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.

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San Diego Shark Sightings

San Diego Shark Sightings Featured Image

Seeing how I have been homebound during this unprecedented Worldwide Lockdown (I am sure you can relate), I had the time to do some shark research. I have always wondered how often sharks are seen off the coast of San Diego. Through the years, I have heard rumors, but seeing that I had a bunch of time on my hands, I set out to find all I could about San Diego shark sightings and encounters that happened off the coastline.

Sharks have fascinated me since I was a little girl, and my first scientific report was on the hammerhead shark in fourth grade.

hammerhead shark san diego shark sightings

Something so powerful and alluring about sharks tugging deep at your primal soul. The coldness of the eyes and the methodic tail movements that propel them through the water always capture my attention and imagination. I mean, the fact that sharks have been around for over 400 million years blows me away!

But I digress.

My mind was running wild while reading the fascinating shark encounter reports. It was a welcome reprieve to escape the world’s chaos.

So, why not document the various shark sightings/ encounters in San Diego County, beach by beach?  It would make for a great addition to my website, as well as for my curiosity.  

Sad News From Santa Cruz, California

While writing this article, something truly tragic happened off the coast of Northern California at 1:30  pm on May 11.

On the northern end of Monterey Bay, Ben Kelly, 26 years old, was attacked and killed by a shark while surfing. The tragedy occurred 100 yards  (91 meters) from the shore of Sand Dollar Beach at Manresa State Beach, Santa Cruz.

Kelly was surfing with a friend, who said they could swim back to shore but could not stop the bleeding.

Experts also noted that this area is notorious for juvenile great white shark sightings and is called “Shark Park.”

But a juvenile did not attack Ben, as experts reported the shark to have been larger than 10 feet.

What Types of Sharks Are Found off the Coast of San Diego County?

Surfing Terramar San Diego Shark Sightings
Terramar Beach

Before I get into all the critical shark sighting data I have uncovered, I thought I would first make a list of possible sharks seen in and around San Diego waters.

To go one step further, I have separated them into Coastal and Pelagic groups.  Down below are the definitions given to simplify the difference between the two.

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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 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

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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?

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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!

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