6 Hidden Beaches in San Diego

6 Hidden Beaches in San Diego

It’s no secret that San Diego is home to one incredible beach after another. With everyone flocking to the beach to enjoy the stunning views, the beaches can get quite crowded. But don’t worry! Our San Diego experts found some gorgeous beaches where you can go enjoy the peace and quiet of the ocean waves. Take a look at six of the best hidden beaches in San Diego:

1. Black’s Beach

Spanning from Torrey Pines Beach to Scripps Beach in La Jolla, Black’s Beach is one of the most famous hidden beaches in San Diego. While well-known, Black’s Beach is very secluded because of its inaccessibility. To get to Black’s Beach, travelers must hike 20 minutes from the intersection of Blackgold Road and La Jolla Farms Road or take a shorter, yet more unstable and steep trail from Torrey Pines Gliderport. Black’s Beach is primarily known for being one of the largest nude beaches in the nation. On the northern, secluded portion of the beach, visitors enjoy tanning without swimwear, while savoring breathtaking ocean views and solitude. Other activities offered at Black’s Beach can include: surfing, hang gliding, paragliding, fishing, and playing with your dogs. If you’re looking for great waves without tan lines and don’t mind the hike, Black’s Beach is the one for you.

2. Moonlight State Beach

A California state park operated by the city of Encinitas, Moonlight State Beach is the main beach in Encinitas. This family-friendly beach is ideal for your little ones because of the safety features and the plethora of activities offered. The slope of the beach leading into the water is not steep compared to other beaches, so playing in the surf is safer for children. Also, lifeguards have a significant presence making the beach even more secure. In addition to the typical beach activities, visitors can enjoy the kids play area, grass park, snack bar, volleyball and tennis courts, picnic tables, and bonfires. Moonlight State Beach is easily accessible from B Street at the west end of Encinitas Boulevard. Although typically very tranquil, Moonlight State Beach can get busy during the summer so bring your family and go early to avoid the crowd.

3. Swami’s Beach

Located at the southern end of Encinitas, Swami’s Beach is famous for its awesome surfing. Despite it being a popular surfing hub, Swami’s Beach is typically surprisingly empty because it is fairly hidden beneath a bluff. To get to Swami’s Beach, take the long stairway along the bluff from the parking lot off of Highway 101. Visit Swami’s Beach to ride some waves, be entertained by local hula hoopers and musicians, explore the tide pools, and enjoy a shaded picnic at the park with an impressive view.   

4. Sunset Cliffs

Known for its stunning views of the cliffs during sunset, the appropriately named Sunset Cliffs is a national park nestled between Point Loma Nazarene University and the ocean. This serene beach is usually quiet enough to hear the ocean waves crash against the cliffs. Aside from enjoying the beautiful view and listening to the sounds of the waves, visitors at Sunset Cliffs enjoy the tide pools, fossils, and trails along the the hillside above the beach. To access Sunset Cliffs, use one of the two free public parking lots. One lot is off Lomaland Drive on the college campus and the other is at the corner of Ladera Street and Cornish Drive. There’s also street parking at Sunset Cliffs Boulevard and Ladera Street where a stable stairwell leads to the rocky shore below. While Sunset Cliffs has gotten increasingly more crowded over the years, it is still considered one of the more hidden beaches in San Diego. You don’t want to miss the breathtaking views at Sunset Cliffs.

5. Imperial Beach

Imperial Beach lies at the southern end of San Diego between Palm Avenue and Imperial Beach Boulevard. This beach is a peaceful escape from the crowds with beautiful views that stretch on for miles. In addition to the typical beach amenities, Imperial Beach offers a fishing pier, kids play area, and basketball court. There are also two parks directly on the beach: Dunes Park and Portwood Pier Plaza. The best way to get to Imperial Beach is via Seacoast Drive. Visit Tin Fish restaurant at the end of the Imperial Beach Pier for some yummy fish tacos and a beautiful view.

6. Fletcher Cove Beach

Located in Solana Beach, Fletcher Cove Beach is a small, secluded beach and the perfect place to relax after a long day. Within the beach lies Fletcher Cove Park, also known as Pillbox for its history as a WWII Gunnery installation. This beach park features a grass area, basketball court, and picnic tables overlooking the ocean. Fletcher Cove Beach is easily accessible. There is a public parking lot located at the Cove and free street parking. Fletcher Cove Beach is also conveniently located near the Solana Beach train station, providing easy access to visitors traveling to Solana Beach via Amtrak and the Coaster rail lines. Fletcher Cove Beach is the ideal destination for a quiet getaway along the water.


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