks again for visiting!

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