Tamarack Surf Beach

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Part of Carlsbad State Beach, just south of Carlsbad City Beach and north of Warm Water Jetty Beach along Carlsbad Blvd.
A great destination for surfing, swimming, and lounging, Carlsbad State Beach has much to offer visitors. This guide explains a few of the basics to make your stay enjoyable.
Why you'll love this beach
Why you'll love this beach
Surfers, Families and Couples All Enjoy this Carlsbad Favorite
Tamarack Surf Beach
Overview
Relax & Save
Things to Do
Popular Activities
Get There & Parking
Featured Activity
Know Before You Go
Stay Nearby
Similar Beaches

Highlights

Things to Do
Tips
How to get there
Parking
Things to Do
Tips
How to get there
Parking

Overview

Two Surfers on a Wave Left and Right at Tamarack Surf BeachLooking South on the Beach at Tamarack Surf Beach

While it's formally known as Carlsbad State Beach, locals often refer to this surf-friendly destination as Tamarack State Beach or Tamarack Surf Beach. Along with great surfing conditions, as one of its popular nicknames implies, this beach also has much to offer other guests and travelers making their way to California, whether it's for the first or fiftieth time. Families with young children in tow, swimmers, windsurfers, and those looking for a scenic place to kick back are all welcome at this magnificent beach.

Expect a laid-back vibe during your visit, with easy access from multiple surrounding areas, ample parking, and numerous spots for families, friends, or couples to spend the day relaxing outdoors. This is one of eight beaches located within Carlsbad, all of which are beloved by locals and visitors alike.

Go Fish with Go Pass!

San Diego Pier Fishing
San Diego Pier Fishing
Looking for a nice relaxing day? Look no further than San Diego Pier Fishing. With your Go Pass, you can head out on a 2-hour fishing tour of all the best hotspots. You will be given a fishing pole, tackle, and bait for your convenience.
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Local Tips
What kind of deals does the Go Pass offer?

The Go San Diego Pass gives visitors the ability to save up to 55% on attraction admissions.

Combine our exclusive 5% discount to save even more and consider the All-Inclusive pass to maximize your savings. Plus the pass gives you the ability to skip the line when visiting select attractions.

Things to Do

Fishing
Fishing
Kayaking
Kayaking
Paddle Boarding
Paddle Boarding
Scuba Diving
Scuba Diving
Sunbathing
Sunbathing
Surfing
Surfing
Swimming
Swimming

What the Beach Is Known For

Surfers at Tamarack Surf Beach

When it comes to surfing in Carlsbad, this is definitely the beach to visit. Experienced surfers fare best here and usually find that waves emerge with a regular frequency, while wave quality is described as regional classic (on a good day wave length extends between 450 to 850 feet). The wave breaks next to a jetty and the wave can get hollow and fun.

In general, you can expect a good wind direction. The great conditions mean this beach is often crowded, both during the week as well as the weekends. Less experienced surfers are warned to look out for the undertow and underlying rocks.

Carlsbad Seawall Walk

The Carlsbad Seawall Walk is a popular attraction when visiting this beach. It extends four miles from Carlsbad Village drive to Cannon, and the beach can be reached from numerous access points while exploring the Seawall. On the other side is Coast Hwy 101, which offers ample jogging, walking, and people-watching opportunities during your trip.

Local Tips
Did you know?
Tamarack Surf Beach actually has 2 boardwalks; one on top of the bluff and one on the beach level behind the seawall. To access the boardwalk park at Sycamore Ave, Maple Ave, Cherry Ave or Hemlock Ave.

Other Activities at Tamarack

Many areas of the beach also offer swimming, scuba diving, kayaking, fishing, and different types of paddle boarding. If you're looking for a more relaxed time on the beach, it's also ideal for sunbathing and beachcombing. Visitors can explore the beach by foot, or travel along one of the paths while jogging or walking.

Romantic Sunset Spot

This beach is also ideal for couples in search of a romantic spot to view the ocean or watch the sunset during their visit. The best area for watching the sunset over the Pacific Ocean is on the bluff, situated at the north end of the beach.

Stay at Ocean Palms Beach Resort

The Ocean Palms Beach Resort in Carlsbad is the perfect resort to stay at while exploring all the beaches in Carlsbad. It is within a 45 minute drive of the famous San Diego Zoo.

How to Get There & Parking

Lot Parking
Lot Parking
Street Parking
Street Parking

Getting to Tamarack Surf Beach

Tamarack State Beach offers easy access from the Coast Highway if you're traveling there by vehicle. The beach begins at Tamarack Ave. and extends all the way to Carlsbad Village Dr., which is in close proximity to Frazee Beach. There is ample on-street parking on Carlsbad Blvd., as well as plentiful parking on many nearby surface streets.

Parking at Tamarack

There is a small lot located beachside, at the intersection of Carlsbad Blvd. and Tamarack Ave., but it tends to fill up quickly. There is another lot located on Ponto Beach, which charges a fee. It can be found just south of the campground.

Featured Activity

Gray Whale during Whale Watching Tour in San Diego
Half Day Whale Watching Tour
Enjoy a 4-hour expert led tour departing from beautiful San Diego Bay on a two-story whale watching yacht. Take in the views, enjoy the marine life & marvel at the majestic gray whales as they migrate along the coast.
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Know Before You Go & Tips

Lifeguards
Lifeguards
No Alcohol
No Alcohol
No Camping
No Camping
No Dogs
No Dogs
No Glass Containers
No Glass Containers
No Motorized Vehicles
No Motorized Vehicles
No Smoking
No Smoking
Picnic Tables
Picnic Tables
Public Transportation
Public Transportation
Restrooms
Restrooms
Shade
Shade
Trash Cans Available
Trash Cans Available

Tips to Know

No Dogs on the Beach

While dogs are allowed on the campground situated near the beach, they must be on a leash that extends no more than 6 feet. However, absolutely no dogs are permitted on the beach proper, whether they're leashed or not.

No Alcohol or Glass Allowed

Additionally, alcohol is not permitted on the beach. If you bring refreshments, they must be in plastic containers, as no glass bottles are allowed. Feel free to use the campground BBQs for outdoor cooking, but no fire pits are found on the beach itself.

Facilities & Hours at Tamarack

Restrooms and showers are available around the beach, as well as rinse-off stations for use after swimming or surfing. There are also five picnic areas, as well as surf chairs that can be reserved prior to your visit. The beach opens at 5 am and closes at 10 pm each day, so plan your trip accordingly.

Lifeguards

Not all areas of Tamarack State Beach are protected by lifeguards at all times but they are there during the busier times. As a result, visitors are cautioned against partaking in water-based activities in rough water or bad weather. Also, be sure to read and follow the instructions provided by posted signage regarding proper procedures for beach and water safety.

Tamarack Surf Beach
is Known For:
Surfing
Surfing
Know This:
Lifeguards
Lifeguards
Restrooms Available
Restrooms Available
Trash Cans Available
Trash Cans Available
This Month's Forecast
63℉ / 73℉
Partly Cloudy in June
Jul
67℉ / 77℉
Sunny in July
Aug
69℉ / 79℉
Sunny in August
Sep
67℉ / 79℉
Sunny in September

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