San Diego Skyline and Imperial Beach

Imperial Beach | San Diego Sights | State Parks | Beaches | San Diego Zoo | Wild Animal Park | SeaWorld | Legoland
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  • Entrance to Imperial Beach

    Imperial Beach the Most Southwesterly City in the Continental US

    Imperial Beach offers family-friendly swimming and surfing with lifeguards. It also has a park with picnic, volleyball, and basketball areas and a playground for kids, as well as restrooms and showers. Parking availability is fairly good except during busy summer days and big civic events.


    Imperial Beach Pier at Sunset

    There’s a fun seafood restaurant on the end of the landmark fishing pier which is also popular for surf fishing. Restaurants and shops centrally located on and around the pier and other attractions around Portwood Plaza at the end of Evergreen Avenue.

     



    Home of the Annual U.S. Open Sand Castle Building Contest

    Imperial Beach Annual US Open Sand Castle Building Contest

    Imperial Beach features some of the best sand in the nation, which explains why it is home of the Annual U.S. Open Sand Castle Building Contest, which draws hundreds of thousands of spectators and competitors from around the world each July.

    The creations range from fairytale castles to science-fiction landscapes to fantasy mermaids and other inspired forms. The party lasts all weekend, with a street fair on Saturday and main event on Sunday, but its fruits do not. Inevitably, the tide comes in and washes the beach clean again.


     

    Looking for exciting things to do in Imperial Beach?

    Imperial Beach Windsurfer

    Try your hand at sport or deep-sea fishing, golfing, bird watching, dolphin watching, parasailing, jet skiing, rafting, surfing, windsurfing, water skiing,boogie-boarding, snorkeling, scuba diving, sailing, power boating, tennis, rollerblading,hiking or rock climbing. Wave skiing and kayaking with private instructor.

    Horse Walk on Imperial Beach

    Horseback riding stables are just minutes away. Rent horses for an exhilarating ride along the shore or take a leisurely stroll down to the pier for sport fishing.

    Great mountain-biking trails are right outside the front door.

    Enjoy the fine restaurants, unique shops, and exciting night-life of beautiful Imperial Beach.

     

    Are you a Triathlete or know someone who is?

    Imperial Beach Triathlon Event

    San Diego is home to many annual Triathlon events. Year after year, athletes from around the world come to join in a community with common goals. They are the ultimate thrill seekers! Learn More...

     

    Are you a nature lover?

    Long Billed Curlew at the National Wildlife Refuge

    We are directly across from the natural estuary and wildlife. The estuarine lagoons and river mouths here comprise a National Wildlife Refuge of special interest to bird-watching enthusiasts, and the parks service offers guided nature hikes and visitor information.

    The National Wildlife Refuge, a key stopover for migratory birds along the Pacific Coast, is the last haven for more endangered species than anywhere of similar size in the continental United States. Learn More...

     

    San Diego is home to some of the most wonderful worth seeing places of interest. Below is a list of some must see sights in the surrounding area.

     

    Coronado Island

    Imperial Beach View from Coronado Island

    Imperial Beach View from Pacific Ocean

    Coronado lies across the bay from downtown and boasts the widest expanse of sand anywhere in San Diego County—which means plenty of room to sunbathe and play!

    The village area near the Hotel Del Coronado features upscale shopping and gourmet eateries.

     

     

    Coronado Central Beach

    Imperial Beach Waves on the Rocks

    Coronado central beach runs along Ocean Boulevard with a back drop of fine homes and mansions. Restrooms and shower facilities. Lifeguards on duty. Tidepools, fishing in front of the Hotel del Coronado. Fire rings, dog run at north end. Free parking on Ocean Boulevard. Beach accessible wheelchairs are available to the public, free of charge, at the Central Beach Lifeguard Tower.

     

    Glorietta Bay Beach on Coronado Island

    Located South of the Hotel del Coronado and City Hall, the Glorietta Bay Beach offers a unique view of the Glorietta Bay and the San Diego-Coronado Bridge. With a large grass-filled park, restrooms, playground equipment, and a small beach area, the Glorietta Bay Beach can provide hours of fun, and a relaxing time for all individuals.

     

    Gaslamp Quarter

    The Gaslamp Quarter is the historic heart of San Diego Southern California’s premiere dining, shopping and entertainment district.

    In the Gaslamp you’ll find an electric blend of food, fun and culture—all within one of San Diego’s most historic areas. Stroll past the district’s grand, historic buildings, restored to their original character. You’ll see charming victorian-style buildings constructed between 1880 and 1910.

    Address: 614 Fifth Avenue, San Diego, CA 92101 | Tel: 1 619 233-5227 More Info...

     

    Old Point Loma Lighthouse

    Built in 1855, Old Point Loma Lighthouse is the main attraction of the Cabrillo National Monument. The lighthouse stands at 422 feet above sea level, has a refurbished 1880’s interior and is open to the public. Tours are also available.

    Address: 1800 Cabrillo Memorial Dr. | San Diego, CA | 92106 | Tel: 1 619 557-5450 More Info...

     

    La Jolla Clam

    The La Jolla Clam is a collection of cliffs located in La Jolla, CA. The edges hang over the Pacific Ocean from which people jump or dive off of. The reason it is called "The Clam" is because the two main edges of the cliff stick out over the water and round in the middle to form the shape of a clamshell.

    Cliff Jumping at the La Jolla Clam This rock formation has given La Jolla over 100 years of fantastic cliff jumping in the rough waters of the Pacific Ocean below. Cliff jumping is now illegal in La Jolla from this point, however it does offer a good vantage point.

    Address: 1325 Coast Blvd, La Jolla, CA 92037 More Info...

     

    Birch Aquarium

    The Birch Aquarium is the interpretive center for the Scripps Institution of Oceanography and provides family entertainment and programming.

    Address: 2300 Expedition Way, La Jolla, California 92037 | Tel: 1 858 534-3474 More Info...

     

    Balboa Park

    Balboa Park is a huge urban park in San Diego and is home to a vast array of galleries, museums and theaters, as well as the world-renowned San Diego Zoo. The park, which measures 1,200 acres (485 ha), has a Visitors Center, a network of trails and free guided tours.

    Balboa Park is the nation’s largest urban cultural park. Home to 15 major museums, renowned performing arts venues, beautiful gardens and the San Diego Zoo, the Park has an ever-changing calendar of museum exhibitions, plays, musicals, concerts, and classes—all in the beautiful and timeless setting of this must-see San Diego attraction.

    Address: 1549 El Prado, San Diego, CA 92101 | Tel: 1 619 239-0512 More Info...

     

    Border Field State Park

    Border Field State Park in located in Imperial Beach and is 15 miles south of San Diego.

    The park provides restrooms, picnic areas, barbecues, horse corrals, and interpretive displays. Visitors enjoy surf fishing, beach combing, hiking, horseback riding, and bird watching. The Park does not recommend swimming or wading, due to hazardous conditions, such as inshore holes, rip currents, and the lack of lifeguard service within the Park.

    Address: 301 Caspian Way, Imperial Beach, CA 92154 | Tel: 1 619 575-3613 More Info...

     

    Old Town San Diego State Historic Park

    Old Town San Diego State Historic Park presents the opportunity to experience the history of early San Diego by providing a connection to the past.

    Visitors can experience a working blacksmith shop, enjoy music, see or touch the park’s burros and engage in activities that represent early San Diego.

    While in the park, enjoy shopping, dining, and exploring the unique stores, restaurants, and museums.

    Address: 4002 Wallace Street, San Diego, CA 92110 | Tel: 1 619 220-5422 More Info...

     

    Palomar Mountain State Park

    Palomar Mountain State Park features spectacular views of the Pacific, picnicking, hiking, and fishing (trout) in Doane Pond. Coniferous forests cover much of the 1,862 acres, in contrast to the dry lowlands surrounding the mountain. This is one of the few Southern California areas with a Sierra Nevada-like atmosphere.

    There is a great hiking trail here, called Scott’s Cabin Trail. This day hike is a grande randonnée of the park, a four-trail sampler that leads to a lookout atop 5,438-foot Boucher Hill.

    Directions to trailhead: From Interstate 5 in Oceanside, drive northeast on State Highway 76 about 30 miles. Take County Road S6 north; at S7, head northwest to the park entrance. There is a day use fee. Park in the lot at Silver Crest Picnic Area just inside the park. Scott’s Cabin Trail takes off from the right side of the road about 20 yards beyond the lot entrance.

    Address: 19952 State Park Drive, Palomar Mountain, CA 92060 | Tel: 1 760 742-3462 More Info...

     

    San Pasqual Battlefield State Historic Park

    San Pasqual Battlefield State Historic Park east of Escondido. The park has been set aside, not as a monument to war, but as a reminder of the human ideals, actions and passions that can drive nations to bloodshed.

    Experience a hike through the Battlefield Monument Trail. The park’s short nature trail and Battlefield Monument Trail are also good introductions to the life and lore of San Pasqual Valley. Most visitors rush through the valley on the way to the San Diego Wild Animal Park, located adjacent to the park. But San Pasqual Valley and the state park are well worth a stop.

    Directions to the trailhead: From Highway 78, eight miles east of Escondido, take the turnoff to San Pasqual Battle?eld State Historic Park. Leave your car in the lot by the visitor center.

    Address: 15808 San Pasqual Valley Road, Escondido, CA 92027 | Tel: 1 760 737-2201 More Info...

     

    Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve

    Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve have outstanding or unusual natural or scenic values. Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve is a wilderness island in an urban sea.

    The reserve features high broken cliffs and deep ravines on headlands overlooking the ocean. Hikers can follow trails through stands of wind-sculpted pines. A picturesque, pueblo-style structure that served as a restaurant when it was built in 1923 houses the visitor center, featuring interpretive displays.

    Torrey Pines prohibits dogs anywhere within the reserve and beach boundaries (even within a vehicle).

    Location-Directions: Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve is located between La Jolla and Del Mar, California, north of San Diego. From Hwy 5, exit on Carmel Valley Road and drive west for about 1.5 miles till you reach the Coast Highway 101. Turn left and proceed along the beach for about a mile. The park entrance is on your right just before the highway begins to climb the Torrey Pines grade.

    You will find four different trails to hike on the reserve:

     

    Parry Grove Trail The 0.4 mile loop trail leads past toyon, yucca, and many other coastal shrubs. A 5-year drought followed by an infestation of the Ipis bark beetle devastated Parry Grove. Only a handful of mature Torrey pines remain, accompanied by saplings planted in 1998.

     

    Broken Hill Trail visits a drier, chaparral-dominated, landscape, full of sage and buckwheat, ceanothus and manzanita. From Broken Hill Overlook, there’s a view of a few Torrey pines clinging to life in an environment that resembles a desert badlands.

     

    Beach Trail leads to Yucca Point and Razor Point and offers precipitous views of the beach below. The trail descends the bluffs to Flat Rock, a tidepool area.

     

    Guy Fleming Trail is a 0.6 mile loop that travels through stands of Torrey pine and takes you to South Overlook, where you might glimpse a migrating California gray whale.

    Tel: 1 858 755-2063 More Info...

     

    When you think “San Diego,” think “Beaches—”warm, wide, sandy, clean, perfect beaches! From Imperial Beach near the Mexican border to Oceanside in North County, you’re never far from the ocean. San Diego’s pleasant climate lures visitors outdoors and into the water. There’s so much to do”swim, surf, snorkel, skin diving, windsurf...you get the idea.

    For your convenience, below is a list of all (if not most) San Diego Beaches (in alphabetical order).

     

    Beacon’s Beach

    Phones, no restrooms, path down bluffs to beach. Take I-5 south 22 miles to Leucadia Blvd, take a left. In just under a mile turn right onto Neptune Ave.

    Address: 948 Neptune Ave, Encinitas, CA | Tel: 1 760 633-2740

     

    Black’s BeachBlack’s Beach is a sandy strip situated at the base of majestic cliffs up to 300 feet high, the beach includes a glider port and offers plenty of activities. This beach is formally known as Torrey Pines City Beach and Torrey Pines State Beach as it is owned by both the local municipal government and the state government. It is 2 mi (3.2 km) long . This beach is known for excellent surf and great swimming. Scuba diving is not recommended due to conditions of the surf. Take Interstate 5 south to Carmel Valley Road. West on Carmel Valley Road to Pacific Coast Highway. South on Pacific Coast Highway to Torrey Pines State Beach. It is a one mile walk from the parking lot down the cliffs.

     

    Address: 11600 N Torrey Pines Rd, La Jolla, CA | Tel: 1 858 755-2063

     

    Cardiff State Beach

    Cardiff State Beach has a gently sloping sandy beach with warm water. This is a popular site for swimming, surfing and beachcombing. The beach is one mile south along the San Diego coastline of Cardiff by the Sea called the Riviera of the West, on old Highway 101. Take I-5 north 18 miles to Lomas Sante Fe Dr, turn left onto Lomas Sante Fe. In one mile turn right on Old Highway 101, Cardiff State Beach is about a half mile.

    Address: South Old Highway 101, Cardiff, CA | Tel: 1 760 753-5091 More Info...

     

    Carlsbad State Beach

    This beach offers swimming, surfing, scuba diving, fishing and beachcombing. Carlsbad State Beach, about 5 miles in length, has picnic areas on the beach and above on the bluff. Walk along the coast or the nearly mile-long seawall/walkway adjoining the beach, beginning one block south of Carlsbad Village Drive. Take I-5 north 26 miles to Poinsettia Ln, left on Poinsettia Ln one half mile, left at Carlsbad Blvd.

    Address: 7201 Carlsbad Blvd, Carlsbad, CA | Tel: 1 760 438-3143 More Info...

     

    Carlsbad City Beach

    Carlsbad City Beach is serviced by a free parking lot and street parking. Address: Carlsbad Boulevard at Ocean Street, Carlsbad, CA

     

    Children’s Pool

    Also known as the Casa, is a small beach partially protected by a seawall. During much of the year, seals and sea lions are present on or near the beach and a reserve for these marine mammals, called Seal Rock, is just offshore. Take I-5 about 7 miles north, to La Jolla Pky exit 26A. Stay on La Jolla Pky for about two miles as it turns into Torrey Pines Rd. Right at Prospect Pl, Right on Jenner in a half mile, and then a left on Coast Blvd. in about two blocks.

    Address: 850 Coast Blvd, La Jolla, CA | Tel: 1 619 235-1169

     

    Corona del Mar

    Half-mile long sandy beach framed by cliffs and a rock jetty that forms the east entrance to Newport Harbor. The beach is popular with swimmers, surfers and divers. Entrance fee per vehicle. Open from 8 am to 8 pm. Facilities: Lifeguards, rest rooms, showers, picnic tables, and fire pits. Take I-5 north 65 miles, to CA-73 N Long Beach, go 13 miles. Exit and take a left at Bison Ave. In a half mile turn left at MacArthur Blvd, and in 2.6 miles left at E. Coast Hwy. In a half mile turn right at Marguerite Ave, and an immediate right on Ocean Blvd.

    Address: Iris Ave & Ocean Blvd, Newport Beach, CA | Tel: 1 949 644-3151

     

    Coronado Island

    Swim, surf, sail, body board, fish, or just fall asleep in the sun. Coronado is the perfect beach to spend an entire day or weekend sprawled out under an umbrella until the sun sets over the Pacific Ocean. Take I-5 south through downtown, and take the Coronado Bridge over the bay to Coronado Island (now toll-free). The bridge lets out onto to 3rd Street. Turn left on Orange Avenue and follow it down toward the Hotel Del Coronado. Heading right off Orange onto virtually any street will get you to the beach.

    Address: 1415 Orange Ave, Coronado Island, CA | Tel: 1 619 435-1479

    D Street Beach

    High cliffs overlook a narrow beach, wooden walkway down cliffs to beach. No restrooms. Take I-5 south 22 miles, left on Encinitas Blvd. In a half mile left on S. Coast Hwy 101, in one block, right on west D Street.

    Address: 450 D St, Encinitas, CA | Tel: 1 760 633-2740

     

    Grandview Beach

    Beautiful high cliffs overlook a narrow beach, this is a hidden jewel. Take I-5 south 23 miles to Leucadia Blvd, make a left onto Leucadia Blvd. In just under a mile, turn right on Neptune Ave.

    Address: 1700 Neptune Ave, Encinitas, CA | Tel: 1 760 633-2740

     

    Imperial Beach

    Imperial Beach features some of the best sand in the nation, which explains why it is home to the yearly U.S. Open Sandcastle Competition. It also has a park with picnic, volleyball, and basketball areas and a playground for kids, as well as restrooms and showers. The Imperial Beach Fishing Pier is popular for surf fishing. Take I-5 south 15 miles, turn right on the Coronado Ave exit and go 1 mile. Continue on Imperial Beach Blvd. Seacoast Dr & Imperial Beach Blvd, Imperial Beach, CA

     

    La Jolla Cove

    “The Jewel of the Sea” is San Diego’s premier coastal region, complete with a European-style village, upscale shopping, and dining…all just steps from the ocean. Small beach, tucked between adjacent sandstone cliffs. La Jolla Cove is one of the most photographed beaches in Southern California. Take I-5 about 7 miles north, to La Jolla Pky exit 26A. Stay on La Jolla Pky for about two miles as it turns into Torrey Pines Rd. Right at Prospect Pl, bear right at Coast Blvd South.

    Address: 1100 Coast Blvd, La Jolla, CA | Tel: 1 619 235-1169

     

    La Jolla Shores

    Mile long sandy beach, adjacent to a residential area. In summer, waves at this beach are usually the most gentle of all San Diego beaches, La Jolla Shores has the only beachfront boat launch within City limits. Take I-5 about 7 miles north, to La Jolla Pky exit 26A. Stay on La Jolla Pky for about two miles as it turns into Torrey Pines Rd. Turn right in .3 miles on Calle de la Plata, then left in one block on Avenida de la Playa, then right in one block onto Camino Del Oro.

    Address: 8200 Camino del Oro, La Jolla, CA | Tel: 1 619 235-1169

     

    Leucadia State Beach

    The Leucadia State Beach can be found on Leucadia Boulevard. This beach is also known locally as Beacon’s Beach.

    Address: Leucadia Boulevard | Encinitas, CA | Tel: 1 760 633-2740 More Info...

     

    Mission Bay Beaches

    The beaches here rest in the Mission Bay Park with its 4,235 acres (17 sq km). There is just over 27 mi (45 km) of coastline, 19 (31 km) of which being sandy. Lifeguards are on duty here and they even have firepits, washrooms and showers to rinse off the brine after a dip in the ocean.

    Address: Mission Bay, San Diego, CA

     

    Mission Bay

    Mission Bay is used by motorboaters, sailboaters, rowers, waterskiers, picnickers, joggers, and swimmers. It is also home to many species of birds, fish, and other animals and has a nature reserve at it’s northern end near Crown Point. Take I-5 north to I-8 west. Exit Mission Bay Drive and turn right onto W. Mission Bay Drive.

    Address: Ocean Front Walk, San Diego, CA | Tel: 1 619 221-8900

     

    Mission Beach

    Known to locals as the Strand, Mission Beach is one of the most frequented beaches in San Diego. Spanning more than 2 mi (3.2 km) in length, the beach welcomes sunbathers, swimmers and surfers to its sandy shoreline. Life guards are on duty all year round.

    Address: Mission Blvd. & West Mission Bay Drive | San Diego, CA

     

    South Mission Beach

    This beach is the widest in the city. The beach is located on the coast near Mission Bay and has newly refurbished courts for basketball and volleyball. A game called "over-the-line", similar in nature to baseball, can be played on a portion of this sandy coastline.

    Address: South Mission Beach | San Diego, CA

     

    Moonlight State Beach

    Moonlight State Beach is a family / locals kind of beach that is flat, sandy, and perfect for a picnic and a day of sunning. The athletically inclined will find some serious volleyball at the three beach courts. Take I-5 south 22 miles, left on Encinitas Blvd. In a half mile left on S. Coast Hwy 101, in one block, right on west B Street.

    Address: 400 B St, Encinitas, CA | Tel: 1 760 633-2740 More Info...

     

    Ocean Beach

    Lifeguards, restrooms, showers, and disabled access. It also has separate swim and surf zones. Ocean Beach has public lots at the end of Voltaire Street, Santa Monica Avenue, and Newport Avenue. Street parking is scarce on summer weekends. Take I-8 west to Sunset Cliffs Blvd and bear left, turn right in a half mile on Point Loma, and in a half mile left on Abbott St.

    Address: 1950 Abbott St, San Diego | Tel: 1 619 221-8899

     

    Oceanside

    Oceanside’s beach is adjoined by “The Strand,” a main street that is excellent for strolling, rollerblading, or bike riding. Volleyball courts are set up along the beach, and the pier is considered excellent for surf fishing. Take I-5 24 miles north, exit Harbor Dr, bear right at Harbor Drive North.

    Address: 1540 Harbor Drive North, Oceanside | Tel: 1 760-435-4000

     

    Ocean Beach

    This beach is located in San Diego’s community of Ocean Beach. The shore is about a mile long (1.6 km) and offers a volleyball court at the north end, a pier for walking and fishing at the south end and has plenty of shops and restaurants.

    Address: 1950 Abbott Street, San Diego, CA

     

    Oceanside City Beach

    The Oceanside City Beach boasts the longest pier on the West Coast, a playground, restrooms and fire rings. Located on Oceanside Boulevard and Pacific Street.

    Address: Oceanside Boulevard and Pacific Street, Oceanside, CA | Tel: 1 760 966-4530

     

    Pacific Beach

    This long beach, known as The Strand, lies directly adjacent to the residential and commercial areas of the Pacific Beach and Mission Beach communities. It is the most popular beach in the City of San Diego and draws large crowds in summer. It is just north of Mission Beach and is about 2 mi (3.2 km) long. It offers surfing in designated areas and plenty of swimming. The beach even has a boardwalk for the disabled which provides a breathtaking view of the shoreline and surf. Take I-5 north 4 miles to the Grand Ave/Garnet Ave exit. Bear right at Mission Bay Dr, left at Grand Ave, right at Mission Blvd, and finally left at Diamond St.

    Address: Ocean Blvd, Pacific Beach, CA | Tel: 1 619-483-6666

     

    San Clemente State Beach

    Cemente State Beach is 54 miles from Old Town and is popular with surfers on the north end of the one-mile beach. Other popular activities are skin diving and hiking along the trails on the bluffs. The beach has a landscaped bluff top with picnic areas. Trails lead down to the beach, which is also popular for body surfing, swimming, and skin diving. Take I-5 north 52 miles to Cristianitos Blvd, turn left. Turn right on Avenida del Presidente.

    Address: 3030 Ave. del Presidente, San Clemente, CA | Tel: 1 949 492-3156

     

    San Elijo State Beach

    San Elijo State Beach is 26 miles from Old Town, the closest state beach campground. Located on the San Diego Coast, San Elijo State Beach offers swimming, surfing and picnicking. The narrow, bluff-backed stretch of sand that protects the beach, and is popular with surfing, swimming and fishing. Also has a nearby reef popular with snorklers and divers. Take I-5 north 23 miles to Leucadia Blvd, turn left. In a half mile turn right on Hwy 101. San Elijo State Beach is one and a half miles up Hwy 101.

    Address: 2050 N. Hwy 101, Cardiff-by-the-Sea, CA | Tel: 1 760-753-5091 More Info...

     

    San Onofre State Beach

    San Onofre State Beach features 3.5-miles of sandy beaches with six access trails cut into the bluff above. The campground is along Old Highway 101 adjacent to the sandstone bluffs. The beach is popular with swimmers and surfers. The park includes a marshy area where San Mateo Creek meets the shoreline and Trestles Beach, a well-known California surfing site. Whales, dolphins and sea lions can be seen offshore from time to time. The park’s coastal terrace is chaparral-covered. Take I-5 north to Cristianitos Rd exit, turn left. Turn right at Avenida Del Presidente.

    Address: 3030 Avenida Del Presidente, San Clemente, CA | Tel: 1 949 492-4872 More Info...

     

    Silver Strand State Beach

    The Silver Strand features camping, swimming, boating and more. Park facilities include four large parking lots, which can accommodate up to 1,000 vehicles. Restroom and cold showers are available on each side of the park. Beach restrooms are for Day-Use visitors. Take I-5 south through downtown, and take the Coronado Bridge over the bay to Coronado Island (now toll-free). The bridge lets out onto to 3rd Street, keep going to 4th St, bear right at Pomona Ave, left at 3rd St, left at Orange Ave, left at Silver Strand Blvd.

    Address: 5000 Hwy 75, Coronado Island, CA | Tel: 1 619 435-5184 More Info...

     

    Solana Beach

    The City of Solana Beach encompasses 1.7 miles of beach front bordered on the north by Cardiff State Beach, and on the south by the City of Del Mar. The beach front is divided into four main Beach Parks: Fletcher Cove, Tide Beach Park, Seascape Surf, and Del Mar Shores. I-5 north exit Lomas Santa Fe Drive west to Pacific Coast Highway. Continue straight through the intersection to Fletcher Cove or head north or south on Sierra Avenue to explore other the options. Seaside lies directly at the bottom of the hill as you drive north on PCH toward Cardiff. 635 S.

    Address: Hwy 101, Solana Beach, CA | Tel: 1 858 720-2400

     

    South Carlsbad State Beach

    South Carlsbad features swimming, surfing, skin diving, fishing and picnicking. The large bluff-top campground. Stairs down bluff lead to the beach. Take I-5 north 26 miles to Poinsettia Ln, left on Poinsettia Ln one half mile, left at Carlsbad Blvd.
    Address: 7201 Carlsbad Blvd, Carlsbad, CA | Tel: 1 760 438-3143 More Info...

     

    Stonesteps Beach

    Long narrow beach along high bluffs. No restrooms. Take I-5 south 22 miles to Encinitas Blvd, turn left. In half mile turn right on north Coast Hwy 101, and in .6 miles left at El Portal St.

    Address: 350 S. El Portal St, Encinitas, CA | Tel: 1 760 633-2740

     

    Swami’s Beach

    This beach is a local favorite for surfing. On most mornings and evenings, you can stand on the steps and watch the surfers walk by in a steady stream. Take I-5 south 22 miles to Encinitas Blvd, turn left. Turn left on S. Coast Hwy 101.

    Address: 1298 S. Coast Hwy 101, Encinitas, CA | Tel: 1 760-633-2740

     

    Torrey Pines State Beach

    This wide, sandy beach stretches 4 1/2 miles from Del Mar past Los Peñasquitos Lagoon to the base of sandstone cliffs at Torrey Pines Mesa. Swimming, surfing and fishing are popular. Red-hued bluffs and wet sand make strolling on the beach popular at low tide. Take the Carmel Valley Road exit off of I-5 heading north from San Diego. Park for free along 101 to the north and then walk south to the beach. Or pay a small fee and park high above the beach on the cliffs to enjoy the hike down to the sparkling Pacific Ocean.

    Address: 9609 Waples St, La Jolla, CA | Tel: 1 619-755-2063 More Info...

     

    Trestles Surfer Beach

    Trestles Beach is regarded as one of the premiere surf breaks in the United States. Many would say the best in San Diego County. SurfLine provides an internet source of beach weather and surf reports, including live streaming video feeds. Take I-5 north 52 miles to Cristianitos Rd exit. Park in the parking lot next to the Carl’s Jr, and follow the people carrying surfboards. The only way to get there is the one mile walk down the trail. Cristianitos Rd, San Clemente, CA

     

    Windansea Beach

    Best known for its beautiful scenery and surf breaks created by underwater reefs. Sandstone rocks act as partitions along the beach offering a secluded atmosphere for sunbathing. Much of the beach at Windansea experiences shorebreak, a condition on steep beaches which results in hard breaking surf right at the shoreline. Take I-5 north 4 miles to the Grand Ave/Garnet Ave exit.

    Address: 6800 Neptune Pl, La Jolla, CA | Tel: 1 619 221-8824

     

    San Diego Zoo

    The San Diego Zoo is known throughout the world as a first-rate facility, the San Diego zoo houses more than 3,800 animals of over 800 different species. The zoo grounds cover 100 acres including more than 6,500 different species of plants.

    The first exhibit you will see at the San Diego Zoo is the much-photographed Flamingo Lagoon. Also near the entrance is the Children’s Zoo, which features 30 child-size exhibits, the Petting Paddock, and a baby animal nursery. These are the best stops for children, along with the Wegeforth Bowl (home of the popular Sea Lion Show) and the Hunte Amphitheater shows. Then there is the Giant Panda Research Station, home to the San Diego Zoo’s most famous residents. Other attractions include Polar Bear Plunge and Elephant Mesa, where you can watch the chimps play and listen to colorful birds sing. The whole family will enjoy the gorilla and orangutan exhibits. And, while it’s easy to be enraptured by the animals, don’t forget that the San Diego Zoo’s broad mesas and steep canyons host an astounding variety of tropical and sub-tropical plants. Many feature interpretive signage with information about their country of origin.

    San Diego Zoo

    The zoo is particularly well known for its efforts to recreate the natural habitats of the animals as closely as possible. Over the years the number of specialized habitats has grown and these include Tiger River, Gorilla Tropics, Sun Bear Forest, Polar Bear Plunge and Ituri Forest. These are all very impressive. The zoo is open year-round, but hours of operation fluctuate with the seasons. Ask about group, theme, guided and VIP tours.

    Address: 2920 Zoo Drive, San Diego, CA 92112-0551 | Tel: 1 619 234-3153 More Info...

     

    San Diego Wild Animal Park

    Your first Wild Animal Park greeting comes through the calls of exotic birds as you walk through the African Aviary. A few steps away lies Nairobi Village, a tropical paradise surrounding the beautiful Mombasa Lagoon. This bustling Village is home to shops, restaurants, animal exhibits, and activity centers; it’s a good place to stop, check the map, and plan your day. Since Nairobi Village is located the heart of Wild Animal Park, it’s a convenient “base camp” you can return to for rest and refreshments. Kids love the play area in Nairobi Village, as well as the Petting Kraal and baby nursery. And all ages have fun feeding the birds at Lorikeet Landing.

    When you head out into the bush, don’t miss the opportunity to ride the famous Wgasa Bush Line Railway. You’ll see what makes the Park unique—giraffes, elephants, rhinos, and hundreds of other animals freely roaming in herds over large areas of scenic natural habitat. Other favorite treks include Heart of Africa, Gorilla Habitat, Condor Ridge, and Kilimanjaro Safari Walk.

    A Wild Animal Park show is a treat for the entire family. Elephants surprise you with their smarts at Elephant Presentation and birds teach you a thing or two at the Bird Show.

    Along the way, trees and botanical gardens add to the beauty of the experience. These exhibits are opportunities to see wild animals up close and, in some instances, to help out at feeding time.

    This wildlife sanctuary features over 3,500 animals, with much of the park set aside for natural habitats. San Diego Wild Animal Park provides educational opportunities through the bird and elephant shows, animal encounters and hawk talk. Open daily at 9am.

    Address: 15500 San Pasqual Valley Road, Escondido, CA 92027 | Tel: 1 760 747-8702 More Info...

     

    SeaWorld San Diego California

    Where can you look a shark in the eye and live to tell the tale? Only at SeaWorld San Diego! One of California’s premier family vacation and travel destinations, SeaWorld features some fabulous aquatic shows, amusements, and other adventures. No wonder both kids and adults love this place—it’s educational as well as profoundly entertaining.

    SeaWorld has a variety of great shows. A “must–see” is Shamu’s Adventure (Hint: If you want a big splash, sit in the first 14 rows). Other SeaWorld institutions include Dolphin Discovery, Pirates 4–D, and Pets Rule, where dogs, cats, and pigs get into the act. Meanwhile, at Shark Encounter, you view hundreds of sharks in a huge habitat. Then visit a sea creature we all love—the dolphin—at Rocky Point Preserve, where you can learn about them, watch them play, and maybe even feed one. Other SeaWorld crowd–pleasers include Penguin Encounter (yes, there’s snow in San Diego) and Wild Arctic.

    SeaWorld Adventure Park – San Diego One of Southern California’s most popular attractions, this world–class visitor attraction features a variety of spectacular sights and activities. Visit Shamu the killer whale, ride the waves of Shipwreck Rapids, and see manatees, polar bears and dolphins. A variety of animal-themed shows are featured and its even possible to take a behind the scenes tour.

    Address: 500 Sea World Dr., San Diego, CA 92109 | Tel: 1 619 226-3901 More Info...

     

    Legoland California

    Legoland California - one of San Diego’s premier theme parks—ignites creativity in kids and adults of all ages. Feel the excitement grow as you approach the front entrance, where a 9-foot, bright red, Lego dinosaur welcomes you to a day of color, amusement, thrills, and action!

    Legoland is divided into several areas—the Beginning, Dino Island, Explore Village, Miniland USA, Funtown, Knight’s Village, and Imagination Zone.

    Older kids (and adults) head for Imagination Zone, which features the Lego Technic Coaster. People of all ages also enjoy riding high above Legoland on Fun Town’s Sky Cruiser—but be sure to line up early for this popular ride. Fun Town has other appealing “transportation opportunities”–youngsters can fly a biplane, captain a Lego boat, and even pilot a helicopter. Although every Legoland area offers something for toddlers, Explore Village is an ideal place for them to start. It’s home to the interactive Playtown and the Fairy Tale Brook boat ride. Castle Hill features not one, but two, exciting coaster rides—Dragon Coaster and SpellBreaker. Playtown is also one of five venues that offers a family-oriented theater experience. Be sure to take advantage of the many interactive play areas that are designed to stimulate both physical and mental activity in children and adults.

    Legoland California offers lots of things to see and do for all ages. See African animals made from lego blocks or go on one of the many rides. Located 20 minutes away from San Diego

    Address: 1 Legoland Drive, Carlsbad, CA 92008 | Tel: 1 760 918-5346 More Info...