Best San Diego Family Beaches

Moonlight 7 1 family beach san diego featured image

Welcome to San Diego Beach Secrets! Today I would like to concentrate on the best San Diego family beaches. There are so many different types of beaches in San Diego’s 70 miles of coastline. The variety is endless,  and some of which you can only reach four times a year. But what does constitute a great family beach? My first pick would be calm waters, followed by soft sand, maybe a playground? But most definitely a restroom and showers. So, today I will be highlighting where, when, and how each beach is ideal for a spectacular family day at the beach. Ready? Let’s go!

—>Beaches of San Diego County<—

Best North County San Diego Beaches for Families

Oh, how I love North County San Diego Beaches! You see, these beaches (sans Oceanside) have huge and gorgeous sandstone bluffs to accent the already beautiful Pacific Ocean.

Down below, I have three wonderful family beaches to share with you!

Let’s go!

Oceanside Harbor Beach- Family Fun in Oceanside

oceanside pier sand ocean waves

button map buccaneer beach oceanside

Oceanside Harbor beach is great for families because there are so many amenities to choose from. What I think is the main draw is the extensive sandy beach.

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Carlsbad Sea Wall Trail-A Closer Look

Robert Frazee Beach Carlsbad San Diego

On the morning of April 29th, I woke up on a mission. A mission to take in some glorious sights as well as breathing in some crisp and clean ocean air. I wasn’t quite sure where I was going to start this adventure. I let my instincts guide me. While I am driving to the coast, several ideas pop in and out of my head. So today, I decided to take a closer look at the Carlsbad Sea Wall Trail, which is extremely popular in North Carlsbad.

—>Beaches of San Diego County<—

Below is an outline of the Beaches of Carlsbad. On this particular day, I visited all of the beaches except South Ponto.

Carlsbad State Beach

  • Robert Frazee State Beach
  • Tamarack State Beach
  • Warm Water Jetty Beach

South Carlsbad State Beach

  • Terramar State Beach
  • North Ponto State Beach
  • South Carlsbad State Beach
  • South Ponto

Exploring the Carlsbad State Beach

Robert Frazee state beach sign

button map Robert Frazee State Beach

Today, I thought I would start over at Robert Frazee Beach, where Carlsbad State Beach’s northern boundary begins. A small parking lot is located off Oak Ave and Ocean St, but I found a parking spot right off of Pine Street in the residential area.

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Saltwater Fishing in San Diego

saltwater fishing san diego featured image

San Diego, otherwise known as “America’s Finest City,” boasts over 70 miles of coastline to explore! Are you a piscator? Or, in other words, do you like saltwater fishing? Do you prefer to fish from piers or jetties? From shore or out in the ocean? San Diego’s peak fishing season begins in April until November.  Would you like to learn more about saltwater fishing in San Diego?

–>The Beaches of San Diego County<–

What makes San Diego extraordinary is that the coastline is so varied. There are miles of sandstone bluffs in North County San Diego (San Onofre, Carlsbad, Encinitas, Del Mar). While down in South County San Diego, sandy beaches rule (Pacific Beach, Mission Beach, Ocean Beach, Coronado, Imperial Beach.) Whether you prefer to fish from the beach, jetty, pier, boat, or by a chartered vessel, San Diego has it all!

piscator definition mackerel fishing pole

A Piscator Page, You Say?

I thought it would be a good idea to have a distinct page on my website with all of the San Diego saltwater fishing information in one place. A piscator page!

So down below, I have compiled complete lists of all San Diego saltwater fishing piers, saltwater sportfishing (half-day/full-day) party and charter boats, boat launch ramps, lobster fishing spots, the 2021 grunion run schedule, a few fish lists, as well as several noted shore fishing locations.

As a bonus, I have also included all harbor and bay cruises offered out of Oceanside Harbor, Mission Bay, and San Diego Bay for those of you that have no desire to fish but still yearn to be on the water.

To experience San Diego to the fullest, you must get on the ocean, breathe in all the negative ions, and let the salt water spray on your face. Believe me; you will thank me later. Also, don’t forget to pack a sweatshirt as it sure can get chilly out on the water.

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Plants at the Beach-San Onofre

San Onofre State Beach May Trails Beach

Boy, was I excited to finally go to the beach on May 24, 2020? Anyone else happy to get out of their houses, too? Well, I was so happy that I actually went to San Onofre State Beach twice in one week. You see, because of the lockdown in California, I was not able to witness the beginning of wildflower season. So my main objective on this first day back to the beach was to see as many plants as I could! The first time we headed to Trestles and the following Friday, I explored the southern section, just under San Onofre Campground at Bluffs Beach (or Trails Beach). Down below, I would love to share with you what I saw, in other words, all of the plants at the beach that I encountered.

Previous to this beach adventure, I had just finished a post on Southern California Native Plants. Within this post, I have documented all of the plants and wildflowers I encountered in the chaparral and Southern Oak Woodland behind my neighborhood during Quarantine 2020.  After hours and hours of research, I sure learned a tremendous amount!

Plant Names Given by San Diego Native Inhabitants 

Recently I have been fascinated with Native American uses of the native plants in the area (Ethnobotany), so I thought that I would continue with the same format I followed for my previous native plant post.

The Kumeyaay people were the first known original inhabitants of San Diego. Kumeyaay translates to ‘those who face the water from a cliff.” (Click on the link to hear the correct way to pronounce Kumeyaay)

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Hiking South of San Onofre Bluffs Campground

hiking south san onofre campground featured image

Today I would like to share with you all one of my most awe-inspiring places to go to in all of San Diego County. Every time I am here, I never want to leave. Wherever you look, there is something incredible to see. Even the sounds here are sweet! If you enjoy taking photos, San Onofre State Beach is THE place you must visit!   The views here are extraordinary! Situated on top of towering sandstone cliffs, San Onofre Bluffs Campground has some of the best coastal hiking trails to experience in North County San Diego.

There are seven 1/4 mile hiking trails that lead you down to the beach, as well as countless numbers of ravines, gullies, arroyos, and barrancas.   I think that you will love it here, especially if you appreciate a wild and undeveloped beach, which, by the way, is my favorite type of beach!

On this particular day, my daughter and I started over at Trail Six (see map below) and set up a tent to relax.

My goal on this day was to explore vast amounts of uncharted territory by exploring a few narrow sandstone gullies and a wider barranca south of Trail Six.

Would you care to see what I experienced?

Down below, I have provided you with a map of the campground so you can get a better idea of the terrain and how it is situated.

–>San Onofre State Beach Bluffs Campground Map and Information<–

*Of particular note- in case you notice the pink hue in some of the photos, well, this is because all of the fires that were (some still are) burning while I was here.

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Live Streaming Beach Cams

live streaming beach cams featured image

In this time of unprecedented beach restrictions across the globe, I thought it would be the right time to do a little more research concerning being able to experience the beach while we all “shelter-in-place.” How do you ask? Well, I am sure that the above title gives it away. Down below, I have found some of the best live streaming beach cams out there.

So why did I choose these particular beaches? No apparent reason. I would be happy looking at a small wave pool at this point. But, no, really, I chose these particular beaches because of the aesthetics and how they made me feel. A few of these webcams have ads, but you only have to wait 15 seconds until it is refreshed again.

I hope that you enjoy them all, just as much as I do. On a side note, I have also included a few other beaches from all around the world. Which one will you find the most exciting? Have a look!

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All San Diego City Beaches Are Closed

San Diego Beaches closed featured image

I can not believe that I am writing these words, but all San Diego city beaches are closed to the public as a precaution to the COVID-19 global pandemic. Can you believe what you are reading? I keep thinking that I am going to wake up and this is all a bad dream.

Here is a timeline of events that have been occurring in San Diego County, starting on March 15 to “flatten-the curve,” to discourage large gatherings and to maintain social distancing.

San Diego Beach Closures –Timeline of Events

beach closure timeline california san diego

  • Sunday, March 15- all restaurants and bars are to be closed until April 28.
  • Tuesday, March 17- the State of California closes all state campgrounds and beach parking lots, but beaches, trails, and non-campground areas are still open.
  • Thursday, March 19- Governor Gavin Newsom declares a ‘shelter-in-place’ order for the entire state of California.
  • Friday, March 20- the cities of San Diego, Oceanside, Carlsbad, Encinitas, Solana Beach, and Del Mar close all parks, beach parking lots, and boat launch ramps. Cabrillo National Monument was closed but stated that it would open back up on April 10. All outdoor areas and trails are still open. (Update- Everything closed until further notice.)
  • Monday, March 23- due to lack of social distancing and gathering of large groups at several beaches in San Diego on the previous weekend, the mayor of San Diego Kevin Faulconer calls for the closing of all San Diego City-owned lakes, beaches, boardwalks, parks, and trails. The cities of Carlsbad, Encinitas, Solana Beach, and Del Mar, follow San Diego and do the same.
  • Tuesday, March 24, the Port of San Diego officially closes all parks, trails, parking lots, and boat launch ramps of San Diego Bay. Imperial Beach officially closes all if its beaches.

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San Diego Beach Buzz- March Events 2020

San Diego Beach Buzz March Events

Welcome back! Lord have mercy this year has been shooting by! Are you planning on visiting San Diego in March? Here is a bunch of things happening in this beautiful city. Take a look and figure out which events interest you! Down below, I have compiled for you a bunch of different things that you can do while on the coast of San Diego. Most events are free to the public. So let’s take a look at San Diego Events for March 2020

The Carlsbad Flower Fields Open in March!

Carlsbad Flower Fields San Diego March Events
Photo Credit- Kellinahandbasket @ Flickr

Starting March 1, the Carlsbad Flower Fields is open to the public for only six to eight weeks!

Now is the time to visit this 50 acres of Giant Tecolote Ranunculus flowers.

“Today, the fields are a direct result of over 85 years of floral cultivation that began when Luther Gage, an early settler, and grower, settled in the area in the early 1920s.

Mr. Gage introduced Ranunculus seeds and began growing them in his fields next to Frank Frazee’s small vegetable farm in South Oceanside. This started a business called “Luther Gage Giant Tecolote Ranunculus bulbs.” The name “Tecolote” came from the owls that nested on his property.”
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San Diego Beach Buzz- February Events 2020

San Diego Beach Buzz February featured image

Welcome back! Can you believe how fast the month of January has gone by? Wow! Down below are some fabulous events that are happening on the coast of San Diego in February. Now, I am sure most in the country can not even imagine that here in February, the average high temperature in San Diego is 65 F (18 C). Pretty nice, yes? While most of the country is dealing with snow,  here in San Diego we are wondering if we need sunscreen. Let’s now take a look at what is happening this month, shall we?

San Diego February Marathons

February San Diego Marathons february events

There seems to be a wide variety of San Diego marathons to choose from in February! I was pleasantly surprised at the variety that is offered.

11th Annual Warrior Spirit 5k Run/Walk Family Festival

warrior run carlsbad marathon

Website

Time: Registration-8:30 am and Opening Ceremonies-9:15 am

Sponsored by the Mitchell Thorp Foundation, on Saturday, the 1st starting over at Poinsettia Park in Carlsbad, join others to race to support those with life-threatening childhood diseases and their families.

“Funds raised from the event will go toward MTF’s Families Team Pages where their bills will be paid from. MTF’s Programs; Medical & Home Assistance, Healing & Rehabilitation, and Wheelchair Conversion Vans Programs.”

There will be live music, food and health vendors, Kids Fun Zone Area, mini-therapy ponies, a dance contest, and even a costume contest. Registration is $45. Click on the above link for more information.

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2019 Year In Review Photo Gallery

2019 Year in Review Large featured image

Anytime I am on the coast, I am happy! How about you? Down below are a few of my San Diego beach highlights. Will you join me as I go over my 2019 year in review? I sure had fun remembering all of the great places I visited, and as always, I have plenty of photos to share!

I have written about many of these beaches previously, so click on any link for additional information.

Ready? Let’s Go!


January San Diego Beach Adventures in 2019

observation deck Buena Vista Lagoon 2019 Year in Review

 Buena Vista Lagoon-Buccaneer Beach-Oceanside Harbor

My oldest daughter Maya and I went to investigate the western section of Buena Vista Lagoon in Oceanside on the 15th of January. It was a gloomy day, but any day on the coast is a good day in my book!

First, we were able to take a quick walk around the nature trail.

We also popped into the nature center to look around for a bit.  Later, we crossed the street to see the section of the lagoon behind the Saint Malo Beach community that I have never seen before.

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San Diego Summer Fun- 2019

Tijuana River Valley Regional Park Panoramic

For as long as I can remember, summer has always been my favorite season! It could be that my Birthday is on July 1st, but to be honest, I think it is more than that. You see, my favorite place on this Earth is the beach. So can you think of a better time to visit the beach but in summer? Me neither! Join my daughters and me and see where we explored during our San Diego Summer of 2019!

The Best  Summer Possible!

Heermans gulls encinitas moonlight beach
Heerman’s gulls on Moonlight Beach

This San Diego Summer I wanted to make it super special because it was the last summer with my girls before they are both off to college.

My eldest daughter has been in college for two years already and came home for the summer, but my youngest was just about to start. I have been a stay at home Mom for over twenty years, so the thought of not have any children home puts the panic of God into me.

However, I was not going to let my anxiety of missing my kids get in the way of us having the best San Diego summer possible.

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Summer 2019-San Diego Surf Camps For Kids

surfing Pacific Beach San Diego Surf Camps

As we inch closer to the summer of 2019, many parents are looking for a summer surf camp for their kids. Well, I have done a bit of research for you by preparing a list of all of the San Diego surf camps offered in San Diego County.

I will first state general information regarding what age groups are covered, rates, student to instructor ratios, as well as any other additional information that will help you find just the right summer San Diego surf camp for your child. Please always refer to each business website for more in-depth information.

Let’s now have a look at what I found. I will first start in North County San Diego and finish down at Imperial Beach, which is right next to the USA/Mexico border.

San Diego County Map San Diego Surf Camps

North County San Diego Surf Camps-So Much Diversity!

North County San Diego consists of San Onofre, Oceanside, Carlsbad, Encinitas, Solana Beach, and Del Mar. Let’s have a look at what is offered.

Endless Summer Surf Camp-San Onofre State Beach

Trail Four Lifeguard Tower San Onofre State Beach
Trail Four Lifeguard Tower

The very first summer San Diego surf camp that I will be starting with is unique. You see, Endless Summer Surf Camp not only has a 5-day long day surf camp, but it also offers the option of staying and camping overnight.

Overnight students will camp out in tents up above Trails Beach at the San Onofre Bluff Campground which is located on the southern border of San Onofre State Beach off of Old Pacific Highway.

Six trails connect the coast to the San Onofre Bluff Campground, and Endless Summer Surf Camp is located right next to the beginning of Trail 4.

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Best San Diego Hikes on the Coast

Encinitas Bluff Tree Best San Diego Hikes

San Diego County has some of the best coastlines on the entire coast of California. From the rugged seashore, with towering sandstone cliffs found in North County San Diego, all the way down to the open estuaries and sandy beaches located in South County San Diego. Today I would like to list you some of my favorite San Diego hikes that you too can experience on the coast of San Diego.

All San Diego hikes listed are to be taken only with a negative low tide. Please make sure to check out the tide chart before embarking on your adventure, as some of these walks are dangerous if the tide comes upon you. A good rule of thumb would be to allow a couple of hours before the high tide comes back in. Remember, a very high tide always follows a shallow tide.

One more thing. I have written extensively on all of these sites previously, and have linked each post appropriately, so click on the underlined links for more information.

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Best Surfing Beaches in San Diego

Surfing Lowers Best Surfing Beaches in San Diego

San Diego has a long history of surf culture. San Diego’s beaches are infamous because of this culture (Old Man’s, Windansea, Tourmaline Surfing Park). Today I would like to list some of the best surfing beaches in San Diego. It is important to note that I will be covering the entire San Diego County, starting North.

Swami Stooge best surfing beaches in San Diego
The ‘Cardiff Kook’ is placed right before downtown Encinitas

To add a bit of semblance to this list, I will be adding a linked google map to each site. I will also be specifying the wave type and direction, which swell/ wind combination works best, the reliability of the location, and any additional information that I find interesting or have written about in a prior post.

Swamis surfing sign best surfing beaches in San Diego
This sign is located right near Swami’s, in Encinitas

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Coast to Crest Trail-San Dieguito Lagoon

San Dieguito River Del Mar

A couple of months ago, I had the pleasure of going down to the San Dieguito Lagoon in Del Mar to go walking on the Coast to Crest Trail.  Did you know that San Diego County has six coastal lagoons? The San Dieguito Lagoon is the largest of them all.

You see, this past year, I have been having a blast visiting all of the San Diego Lagoons and Nature Centers, and this was the last lagoon to visit on my list.

Coast to Crest trail sign Del Mar

Walking the Coast to Crest Trail at the San Dieguito Lagoon

The San Dieguito Lagoon is located in North County San Diego and is 21 miles north of Downtown San Diego. The lagoon is part of the San Dieguito River Park, which spans over 92,000 acres!

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