Windansea Beach

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Windansea Beach is located along Neptune Place at Bonair Street. The beach runs both north and south from this point. The main surf break is just south of the Surf Shack.
Windansea is an iconic beach in La Jolla, San Diego, that is characterized by gentle bluffs and remarkable surf. Learn what you need to know before you go.
Why you'll love this beach
Why you'll love this beach
Iconic SoCal Surfing, Bluffs and Natural Beauty Await at Windansea Beach
Windansea Beach
Overview
Save on Gear
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

People Enjoying the Beach at Windansea BeachGood Swell Lining up at Windansea

When a person unfamiliar with the San Diego coastline thinks of picturesque beaches, something very similar to Windansea Beach is likely what comes to mind.

This secluded stretch of sand and sea is situated right below Neptune Place in La Jolla, at the west end of Nautilus, Westbourne and Bonair Streets. The beach’s namesake — a shortened version of “Wind-and-Sea” — was a hotel in the spot that burnt down in the 1940s.

Like many La Jolla beaches, Windansea offers just enough space to spread out and sunbathe — if you get there early enough. However, though Windansea is a favored backdrop for proposals, engagement shoots and wedding photos, it’s actually quite turbulent in nature.

Storms regularly wash the sand away from the shoreline, making this more of a natural beach than most San Diego spots, and strong currents are more ideal for surfing than they are wading.

Windansea is characterized by sandstone points that jut out into the surf at both ends, a small surf shack and gentle bluffs. If you go, be prepared to shimmy down sandstone ledges at the bottom of the stairs if the tide has swept enough of the shoreline away.

Go Surfing with Go Pass!

La Jolla - Surf Board Rental
La Jolla - Surf Board Rental
La Jolla is home to some of the world's best beaches for surfing, and with your Go Pass, you can enjoy this experience. Whether you are a rookie or a pro, get a full day Surf Board rental. The waters are perfect for those learning.
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Local Tips
What activities does the Go Pass include?

There’s a variety of activities included with the Go San Diego Pass such as: The San Diego Zoo, Safari Park, LEGOLAND, SeaWorld, Hiking Tours, Whale Watching, Snorkel Rentals, Museum Tours, Speed Boat Adventures and more!

For the most popular attractions and water-sport rentals as well as the biggest discounts, consider the All-Inclusive Pass.

Things to Do

Paddle Boarding
Paddle Boarding
Sunbathing
Sunbathing
Surfing
Surfing
Tide Pooling
Tide Pooling

The Allure of Windansea Beach

Windansea has two distinguishing factors: The palm frond covered shack at the south end of the beach and the surf.

The Surf Shack

The shack — lovingly called “The Surf Shack at Windansea Beach” — was constructed in 1946 by Woody Ekstrom, Don Okey and Fred Kenyon. According to local legend, the shack was home to a great many Polynesian luau beach parties back in the day. Because it represents the carefree days of the La Jolla community (or maybe because it withstood the rage of the Pacific), it was dubbed a historical landmark in 1998.

The Surf at Windansea

The surf is really why people visit Windansea, though. The beach enjoys a storied reputation as a great Southern California surf break and has hosted several surf legends, including Butch Van Artsdale and Mickey Munoz. In the early 1960s, Windansea enjoyed media attention from The Surfer’s Journal, which called Windansea locals the “heaviest surf crew ever.”

Local Tips
Did you Know?
The Surf Shack that is located on the beach is a historical landmark. This is just one of the reasons Windansea Beach is one of the most well known surf spots in La Jolla.

Beneath the surface of Windansea Beach is an ocean floor riddled with steep slopes. These slopes create powerful waves that attract surfers from across the county and state. The main peak at Windansea is a reef break, which sees waves as tall as 10 feet during the winter months and challenges surfers with powerful, thick waves that are characterized by a long-tapering right and shorter, hollower left.

Other breaks in the area include Turtles, Middles and Simmons.

Great Place to Sunbathe

Though sunbathing is highly encouraged at Windansea, the strong shore break and turbulent surf make swimming, diving and snorkeling highly inadvisable at this beach.

Stay Nearby at The Shoal Hotel La Jolla Beach

The Shoal Hotel La Jolla Beach is located less than a half a mile from Windansea Beach. It is a great boutique hotel to base your San Diego vacation out of. Not only do you have easy access to explore La Jolla, it is very close to all the attractions San Diego has to offer, such as the San Diego Zoo and Downtown San Diego.

How to Get There & Parking

Free Parking
Free Parking
Neighborhood Parking
Neighborhood Parking
Street Parking
Street Parking

Getting to Windansea Beach

The easiest path to Windansea Beach is down Nautilus Street. However, Westbourne and Bonair will also take you there.

If you’re coming from the I-5, take La Jolla Parkway to Torrey Pines Road to Girard Avenue. Take Girard to Pearl Street and hang a left on La Jolla Boulevard. La Jolla Boulevard will take you to one of the three streets that drops into Windansea.

Parking at Windansea Beach

Windansea Beach has 16 parking spots available. If you don’t get there before the surfers, you’ll have to find street parking. Street parking is not so bad but you might have to walk a few blocks.

Featured Activity

La Jolla: 1.5-Hour Stand Up Paddle Board Lesson
La Jolla Paddle Board Lesson 1.5-Hr
Learn to Stand Up Paddle Board at your own pace on the calm waters of La Jolla! This 1.5-hour lesson is led by an experienced instructor and is suitable for all levels. Observe amazing marine life too!
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Know Before You Go & Tips

Boardwalk
Boardwalk
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
No Trash Cans
No Trash Cans
Trash Cans Available
Trash Cans Available

Keep these Tips in Mind

A Local’s Spot?

Windansea may be an iconic Southern California beach surf spot, but it’s really a local spot. During the summer months and on weekends, lifeguards’ man this beach from 9:00 am until dusk. Even so, it is recommended that families with small children and unsupervised teens, and those with either poor swimming skills or who are unused to ocean breaks, not use the beach.

All that being said Windansea is one of San Diego’s most iconic and beautiful beaches.

No Facilities

The beach does not have typical beach facilities. This means there are no restrooms, no showers and no water fountains along the shoreline. However, you can hike up the stairs to grab a bite to eat, use a public restroom or get something to drink at one of the local shops off of La Jolla Blvd.

Strict Rules

The beach has strict rules: No glass containers, no alcohol, no dogs, no camping, no littering and no public disturbances will be tolerated at Windansea Beach. All this points to the beach’s main focus: To cater to surfers and not to those who want to lounge on the beach for hours.

Windansea Beach
is Known For:
Surfing
Surfing
Know This:
Boardwalk
Boardwalk
Lifeguards
Lifeguards
Tide Pools
Tide Pools
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

Stay Nearby

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