Bird Rock Beach

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Beach access to Bird Rock Beach is located at the end of Bird Rock Ave. There is a small area with a bench and stairs leadig down to the rocky beach. Watch the tides!
Bird Rock Beach is a natural beach in La Jolla and is best known for the giant rock offshore, it's outstanding surf and its lively tide pools.
Why you'll love this beach
Why you'll love this beach
Surf the Waves or Explore the Rocky Shore at Bird Rock Beach
Bird Rock Beach
Overview
Bundle & 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

Beautiful Sunset at Bird RockBird Rock with Reef on Inside of Rock

Situated in the southernmost point of La Jolla, and just north of the eclectic community known as Pacific Beach, Bird Rock is a unique neighborhood in the otherwise ritzy La Jolla. It’s a little gem of a community replete with stunning ocean lookout points, cozy cafes, boutique shops and walkable streets. It also has a secluded beach.

Bird Rock Beach is not your typical vacation-destination type beach. Though beautiful and enticing in its own special way, Bird Rock Beach is, as its name suggests, rocky.

Its namesake comes from the giant rock protruding out of the water offshore which, at one point in time, looked like a bird. Today, however, it looks more like a dome with a cavern in the center. Though the rock no longer holds the shape of a bird, it does attract seagulls, pelicans and other aquatic fowl to its hull, making Bird Rock Beach a great place for birdwatching.

Bird Rock is not a sunbathing beach. It is rocky, with many of the “rocks” leaning more toward the “bolder” classification. If you have steady footing, the beach is ideal for walking, taking in the sights and catching stunning sunsets.

Bundle and SAVE!

USS Midway Aircraft Carrier Museum
USS Midway Aircraft Carrier Museum
Explore the USS Midway Aircraft Carrier Museum with your All-Inclusive Go Pass! Check out the hangar deck and flight deck, plus over 60 exhibits, displays and interactive experiences. Enjoy an authentic tour narrated by Midway sailors!
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Local Tips
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!

Things to Do

Running
Running
Sunbathing
Sunbathing

Exploring Bird Rock Beach

Bird Rock Beach is small, and you can walk from end to end in a matter of minutes. However, if you speed walk through, you’ll miss all the best parts of the little alcove.

The most popular attraction at this beach is by far Bird Rock. Just 15-feet or so from the shoreline, you can walk out to the rock at low tide. The rock has enough room to move about for several adults, so it’s definitely worth the journey out there for an epic picture.

A little way down the beach, you’ll come across a small cave. Rumor has it that the cave is inhabited, so be aware. If no one is in there when you visit, however, it’s another picture-worthy spot to explore.

Surfing at Bird Rock

To locals, Bird Rock Beach is a favored surfing spot. The only really good time to surf is high tide, and though you’ll have to paddle out a fair distance, the reward is worth it. The swells are fairly consistent (thanks to the reef) and can get between three and five feet plus. That said, the spot is ideal for shortboarding, though experienced longboarders can hang, too. If you’re lucky enough to be in the area when the ocean acts up, you may be able to catch an epic barrel or two.

Local Tips
Looking to Surf at Bird Rock?
Beach access is just down Bird Rock Ave. Once you go down the stairs get in the water and paddle south to the main peak. Watch out for rocks!

Explore the Tide Pools at Low Tide

During low tide, Bird Rock Beach becomes replete with tide pools to explore. Rumor also has it that not too far off the coast lie the remains of an F-Series submarine, which collided with another submarine during a training mission in the 1917s.

Stay Near Bird Rock and Explore More

Scripps Inn located a few miles away in the village of La Jolla is a great place to call home while you explore La Jolla and San Diego. Scripps Inn features a relaxed, coastal chic style throughout the hotel. The rooms are furnished with light blue and neutral tones plus white woodwork.

How to Get There & Parking

Free Parking
Free Parking
Street Parking
Street Parking

Parking near Bird Rock Beach

Bird Rock Beach does not have designated parking. However, you can park for free at the nearby Hermosa Park, which also happens to have picnic tables and BBQs. You may also be able to find free street parking if you look hard enough.

If you’re coming from somewhere in town, just take La Jolla Boulevard south until you reach Bird Rock Avenue and take a left. Find parking and walk it from there.

Getting to Bird Rock

If you’re coming from I-5 northbound, take La Jolla Parkway west all the way to Torrey Pines Road. If you’re coming from I-5 southbound, exit La Jolla Village Drive west to Torrey Pines Road.

Take Torrey Pines Road until you dead end into Girard Avenue then take a left. Take a right on Pearl Street and a left on La Jolla Boulevard. Follow this until you reach Bird Rock Avenue and hang a right. Find parking and head to the beach.

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

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

Tips for the Best Experience

Great for Surfing and Tide Pooling

If you head to Bird Rock Beach intending to lay out your towel and catch some famous San Diego sun, you’re in for a letdown. Bird Rock Beach is a natural beach that is best for walking, exploring tide pools and surfing. You should not attempt to swim in the waters, as not only is the current strong but also, the surface is riddled with jagged rocks and reef.

Reef at Bird Rock

If you plan to surf Bird Rock Beach, there are also a few things you should know. Again, there are jagged rocks abound offshore. Unless you’re familiar with the area, you’re bound to ding up your board every time. If you’re lucky, that’s all you’ll ding up.

First-timers over the reef often get spooked when paddling out and their hands hit the reef. While it’s okay to bug out when paddling, you want to get it out of your system before catching a wave, as the last thing you want is to take a spill over the reef.

Accessible via a Stairway

Bird Rock Beach is accessible by stairway. However, it’s not uncommon for individuals to shimmy down the rocky slopes on either side of the beach. If you choose the more adventurous route, just be careful, as you may have to jump from boulder to boulder at some points.

No Lifeguard & No Facilities

Because it’s not really a “beach” in the typical sense, you don’t find all the standard amenities at Bird Rock. There are no lifeguard towers, no restrooms and no public facilities. If you want the creature comforts of a typical beach, head to The Children’s Pool or La Jolla Cove to the north, or Tourmaline in Pacific Beach to the south.

Bird Rock Beach
is Known For:
Surfing
Surfing
Know This:
Tide Pools
Tide Pools
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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