Walking the Beaches of Solana Beach

Walking Solana Beach featured image

Hallelujah! I took the time to finally walk the beaches of Solana Beach on a glorious summer day. It was super hot inland, so I thought, what better time to go and check out the coast? I have wanted to go to Solana Beach forever, so here I am!

Solana Beach is situated between Encinitas to the North and Del Mar to the South, and the beach stretches for over 1.7 miles.

Solana Beach has also been a favorite hangout of juvenile great white sharks in the past couple of years!

Fun Fact- Solana is Spanish for “warm wind”

So here is a list of the beaches of Solana Beach that I had the pleasure of walking on, starting first from the North down to the South-

  • South Cardiff State Beach- Seaside Beach
  • Tide Park Beach
  • Fletcher Cove
  • North Seascape Surf Park
  • Del Mar Shores
  • Del Mar North Beach (Del Mar)

Let’s now look at each beach, followed by exciting facts highlighting each area.


South Cardiff State Beach- Seaside Beach

seaside beach beaches of Solana Beach

Seaside Beach is the very first beach on the northern boundary of Solana Beach. Two popular offshore surf breaks, Seaside Reef and Cardiff Reef, make South Cardiff State Beach a surfing mecca for locals and tourists alike.

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WSL at Trestles in September!

world surf league trestles featured image

It was announced on January 18 that the Rip Curl World Surf League (WSL) Finals would be at Trestles this year! That’s right! In a one-day, winner-takes-all surfing event, Trestles will be where the Championship finals will take place in September!

The 2022 WSL Championship Tour kicked off at the world-famous Banzai Pipeline on O’ahu’s North Shore on January 29. The top men and women surfers from around the world competed together at this legendary surf break.

Never before have both men and women surf the Pipeline together while competing.

WSL Men and Women Surf Competition to be Combined

Trestles Surfboard WSL at Trestles
A surfboard resting over at Lowers

WSL will combine the men’s and women’s Championship Tours for the first time. As noted above, never before have men and women competed at the same time or won the same prize money.

Well, this year, that has changed.

The 2022 Championship Tour (CT) Season will start with 36 men and 18 women. Halfway through the season, the field will be reduced to 24 men and 12 women.

The top-rated wave riders will automatically qualify for the 2023 season, go on to the tour’s second half, and be joined by two men’s and women’s wildcards.

WSL Championship Tour-Surfing in Over Seven Countries!

Swamis surfing sign WSL at Trestles

Before the Finals take over at Trestles, the WSL Championship Tour will include ten regular-season events at some very exotic locations. I’m not familiar with many of these beaches, so I thought it would be fun to do a bit of a deep dive into each location’s waves.

I will be going over specific wave characteristics of each location, noting the type and direction of each wave, the ideal swell, tide, wind, season, and how big each site can ultimately get.

I’m not a surfer, so please be patient with me and feel free to offer any suggestions if any information is incorrect or slightly off, mainly which surf breaks are used in the Championship Tour.

Continue reading “WSL at Trestles in September!”

Five More San Diego Hidden Gems

Ocean sunset san diego hidden gems

San Diego, otherwise known as  “America’s Finest City,” has one of the most beautiful coastlines, if I may dare say, in the world. According to the San Diego Tourism Authority, over 35 million people visited San Diego in 2018 and 36.5 million in 2019. I am afraid to see the numbers for 2020, but I digress. One of my favorite things to do on this website is introduce you all to the many, many San Diego hidden gems. I will be the first to admit that I am biased as I have been exploring the San Diego coastline for over thirty-five years. So today, I would like to share with you a few more, in fact, five more San Diego Hidden Gems, so you too can experience San Diego as a native.

When I say San Diego, I refer to the entire 70 miles of the San Diego coast. From San Onofre State Beach down to the US/Mexico border, the coast of San Diego has something for everyone!

Let us now take a look, shall we?

#Click on any photo in the gallery to view a larger image


Old Man’s Beach at San Onofre State Beach

Old Man Secret Spot Hidden gems San Diego

button map Old Mans San Onofre State Beach

I wasn’t sure if I would share this little gem because this has been my little secret for years, but here we go. Old Man’s Beach is one of my favorite places at San Onofre State Beach, and locals refer to this beach as  San O and San Onofre Surfing Beach.

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Surfin USA Lyrics-A Closer Look

Surfing USA lyrics Featured Image

The other day I was thinking about the Beach Boys and how they put several San Diego beaches on the map. Did you know that five of the fifteen beaches are found in San Diego? I thought it would be enjoyable to take a closer look at the lyrics of Surfin USA.

First of all, most websites that provide the song lyrics misspell two top-rated surfing beaches, so I am here to be the official spell-checker for you.

  • Trestles-not Trestle
  • San Onofre- not San Ahofree
  • Swami’s- not Swamies

Ok, that was satisfying!

Also, for fun, I will be picking a prime photo for each San Diego location to help you can capture a feel of the beaches the Beach Boys were singing about

Continue reading “Surfin USA Lyrics-A Closer Look”

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 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 you will love it here, especially if you appreciate a wild and undeveloped beach, which 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?

Below, I have provided a campground map to understand the terrain and location better.

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

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

Continue reading “Hiking South of San Onofre Bluffs Campground”

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.

Continue reading “All San Diego City Beaches Are Closed”

King Tide at Sunset Cliffs Natural Park

I knew that the King Tide was due that weekend, so I thought, what better place to check out than the tide pools over at Sunset Cliffs Natural Park-Garbage Beach?

My husband and I had tickets for the ‘King’ of all concerts- Tool at  Viejas Arena SDSU (San Diego State University) on Sunday, January 12. It was a Christmas present from my sister-in-law (thank you, Tess!). My husband even made the situation sweeter by getting a hotel room. I usually work on the weekends, so you can probably imagine how excited I was to take a day off! My main objective was to make this one of the best days in San Diego (my best days are always at the beach!)

What is a King Tide?

point loma tide chart jan 11 to 13 King Tide
Point Loma Tide Chart

A spring tide occurs after a full and new moon occurs due to the moon and the sun’s gravitational pull. The result produces a very high tide and a shallow tide. In essence, a Spring Tide is when there is the most significant distance between the high tide and the low tide. The best time to experience the tide pools is during an extremely low tide and, of course, the day. In the summer months, all of the very low tides happen at night. Continue reading “King Tide at Sunset Cliffs Natural Park”

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 add 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

Continue reading “Best Surfing Beaches in San Diego”

Black’s Beach The Naked Truth

Blacks Beach Trail Blacks Beach San Diego

When I worked at a coffee shop in San Diego’s Hotel Circle while in college, the number one question the tourists would ask was, “Where is La Jolla,” followed by, “How did you get to Black’s Beach?”

Ok, so why so many inquiries?

The answer is that Black’s Beach is one of the most extensive public nude beaches in the United States. Just thinking about seeing naked people made me uncomfortable when I was young, so going there at that time was out of the question.

Fast forward twenty-five years later, and I will take my two teenage daughters there!

Did I also mention that the surf is phenomenal?

Continue reading “Black’s Beach The Naked Truth”

Exploring Trestles Beach Trail

Surfer trestles beach trail san onofre state beach

Trestles Beach is a collection of surf breaks located at the northern border of San Onofre State Beach. Saying that this beach is world-famous is an understatement! The Hurley Pro is held here!

I went over this area a bit in a previous post on San Onofre State Beach, but today I would like to concentrate on the Beach Trail leading to Trestles Beach.

The Beach Trail going east also becomes the Panhe Nature trail, which I have also written about if you are interested.

Recently, I have been teaching myself about all of the Southern California native plant species, so today, I would like to point out a few to you if you do not mind. It helps me!

Once we arrive at Trestles, I will also showcase the San Mateo Creek/ Lagoon, which ends at the beach, and check out the surfers and the dunes.

Continue reading “Exploring Trestles Beach Trail”

Touring 10 Beaches-North County San Diego

North County San Diego

Living in Southern California, I have photographed many North County San Diego beaches. But I have not gotten even close to shooting every one of them!

So, it has been my mission this year to shoot every beach on the 70 miles of the San Diego coastline.

 Ok, let’s get going!

 Beaches of North County San Diego

On Jan 11, 2018, my daughter and I quickly rode to North County, San Diego, to photograph a few beaches.

—>The Beaches of San Diego County<—

Before leaving, I mapped out the ten shores we would be conquering. Our primary objective was to start at Wisconsin Street Beach in Oceanside, followed by the beaches of Carlsbad, and finally, end at Grandview Beach in Encinitas.

Oceanside Carlsbad Google Map North County San Diego
11.4 miles of coast covered

All in all, we covered 11.4 miles of San Diego’s 70 miles of coastline.

If there is one thing I have learned on the adventure, all these beaches listed below are best to visit on a mid to low-tide day, especially the beaches in Oceanside.

Continue reading “Touring 10 Beaches-North County San Diego”

The Beaches of San Diego County-Updated 2020

Stonesteps Beach Beaches of San Diego County

Here I would like to set up a comprehensive list of the beaches of San Diego County, beginning with the most northern shore and making my way down the coast until the most southern Beach sharing its border with Mexico.

For all those living in San Diego, we are incredibly fortunate to live in this gorgeous city. With an average daytime temperature of 69.8` F, what is not to love?

San Diego County has over 70 miles of unique coastline to appreciate and explore!

Experience San Diego Like a Local!

Having been fortunate enough to live in this area for over 30 years, I have explored almost every mile, except on the military beaches (San Diego has three of them. But I got a few pictures from the outside looking in, and I am grateful for that.

About two years ago, I made a pact to document as many of the beaches of San Diego County as I could. To make things as easy as possible, I will be listing each Beach and including the following criteria-

  • Map
  • Activities Available
  • Restrooms
  • Parking
  • Points of Interest
  • My Rating (1-5, with five being the highest)
  • Additional Information

(As you can see, restroom availability is a critical metric!)

I have written previously on many of these locations, so  I will also link each relevant post under Additional Information.

(Please look and share it with those you love.)

Whether you go to the Beach for the sun, water, or to walk on the sand, the beaches of San Diego County have something for everyone.

Let’s have a look!

Continue reading “The Beaches of San Diego County-Updated 2020”

Swami’s State Beach-Hidden Paradise

Sunset at Swami's State Beach

Swami's State Beach Sunset

As I have said many, many times, San Diego has some of the best beaches in the country. Most are well known and are almost always busy, but there are a few that not many know about. Today I would like to concentrate on one of my favorites, Swami’s State Beach.

This hidden beach oasis is situated toward the southern end of Encinitas, California, about 25 miles north of Downtown San Diego.

Would you like to come and join me for a tour?

Let’s go!

Continue reading “Swami’s State Beach-Hidden Paradise”

Getting to Know San Onofre State Beach

san onofre state beach

San Onofre State Beach is over 3000 acres of sandy and rocky beaches, weathered bluffs, and coastal wetlands located on the northernmost border of San Diego County and 3 miles south of the city of San Clemente in Orange County. 

My family and I love to explore this area!

San Onofre State Beach

Over 2.5 million people frequent San Onofre State Beach every year, making it one of the top five most visited state parks in California.

Come and join me for a tour!

Fun Fact- “Onofre” in Spanish means defender of peace.

Continue reading “Getting to Know San Onofre State Beach”