Carlsbad Beaches

The Carlsbad Beaches are full of fun activities for any vacation, whether you’re a surfing enthusiast or you’re looking for the perfect spot for swimming.
Carlsbad Beaches
Overview
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The Neighborhood
Known For
Surfing
Swimming
Stay Nearby

Enjoy Miles of Sea and Sand at the Carlsbad Beaches

The beaches in Carlsbad are best known for their surfing and swimming opportunities. Like most of San Diego, waves are present year-round so you can surf to your heart’s content. The easy access makes these beaches great for surfing all year long.

For the most part, these beaches are fairly sandy and level. Beaches like South Ponto have miles of soft sand, while narrower beaches like North Ponto and Tamarack are somewhat rockier.

In addition to surfing and swimming, you can also scuba dive, paddle board, fish, and even hike at many of the Carlsbad beaches. Don’t miss the tide pools at Terramar Beach and the campground under the bluffs at North Ponto Beach, for those that want a little extra fresh air and a beautiful night of camping in San Diego under the stars!

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Kids looking at knight at LEGOLAND California
Visit LEGOLAND California!
Create family memories at LEGOLAND California! Admission is included with your All-Inclusive Go Pass - enjoy over 60 rides and attractions! Bundle admission with Birch Aquarium at Scripps or the Safari Park for the ultimate day of savings!
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What attractions are included with a Go Pass?

Attractions that you can visit with a Go San Diego Pass include:

The San Diego Zoo, Birch Aquarium, SeaWorld, Safari Park, LEGOLAND, Harbor Cruise, USS Midway Museum, the NAT Museum, Whaley House, PETCO Park Tour, iFLY San Diego and many, many more!

The Carlsbad Neighborhood

Carlsbad is about 40 minutes north of the San Diego International Airport, and roughly the same distance from Downtown San Diego. Here, you’re not far from exciting attractions like the Half-Day San Diego City Sightseeing Tour.

For more to do in Carlsbad, musicians may enjoy the Museum of Making Music. This attraction and many more of San Diego’s most popular attractions such as the San Diego Zoo and SeaWorld San Diego are all part of the Go San Diego Pass, which lets you save on your trip when you bundle multiple activities and gear rentals together.

Surfboards, paddle boards, kayaks, bikes and more are all available for rentals through the Go Pass. You can also get an additional discount when you use our link.

If you’re looking to stay nearby, there are plenty of great hotels. Consider booking a night at the Ocean Palms Beach Resort, which is a family-friendly boutique hotel just a few minutes from the beach. If you’re craving a luxury treatment, try the Cape Rey Carlsbad Beach, a Hilton Resort & Spa, which has an oversized pool and its own day spa with massages and steam rooms.

Swim and Surf at the Carlsbad Beaches

Beach Volleyball
Beach Volleyball
Fishing
Fishing
Jet Skiing
Jet Skiing
Kayaking
Kayaking
Paddle Boarding
Paddle Boarding
Scuba Diving
Scuba Diving
Sunbathing
Sunbathing
Surfing
Surfing
Swimming
Swimming
Tide Pooling
Tide Pooling

Swimmers and surfers alike flock to the Carlsbad Beaches for fun in the sun and the ocean waves. The warm weather and gentle waves make Carlsbad’s shores a great place to swim, while other beaches in the area feature larger, more consistent waves that draw surfers from near and far.

Surfing

Lifeguard Tower at North Ponto Beach
The North Ponto Beach is narrow, meaning most visitors are there to surf. Enjoy beginner-level and more advanced waves alike, which often draw crowds of local and sometimes professional surfers. The campground on top of the bluffs is another popular attraction. The beach also has lifeguards, restrooms, and outdoor showers.
Beach Umbrellas at South Ponto Beach
South Ponto Beach is very wide, with plenty of open sand for sunbathing. While it’s best known for its surfing events and competitions, that’s not all you can do. The beach offers an unrivaled view of the sunset reflecting on the water, making it a popular romantic getaway for couples.
Tamarack Surf Beach from Above
Tamarack Surf Beach is best suited to more experienced surfers. The waves are frequent but often powerful, while the undertow and rocky ocean floor can make recovery more difficult. Lifeguards on duty ensure everyone has a safe day at the beach, whether you’re surfing or taking the popular Seawall Walk.
High Tide Breaking Against the Cliffs at Terramar Beach
Terramar Beach is a fairly secluded spot that still features impressive waves for surfers of all skill levels to enjoy. It features point break waves that are manageable for most beginners. Low tide reveals tide pools filled with various inhabitants of the ocean ecosystem, including sea urchins, anemones, and starfish.
Surfers at Warm Water Jetty Beach
The Warm Water Jetty Beach features a relaxing atmosphere and temperate waters. It’s known for having great surfing conditions throughout the year, though there are some challenging waves not suitable for beginners. You can also enjoy the nearby hiking trails throughout Agua Hedionda Lagoon.

Swimming

Beach Umbrellas at Carlsbad City Beach
Carlsbad City Beach is Carlsbad’s northernmost beach. It’s primarily known for being a great place to swim, though surfers and sunbathers also frequent the beach. The Buena Vista Lagoon, located at the north end of the beach, is a popular spot for birdwatching with over 100 species of birds.

Featured Activity

Kids next to gorilla statue at the San Diego Zoo
The World Famous San Diego Zoo
Spend the day at the iconic San Diego Zoo! Featuring over 3,500 animals and 650 species, this zoo is the heart of Balboa Park. There are multiple exhibits & experiences for all ages to learn about animals and their habitats.
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Carlsbad Beaches
are Known For:
Surfing
Surfing
Swimming
Swimming
This Month's Forecast
67℉ / 79℉
Sunny in September
Oct
63℉ / 78℉
Sunny in October
Nov
56℉ / 73℉
Sunny in November
Dec
51℉ / 68℉
Sunny in December

Stay Nearby

Ocean Palms Beach Resort
Near Legoland
3 Star Rating3 Star Rating3 Star Rating
Ocean Palms Beach Resort
from $279 / night
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Homewood Suites by Hilton Carlsbad
Near Legoland
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Homewood Suites by Hilton Carlsbad
from $143 / night
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Residence Inn San Diego Carlsbad
Near Legoland
3 Star Rating3 Star Rating3 Star Rating
Residence Inn San Diego Carlsbad
from $166 / night
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Cape Rey Carlsbad Beach Hilton
Family Friendly
4 Star Rating4 Star Rating4 Star Rating4 Star Rating
Cape Rey Carlsbad Beach Hilton
from $152 / night
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